by Take 2 Interactive
|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.
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 wont 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 youll 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 shes referring to the size
of the fish or how shes handling the pole, there are innuendos galore. I cant
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 theyre 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 whats 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 its 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
Jake Carder (06/28/2002)
Ups: It's cheap...
Downs: Mediocre everything except bad control and an annoying protagonist.