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Big Bass Fishing Review
game: Big Bass Fishing
two star
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
publisher: Take 2 Interactive
date posted: 09:10 AM Fri Jun 28th, 2002
last revision: 01:11 PM Sat Oct 29th, 2005

by Jake Carder

With the weather warming up and summer around the corner you should be out enjoying it while you can. That means some folks will sit in a boat with their favorite beverage and try to fool aquatic animals with plastic food. But with those unlucky people landlocked in sprawling cities throughout the country, the closest they can get to this popular sport is to drop a fishing line in an aquarium. For them, and those of us who just can\'t seem to get outside, electronic substitutes have to be our guilty pleasure. With Big Bass Fishing, Take 2 Interactive has released its next $9.99 game and like so many others it still falls short of a bargain. Some interesting twists have been added to make this unlike any other fishing game, but this particular title is far from being redeemed.

Big Bass Fishing has strayed away from being a pure simulation and has added some elements to make it more of an arcade game. Most noticeable are power-up icons. Three different icons give you either more time, stronger fishing line, or super lures that will attract all fish. Getting these power-ups can be difficult as they are hidden in various spots in the water and even if you do see them, actually acquiring them is a game in itself.

The developers have tried to give you the most \"bang for your buck\". Three separate game modes can be played as well as five different events. Free Fishing and Beat the Clock are just two specific modes that are available. While you begin with only one area to fish in, more locations are opened by successfully completing the challenge mode. Keeping with the variety are the fourteen different species of bass fish including the well known Largemouth as well as the Spotted, Redeye, and Rock Bass, just to name a few. Fish have always been finicky eaters, so sticking with one lure in an attempt to catch the biggest fish won\'t necessarily work, which makes it a good thing that twenty different lures are at your disposal.

Typically when you think of fishing you picture a middle-aged man wearing a plaid shirt, vest, and a baseball cap. Well you\'ll be playing the complete opposite in this game. Her name is Babe, no not the sheep-herding pig from the movie, but a scantily clad fisherwoman wearing a cut tank top and Daisy Duke shorts. Babe lures in fish like a pro all the while spouting one-liners that would make even the hardiest of sailors blush. Everything she says can be taken the wrong way; whether she\'s referring to the size of the fish or how she\'s handling the pole, there are innuendos galore. I can\'t really fathom why the game was developed this way; perhaps they were hoping people would purchase this game due to its sex appeal. Trying to overshadow the game play this way is disheartening and dilutes the game overall.

At least the fish look like actual fish even though they move like puppets. On numerous occasions there is a tell tale jerkiness to their animation which makes it hard to interpret how they\'re reacting to the bait. The fish will actually leave the water at times trying to pry itself off your hook, which is the best time to reel it in fast. One glaring problem with the game is the collision detection. Many times the fish will be in a swimming pattern showing no interest whatsoever in the bait; upon getting to close to the lure the fish would actually pass through it as opposed to bumping into it.

Even the controls go beyond what\'s customary. The typical analog control scheme uses the left stick to control the tilt and direction of the rod and you rotate the right stick to reel in line. In Big Bass Fishing the right stick is also used to reel in the line, but by pressing the stick in one direction; each direction reels in the line at different speeds. To be successful in this sport you must juke and jive each lure to entice the fish to partake in such a morsel; it would be nice then to actually have the lure more visible as you move the rod every which way. The only time you actually know your rod is moving around is when you use the above water view. And the new method of reeling in the line compounds the problems. Fishing games utilize a basic control scheme so there is no reason that a game should have these problems.

Many will go out and plunk their money down on this beast due to the tempting low price tag. If you can afford to spend the extra cash, purchase one of the many games already out. Big Bass Fishing is a rental at best; even then it\'s still not worth it due to the price of rentals today. Either borrow it from someone who already owns it, or if you are desperate to witness the adult angler, get a pool of money together with your friends. If you can get ten friends together to buy it, that dollar just might be worth it.

Jake Carder (06/28/2002)