Action Bass, as its name suggests, is a fast-paced, arcade-style fishing game. The game takes several pages out of Sega Bass Fishing's book, in that it focuses solely on selecting the right lure, casting, and landing the fish. This straightforward presentation not only makes Action Bass easy for anyone to play, but also makes it a lot of fun, since you're almost always pulling fish out of the water.
While the game certainly doesn't have all of the features and options that a lot of other PlayStation fishing games have, you spend more time casting and battling with fish in Action Bass. There are no boats to cruise around the lake in - in fact, there aren't any lakes, either. Instead, you fish in five different areas, unlocking additional lures as you progress. To complete an area, you must catch a certain number of big fish before time expires. This task is accomplished by knowing which lure to use, finding where the big fish are hanging out, and by not wasting time with little fish. The larger fish can be kept in a virtual aquarium as a reminder of your past angling glories.
The gameplay is quite simplistic. All you really have to do is choose the best lure for a particular area and cast. You can pan left and right to choose different portions of the area to cast to. Selecting the right lure is one of the key fundamentals of catching a fish in Action Bass. Knowing when and how to use a spinner, a popper, or any of the five lures that you start out with will greatly increase your chances of landing a lunker. Once you get a fish on your line, all you really have to do is to reel your line in and let off when the tension gets too high. If you disregard the tension meter, you'll break your line and lose the fish.
The graphics in Action Bass are much like the rest of the game - simple yet effective. The fish models are well done and have fairly convincing textures. The movement of the fish, however, looks a little off - they don't flex quite like the real ones do. The areas that you fish in, as well as the fisherman, both look fairly realistic. The areas have murky or clear water, trees on the shoreline, and nearby docks that add a bit of ambiance to the scenery. The clever underwater camera angles, which switch from positions both near and far, make landing a fish quite exciting. As does the high-pitched, fast-paced rock music that kicks in when you hook a fish. The audio as a whole is decent - the sound effects for the water splashing and the rod reeling are both fairly well done.
In the end, Action Bass is a solid arcade-style fishing game that the majority of armchair anglers will enjoy. However, for fishing game fans that really enjoy simulation-style fishing games with all of the extras like boats and vast areas to explore, the game will undoubtedly fail to please.