First Impressions: Fishing Resort

Is there a catch?

Yuji Naka's Prope studio has been responsible for some interesting Wii titles over the past few years, including Ivy the Kiwi and the upcoming Rodea the Sky Soldier. So when the developer announced Fishing Resort, many gamers were left wondering just exactly how a game like this would turn out. And while its cute look and feel is likely to immediately draw comparisons to such fishing experiences as those found in titles like the Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon releases, the game digs far deeper than any of those games ever attempted to go.

Much like the title implies, there's plenty of fishing action to be had. Not only will you be able to fish at a host of different spots, ranging from ocean fishing from piers to smaller lagoons and ponds around the island, you can fish from boats as well. Of course the best thing about having such a variety of fishing locations is that each location has types of fish that can only be caught in that specific area.

The fishing mechanics themselves are authentic and allow you to cast your line with a quick flick of the Wii Remote and then reel it in using the Nunchuk as your reel. There's even a special gauge that will measure the amount of tension on your fishing line, something you'll have to be careful of as you reel in your catch; if you find yourself with too much tension on your line and it'll break, and your fish will get away. It's little touches like this that make the game so similar to real-life fishing. There's even a special edition of the game that will come with a plastic fishing rod attachment to make things even more realistic.

As you catch fish, you'll be able to trade the fish in for credits that will allow you to rent boats and buy a wider variety of bobs and lures in order to land some of the larger marine life. And if you're ever at a loss for something to do, the hotel bulletin boards are always chock full of fishing tours and competitions to keep you busy and hauling a steady flow of fish. Of course they're also quite helpful in locating some of the rarer fish as well.

The nice thing about Fishing Resort is that you can play the game at pretty much any pace you like. If you prefer a more sedate experience, you can explore the island on foot; if you like to keep the action intense, book various fishing boat tours or enter contests in order to hunt down and catch some of the more challenging deep sea fish. No matter how you choose to approach the game, there's always something for you to experience, no matter what your skill level may be.

Prope's gone for charm and depth with Fishing Resort and there's certainly plenty of tasks to tackle, not to mention a wealth of exploration and interaction. The realistic fishing mechanics and the adorable theme go a long way at offering up a gaming experience that will likely appeal to a wide audience of Wii owners. At the very least it should give fans of the fishing segments in Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon something a little meatier to sink their teeth into.

A special thanks to XSEED for sending us a preview build of the game.

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