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1999 was a great year for me. I gained my full motorcycle licence, I was driving around in a Mk2 Fiesta XR2 (the car I had wanted before I could even drive), I left college and Sega Bass fishing was released on the Sega Dreamcast. In fact, it was Sega Bass fishing that finally swayed me to part with some serious cash and finally decide to buy the Dreamcast and the obligatory plastic rod controller to play it with.
The time between the A level exams and getting the results we spent hours and hours big bass fishing and it provided great entertainment, especially on a Sunday afternoon (or any afternoon for that matter) with a stonking head ache from too many sherberts the night before.
Catching fish, whether real or computer generated is just so relaxing.
Now Sega and Nintendo have jumped in the proverbial bed together, with many Sega titles being made available on the Wii it was only a matter of time before I purchased Sega Bass Fishing to see if it was still as good as I had remembered it.
This game has four modes, including;
Practice mode - A great place to start to enable you to get to grips with the controls, as well as the art of landing big bass before entering the competitive world of tournament fishing or trying to hook the big ones in the other modes.
Arcade mode - An exact replica of the classic arcade game that got everyone hooked (no pun intended) on big bass fishing on arcade machines.
Tournament mode - This is where things get tense and really hot up as you battle your wits against not only the bass, but also other anglers as you fish your way through 10 different spots in order to catch the heaviest aggregate weight and get to the top in the rankings.
Nature trip mode - This is effectively free fishing allowing you non-pressured and untimed reign of the bank, ideal for those who prefer the more sedate type of angling.
****Controls and Game play****
Once you have selected the location/swim and time of day it is time to hit the water and get catching, or at least try and catch, those bass. Once on the water the angler has to select his weapon of choice, i.e. the lure. The best lure to choose will depend upon the time of day, the weather conditions and the water depth. Selecting the right lure is crucial and where a good choice will lead to success a poor selection will definitely result in failure. Unfortunately, there is no half way house here and you either catch loads of fish or none, which is very frustrating. One of the key elements of this game is to learn the correct lure for the correct conditions.
With the lure selected it is time to get it in the water. The Wii remote is used as the rod and in order to get the lure to the fish you simply flick the remote (for that authentic feel) or press the A button. Whilst you get to select where to cast you don't get to choose how far you cast so there is no benefit in flicking the Wii remote as hard as possible with the intention of casting the lure to the horizon as you will not only be risking throwing the remote at the screen, but also end up disappointed. In addition, you do not get to choose whether the cast is an over head lob or a gentle flick to the side as this is determined by the computer.
Once the lure is in the water it is time to reel it in and mimic a small or injured fish in order to get the bass to bite. In order to reel in the lure you can either press the B button or use the nun-chuck and crank it like you would with a handle of a fishing reel. Using the nun-chuck is meant to be more realistic and authentic although I found it very cumbersome and it takes a bit of co-ordination to get the control working correctly since you need to draw an almost perfect circle and without something to pivot around this is actually quite difficult.
As all you anglers will know simply reeling in the lure is not enough. You have to actually make the lure appear like a real fish. Whilst reeling in you can flick or shake the Wii remote as well as changing the speed you reel in to give the lure life like movement. The motions required to make the lure behave like a real fish depends on the type of lure selected, and this is another learning process that will develop with spending time playing the game.
When a bass bites you need to set the hook and strike in order to get it in. Setting the hook is done by flicking the Wii remote upwards, just like you would with a reel rod. In real fishing setting the hook is an art form in itself as striking too soon or too late will result in no fish. Timing is the key and it is something that takes a bit of practice to master. This is not the case with this game and hooking the fish is too easy, unless you are way too keen and flick the rod upwards before the fish bites or leave it ages (and I mean ages) after the bite. Once on the hook the battle begins.
Once hooked there will be a tension bar giving some indication of how tight the line is. The objective is to reel the fish in but not too fast as to break the line. It is a balancing act that requires reeling in until the tension gets so high that the line will almost break and then decreasing the tension by stopping reeling in and lowering the rod. During the fight you will hear things like "The line's going to break" and then instructed with "lower the rod" or "turn the rod right" and the like. During the fighting phase the controls become less responsive and it is difficult to tell whether you are doing the right thing. It turns in to a confused mess resulting in the player aimlessly flicking the rod all over the place in the hope the line won't break. There is little skill involved in this and providing you stop reeling when the tension gets too high you will eventually get the fish in regardless of the size of it. There really is no need to start flicking the Wii remote all over the place.
Once the battle is over and the fish is in the screen moves to show your character pulling the bass out of the water. This shot actually contains some realism as the larger the fish the more effort the character requires to get it out of the water. So, if the character simply swings the fish out with the rod you know it's going to be small, but if the character drops to his knees and bends over the edge of the boat to haul the fish out it's going to be a good one. With the fish out of the water the weight is displayed and the voice over will give a "this one's huge" or whatever in a really cheesy voice before you get back to the water and attempt to catch more bass.
The graphics are very dated and are an exact replica of the arcade version and the version released on the Dreamcast back in 1999, which is quite disappointing. With the advancements in technology surely Sega could have enhanced the graphics just a little?
The bass, as you'd expect, are quite detailed and look very good. The behavior of the fish is random and also realistic. There are times when you will pull a lure right across the nose of a bass and it will either stay in situ and stare or just turn away and swim off. There are times when the bass will show interest and follow the lure and just as it is going to bite it stops and turns away. Whilst this is frustrating I do think the producers have done a great job with this.
The scenery, environments, angler and water, however, is a different story. The graphics in these aspects are very dated, drab, pixilated and very poor. The water, especially, is uninspiring and dull which is surprising, especially given this is a fundamental part of the game.
Like the graphics the sound is dated and is taken straight from 1999. The cheesy Sega music is bad but the commentary is just abysmal. Playing this game on the Dreamcast back in 1999 it was acceptable but with the advancements in technology it is not in 2010.
Whilst reeling in the lure you will often here "bite it" spat out by your character. You will often here things such as "there's a big one close by" and "it's gone" as well, which is quite cringe worthy. During the fight orders will be barked at you and even when the fish is landed and you get "small one" or "this one's huge" it is all done in exactly the same voice. It is just so cheesy, but so good at the same time.
There are no multi player features or online gaming features in this game and it really is a game for bill no mates, which is a shame.
Back in the day of the Dreamcast we had many group fishing sessions where we all had one cast each before passing the rod on and the captor of the largest bass was crowned the winner. So, I think Sega have missed a trick here since a fish off with a mate whereby you both fish at the same location, same time of day etc but have a choice of lures would be very entertaining and create a few petty squabbles.
****Price and availability****
This game is available from many online and offline retailers, therefore getting a copy should not be too much of a problem. Whilst I think this is a game that can be played over and over again (for short periods only though) I appreciate this is not a game for everyone, therefore I would recommend renting a copy or borrowing a mate's copy prior to purchase to avoid wasting your hard earned cash.
At the time of writing Sega Bass fishing can be bought for as little as £12.88 (excluding P&P) from Gamestation and as much as £24.99 (excluding P&P) from Play.com. With such a large variation in prices it is definitely worth shopping around.
Other than a few minor tweaks this game is exactly the same as the version I played on my Dreamcast back in the day, which is a bit disappointing. The Wii's processor is capable of so much more and given the advancements in technology I would have thought this game would have been tweaked a bit more. I am a great believer in "if it isn't broke don't fix it" and whilst the original game wasn't "broke" it could have done with a bit of a tune up and this should have been the perfect opportunity to do this.
Despite the above I did find this game enjoyable to play but I haven't enjoyed playing it as much as I did in 1999. Perhaps I am looking through rose tinted glasses and trying to relive something that I should have let go of a long time ago or maybe retro gaming really isn't that cool, especially when you consider the advancement in graphics, game play, audio and modern gaming in general.
One thing that hasn't changed for me is the frustration factor. There is one particular bass on one particular level that is the "jewel in the crown". It is the monster fish that all Sega Bass players were out to get and despite being told "The large one is close by" on many occasions neither my mates nor I ever managed to hook, let alone, land this fish. We got to the point where we just couldn't get any larger fish and that is where the game started to turn a bit sour and we lost interest. Back in 1999 it took many hours of game play to get to this stage but on the Wii I came to the realization much quicker and in far fewer hours of game play.
Overall I would recommend Sega Bass fishing as I believe it is still one of the better fishing titles on the Wii, even though it is the classic and, therefore, dated in every respect. Don't expect this game to provide hours and hours of entertainment but it is a game that can be played for a few hours and then put away before being played again in the future.
(This review has been posted on other sites under the name of Yackers1)
Whats the best thing to do when you cant actually go fishing? For me its to play a fishing game on the computer. The best that I have found to date is this game for the Wii.
I have tried fishing games on other consoles but the interaction you get on the Wii is second to none. You can get a fishing rod attachement that the controller slides into which makes the experience even more life like.
The game is a good depiction of what Bass fishing is like in the USA, and the image quality both above and below the water is very good.
Basically you can fish different competitions and each has a number of rounds. The winner of each round is the person that has the biggest weight of fish, the higher up the table you finish the more points you get. At the end of the competition the person with the most points wins. The further you get the more swims and lures you unlock.
The gameplay is somewhat realistic in that the fishing conditions change with the time of day and the weather, meaning that sometimes it is harder than others to hook the bass.
One thing that I do find disapointing is that you cant choose your swim, ie you cant get into you boat and go somewhere else, so you are limited to where you can fish.
Although this is a good game I would hope that better ones will come on the market later and hopefully a UK based coarse fishing game.
Tight lines though as its the best on the market at the moment.
Sega Bass Fishing - Wii
Sega Bass Fishing is a great fishing game and means even if it's a horrible rainy day you can avoid going outside, and even better it's on the Wii which means you feel like you fishing to a certain extent.
The gameplay is simple you move your boat to a place with fish, choose your lure and with a simple flick of the controller you have cast out and are ready to fish, next up you use the remote as a reel and start to bring the lure back; hopefully with a fish on the hook. Although that's not all there is too it when a fish grabs the lure you have to jerk up the controller to set the hook, and then the fight begins. This is very similar to the other fishing game for the Wii - (Rapala - Tournament Fishing)
Sega Bass Fishing originally came out in arcades in 1998, and also on the Dreamcast in 1999 with a fishing rod controller similar to the Wiimote and 10 years ago it was very much the same game. The graphics are basic, but then it is only a fishing game and it does the job, I know I wasn't paying much attention to how the graphics were not up to scratch so it's not a big problem.
There are now three modes; tournament mode has you compete against the computer to catch as many fish as possible, Arcade mode where you compete against the clock to catch as many fish as possible and the new Nature Tour mode which takes away the rules so you can just fish at your leisure.- revolutionary.
I really like this game, but it doesn't beat the thrill of fishing for real, and its not a brilliant simulation. I would recommend you try it, but personally 'Rapala' is the better Wii fishing game.
I love this game, its an easy way to spend an afternoon without realising that you have just spent hours playing it.
I found the controls difficult to master at first, as you had to cast the line by flicking your wrist and the controller and I just couldnt get the hang of it. However after a few hours of practising I got the hang of it.
I like the way that you can play for fun or in a tournament against the computer. The tournament has to be my favourite setting for this game as it takes you through different fishing areas and different times of day and you have to catch up to a certain weight in order to progress in the tournament.
The only downside is that you cant play a two player game which would really make this game extremly interesting especially if you have a competitive other half.
A good game even for those who are not a fishing fan.
SEGA Bass Fishing is back and better than ever, returning with the all new intuitive controls utilizing the Wii Remote and Nun chuk to try and land one of four different types of freshwater bass.
SEGA Bass Fishing also offers gamers the freedom to select time-of-day and season during play which impacts the activity of the fish, their appetite, and their depth. When players hook a big one, they can use the motion sensor to reel it in! Featuring 15 beautifully designed lake environments; SEGA Bass Fishing has four fun-filled game modes including Arcade, Tournament, Practice and Nature Trip modes.
There are four types of bass that you can catch and these are Florida Large Mouth, Red Eye, Small Mouth and Northern Spike Large Mouth.
Granted the graphics have not been up-dated, but why should they, they are just fine as they are. This is a really good game once you have mastered the controls. A true arcade classic in your front room for all the family to enjoy. Great value for the price as well.
I have to agree this game has not changed since the dreamcast version, but that's why it's so good. It's just as I remember it. This is a very fun light hearted game. Great for all the family to compete to see who can land the biggest bass, fun for all the family.