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River King: A Wonderful Journey review

Disappointing
AT A GLANCE
  • Decent variety in fishing gear
  • Sound isn't terrible
  • The languid pace
  • Playing the game
  • The vile footstep sound
  • Bad, bad graphics

The saddest part of River King: A Wonderful Journey isn't that it's an appallingly dull mixture of fishing, minigames and RPG elements - it's the fact that it's neither wonderful nor a journey in any way. Easy-time gamers may very well want to like this, but spend just an hour dealing with this boring life and you'll be ready to move on.

The gameplay itself is a lobotomized version of an RPG. You'll explore a few environments in which you encounter small populations whose lives revolve around fishing. Like, too much around fishing. You can join a timed tournament, learn to swim or face off against a rival, but virtually every goal is an exclusive one. With no map, you'll spend a lot of time lost as you backtrack to find each dull, separate event, one at a time.

You can start as one of four different characters, each with different stats and pointless stories. Supposedly, their unique attributes affect gameplay. They don't. Regardless of character, the game's events play out the same, so it really comes down to which hyper-cute portrait you like best.

Once you manage to start fishing, you'll stop pretty quickly as you run out of bait or space to hold fish. After you've sold your meager full bucket of fish, most of that money will go into buying more bait or a bigger bucket. You can go into the menu and select the search command to try and dig up bait at random, but either way, you spend a whole lot of the game just trying to get enough money to buy so-so fishing gear.

And that leads to the moment when you realize this isn't just a bad game; this is a rabidly bad game. The core fishing gameplay is atrociously vapid, as follows: press X, hold X, hold X, realize your life is ticking away and trade this in for Animal Crossing or the latest Harvest Moon. Unacceptable graphics, a chillingly dull fishing system and a cast of characters who lack any combine to make this a horrible excuse for a journey.

More Info

Release date: Apr 14 2006 - PS2 (US)
Apr 14 2006 - PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Natsume
Developed by: Marvelous Interactive
ESRB Rating:
Everyone

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