In general, there are two categories of people when it comes to fishing: those who love it and those who hate it. Those who love it do so for their own reasons, while the people who hate it typically complain that it's more about waiting than doing. That is one of the issues that developers have to overcome when creating a fishing game, and Fishing Resort is no exception. When you manage to finally catch that big fish, it can be quite a treat, but waiting for that moment takes a very long time.
The premise behind Fishing Resort is simple: you arrive at an island resort eager to spend your days fishing and trying to catch as many kinds of sea life as possible. Your time on the island can be spent at a number of different fishing locations, each offering a large array of fish to catch, both big and small. Each day on the island can be played out in a number of ways. In every locale, there is an activity board that gives you a few tasks you can participate in. These include simple minigames, such as spotting exact types of fish, taking pictures, going out to special locations to fish, and fulfilling requests from other guests.
Although the general structure is open ended, you're meant to achieve certain goals. Early on, you're asked to obtain fish to fill an aquarium, and later goals include catching a shark and earning enough points to purchase your very own boat. These are fine and early requests are not that difficult, but the later objectives require a large investment of time. On top of the long-term tasks, there are others that can be triggered only once other objectives are met, such as catching more than 30 fish in a given area or having a specific fishing rank.
To progress and to catch bigger and better fish, you need to buy superior equipment, and to do that, you need points. Points are the in-game currency, and they can be obtained in a number of ways. Completing the above-mentioned quests from the activity board earns you points, but you can also earn them by doing just about anything. Rent a bike for the first time, and though it costs you 20 points, doing so also earns you 1,000 points as an accomplishment. A mother can't find her child, but if you find the child for her, a point gift/bonus is your reward. On top of doing simple tasks like those, every catch you make, regardless of how big or small, earns you points at the end of the day. The quests are usually not too hard, since a large number of the early ones don't require you to do any fishing. Your character is usually relegated to completing fetch quests that may eventually lead to more time-consuming requests, such as catching a certain kind of fish.
You start the game with a basic fishing set that helps you catch the tiniest of fish, but to get bigger and better fish, you need to spend points on the right equipment. Better gear isn't cheap, so doing the various tasks and earning accomplishments helps you get the necessary points to spend. Although the reward for your trouble seems nice, this is where Fishing Resort loses its appeal.
For starters, it takes a while before you can afford the improved equipment. If you avoid completing the various tasks and earning accomplishments, then acquiring the 20,000 points needed for a medium-size reel takes a very long time. Another problem is that even when you buy the better equipment that is required to catch the larger fish, you won't necessarily be catching bigger ones. After upgrading your rods and lines and using the most expensive bait, you might still catch tiny fish or only slightly larger ones--even if you spend the money to go to better locations where better species of fish are expected.
Thankfully, when it comes to actually fishing, the game does a good job of teaching you the basics of both bait and lure fishing, and even warns you when certain rods and reels are not compatible. The Wii Remote acts as your rod, while the Nunchuk is your reel. Grasping the controls shouldn't take long, and the onscreen prompts that appear once you get a bite are extremely helpful. If you have a fishing-rod peripheral handy--such as the one that comes with certain copies of the game--it adds to the fishing experience.
Additionally, the motion controls play an important role in how you fish. Your movements with the controller factor in to how easy or difficult it is to bring in your catch. In situations where you fight with a fish, angling the remote to counter pressure on the line results either in a nice reward or in frustration as your potential haul is lost.
While it can be fun to fight to get that fish, the time spent waiting for something to bite can cause you to quickly lose interest. Catching only smaller fish is one thing, but spending minutes waiting for something to bite takes you out of the experience. The game won't keep your attention, and in most situations, the periods where nothing is happening make you want to stop playing.
When something bites, Fishing Resort can be enjoyable, and the other activities available do offer a welcome change of pace. But those times when you are waiting for something to happen overshadow the adventure. Some may still find a reason to visit Fishing Resort, but be prepared to experience both the highs and lows of a real fishing trip.