|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|
Two of the best aspects of the game are the variable conditions and the collection of 20 unlockable lures. As you progress through the Arcade or Tournament modes you will be rewarded with new lures for various accomplishments. These lures look and work great. Every one of them has distinct characteristics that are accurately portrayed in the game.
The further you progress, the more adverse fishing conditions you will encounter, and it is essential that you match the appropriate lure type to the current water conditions. Factors like time of day, time of year, water clarity, available structure, and depth all play a key role in fish behavior. If you plan on mastering the game, you'll have to be able to quickly identify what the best lure is for the task at hand, otherwise you'll waste half your day chucking hooks at decidedly uninterested bass. Of course, this is a big reason why fishing is a challenge. Every fishing game tries to incorporate variable conditions and lure selection, but Sega Bass Fishing actually does a very good job of it.
Two of the worst aspects of the game are a lack of a deep career mode and the wimpy take animations. The Tournament and Arcade modes are very fun and well done. However, it would have been very nice to have a character creation sequence and the ability to upgrade your gear, win sponsorships, improve your skills, etc. It's an element that more committed gamers will certainly wish was available. The weak take animations are also a bone of contention. Real bass certainly will sip their food into their gaping maws quite nonchalantly depending on the lure and the conditions. However, bass will also hit your bait with pure ferocity. In fact, bass can almost scare you if you let yourself daydream. It is imperative for games to accurately portray a hard hit surface strike as it is one of the most exhilarating moments in fishing. Sega Bass fishing doesn't accurately render them with their take sequences. This makes it feel as if your simply hooking fish rather than coaxing them to strike.
To make matters worse, the sounds are not very good at all. In fact, the high-pitched beeping from the line tension meter and the incessant drone from the clicking reel effects will wear your nerves thin. Honestly, the sound of the line tension meter could be discarded from the game entirely and it would be far better for it. An emphasis on naturally occurring sounds such as birds, buzzing flies, waves lapping against the side of the boat, etc. would have been much better. The voiceover work is also cheesy, but it's actually kind of nice in an arcade sort of way.
Disappointingly, the game strictly supports single player. Not only is there no multiplayer split-screen, but there is no online support either. It would have been great to be able to take on competition from around the world via online tournaments. Alas, there's nothing, not even a leaderboard! It's a good thing the single player mode is good enough to hold your interest.
Sega Bass Fishing for Wii is a good game that combines pick-up-and-play simplicity with some deeper gameplay aspects that should make it a fun choice for everyone. The graphics are nice, and the gameplay is pretty good. The controls and the lack of a career mode and no multiplayer options do leave quite a bit to be desired, but all in all it is a very fun game that does a good job of recreating the fishing experience in your living room.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director