SEGA Bass Fishing is an excellent fishing simulation that has unfortunately been ignored by PC gamers, perhaps due to the mistaken "it is probably not in-depth or realistic" attitude associated with the game's console origins (this is the PC port of a Dreamcast original). The game takes place on one of the nicest bass fishing lakes the world has to offer: Lake Paradise. Here, you will have a chance to fish in eight different areas of the lake, all rendered in beautiful 3D graphics. You can also use up to fourteen different lures, deal with various weather conditions that affect both the mood of the fish and their quantity. |
There are three different modes of play: Arcade, Original, and Practice. If you want the thrill of fishing without worrying about realism, the Arcade Mode is for you. Here your objective is to catch a given amount of bass (measured by pounds) under a strict time limit. The higher the level, the more fish you need to catch, and the shorter the time limit you are given. You can continue for as many times as you want if you fail any level, making this mode good practice for the tournament in the Original Mode. In the Original Mode, you will compete as an SBFA (Sega Bass Fishing Association) amateur angler against computer players in a bid to win cash prizes in each tournament and progress up the ladder to become the world champion.
As one would expect from a SEGA game, the graphics are excellent and the interface very easy to use. You can alter the time of day, time limit, pound limit, whether you want to be a male or a female angler, and many more parameters. Although it is a port, the game's graphics are comparable to the console at the maximum detail level and running a 3D card. You can see sunlight reflected on the water, the shadows of fish lurking under bridges, and various weather effects come to life. Although I am by no means an expert angler, I am still impressed with much of the realism. For example, the fish will react to changing weather conditions and types of lures you use. Sound effects also greatly enhance the experience: not only will you hear the sounds of the fishing, but also ambient sounds such as the chirping of birds, the hum of boat motors, and much more.
All in all, SEGA Bass Fishing is a must-have if you enjoy atmospheric fishing games. It may not be as popular as Sierra's Trophy Bass Fishing games, but SEGA's game is no less fun. If you like the game and have a Dreamcast console at home, look for the superior sequel in stores. You can also purchase a fishing-pole controller that makes the experience even more authentic. Too bad this unique controller was never released with the PC version. Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs