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Vivarium returns to Seaman

Talk to the manimals.

Vivarium's voice recognition oddity Seaman, released on Dreamcast (and later PS2 in Japan), is getting a sequel in 2006, SEGA announced in Japan late last week.

Like the '99 Dreamcast version, Seaman 2 will involve teaching a sort of fish/human hybrid who responds to voice input – this time through the PS2's USB microphone. The original Seaman recognised single words, but this one will apparently be able to react to entire sentences.

Details on the game are pretty thin on the ground besides that, although GameSpot points out that Vivarium has released a free Windows utility to encourage players to dig out their old Seaman controllers – using the microphone for Internet voice chat and the buttons to control applications like iTunes and Internet Explorer. Weird.

At the announcement of Seaman 2, Vivarium president Satou Yutaka expressed some sentiments about the need for interface change. "In the last 20 years there really hasn't been much advancement in the user interface of games," he said. "If we could just change the interface, I think games would get much more exciting and unique."

The comments were Nintendo-esque to say the least – echoing the sort of rhetoric we've heard from creator of GameCube, DS and (soon) Revolution about the importance of, er, sea change in this area – and that's perhaps fitting, since the other Vivarium project we know about is Odama, a Cube title that most describe as a mixture of real-time strategy and pinball.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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