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seaQuest DSV (video game)

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seaQuest DSV is a real-time simulator/strategy game depiction of the seaQuest DSV television series for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Mega Drive/Genesis. The player takes the role of the captain of the submarine seaQuest DSV 4600, and is tasked with carrying out a series of missions in a series of levels, divided up as "ocean quadrants". There is a Game Boy game as well, although completely different compared to the 16-bit console versions.

Gameplay

The game is divided into two parts; one in which you control the seaQuest in an isometric perspective overworld and are able to buy equipment and weapons and travel the ocean quadrant, and the actual horizontal scrolling shooter style missions, in which you are to achieve various objectives using a complement of mini-subs, robots, and even a trained dolphin wearing an aqua-lung. Some of the missions are simplistic and require you to make use of only one of the seaQuest's vessels, others have you make use of several of them in succession. For example, there's a mission in the first ocean quadrants where you have to rescue the crew of an exploration vessel trapped in a caved-in underwater cave, and have to use armed subs to clear several cave-ins before you can bring in the only mini-sub you have that's equipped to rescue personnel from other subs. The missions also typically involve combat between your mini-subs and the units of pirates, eco-terrorists, and other foes, but also more often than not require you to perform some sort of non-combat task such as the aforementioned rescue operation.

The other part of the game is the overworld where the player controls the seaQuest herself. These areas give you access to several menus in which you can replace lost equipment, buy new weapons for the seaQuest, and read up on the various missions you will receive while in your quadrant. While traveling your quadrant, you will also come across minefields, automated torpedo launchers and hostile submarines, many of which you need to destroy in order to achieve missions you are assigned in their area. For example, there's a mission in which you are to seal the leaks in an oil tanker sunk by ecological terrorists. In addition to accomplish this objective with your mini-subs, you need to not only complete the mission itself, but also to use the seaQuest herself to sink every terrorist submarine near the oil tanker wreck.

The game features a currency system, and awards you money for destroying enemy targets and completing objectives. The player can also lose money for destroying underwater settlements and killing animals present in some missions. Money is spent on weapons, countermeasures and mines for your seaQuest submarine, as well as replacements for lost vessels in missions. You don't need to spend money on repairs, though, as the seaQuest and her complement subs repair themselves over time.

Production

SeaQuest DSV SNES Concept designs

The various designs from oldest (left) to newest (right) as used in the game.

THQ worked directly with the computer graphics team at Amblin Entertainment to make the seaQuest DSV game accurate and realistic to the designs seen in the series.[1] Several of the original unused concept designs for the seaQuest (seen right), as well as concepts for the renegade pirate submarine Delta IV that was featured in the series pilot movie, were used in the game as enemy capital ships.

Marketing for the games included a large print campaign in comics and gaming magazines like Electronic Gaming Monthly, EGM2, Nintendo Power and Game Players as well as several sci fi and fantasy magazines, such as Starlog and Omni.

Reception

The Genesis version was previewed in Electronic Gaming Monthly in November 1994[2] and the SNES version was reviewed by Nintendo Power in their February 1995 issue, and gave the game a 3.2/5 rating. This issue also held a contest, the winner got to be an extra on an episode of seaQuest DSV.[3] It was later featured in the "Classified Information" section of issue 75 and 82 of Nintendo Power. Other reviews include Game Players giving the SNES version 88 out of 100[4] and GamePro 4/5 in their January 1995 issues,[5] the Sega version got 82 out of 100 in February '95 issue of Game Players.[6] The worst rating it got was from Video Games & Computer Entertainment, which gave the SNES version 6 out of 10 in their January 1995 issue.[7]

References

  1. Business Wire, March 1995 
  2. Electronic Gaming Monthly (Issue 64), November 1994 
  3. Nintendo Power (Issue 69), February 1995 
  4. Game Players, January 1995 
  5. GamePro, January 1995 
  6. Game Players, February 1995 
  7. Video Games & Computer Entertainment, January 1995 

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