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YMMV / Maneater

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The Game:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is the shark a mindless eating machine? Or is it Gaia's Vengeance (see the Fridge page)?
    • There's a lot on interpretations regarding Pete's story about the Mega shark; ranging from The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right to Unreliable Narrator. Was Scaly Pete right about the shark's mother not being the Mega; was he just so young that the shark looked big from his point of view, like Kyle said; or did he actually lie to avoid the embarrassment of his father being devoured by an “ordinary” shark?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The bounty hunter bosses are supposed to provide a challenge but can be taken out just as easily as any other human — especially early in the game, where the Shark can just pop out of the water and grab them off their watercraft. Later on it's not the named bounty hunters themselves that are the problem, but the escalation in how heavily-armed their backup is (and some have custom boats). Though even then, it’s entirely likely for one of the bounty hunters to take out their own boat, meaning you can get the boss’ mutation without needing to actually put up with it.
    • The first fight with Scaly Pete is remarkably short, especially if you take your time and explore. You more than likely will have a good amount of mutations and abilities to thrash his boat and his back up without too much problem.
    • The final fight against Scaly Pete as well, once you figure out how to grab the torpedos. The entire fight against Pete himself ends up as a Tactical Suicide Boss, and the flunkies that he calls halfway through are much too few to actually pose a threat.
  • Anvilicious: The game goes out of its way to beat you over the head with the message of pollution and humans' ability to screw up an environment, ranging from plucking a baby from its mother to an entire section of a nuclear power plant being sunk into the local lake.
  • Awesome Music: The intro song, "Shark in the River" by Daniel James, captures that TV opening feel perfectly and is a great opening for the game.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: In a weird sort of way. Expect any mention of this game to come with someone singing the song "Maneater" when talking about it. It's not even a part of the games' soundtrack, it's just such a fitting song that it's hard to not make the association.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • As a pup, the bull shark manages to humiliate Scaly Pete, the so-called "best shark hunter" around by biting his arm off after he kills the shark's mother and deliberately injures the shark itself for the sake of recognizing her later.
    • Out of all of the Goddamned Bats in the games, such as the Barracudas, Muskies, Alligators, and Orcas, being able to later on in the game overpower them with the Bone Set or otherwise simply by being vastly larger than them when you first encountered them is a helluva cathartic to watch them squirm helplessly in your jaws while you thrash them to itty bity pieces.
  • Demonic Spiders: Hunter Divers are the bane of many players' existences. Being able to chase you and having access to ranged attacks are one thing. The big problem is the fact on higher infamy levels they will constantly spawn under boats. This causes massive amounts of them to chase you if you’re looking to heal. If you manage to corner one you can eat him but you gain very little health if you do.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The apex predators are just amazing. Their designs are unique for their areas and they clearly aren't afraid of a thirty-foot shark chasing them down.
  • Fan Nickname: The stuff that comes out of the nutrient caches have been called "Scooby snacks", "Doritos", and so on.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Bio-Electric Mutation is extremely useful for both human and sea enemies, due to its ability to use paralysis and sponging a good amount of damage. It's very rare to not see a player use the mutation once all the parts are collected. In particular, the Bio-Electric fins give you an invincible dodge that damages enemies across a wide radius once it's fully upgraded and can be spammed an unlimited number of times. This turns fighting shark hunters into a breeze.
    • To those who bought the Day One Edition or the Switch Version of the game, the Tiger Shark body can become a Disc-One Nuke in the right hands. Upgrading it passively increases your nutrient gains from all sources by a given percentage, starting off at 5% each at Tier 1, and adding another 5% with every next upgrade. Combine the fact experience gain is tied to how much nutrients you get at once, and you can and will reach the larger growth phases of your shark in record speed, especially once the Tiger Shark body is fully maxed out which isn't very hard since the upgrade costs pretty much pay for themselves with how it works.
    • The fourth organ slot introduced in Truth Quest, when revisiting the areas of the base game, can come quite in handy by making it so you have extra room to equip specific organs which already provided a significant advantage, but with the previous 3 organ slot limit, you were previously restrained from exploiting specific combos of these organs to the best of your advantage. In addition, the Bone Body, Bio-Electric Body, and Shadow Body now all gain the passive of immunity to damaging effects from their respective mutated counterparts in the form of the Bone Sperm Whale, the Bio-Electric Great White Shark, and Shadow Orca.
    • There's a reason the Brutal Muscles Organ is the final unlock in regards to the base game's Infamy system; it passively increases all of your speed perimeters with no requirements to activate them. You can use this alongside the Shadow Set to effectively give you Super-Speed, or you can use it alongside the other two/three sets to upgrade them into Lightning Bruiser territory. Also, for those previously not a fan of the tail slap? Brutal Muscles also beefs up the overall firepower of the tail slap passively as well.
  • Genius Bonus: The Bone Head's armored eyes are a direct reference to the exact same type of eyes known from fossils of the prehistoric fish Dunkleosteus, which while some may find the eyes to be comical, those who are more familiar with Dunkleosteus would more than likely look at it with dread than anything else.
  • Goddamn Bats:
    • Sperm Whales in the Gulf are much stronger and just as nimble as the player. The worst part is that there is bound to be a few in quest-specific areas, which is even worse since groups can, and will, cause you to die more than once.
    • Orcas are also insanely fast and have a tendency to "play" with their prey i.e. you. They will more than usually push you around and then slap you with their tail. It can be a very long and grueling fight, especially with a group of them.
    • Gators can be an extreme nuisance at the start of the game, during your infant and teen stages. They're extremely fast, hard to dodge and can wreck your day. You have to be an adult or higher to really deal with them with ease.
    • Barracuda and Muskies can be particularly fierce, no matter what stage of life you're in. They will also follow you INTO your grotto if they're aggroed on you.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: One of the landmarks in the game is a wrecked SUV on a golf course that serves as a parody of professional golfer Tiger Woods. In 2021, Woods was badly injured when his SUV rolled over.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Surprisingly for this game, at times when your shark appears in front of Humans, instead of shrieking in fear as expected, they'll "ooo" and "aww" over her, showing that even in Port Clovis, some people are amazed by sharks rather than just disgusted or afraid.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Surprisingly enough, the game over music which sounds exactly like the Jaws theme but in a higher key.
  • Narm: The Bone Head evolution can, instead of vicious and intimidating, make the shark look a bit comical, due to the change to its eyes looking more like the cartoonish "angry eyes" seen on an emoji. However, to some people, it can actually look intimidating in its own way, as the eyes are a direct reference to the armored eyes known from fossils of the prehistoric fish Dunkleosteus.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Despite the fact that you are the shark, there is still plenty of things to be terrified of in the deep.
    • Gators. They're the first real big threats you meet in the game and are terrifying to battle in infant and teen stages. They are also extremely persistent, especially if you attack them and try to swim off. One could be in a grate that you have to get to by hopping on land (there are several of these in the swampy regions), you could attack it and flee, and it can climb out of the grate, speed across the land and go back into the water to chase after you.
    • The Apex Orca. Instead of looking like your normal orca, this one is three times bigger, has body markings that don't match any orca in the game (making it look more like a monster), sporting red eyes and a permanent scowl. She is easily the most brutal of the Apex. It's also found in an abandoned Sea World-like aquarium park.
    • Scaly Pete is implied to have seen his father get "Taken down" by what Pete calls "The Mega" and even though everyone dismisses it, he does say Maneater's mother is too small, implying that somewhere out there, there is a chance there is an even bigger shark than Maneater.
    • Even Maneater is rather Nightmarish herself, To count, she goes from a pup to a mega in what is seems to be a really short timeframe, and her "evolutions" either make her one of three (if you don't Mix-and-Match Critter her) possible variants, A Shadowy Vampire Shark, sleek and covered in what seems to be organic stealth tech, a Shock and Awe Glowing tentacled shark who can turn into a bolt of lightning, or a Bone Bio-Armor covered battering ram, that looks like a prehistoric nightmare come to life, not only that but she is nightmarishly aggressive, actually launching herself out of the water to pursue people on land, being pretty fast and lethal regardless of being out of her element.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: There is very little to the plot and it’s sparse with its cutscenes. The gameplay and exploration is the game's main focus. That being said, the game is fully aware of this and doesn't seem to care.
  • Polished Port: The Nintendo Switch port plays well and maintains a 60 FPS surprisingly well even in handheld mode, and aside from a few minor graphical glitches and some downscaled graphics, the only unique downside as of the end of 2021 is the lack of the Truth Quest DLC, since it is worth noting that it took the developers over a year to be able to port the game to the Nintendo Switch in the first place, and Truth Quest was announced for all of the other ports a few months before the Nintendo Switch port was even announced. It's also worth noting that the Switch Version also automatically unlocks the Tiger Body when you access the first grotto, which was previously exclusive to the Day One Edition versions of the game on other ports.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Tail slaps are excellent for throwing enemies but that's about it, at least, outside of their necessity in use in the final encounter with Scaly Pete. It barely damages an underwater opponent and boats at higher levels are constantly moving. Most just prefer using the Bone Mutation to attack boats and other beefier targets. However, this is mitigated by the fact the Atomic Tail combined with the rest of its set not only does a reliable chunk of damage when used, but can also reliably function as a ranged weapon whenever you don't have the ability to activate the Atomic Body's active effects for the Atomic Breath.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Fantastical elements aside, let's face it, you get it for the best Jaws game ever.
  • That One Boss: Commander Percy Metcalf. The shark hunters you fight before him are fairly straightforward, but he shows up with a ship equipped with a shark shield. You have to destroy it in order to get close to him, otherwise it’ll quickly drain your health. This is easier said than done, as you’ll likely be on the defensive for most of the encounter due to taking fire from practically all sides. In order to destroy the shield, you’ll need to get close to it. In addition to the shield draining your health, you’ll probably take some damage from other enemies too. Going into this encounter without sufficient upgrades equipped is practically suicide.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • A minor detail, but one that kinda sticks out as well: the fate of Scaly Pete's son. Instead of being eaten by the shark, like one would expect, he's killed in a boat explosion.
    • And unless it appears in future DLC or sequel, you never do get to face the Mega that killed Pete's dad — unless that Mega was your mom, and Pete just remembered her bigger.
    • One that kind of sticks out like a sore thumb considering the game's protagonist and her mother? There are no other Bull Sharks that appear in the game aside from these two. Even revisiting Crayfish Bay will show wildlife not too different from what you've seen elsewhere, with the player being the sole bull shark in the whole game.
      • Seeing as Maneater's mother was noted to be just as, if not more, mindlessly aggressive as Maneater, it's possible she chased and/or ate all the other Bull Sharks, or possibly Pete did, looking for "The Mega" he wanted.