SEGA invite you back once again into the world of arcade rehashes, bringing one of its more bizarre titles of the 90s onto the Wii. SEGA Bass Fishing which landed on Dreamcast in 1999 was a direct port of the some-what successful arcade game of the same name.
With the appealing control possibilities of Wii, it doesn't come as a surprise that SEGA have us back in our boats casting our lures once again. Whilst real life fishing might be a long, drawn out affair, SEGA has used all of its arcade magic to try and make this pastime into a faster, more action packed experience.
The concept of the game is pretty simple, you have a time limit in which you must catch as much fish as possible.. its not pure quantity either, its all about the size and weight of the fish. For example, to clear a stage you must catch 14 lbs of fish within 1 min 30 secs, each time you hook a fish you'll get a small time bonus and similarly each time you land one. Think Time Crisis meets fishing.
There are a whole bunch of different areas and scenarios on offer, 15 different locations of which you can choose the season, time of day and even weather conditions. Whilst this sounds great, it doesn't really alter your game-play apart from its aesthetics. When fishing you also have to choose between 4 types of lure, each designed to catch fish at a different depth, go deep to find some big boys!
If you were awake during the Dreamcast's infamous reign you'll probably remember the craze of buying an actual fishing rod controller, complete with reel. Having fond memories of this myself, I was a little disappointed with the Wii controls, they work but with no real resistance it just 'aint fishin'.
First off you cast your line with a life-like flick of the wrists, next you need to do a bit of reeling with the nunchuck to attract some fishy attention, this is achieved by turning the nunchuck in the air like a reel. When Mr Fishy bites your required to snap back your Wiimote and reel the sucker in, controlling your rod tension by turning left and right as required, reel him all the way in and your job is done.
To be fair, the controls actually work pretty well, they are clearly loads better than any other controller combo available current gen. Even with the knowledge that its a arcade game, an old one at that, you soon tire of this process as pretty much every catch is the same.
SEGA Bass Fishing doesn't just feel limited in the gameplay area, its also feels painfully limited in its different game modes, the main arcade mode is completed with ease in 30 minutes, Tournament mode takes a little longer and then all your left with is "Nature Trip" mode, which allows you enjoy the pain of fishing in real-time. Unless you were a huge fan of the original, you'll probably get bored of this title after only a few sessions.
SEGA have done little to update this from its original incarnation, personally I prefer it this way. Fans of the arcade version will want things as they remember, does anyone remember how badly Namco converted Time Crisis 2? The game's presentation is minimal, lacks any form of modern day polish and sadly feels as old as it truly is.
SEGA are usually very successful with arcade ports and so they should be; they usually deliver top notch action over and over again. Sadly this time they've caught themselves an un-needed slightly old feeling fishy remake. Dreamcast owners might find joy in revisiting the title, or perhaps fans of the original arcade game. Newbies to the series should probably hold off and wait for SEGA to faithfully update the game and make it worth our while.