E3 '07: Fishing Master Hands-On Impressions

We get our hands on Konami's upcoming fishing simulation.

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Fishing Master (2007)
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Most video games assume the remedy for a stressful day is to send a bunch of zombies and aliens after you, but Konami’s upcoming Fishing Master knows better. Relaxation is what you need after a long day at work or school, and nothing is more relaxing than fishing.

The basic gameplay is simple and extremely effective. First, you walk your little fisherman up and down the shore, looking for the shadow of a nice big fish. Once you see it, you hit the B button to enter casting mode. From there, you aim left or right, and then holding B, you pull back the remote like a fishing rod then cast it forward, releasing B. The lure will fly out into the ocean, and in only a few moments, several fish will begin to investigate it.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

When one takes the bait, exclamation points appear on the screen, prompting you to jerk up on the remote. From there, you treat the Nunchuk like a reel, moving it circularly to haul in the fish. However, if you reel too fast, you’ll break the line; if you reel too slowly, the fish will get away. If the fish is small, you have a nice big margin of error, but if it’s a giant of the deep, one false move will cost you your prize catch.

As you reel the fish in, you’ll be prompted to stun it by either jerking the remote to the left or the right. It’s an interesting dynamic because you have to watch for those prompts and keep your eye on the meter that tells you if you’re reeling too fast. Too see both, you have to un-focus and watch the whole screen at once--a zenlike experience perfect for a fishing game.

And just like the ocean, this game promises to be deep. You’re a child fishing for your grandpa, yet somehow all of Japan can eventually be open to your angling exploits. The country is divided into regions, each with a shop, some fishing spots, and the occasional tournament. You generally have a day to catch all the fish you can, before checking in with gramps and cashing in your catch.

The fish are all based on real species, with all manner of eel, mackerel, flounder, and bass just dying to be caught. Speaking of which, this game will try to get its hooks in you when it launches September 18th.

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