Shark! Shark! (XSX) Review with stream

Originally released in 1982 for Intellivision, Shark! Shark! has been reimagined by German headquartered BBH Entertainment for modern consoles and mobile.

Although Shark! Shark! created the “eat fish smaller than you to grow bigger to eat bigger fish” gameplay, other games, like Feeding Frenzy, have come along and expanded this system with power-ups, new and upgradeable abilities, and balanced gameplay.  Unfortunately, Shark! Shark! does none of this and essentially disrespects its point of origin.

Playing single player is frustrating because it is impossible. This is because the shark that enters the screen just a moment after each stage begins hunts down Player 1 without mercy, resulting in a quick unavoidable death. The only power-up available is a randomly falling bubble shield but this passive ability is too random and appears too infrequently to survive for more than a few seconds at a time. The lack of a dash move, or way to fight back, means you are going to be lunch just as much as the sardines you ate in the opening seconds. Making matters worse, with each death, you return to the fish’s starting size, giving you no hope to consume bigger fish. Once you hit the second world, there is no way to progress until you are playing with a players to fill the local roster.

Confusingly, there is a “vs mode” and a “multiplayer mode” but these main menu options do not explain the difference until you start to dig deeper. Turns out, there is an online multiplayer component but literally zero people were playing online. After trying numerous times and waiting in a lobby for a good while, I gave up trying to get into an online match. Therefore, players are stuck playing the impossible single player voyage mode. Stupidly, there is a point system in place, but it doesn’t mean anything when playing solo. Also, instead of being able to upgrade abilities, players instead unlock new colors for the playable fish that all play exactly the same.

Shark! Shark! is an embarrassment of a remake that completely ignores fun gameplay elements invented over the last thirty years of game history, especially when tagged with a $15 price point. Fans are better off fishing for the original found in random compilations that have been released over the last couple decades.

Not As Good As: the Feeding Frenzy games

Also Play: Fishing Derby (Atari 2600)

Wait For It: a Finding Nemo sequel

SCORE: 3/10

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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