Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 05/02/02 | Genre: Sports
According to the rear cover of Big Bass Fishing, the player will:
Experience the thrill of luring in a feisty largemouth bass and the satisfaction of seeing your prize leap out of the water and onto your boat. Big Bass Fishing captures the essence of one of nature's fiercest battles. Test your fishing prowess in lakes, rivers, and fisheries throughout North America in your quest to catch your very own Big Bass!
After reading this blurb, I confess I was a bit puzzled before I ever inserted the game into my PS2. I've only gone fishing a couple of times in my life. As far as I'm concerned, fishing is just a good excuse to get out on a boat with a few friends, drink a case of beer, laugh uproariously upon pushing them into the water, and then laugh even harder when they get maimed by the boat propeller.
First, I have certainly never seen a prize fish leap out of the water and onto my boat. Perhaps if I had been more patient, repeating "Here, fishy, fishy" I would have been able to coax the bass into doing all the work for me and saving itself the aggravation of getting a hook through its face. Secondly, I've never found myself in an epic, fierce battle with the fish. Nor have I witnessed the sheer horror of an enraged bass dragging an unwitting fisherman underwater to his doom. However, I chalked my ignorance up to inexperience, and accepted that fish do indeed inexplicably surrender themselves or dismember fisherman in battle. Unfortunately, once anticipation passed and I actually played the game, nothing quite so dramatic took place.
If my incoherent opening paragraphs haven't aptly demonstrated the fact that I'm unqualified to write this review, I'll openly confess to it here. The gameplay seemed simple enough to me. You choose your lure, choose where you want to park your boat, cast, and then manipulate the lure effectively. Using the lure correctly can be the tricky part. I found that for some lures fish would bite if I simply reeled them in quickly. With others, I toyed with different patterns for several minutes and never figured out what I was doing right or wrong. Once the fish bites, you pull back on the stick to set the hook, and then the "battle" begins. Basically, you try to convince the fish to swim towards the boat by moving your stick to keep him centered and meanwhile reel in slowly. When the fish jumps, reel in like mad. Although I didn't understand what was going on, I found the controls very easy to use--definitely a high point for this game.
You control a large-breasted, scantily clad fisherwoman... pretty typical, I usually see at least 3 or 4 swimwear models fishing on my local lake while champagne and confetti pours from the sky. Graphically speaking, the game isn't bad for a PSX game. The animation is a little choppy sometimes, but is never intolerable. The fish move the way I would assume fish really move when the camera switches underwater. The sound effects range from mediocre to unrecognizable. The voice-overs make me cringe.
There are several different game modes to play on. I didn't have too much time to test them all out, what with being a disgruntled Postal employee now, so I focused mainly on the default Arcade mode. I've delayed long enough on this review, and the last time I stopped to visit Kaleb ambushed me with an electric mixer. Thankfully, he didn't have the forethought to attach it to an extension cord and I was able to escape. But I digress. In arcade mode, you get five minutes to catch five fish. You get points for doing this and can unlock other modes, presumably strip poker and wet t-shirt mode, judging by the character you control, although I didn't unlock anything to find out. In Competition modes, you are given a certain number of days to catch the biggest fish, the most fish, etc. Challenge mode is another clock battle with various specific goals.
To conclude this pitiful review, I'd just like to say that I would rent Big Bass Fishing and see if it suits your tastes. To be honest, I've never played another fishing game and had no basis for comparison for this critique. Sorry. Send me a nasty email. Or send Kaleb a wireless electric mixer. But since this title is only $9.99, you might just find it entertaining enough...