Endless Ocean Luminous | Treasure Loving Seal UML
Endless Ocean Luminous | Official Logo Art
Title Endless Ocean Luminous
Developer Arika
Publisher Nintendo
Release Date May 2nd, 2024
Genre Adventure Simulation
Platform Nintendo Switch
Age Rating Everyone
Official Website

Endless Ocean Luminous is a game I found myself curious about because I loved Endless Ocean 2, Endless Ocean: Blue World as it was titled in North America. Having been so many years, I’m no longer sure how I ended up with a copy of Blue World. Regardless, I thought it was quite the hidden gem on Wii. Therefore, having had a lot of fun with all that Endless Ocean 2 had to offer, I decided to specifically ask for and take on reviewing Endless Ocean Luminous. However, I did have my worries after seeing the trailers for this game. It wasn’t so much what was in the trailers, but more so what wasn’t shown that made me skeptical about Luminous.

Endless Ocean Luminous | World Coral

Endless Ocean Luminous is definitely unique. Now keep in mind, I have no experience with the first game in this series, a title also released for the Nintendo Wii. I’ve only played the sequel. Anyways, in Luminous you have three different game modes: you can go on a Shared Dive online, you can do a Solo Dive offline, or you can choose the Story tab. The basics of the plot are simply that you just joined Project Aegis. Project Aegis’ goal is to study the Veiled Sea and figure out and fix the problem with the World Coral, which seems like it might be dying. Your goal as a new member of Project Aegis is to study the Veiled Sea and collect light to restore the World Coral. You can collect light mainly from scanning all of the fish you come across. You also get this Mystery Board relic which is supposed to be a historic artifact from the Oannes civilization. Various things you do in the game, specific fish you scan, certain treasures you locate, etc., will unlock spots on this board. Ultimately, completion of all 99 mystery tasks are required to finish the story.

EO Luminous | Meeting Daniel

The story mode in Endless Ocean Luminous is not what you would expect. After you finish the first few tutorial story mode chapters, to unlock each chapter afterwards you have to do a dive either online or offline and scan hundreds, if not thousands, of fish. Each next chapter unlocks from scanning these fish. Except the last one, which as I just mentioned earlier, requires you to finish the Mystery Board. Every story chapter is super short. This AI character, Sera, will teach you stuff and guide you on very small tasks. You won’t be exploring huge maps for the story or doing anything major. You only get a bit of info and insight into your goal and you hang out with this other Project Aegis diver, Daniel. The majority of your time in this game will be spent going on dives outside of the story and scanning more and more fish.

Endless Ocean Luminous | Prehistoric Area

I found Luminous to be a very shallow bare bones game, which seems to be a common trend with new Switch entries to old series. Fashion Dreamer is a similarly shallow Switch title I previously reviewed, though I had no personal experience with that particular dev’s prior games to compare it to. I only knew what little I had read about what they were like. Endless Ocean is another story, I’ve played a prior game which was vastly different. In Blue World, the main focus of the game was on the story. In Luminous, your focus is on exploring randomly generated maps in the Veiled Sea. Every map is supposed to be different, however, the vast majority of each map is identical to every other map. There are small sections of each map which will be part of a unique theme. One map might have a few arctic areas in addition to relevant fish species that live there, and another might have prehistoric fish. But again, these unique themed areas are only a very small portion of the map. You spend the majority of your dive filling out a map with near identical scenery to the rest of them and running across and scanning the same exact fish you’ve seen hundreds of times already.

EO Luminous | Treasure Loving Seal UML

Your goal when you go on these dives in the Veiled Sea is to scan all of the fish, thus collecting their light to save the World Coral, and you’ll also be searching for these strange glitched fish. I call them glitched fish because when you scan them, there’s something wrong with them and they’ll glitch in and out like a fuzzy computer glitch. This is part of the game though, not an actual glitch. So after you locate and scan all of the glitched fish on the map, a UML will soon appear. UML stands for Unidentified Marine Life. Typically, these UML are significantly large unique creatures that aren’t usually found in the Veiled Sea. Once you’ve hung out and watched the UML for a bit, they’ll eventually leave, which allows you to once again find glitched fish and summon the UML again. Once you’ve filled out a map 80% of the way, it will automatically fill out the rest and you can then share your dive code for that map with other people online.

Endless Ocean Luminous | Diver Customziation

Online dives simply involve you swimming around the same maps as offline and occasionally running into other divers who you complete the same tasks together with, which you would normally be completing offline. No one really hangs out with each other and uses emotes and whatnot, at least not in random dives. You can start a dive and share the ID with friends to get them to join I imagine, but I didn’t test this out for myself. As you find treasure and complete tasks, you’ll earn some money you can use to collect alternate colors for customizing your diving equipment, emotes for using on a dive and interacting with others online, and various stickers to decorate your character’s outfit further.

EO Luminous | Fish Info

There isn’t really much more to explain about Endless Ocean Luminous, I’ve covered most of the important stuff you should know. There isn’t a lot to do besides swim around endlessly filling out maps and scanning fish. After a while, scanning fish becomes an annoyance since you have to hold on the button to scan a lot of fish at once and then wait for the image with info about the fish to pop up. After you’ve seen so many of the same fish numerous times, you can’t simply scan without that pop-up to move along quicker. At least not that I found in my over 15 hours spent on the game. As you raise your rank from going on these dives, you can gradually befriend increasingly large and/or more significant fish, but they don’t stick around for long. I found that my companion fish often ditched me pretty quickly. Another thing I almost forgot to mention, is how there is no danger in this game and little challenge. In Blue World, not only was each map fully unique, arguably small but unique, but also, certain fish such as sharks would attack you. There would be a very loud warning alarm and they would whack you with their tail, which causes you harm if you don’t make them docile quick enough with your tools, or swim away and escape in time. Not only that, but you had limited oxygen in your tank as well. Also, I seem to remember the game had a museum tank to customize, permanent porpoise friends you could train at your island, a reef area for you to revive underwater, and even tourists you could help and take out on dives.

Endless Ocean Luminous has none of this. You can swim right up to the most dangerous looking fish and they couldn’t care less that you’re there. You never leave the water. Ending a dive simply takes you back to the main menu to check out what you’ve completed on the Mystery Tablet, customize your faceless diver some more and check out the gallery of stuff you’ve found. You can take pictures of fish in the water and thus, there are some minimal photo mode elements. Nonetheless, the game is extremely repetitive and gets old and uninspiring after a while. There are periodically online event dives you can go on, but they really aren’t that special or extremely different from regular dives. Well, except for the fact that you have a 20-minute time limit each dive.

Endless Ocean Luminous | Giant Turtle UML

There are some positives to Endless Ocean Luminous. The game is very chill and has an enjoyable atmosphere. Every now and then, some background music will start up as you’re swimming along and I had fun and enjoyed myself more when it did. I didn’t hate the game and I do believe it performed as expected, I didn’t have any unexpected problems. Nevertheless, in the end, this game was extremely bare bones, quite shallow and not at all what I think old fans would want from a new Endless Ocean. It’s not a horrible game, but I expect better from this series and a $49.99 price tag. I’m disappointed in what they decided to release. You may find this to be an enjoyable enough carefree adventure should you find it on sale in the future. Still, I don’t know that I can honestly recommend picking it up if you’re an old fan of Endless Ocean from the series’ Wii days.

Review Score


Review copy was provided by the publisher.

Jenae R
Jenae is an RPG enthusiast who also enjoys cats, humidity-free warm weather, Dean Koontz books, Riichi Mahjong and a select handful of non RPG series and games. Two of her all-time favorite games are the original Shadow Hearts and Final Fantasy IX. She loves to ramble on about her numerous gaming opinions and is fortunate enough to be able to do it here at oprainfall.