#393 Sega Bass Fishing

Posted: 14th July 2015 by Jeroen in Games
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440th played so far

Sega Bass Fishing PAL DC-front

Genre: Sports
Platform: Arcade/Dreamcast/PC
Year of Release: 1999
Developer: AM1/Sims
Publisher: Sega

Up until now, my knowledge of fishing has been theoretical. Conversations with friends who went fishing, some attempted bonding some fifteen years ago, bits and pieces I picked up here and there.

Sega Bass Fishing, then, isn’t my game, as I’m mostly just guessing at what I’ll be doing. For reference, we’re playing the PC version – we also have the Dreamcast one, but the fishing rod controller is broken and, well, this was a lot easier. We are missing some immersion though – no Steel Battalion exploits here, sadly.

Our Thoughts

Inexperience with fishing does have a bit of a downside when setting up this game. You need to select what lure to use – something I can’t judge – and where to look for the bass – something I chose more or less at random.

The main game mode is time limited, which leads to some tougher catching experiences early on. We spent most of our first session just trying to figure out why the lure kept floating and no fish responded. Heavier lures helped finding the fish, but made it more difficult to reel them in. That, too, was tricky – reeling in depends on key presses, but it doesn’t feel like you get quite enough fine tuned control over this – the specialised controller would have helped for this.

Thanks to the time limit – for obvious reason compressing a day’s fishing in about half an hour – the process becomes quite frantic. You want to catch the big fish, but spending a lot of time on a big fish that gets away (something that’s likely when you just started playing and seems to stay a risk for longer) can ruin a session.

Beyond that, a lot of the game comes down to luck too – you can roughly predict where the fish will be, but it feels like often you also have to be lucky enough that they get closer. Sure, realistic, but not something that works as well with the time limit. Still, the fish behaviour feels quite realistic, moving around, occasionally meeting each other and generally seeming to do what fish do.

Final Thoughts

It’s an interesting game in that we’ve tried it and sort of enjoyed it – certainly the time went by fast enough and we went through a couple of rounds. It’s just that as a gaming concept, there isn’t as much to it, and unless (I suppose) you’re really into fishing, a game about it quickly stops being interesting.

As a game, it’s good at what it does, and part of the list because it’s unique in its setting and does it quite well. It’s just still bass fishing though.

  1. […] Dreamcast era really was one for weird peripherals. We saw this with Sega Bass Fishing (although I avoided it there by playing the PC version) and a few years later with the massive setup […]