Review: SEGA Bass Fishing (PS3)

Title: SEGA Bass Fishing
Format: PlayStation Network Download (398 MB)
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Price: $9.99
ESRB Rating: E
Extras: PlayStation Move Compatible
SEGA Bass Fishing is also available on Xbox Live Arcade, Wii, PC, iOS and Sega Dreamcast.
The PlayStation Network download version was used for this review.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 237 of the podcast.

Gameplay:
SEGA Bass Fishing started out as an arcade game in 1997-98 and was then ported to the Dreamcast as part of the launch lineup in 1999. Rather than a straight port of the older versions of the game, SEGA has remastered the game in 720p, added Trophy support and Move support.

You have three modes to work with here, Arcade, Original and Practice. Pick a mode to start and you get to choose between a male or female avatar for fishing but there’s really no difference in gameplay, so it’s a personal choice.

Practice Mode is just what it sounds like. You can choose from any of the areas available to cast your line, the weather and time of day. You’ll then have as much time as you want to try out all the different lures and see how the fish respond under different conditions. It’s a good place to plan out different strategies for the other modes because the fish will react differently depending on the weather and time of day.

The Arcade Mode consists of a timed challenge. The idea is to catch as many fish as you can before the timer runs out. You’ll also have a weight goal to reach that will move you to a new location. For every fish caught you’ll also get some bonus time added on. It’s your standard fare for an arcade game since you’ll never beat the timer you have to pump more quarters in, or in this case, start a new game. Fun and frantic, it’s good for a quick couple of rounds.

The meat of the game is found in the Original Mode. This is essentially the SEGA Bass Fishing Association Tournament. You’re taken to a spot to fish for four hours of game time (roughly four minutes) in the morning, afternoon and evening. At the end of each time period, the cumulative weight of all the fish you caught is added up and you see where you stand on the leaderboards. This is where the practice will pay off because knowing what lures to use at what times will give you a big advantage.

It’s not as simple as hooking a fish and reeling it in either. These bass will fight and put tension on the line. You’ll have to give them some slack and reel in some more just like real fishing. Let too much tension build up and your line will break.

Since the original game was played with a special controller on the Dreamcast, the addition of Move support is a natural substitute. For the most part, it works great and I actually prefer it to the DualShock 3 (which is also an option). It’s certainly not going to give you the depth of something like Rapala Pro Bass Fishing, but it’s a great addition to the game.

Visuals:
For a game based on a Dreamcast title, it’s looking pretty good. Obviously it can’t stand up to a new title developed specifically for this generation of consoles, but the graphics are good overall. The movement of the water, differences in weather and even the depth of the water make a difference in this being more than just a straight port. SEGA has done a nice job cleaning things up all around and the game has a strong presentation overall.

Audio:
It was an arcade game, so expect as much with the music and voice-overs. The other sounds were surprising though. The ambiance in the lake area when you’re casting your line and the change when your view is underwater make for an unexpected level of immersion.

Online/Multiplayer:
There’s no online multiplayer option here but SEGA did add online leaderboards which is great to see. You can compare your records with everyone else on the PSN and sort by friends or overall. No longer can you say that you caught a fish <-------- THIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSS --------> big, because the records are there to prove (or disprove) it.

Conclusion:
Overall, this is a fun little diversion. It’s great to see that SEGA went the extra mile instead of just a quick port and dump on the PSN. The addition of 720p widescreen, trophies, online leaderboards and Move support make this a much more enjoyable game than the original Arcade or Dreamcast experience.

Score:
8.0

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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