Review: Sega Bass Fishing

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SEGA Bass Fishing has been revived again, this time for the Wii. I know there was an arcade version, but I was never lucky enough to play that (I did play Big Buck Hunter in the arcade, but that’s a different story). I did play the Dreamcast version for many a steamy hot night some summer several years ago, and that was a great game. For someone who isn’t into fishing, I found that game very addictive. So, when I learned there was a Wii version being released, it had a lot to live up to, especially with the potential the Wiimote and Nunchuk bring.

When you first load the game, you are presented with a video introduction that you might enjoy once, but after that I always jumped to the main menu. From this menu you can access the various game modes:

• Arcade – You are given 2:00 minutes to catch a certain amount of weight in bass in order to pass a stage and advance to a harder stager. As you hook bass and successfully reel in bass, you get several bonus seconds depending on the weight of the fish. This mode is good if you like quick paced fishing action; plus you can unlock more lures through the arcade mode
• Tournament – This mode is by far my favorite mode, and the most addictive. You compete in a multi-round tournament where you need to progress through stricter and stricter rules (top 3 proceed instead of top 10, only fish over a specific weight count, etc.). After winning all 5 tournaments, you will get the coveted “Sonic” lure that will catch you almost every fish that sees it.
• Nature Trip Mode – Take a nice trip to a river or a lake, set the time of day, conditions, weather, and temperature, and then enjoy fishing for as long as you like.
• Practice Mode – As the name implies, you cast over and over again practicing with different lures and in different settings.
• Option – Here you can view records, trophies, lures owned, ranking, and set up options

I was definitely excited to play this game and as I cast my Wiimote full throttle and let it thrust into action, I knew I was in for some good f-in gaming. Once the lure is cast the camera follows it under water, showing the fish inspect the lure, swim away from the lure, and sometimes bite the lure! Sometimes they even stalk the lure but then become disinterested. It’s totally just like real life! It can be so very frustrating. The fish would tease me, stalking the lure, and I often found myself yelling out “STOP TEASING ME AND JUST EAT ME!!” I hope my neighbors understood I was excitedly yelling that at my TV.

The graphics were as expected for the Wii. While it was an improvement over the Dreamcast version it was not breathtaking. It is the game play that makes it so much fun. You flick the Wiimote to cast and you reel using the Nunchuk in a reeling motion, and when you hook a fish, you need to yank up on the Wiimote to sink the hook in. Additionally you can use the A and B buttons to reel in the lure. I found myself using the A and B buttons when trying to catch a fish, but once hooked, I loved using the Nunchuk to reel in the fish. Add in that you can adjust the rod by angling the Wiimote up to move up, left to move left, and so forth, it is a lot of fun. Throw in some beers and friends and it’s a regular old fishing trip… well minus the sunburn, insects, and fishing wardens.

While the game is addictive and fun, I do have some complaints. Most if not all the boards are the same from the previous edition of the game. While I don’t remember all the boards from the Dreamcast, I found myself recognizing a lot of them. Plus, it can be hard to tell the size of a fish under water. The game will tell you if you are near a big fish, but otherwise the fish look too similar in size to decipher their weight. Lastly, you don’t have the control you used to with casting. If I remember correctly, you used to be able to move the boat around and then you could choose to cast anywhere on the water, however in the Wii version, the casting target is always against the shore and you move left or right along the shore to choose where to cast. You can’t move the boat. The game works well around this limitation, but none the less I found it frustrating.

All in all, this is a good game. It would have been nice to see some more improvements over the original version, but this is still a lot of fun to play, even if you aren’t a normal fishing fan, which when you think about it, like I am totally not, but yet there where nights when I had to be a Spokesmodel for a company or be at rehearsal for a film as early as 10 AM, yet I was still sitting in my living room at 4:30 AM the night before; so that does say something about the game, right? It can be very addicting… or… point taken, I can be easily distracted.

SEGA Bass Fishing for the Wii is an addictive game well worth the $30 price tag. I found myself saying just “one more round” but I lacked the will power to stop… then again what fun is an attractive woman with willpower 😉 ??? Fans of the original SEGA Bass Fishing for the Dreamcast will no doubt be familiar with this updated remake. The remake successfully captures the addictive game play of the first version with some nice improvements using the Wiimote.

-Eli Sands

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