NDS Preview - 'Lost in Blue 2'

by Thomas Wilde on Feb. 28, 2007 @ 12:13 a.m. PST

Washed ashore after their cruise ship goes down at sea, young Jack and Amy must struggle to survive as they search for a way off a deserted island. The teens must confront their worst fears as they discover the secrets and dangers that lurk behind every corner of the mysterious island.

Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Hudson Soft
Release Date: Spring 2007

Hudson had a lot to show off at this year’s Konami Gamers’ Day. One of the most surprising things they unveiled is Lost in Blue 2, the sequel to 2005’s survival-themed adventure game. Lost in Blue was one of the first DS games, and as far as I can tell, sank without a trace back in the early days when no one quite knew what the hell to do with the system. It’s a little bizarre that it did well enough to mandate a sequel.

Lost in Blue 2 begins after Jack and Amy, the protagonists, are washed onto a deserted island after their cruise ship sinks. If they want to survive, they’ll need to develop new skills, build improvised tools, and explore the entirety of the island.

You play Lost in Blue 2 as either Jack or Amy, with the inactive character relegated to following around behind you. Both characters have different endings and survival skills, although the demo I played placed a bit of a focus on what Jack could do. Presumably, Jack will be the one who does most of the fighting. You can also switch between Jack and Amy on the fly.

There’s a certain urgency to playing Lost in Blue 2, as the top screen of your DS is devoted to tracking Jack and Amy’s current stamina, hunger, and thirst, which count down disturbingly quickly. It gives a real sense of immediacy as you explore the island, as you’re always looking for food and drink.

As you look around, you can find wild berries and coconuts to fend off starvation, and use things like sticks, string, and feathers to build tools. In the demo level, Jack had already built a fishing pole, a bow, a few arrows, and a spear.

As you get further into the island’s interior, you may run into wild animals, and worse, the island is subject to natural disasters. You may be doing just fine so far, but when an earthquake or tsunami hits, all bets are abruptly off. The island itself has also been broadly hinted to hide various mysteries and dangers above and beyond simple survival issues.

The DS’s touchscreen is used in several different ways over the course of the game. At one point, while searching the base of a tree for something I needed, I used the touchscreen to dig in the dirt. Other touchscreen-based minigames such as cooking and tool crafting return from the original game; you can also play new minigames such as diving, carpentry, and archery.

The Lost in Blue games, if absolutely nothing else, are interesting because of what they’re not. Most video games deal with fantastic or hyperrealistic situations, but this is a fairly sober, bizarrely enthralling game about surviving a situation that could happen to just about anyone. Lost in Blue 2 will hopefully address the problems that arose with its predecessor.

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