Game: “SEGA Bass Fishing”
Fishing. It’s often something people associate to cheesy American sitcoms where the father and son are trying to have some bonding time. With a dodgy little wooden boat, a variety of equipment and that strange green hat that’s only ever seen when people go fishing, it’s a stereotype that’s reinforced daily.
So when SEGA decided it was time to re-release SEGA Bass Fishing on the Xbox Live it was certainly a move that raised eyebrows. Afterall, the original SEGA Bass Fishing was a mix between an arcade game and a Dreamcast game. On the Dreamcast there was even the controller that looked like a fishing rod that allowed the fish to be reeled in. The release on the Nintendo Wii a few years ago made sense, as the Wii Remote is almost like the fishing rod; however, the Xbox 360 controller is pretty far removed from the humble rod.
There are three modes of play, Arcade Mode, Nature Mode and Tournament Mode and regardless of what mode you’re playing, the premise across all three is the same – fishing. Across all three of the modes of play the fishing is far more challenging than fishing in Twilight Princess, this is achieved mostly by the line tension. Whilst fishing, if you’re trying to reel in the fish too hard and too quickly the line will snap, thus causing the catch to be lost.
Whilst this may not seem like a big problem, the way that the reeling is achieved in the Xbox Live version of the game can be a bit of a challenge. In the Dreamcast version and the Wii version the reeling is achieved in a very physical way, with the Xbox 360 it’s a case of simply holding one of the shoulder buttons until suddenly the line tension bar on screen is red and – snap, it’s gone.
In the Arcade Mode, the line tension is a big issue and it’s a matter of beating the clock. A selection of lakes, oceans and generally wet areas are made available and after selecting the course, it’s simply a case of aim the rod and cast the line and reel the fish in a quickly as possible. The aim of Arcade Mode is to catch as many fish and as large, a fish as possible in the shortest amount of time.
In Nature Mode, the stress of trying to get big fish quickly has passed and it’s more a case of: “Fishing isn’t about fishing at all, but about telling the tales”. All that needs to be done is basic, gentle fishing in a variety of courses. Finally is Tournament Mode, whereby everyone must do battle and try and hit the goals before moving on to the next level and the harder opponents.
SEGA Bass Fishing is a true blast from the past, with the Dreamcast voiceovers, animation and graphics making a return. Whilst the Xbox 360 is a current generation console and it’s graphical performance has moved on leaps and bounds from the old Dreamcast days, there’s not been a single thing touched in SEGA Bass Fishing. It’s almost like stepping back in time. This isn’t necessarily a good thing as the graphics haven’t aged well and the controls, whilst somewhat intuitive, don’t allow for any flexibility from the player. In many ways it’s almost like a “on-the-rails” shooting game, just with fishing rather than guns.
Yet, the game is aimed at the budget market and it’s downloadable for a good price online. If you’re looking for a bit of gaming nostalgia, SEGA Bass Fishing is worth picking up, simply because of it’s kitsch value.