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Sega Bass Fishing


Over the years there have been several fishing games on home consoles and arcades for that matter. It's hard to deny that the Wii has the best offerings as far as control is concerned. Why do you need a special controller when the Wiimote and Nunchuk work just fine? Ever since Link took out his rod and caught some fish, a trend started and people realized the potential of Nintendo's new system. Does a throwback like SEGA Bass Fishing recapture that same feeling?

Gameplay


This title doesn't leave much wiggle room for those that aren't interested in the sport of fishing. At least with Twilight Princess fishing was only a very small fraction of the experience. SEGA's Bass Fishing is very limited with what it can do. If you don't enjoy feeding a hook to get a juicy bass then chances are very good that this title will be lost on you. Then again, SEGA's penchant for successful arcade titles will open the door for newcomers.

In 1998 Bass Fishing hit the arcades and was ported over to the Dreamcast a year later. SEGA even created a special controller to go along with the home version to give it that arcade feel. Ah, the Dreamcast, how I miss thee...ahem, at any rate, back to the Wii version of the game.

Considering this edition of SEGA Bass Fishing is essentially a slightly updated remake, it's important to remember that this game came from a different age. The world wasn't ready for online games in 1998 and multiplayer for an arcade port wasn't exactly of great importance due to the extra development time involved. The fact that neither has been included for the Wii release is a crying shame. A single player game on a system where multiplayer is nearly an absolute must seem like a cardinal sin. That being said, Sega Bass Fishing turned out to be reasonably decent; for $30 that is.

Bass Fishing brings many familiar mechanics to the table. First up is the control which is very similar to Twilight Princess. The Wiimote is treated as the rod and the nunchuk acts as the reel. It's an intuitive set up that works within the confines of the game but the implementation of these controls aren’t quite as refined as one would hope. Line tension becomes an issue as the Wiimote can easily be jerked too hard. With the fish flopping about, you'll have to swing your hand this way and that while watching the tension meter. It can become a tad frustrating until you get things really figured out.

There is a decent amount of fishing areas and each of them turns out to be decently sized. The amount of fish isn't as vast as what Endless Ocean offered but it really doesn't have to be. It's not like you're out fishing for dolphins and stingrays. So the controls are complicated yet decent, the backdrops are nice, and there are plenty of fish in the lake. What about the game's modes?

Unfortunately SEGA Bass Fishing's modes leave something to be desired. Tracing back to the Arcade roots is a timed mode and based on looking for that perfect catch. If you've ever been fishing, I'm sure you can imagine how frustrating it would be if you were actually timed. That frustration is present in this digital form and it's a crying shame. This also holds true for the Tournament mode though it's worth mentioning that you can't simply continue if you miss the time marker.

This is the type of game that could have been made available via download through the Wii because it's hardly any more impressive than a N64 offering. Sure this is a meagerly updated version of a nine year old game but the lack of multiplayer and gameplay flaws give the impression that it was simply slapped together. If you were a fan of the game and want to take a trip down memory lane, it's worth renting to experience the Wii controls. But unless you're a fishing nut, you're probably better off staying in Hyrule for some good fun.

Graphics


Yeck! What's this? SEGA not only ported some of the gameplay over from 1998 but the graphics as well! Bass Fishing looks virtually identical to the original which is a crying shame. Textures are ugly and muddied, the effects leave a lot to be desired, animation is jilted, and the output for the video is a measly 480i with a 4:3 display. To make matters worse, the framerate suffers tremendously and there are frequent loading times to hamper your enjoyment.

Sound


The same can be said for the audio which also comes from almost a decade ago. The music is very low in the quality department and the voiceover from the announcer is derived from tacky arcade roots. I do have to say that as bad as the sound effects and soundtrack are, they were never entirely distracting. Yet they certainly do not enhance the experience.

Conclusion


Talk about a blast from the past. SEGA Bass Fishing harkens back to the days of the Dreamcast and when arcades were still clinging to life. This Wii port barely changes the original formula which turns out to be unfortunate in regards to the presentation. While the game plays decently enough and the controls are generally responsive, It simply looks and sounds like it crawled out of the “Box of Games that Time Forgot” in my basement. If you enjoyed the game the first time around or just love fishing, it’s worth a rental but nothing more.