Review: Fishing Master (PSVR)

Review: Fishing Master (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Fishing Master
Format: PSN (3.7 GB)
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Snowball Games
Developer: Snowball Games
Original MSRP: $19.99 (US), €TBD (EU), £TBD (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: TBD
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I went fishing just once in my lifetime, down to the local canal with a friend. We sat waiting on the bank in a cold early morning mist until the afternoon sun was gobbled up by some rain clouds. I would have liked to have been able to end this anecdote in an amusing or interesting way and said the only thing we caught was an old boot or a severed limb but we got absolutely nothing.

Fishing, or as I like to think of it, waiting, has never really interested me. I only went because he said I could borrow his SEGA Game Gear for the weekend (a handful of batteries included). But then I watched the trailer for Fishing Master and it looked okay so I took the plunge and here we are. At least this time I was able to catch something.

Gameplay:
Fishing Master makes use of one PlayStation Move controller. Casting the line and reeling it in are handled with the flick of the controller and a press of the analog Trigger button. When you get a nibble you’ll need to tire the fish. This is done by moving the controller in the opposite way of the fish while pressing the Trigger.

As the line is wound in the tension increases and eventually the on-screen stress bar turns red. Too much exertion and the line will break so you have to give it some slack. A few circumstances call for a flick of the controller at the correct time. Once the fish is exhausted it can be reeled in but it has to be done quickly before it gathers enough strength for another bout.

After the first few missions you can buy new lines, reels, bait, and everything else you would need to catch bigger and different fish. This is where some planning is needed as I went for a particular type of bait that attracts the stronger and larger fish, because that’s how I roll. I should have gone for some easier marine life as I had a long fight on my hands.

It took two very long attempts with no success and I had to watch as the huge smug beast swam away. It would have probably taken much less than the five minutes each attempt if I had waited to get a better line and rod but I thought I could handle it.

There are four locations from across the globe, each with three variants. Luckily there are no travel or boat rental costs involved as this game would be over rather quickly, especially as I can flitter between each one on a whim.

You receive tasks via poorly worded letters and postcards that are awkward to read. Scrolling through them is nigh impossible as you have to aim the pointer at a tiny area and when moving the text it becomes unreadable. I also found the in-game shop to be crudely formatted and swapping gear is a little bit unclear. Not big issues but worth mentioning.

As you progress the missions get tougher and usually longer, although it isn’t like real life where I would be sat waiting all day just to snag an old boot. Within seconds I’m tussling with the life aquatic and I can usually tell quite early on if I have a battle on my hands.

Not being able to move the fishing vessel or even cast off to the side of the craft is frustrating. I soon learned that this game could get tedious rather quickly and is best enjoyed in quick sessions every so often.

Visuals:
The environments are very good in Fishing Master and seeing the Golden Bridge Bridge towering over me as I reel in a Bass, Shiner Surfperch, or whatever the game says are in those waters, is a sight to behold. Be it a bright sunny day or a dark and stormy night the scene is very nice and that goes for each one of the other locations.

The fish are quite detailed too and I even feel a pang of guilt as they writhe in agony on the floor of the fishing boat. Although ‘boat’ is probably the wrong word, yacht seems more fitting. There is also some scuba gear and a huge aquarium so you can get in and look at all of the marine life you have caught, along with the obligatory treasure chest and sunken wreck.

Audio:
There’s nothing special about the audio. There are some water splash sound effects and a few other things to go along with the contextual music, which ramps up when a fish has taken the bait.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
This feels more like a drawn-out minigame with a nice aesthetic. Although now that I think about it, what more could you do with an experience like this?

It’s nice to see the game in VR but it wouldn’t hurt the experience and probably boost sales if it were optional. Fishing Master fails at being an accurate representation of what it’s like to fish. I know that from my half day of staring at the murky water longing for it to be over. However, it succeeded in entertaining me for a short time.

Score:
6.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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