Endless Ocean 2, like its predecessor, is a game to play when you don't feel like playing a game. It's a bizarre idea as far as video games go, in that the core gameplay is so relaxed it's the gaming equivalent to whale music. You slowly swim beneath the sea, exploring the sea bed and finding new creatures, all the while being accompanied by the kind of music that will send you to sleep. Fair enough, but does that make it a worthwhile experience?
Yes and no. Endless Ocean 2 is a more action packed game than the original Wii release, but that's not saying much. It features more locations, you can wander about on land for the first time and the diving gameplay is more than just spotting new types of fish, but it's still essentially a man or woman slowly swimming about.
New to the game is Classic Controller support, but given the use of the on-screen pointer (which is mapped to the left analogue stick), the standard solo Wii Remote control scheme is far better. Your diver will swim when you hold down B, so you simply need to point in the desired direction and off you go. If you see something you want to interact with, hover over it with the pointer and press A, while pressing down on the d-pad will bring up your tools and options. It's all very simple.
In an attempt to make Endless Ocean 2 more of a game than its predecessor there's a story of sorts, revolving around two pendants that belong to the family of your boat's captain. His grand-daughter Océane and your character (who is given a pendant after rescuing Océane from a dangerous situation involving a tiger shark) discover that the two pendants join together, revealing a message that has something to do with a mysterious undersea music known as the Song of Dragons. It's all a bit bonkers, but it does provide a reason to go on an adventure that will take you from the South Pacific to the South Pole and even the Amazon.
Mission variety is markedly improved on the original, meaning there's more to do here than simply guide tourists to certain species of marine life. Among other things is the ability to heal fish using some kind of magic gun named the Pulsar. When equipped the sick sea creatures have a coloured reticule over them, and then you zap away as you would in a light-gun shooter. Magically, a few zaps later the fish is healthy again. The same tool doubles as a way to pacify the more dangerous animals, such as a shark that's heading straight for your face.
Salvage and treasure hunting expeditions form much of your other time in the game, in which you need to make use of a multi-sensor. This handy device lets you locate and identify the sunken items you're looking. Your actions are still rarely more complicated than pointing at something and pressing A, but at least it feels as if you're doing more than cataloguing fish - which still plays a part if you liked that about the original game.