|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Cavia Inc.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Sega Bass Fishing is the best fishing experience on Wii to date. The graphics are quite good, and the lure selection, variable conditions, and challenging tournament mode make this game very rewarding. Sega Bass Fishing does a very reasonable job of recreating the bass fishing experience right in your living room. That being said, I expected a lot more from the game as the title doesn't seem to be vastly improved over its Dreamcast predecessor. However, if you like fishing and you like videogames, you're going to like Sega Bass Fishing.
Sega Bass Fishing has made its console return to Wii. The classic arcade and Dreamcast fishing game was a cutting edge title that suffered critically, but was popular with quarter feeders and sold quite well in stores. The original title for Sega's much maligned machine offered gamers the ability to play with a controller that resembled a fishing reel. This gave the game unparalleled playability for the era. It's been nearly ten years since its Dreamcast release, and Wii affords it the perfect platform to make its comeback.
Immediately, I noticed how good the graphics were. The arcade style of the game is very well captured by Wii. If you've had to struggle through some of the other fishing entries over the past year then you'll be happy to know that Sega Bass Fishing is much more attractive. The surroundings of the 15 stages are very nice and the fish look really good. The underwater environments are also quite realistic and diverse. You can clearly distinguish varying types of structure, the characteristics of the bottom, and the size and types of fish to which you're angling. If you're expecting eye-popping visuals like something you might find on the other two consoles, then you'll be disappointed. However, if you've become accustomed to the pixelated "jaggies" of Wii graphics you'll be happy with the overall look.
This game is all about control, and the title does a good job of incorporating the Wii Remote. Sadly, it's not perfect. In fact, there are a number of areas where I would like to see lots of improvement. For example, there is not nearly enough force feedback. I want to be able to distinguish between fish and know how to play them by how much vibration they send to the rod. As it stands right now, the amount of vibration will be nearly the same whether you've got an eleven pound lunker on the line or a one pound scavenger. Additionally, playing a fish correctly will depend more on aural and visual cues rather than tactile ones. Second, shaking and jigging lures is fun, but they don't quite follow your movements. What you see on the screen is really just a rough approximation of what you were trying to do. It'd be nice if that were tightened up considerably. Finally, reeling with the Nunchuk attachment is tiring and monotonous. Admittedly, it works astonishingly well, but the Nunchuk simply doesn't feel right in your hand and the movement is contrived rather than realistic. It would have been awesome if an attachment was released that incorporated a reeling mechanism like the controller for the Dreamcast did. Fortunately, gamers are able to use the A and B buttons to reel in as well. This completely negates the need for the Nunchuk, but it makes the game a lot more playable.
There are four modes of play including Practice, Nature Trips, Arcade, and Tournament modes. The Practice mode will help you hone your skills, and the Nature Trip mode will allow you to free fish and cruise around the various areas. The Arcade mode is a timed event that has players select a course and then play through four areas within that stage. In order to pass from one area to the next, you'll have to achieve the specified weight requirement. Every time you hook and land a fish you will be awarded with a few seconds of additional time. These bonuses will vary depending on the size of the fish. In Tournament mode, you'll enter into a field of fishermen and try to accumulate as many points as you can over ten different stages. Each stage is set in a different venue with varying conditions and only the top seven anglers are awarded with points from 1 - 30. If at the end of all ten stages you have the most points, then you'll win a trophy that can be saved and kept in the trophy room. As you advance from stage to stage and tournament to tournament the level of difficulty will greatly increase.