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I'd played the original Feeding Frenzy on Xbox live. I found it good fun, but not quite fun enough to convince me to purchase the full game. So here we are with the sequel, Shipwreck Showdown: and it appears to be largely similar to the original, with a few tweaks to the formula.
For those of you not familiar with the format, a quick rundown before we start. You play the part of one of a variety of exotic fish near the bottom of the feeding chain. Moving around a fairly limited underwater space you need to gobble up enough small fry in order to grow to the next size, enabling you to turn the tables on one of your former predators. Repeat another couple of times to reach the top of the chain and you move on to the next level.
And there are certainly a lot of levels! In total you'll have to fight through 60 levels to get to the finale encounter against the mysterious aquatic beast that is causing such chaos in the depths. To be honest though the game seems a little stretched out - with sometimes only minor changes in the environment being made between levels.
There are a lot of game variations though. You play as one of four different fish types that initially have some variation in their behaviour - when you start playing as the Queen Fish, for example, you get a special ability that allows you to suck multiple smaller fish into your mouth at once.
Some nice changes have been made from the original.
However you soon find that from this point on any fish that you play as also has this ability. Some nice changes have been made from the original: in some levels you can leap out of the water to feast on bugs in the air above with extra points for performing somersaults, but beware the pelican that can scoop you up if you're too close. However most of the other features, from poisonous fish that reverse you're controls, to mines, barracuda and puffer fish all make a re-appearance (albeit with much improved graphics).
There is also a time-trial mode where you have a limited time to get through a level, with any left over time carrying forward. But after playing the main mode through to conclusion I lost interest in the time trial after about a dozen levels. The 360 version includes local multiplayer, with multiple party games, but these are missing from the PC version. As local multiplayer isn't really feasible on a PC, and the 360 doesn't have online multiplayer then this doesn't really come as much of a surprise.
Feeding Frenzy 2 is a fun game but I'm not entirely sure it's worth the asking price on the PC (GBP 14.95). When you look at the sort of games you can pick up for that sort of price it seems a little much, especially as its pretty short and doesn't have the additional features of the console variant.
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