(WiiWare)

Game Review

Reel Fishing Challenge Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Brody Olimar

Keeping it reel.

There are some sports that seem tailor-made for video game translations, but fishing is arguably not one of them. A pastime that centers around patience rather than action or skill does not seem like the sort of thing that most people would be interested in experiencing indoors. Yet strangely enough the genre has existed for some time, and with the Wii it continues to flourish. It goes without saying that the Wii remote makes a lot of sense as a fishing rod, but that gimmick has worn down long ago. The question now is, can Reel Fishing Challenge manage to stand out from the pack?

The progression of the experience is fairly self-explanatory. Your one and only goal within the game is to catch fish. It’s as simple as that. Doing so will have you making casting motions with your Wii remote, and shaking the Nunchuk to reel the lure back in. Alternatively you can reel using buttons, which is a bit more convenient, especially if you plan on fishing for any extended period. The casting function is a little shaky at times, and didn’t seem to register the strength of each cast consistently. It’s a shame there wasn’t a button alternative for that as well, but perhaps that would have been missing the point of this being on the Wii to begin with.

Of course, simply casting and reeling will not produce any results. Once a fish takes interest in your lure, you must go through a series of motions in order to make the catch. Failing to do the proper thing will result in the fish getting away, or your line snapping. The learning curve is fairly small, but new fish present different strategies to the table, so you’ll need to keep on your toes. By going into the options menu you can alter your equipment in order to decide what you are prone to catch. It still seems a little random, but that’s often the case in real life, so take it as you will.

The game has two primary modes for you to leap into. The first being challenge mode, and the second being a free play mode. In Challenge mode you must complete certain goals within a specified time limit. The time constraints can seem a bit harsh at first, since you often have little control over what you reel in and how frequently. You can retry each mission as many times as you want with no penalties though, so there’s not a great deal of pressure to succeed on your first attempt. Free play mode is just as it sounds; here you can fish to your heart's content with no pressure whatsoever. In order to keep things fresh in free play however, you’ll want to unlock more fish to catch via challenges.

Aside from those two choices, there’s really nothing left for players to explore. Reel Fishing Challenge takes a big hit from its lack of content. It would have been nice to see some multiplayer options, either local or online. Online leader boards would have also been an appreciated addition, and as the game tracks the best fish you’ve managed to catch on a scoreboard already, it would have been an easy thing to implement.

As it stands, the game is a nice way to kick back and relax by yourself, but probably not over long periods or with friends around. Additionally you can unlock more content by playing alongside the retail version of Reel Fishing. If you already own said game, or are planning to make the purchase there may be some extra incentive to give Reel Fishing Challenge a try. However there isn't an enormous payback for extra fish and challenges.

Another downer is the visual presentation. It’s not an ugly game by any means, but you will be looking at the same scenery for nearly the entire time you play. Once again this title gets a strike for a lack of variety. The lifesaver for the presentation is definitely the music, which is very pleasant on the ears. The relaxing tunes match the game nicely, and you likely won’t find yourself searching for the mute button. The game also has some nice atmospheric sound effects, which completes the mood of the experience.

Conclusion

Reel Fishing Challenge has some issues and feels a bit shallow even as a digital download. Considering the price however, it isn’t a bad place to start for those curious of the genre. Players who have already delved into larger, deeper games of this sort may not be amused by what Reel Fishing Challenge has to offer, but those looking for a little taste of the genre should be content with what’s being served up here. It isn’t a must have title by any means but genuinely interested players should find enough redeeming qualities to make this one worth a download.

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User Comments (25)

ALDAWGZ

#2

ALDAWGZ said:

this will prob sell alot cause of the low cost looks like theres more 2 do in this game than another fish game that wont seem 2 go away lol

Chunky_Droid

#3

Chunky_Droid said:

Personally I was happy enough fishing in Twilight Princess. But this is probably good enough for anyone who likes the genre

sirgrim

#4

sirgrim said:

Fair enough review. Not the greatest game, but relaxing and hits the right price point.

irken004

#7

irken004 said:

my sister and dad might enjoy this, they both liked the Zelda: TP fishing game

KnucklesSonic8

#8

KnucklesSonic8 said:

I've only played one fishing game and that was on the Dreamcast and I enjoyed it so I'm wondering if I'll enjoy this too. The review helped a bit in helping me put things in perspective, so thank you. Olimar, you're quickly becoming another one of my favourite reviewers in the way you approach reviews. :)

So, is it safe to say this is better than Cocoto Fishing Master?

Olimar_91

#10

Olimar_91 said:

Thanks for the compliment KnucklesSonic8! =)
Unfortunately I didn't get to play Cocoto Fishing Master. I say it's unfortunate not because I want to play it (D:) but because it would have been nice for comparisons sake. I'd venture to say though that this one is the better of the two.

KnucklesSonic8

#11

KnucklesSonic8 said:

No prob! And yeah, I'd guess so too considering there are a lot of off-setting qualities about CFM.

Also, on the note of My Aquarium, if anyone wanted to get it, then clearly this is better value than getting that. From what I've seen, some parts underwater kinda look like a screensaver in a way... minus the rod of course. :P

I had hoped that the game had some hidden depth because after seeing a screen of the modes in the game, I feared it would be too limited even for an arcade experience. I don't think I'll get this right away. I might consider it later on down the road especially with all the good things coming out starting July 6th. I'm happy to hear this is another game for relaxation purposes. :D

longtimegamer

#14

longtimegamer said:

@KnucklesSonic- Your sega game was better than this has been so far. I liked Black Bass for the NES too. That was a better experience than this had been so far. I've only fished with 2 lures though. I liked the 2nd one I used, for the little amount of time that I used it.

If I fish more maybe It'll get better. I probably played less than an hour (But don't quote me).
I played a bit of Cocoto by the way.
@Olimar- Ever played Sega Bass for Dreamcast? It's an arcady type fishing game. That ones more exciting than some traditional fishing games. I think alot of people, including those who might think fishing is boring, could like that type of fishing game.

Also, Small learning curve? It took me awhile to figure how to cast the thing. I had to go back to the book to see what I was doing wrong (possibly more than once). I've only latched onto a fish 2 or 3 (less than 5?) times and have yet to pull one in.

Sabrewing

#15

Sabrewing said:

This definitely plays like a Reel Fishing game. Casual players need not apply, they'll quickly get frustrated with how infrequently the fish bite.

Clayfrd

#16

Clayfrd said:

Nice review, sir. I once again think I'll pass on a WiiWare game. I honestly haven't been excited by the service recently, but I might finally pick up Bubble Bobble and Nyx.

CanisWolfred

#18

CanisWolfred said:

I always hated the Bass Fishing game at Chuck E. Cheeses, so I think I'll skip on this one too.

BBE

#19

BBE said:

Is this just a port of the first and original reel fishing game for the playstation 1? Or a new game?

longtimegamer

#20

longtimegamer said:

Well after trying other lures I'm finally starting to catch them. I like the lures that give you the underwater view. Is it just me or does the lure seem able to stay in the water longer with these type lures (can move slower now?)? Enjoying myself now.:) Caught only Chars so far.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#21

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

This isn't my kind of game BUT it doesn't sound bad. Seems like an OK addition to the wiiware service library therefore...

HEMIII

#23

HEMIII said:

I freaking can't cast the damn line. I'm getting super pissed and about to break something. I can't believe this got a 6/10 I was thinking a 1/10. I still can't believe no one has made a fun fishing game yet this is really starting to make me mad. The Zelda fishing is the best fishing I've played so far. Come on you slack ass developers make something rich with adventure and excitement. Make a world where you can walk or steer a boat any where and have different places of fishing like an ocean for deep sea fishing to a pond in your back yard and maybe have a four wheeler that you can drive to get from place to place and maybe a plane too to get to exotic bodies of water. Just stop putting out these crap ass fishing games that I always end up regretting to spend my money on and make the casting easier like Zelda.

RowdyRodimus

#25

RowdyRodimus said:

I don't know how she did it, but I left my niece (she's not quite 4) alone with the Wii on for less that 5 minutes and the next thing I know I have this thing downloaded. They really need a one hour return feature or something for downloaded games. Maybe I'll get some use out of it or Natsume just got the easiest money since the banks asked Washington for some.

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