The arcade fishing classic returns to the living room, it's time to don your fishing waistcoat and hat, pack your rod and reel and head out for some peaceful early morning fishing, SEGA style. After several outings on the Dreamcast and even a PC version, the decade-old game makes a welcome return to a console almost built for it: The Wii.
Essentially what we've got here is a hardcore fishing game that needs virtually no instruction: the Wii remote is used as a rod to nab the little critters from their watery homes, and the nunchuck is used to reel them in. The goal: catch as many fish as you can in the time available, from your gaping huge monsters of the sea to adorable little young'uns. Essentially all the modes available follow the simple formula. In arcade it's a race for weight and time as you'll need to nab as many as you can, making sure the combined total is above the required amount. There's some variety in the location stakes, from your regular ickle pond to settling by a dam or under a bridge – all complete with some typical SEGA guitar-riff backing music, cheesy, but fun.
When we look at Sega Bass Fishing, you can see its budget roots sinking in, but it's not all bad. Visually, it's no Mario Galaxy or some beautifully rendered Finding Nemo, but it does have some SEGA charm and tradition in its design. Gone is the quirky polygon chap you pull the puppet-strings to fish, and instead there's a handsome up-to-date model in his place. The environment is well designed, from the clean and welcoming water engine to the nicely rendered fish swimming inside, there's a good level of detail. It's not the best visuals on the box, but doesn't hurt the eyes so much either – and with so much time needed to experience the fishing action – it’s a good thing.
To mix up the gameplay and pad out the time to a more realistic level, minutes, types of fish and the levels can be played about for a unique experience and for those seeking calmer waters there’s a slower-paced mode available: Nature Trip. For the true fishing enthusiast or the average-joe gamer, it’s got some meaty options to play with. The time of day, weather conditions and fishing hole can be selected, affecting everything from what lures would be ideal to the types of fish that spawn. You can now take to the lake and fish at your leisure, without having to wake up at the crack of dawn for the perfect catch.
For the competitor in you, a tournament mode allows players to go head to head with virtual rivals by going through a series of 10 different events and securing the largest fish available. We start off by going against some beginners, all in good fun, and eventually make our way to the kings of the fishing world in a bid to be crowned the best of the best. Hyrule’s fishing hole would be proud! It’s a little tacky and seems a rushed add-on, but offers some much-needed competitive gameplay to spice up an age-old formula.
Despite being a budget game, SEGA Bass Fishing does have its fair share of flaws. Graphically, it’s no visual atrocity, but a fresh lick of paint and some refinement could bring it to this generation. Fish physics are sound, and the general concept of reeling in seems sound, but some quirks at time can make the experience a little confusing. The main issue though, is the lack of multi-player support to lengthen the replay value and offer something different – after all, nothing beats the sensation of pummelling a human opponent with a big, smelly fish. Tis a shame you can’t save and share your captures – Wii Message board support would have been fab.
All in all, it’s not a bad game, and certainly is a better catch than other fishing games in the market. At a budget price and with lack of multiplayer or online, it seems truly something that perhaps should be left for hardcore fishing enthusiasts. It’s above average, and does the job well. So, fancy a trip down to the lake? Then SEGA Bass Fishing is certainly your best choice for arcade fishing in your living room.
It's got enough to last the duration for the fishing-enthusiast, with different modes and environment options available to use. It's simple, and accessible, but lacks some standard options that could have boosted the score higher.
Not bad, though not the best on the Wii either. Some nice water effects and animation, though the environment and textures could certainly be improved to be brought into the current generation.
Fairly good, though nothing out of the ordinary. You've got your standard SEGA funky guitar tunes, and a host of different commentary to commend your fishing action. It's done well and works well too. Mp3 support via the SD card could have jazzed up things a little, though.
Where the game's bigger drawbacks come is replay value. The arcade experience is fine for some, but the lack of sharing your progress (via pictures, or detailed stats) and the ability to play with friends certainly shortens its lifespan.
All in all, it's not a bad game, and certainly is a better catch than other fishing games in the market. At a budget price and with lack of multiplayer or online, it seems truly something that perhaps should be left for hardcore fishing enthusiasts. It's above average, and does the job well. So, fancy a trip down to the lake? Then SEGA Bass Fishing is certainly your best choice for arcade fishing in your living room.
All sounds a bit too fishy for me...
Best joke I've eva heard!!
Excellent review J.
This sounds alright for fishing fans, my granddad would definitely be interested in it.
I'm surprised it hasn't been more popular, to be honest. Perhaps if SEGA had bothered to advertise it sales could have picked up...there are a lot of fishing fans in the UK, I'm sure. This and Fishing Master from Hudson should hot prospects for fans.