This is probably one of the oddest and weirdest games I have ever played on my Dreamcast! The Dreamcast is well known for its exotic and quirky games, but this one beats them all!
When you first get to the start screen, you encounter the voice of Leonard Nimoy, who is the narrator and leads you throughout the rest of the game. When the game loads up, it places you the player inside a fish tank, with a couple of eggs that need hatching.
This is the whole of the game, where you must tend to your eggs, make the tank the right air temperature and give it enough air and then actually converse with your Seamen (no sexual innuendo there!). Seamen are fish with human heads and once they have grown up (they take very careful feeding and keeping the air and temperature up makes them grow). Using the packaged microphone with the game, you can then talk with the so called advanced AI (which is not very smart and gives back some very stupid responses sometimes!). There are cheats with this game however, where you can forward your Dreamcast clock and make them grow up a lot faster. The graphics and sound are okay, but don't really do the game justice! The only issue with this game is however, is that if you run out of food, you don't get any more and your fish slowly die!
Seaman is not your average game. I don't even know if I should call it a game. It's more like an electronic aquarium/terrarium. Let me explain... It all starts out with little eggs and mushroomers (things that suck up and then gestate the eggs.) Either they suck up the egg, or they get the tadpoles, it's difficult to remember and not important. You really have no impact on the game at this point anyway. Regardless, after gestation you will have many little tadpoles swimming around. Your job is to keep the water warm, the air bubbles flowing and feed them pellets when needed. You can also talk to them, but we'll get to that later. As they develope, you'll notice that they speak quite well for babies. Their speech and attitude is encouraged by you speaking to them. A bit of advice - speak slowly and don't yell. The voice recognition is a great new technology, but not flawless. Often, he seems to be answering a question no one asked. Certain seamen will die as an apparent sacrifice to the living. They'll connect their antennae and suck the remaining goodness out of them. Eventually, you'll be left with two fish/frog men in your tank. Through trial and error, you'll learn that they will want to leave this environment. More on that soon. The seamen will want to eat, and for this purpose you will be growing caterpillers and moths in another terrarium. They tire of food pellets after they sprout legs, and will share a caterpiller when hungry. Don't overfeed them, as they will not eat it and food replenishes slowly. Certain caterpillers will coccoon themselves and become moths, for the sole purpose of laying eggs and growing more caterpillers. Don't feed the seamen moths. They won't eat it, and you will be removing your source for food. There might also be a spider in your terrarium. He's there to trap and kill moths to prevent overpopulation. You don't have to do anything for hi
m. All you do to maintain the terrarium is keep it watered. It's easy to care for. When the time comes, you will be asked to assist the seamen in moving a large rock to expose the drain. This will empty the aquarium to aide in their development. Afterwards, there's a series of actions to take to release them into the wild. Seaman will talk, at length, about many different topics. You should always talk to him simply and nicely. He will become offended if you ignore or speak impolitely to him. He will go off on endless diatribes about society, world cultures and trends in politics. He will ask you personal questions ("When is your birthday?" "Do you like yourself?" "Is your mother living?"...) and remembers the answers. He knows when it's a holiday, and will wish you a happy birthday. And if you say the word sh*t to him, he will fling a ball of feces at the glass wall. Lovely. It takes about a month to go through the stages of development and go off into the wild. Afterwards, you can visit him and get his attention to talk for awhile, but he doesn't need you anymore and there's not much to do. The graphics and sound on this game are somewhat basic, there's no background music, it's essentially a game of only three screens, and no action. This is a project, not a typical game. If you and/or your child would like a pet, maybe this would entertain. It's not a game for repeat play (you can start over by erasing the file, but it's still the same game,) action or adventure. It is very interesting and engaging at first, but loses it's appeal due to the nature of the game. You can't even rent it because it takes a month to complete. You can trick the system by advancing the internal clock, but what fun is that? I enjoyed playing this game, the technology is advanced, the concept is high, but the replay is non-existent. I still check in on them
once in a while, but it's always a very short conversation before I'm bored. It's not really worth the $50 for this reason, but if you find it used, give it a shot. It's a unique and intriguing game for a patient child or adult.
It's available on import only so I recommend you wait to see if they'll be releasing it in the UK, maybe they will, but I doubt it somehow! Ok, should you go for the Japanese version then you're mad as You'll have to speak fluent Japanese to the fish, and you'll have to understand what they say too. Go for the USA version, but be warned, you're going to have to brush up on you're American accent because these fish are from over the pond! The idea is to talk to some virtual fish with rather wierd looking fish bodies and human faces. They talk back to you and actually respond to what you say - this is the first console voice recognition game ever made, but you will have to practice to get anywhere! By talking to the fish you'll be able to understand why this was Japan's best selling DC game, shifting 550,000 units. It's a very clever game indeed. If you're rude to the fish, then they'll be sad, rude back and won't grow! they are so lifelike in personality, but it's more like breeding a set of cats - not fish! They always want attention, and when they ask for food they don't bother eating it! A very interesting and original game that requires the Dreamcast microphone. It may well be the case that the PC version is released in the UK and the DC not. Oh well, these japanese - I don't know! Great graphics and sound, slightly wierd, very inventive and so 4stars is what this gets because they don't always understand u! Ok
This game's great at first. You have to feed Seaman, clean its tank, make sure it has a comfortable environment, etc. It's really nice as you watch it grow, and then speak it's first words. However, after the first month or so you see all the negative points. For a start you must use the game every 2-3 days or Seaman dies. Secondly, although you can speak to Seaman I found he rarely understands you and usually just replies with some stupid comment he's already said about 100 times before. The biggest problem is that after the growing-up period of Seaman the rest is just so boring. He doesn't seem to do anything. You end up just feeding him, cleaning his tank, and shutting down. The graphics and sound are good. And Seaman is an interesting game (thanks to the speech recognition) but long term playability (2 months+)is zero and I really wouldn't recommend this game unless you got it cheap.
Strange title, strange gameplay right? Correct - Seaman has got to be one of the wackiest games on the Dreamcast, and that includes Wacky Races! Seaman is a game where you hatch strange fishy mutant creatures from eggs, and from their birth you must talk to them to help them grow both mentally and physically. Sounds weird eh? Well, to bring the game to the edge of your sanity Sega has produced an addon to make your gameplaying experience as nutty as possible - a microphone that plugs into the VMU slot. The voice recognition that comes with it is incredible... At first your Seamen learn basic words, such as "hello", and through careful attention they will learn longer sentences. For those of you who are wondering if this is a joke, I assure you it is not. This game exists, really. Although it sounds bizarre, this game is surprisingly rewarding and fun. However, the happy feeling fades when you return to your Dreamcast the next morning to find all of your Seamen are floating upside-down in the middle of their tank. To stop this from happening, you must keep you pets in good heath, which means keeping them well-fed. The games works by using the Dreamcast's internal clock, from the moment you place the GDROM into your console it starts ticking. So, if the last time you played your Seamen were still in egg form, it's a possibilty that by the time you turn it on the next morning they may have grown into little fish mutants. Sounds fun doesn't it? To add to the fun, everytime you play the game you will be introduced by the only and only Leonard Nemoy, who will tell you the staus of your pets when you last left. Who could ask for more? As for graphics, they are as good as you can expect from any Dreamcast game. Because the title only involves fish swimming around a tank, it's not too demanding on the Dreamcast's processor. Everything look fine... If I were you, I'd wai
t expectantly for Seaman to come out and snap it up when it does. Only take care that you point out to the sales rep that you are talking about a game, and not some other subject!