A slow-mo spume of watery froth erupts upon the screen as a digitized bass is yanked from the water. For a second it is caught in a moment of balletic glory – like a dancer impaled on a shiny metal hook. It’s all the fun of The Matrix’s bullet time but without a second of philosophizing about the meaning of trout. Then you’re back to earth with a bump. Well, a splash.
The main reeling exercise is pretty standard: not too tight, not too loose, with a neat little remote flick to let out a taut line in an emergency. Plus the accompanying plastic shell handily locks the Nunchuk in place, ensuring that your rotating motion is always the required one. Whatever you say about Rapala, it’s certainly competent.
But that bullet time moment? It’s totally ludicrous (in effect you’re slowing down what is already the world’s slowest sport) but it proves that ‘competent’ needn’t have been the standard. The fact that the devs realized fishing could do with a bit of jazzing up shows they cleared the hurdle their rivals on Wii couldn’t – but then they stumble. Catch three fish and you’ll have seen all of Rapala’s tricks: the air jump, the initial fish lure, time travel that fast-forwards the fish into your hands. That’s it.
Sure, bonus points are given for pulling them off – they’re not hard, by the way – but at the end of the day you’re still left with your stern avatar clutching a blurry bream. The devs should have gone the whole hog: Michael Bay’s Incredi- Fishing. Bass armed with AK-47s. Finishing off a trout with a magnum shot to the head. All played out to an Aerosmith soundtrack.
In just a few sentences we’ve laid out the best fishing game ever made. We’ll keep the peripheral for our new creation, but everything else must go. Point is, if you’re too chicken to stray from convention, don’t include the term ‘frenzy’ in your title. And if you want to make a splash in the Wii’s bustling fishing scene, you really shouldn’t boast about a rich selection of Rapala-endorsed lures on the box. These fluffy trinkets are designed to work on fish, not humans.
Oct 8, 2008