Sega Marine Fishing


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 9.5

Overall: 9

Honestly, you see a giant fish on the cover of a video game on a store shelf, what's your immediate reaction? Run like hell? Yeah, thought so. Unfortunately, your fishing game phobia may have caused you to pass on one of the greatest Dreamcast games ever released. Worse yet, you may have even passed up the outstanding fishing controller, easily one of the coolest accessories for the system.

Yes, you still fish, that part of the game can't be ignored. However, you're not fishing for some weak 20 pound bass. No, you're going after the 280 pound Maco's, 300+ pound Yellowfin's, and even a few Stingrays. The best part of this joyful piece of software is the accessibility. If you've never even so much as touched a fishing pole in your life, you're still more than welcomed into the open arms this game provides.

It's a constant struggle on the water, wiggling the line back and forth to entice a fish. Once hooked, you need the right mix of tension and patience. Pull in too quick and the line snaps. That takes away precious seconds from the timer. Breaking records is part of the fun, both in time and weight.

The usual arcade mode is included (flawlessly ported from the massive cabinet of the same name), but the meat of your playing time will be spent, surprisingly, with the mini-games. Here you will tackle five different challenges, which range from lure training to seeing how much you can catch within five minutes. Once you've completed these challenges, you will open up slots in the free fish mode to earn items. There are at least 200 items to unlock which range from lures, clothing, and even a brand new boat. 

The unlockables aren't just limited to in-game items either. Every time you catch a new fish in the free-fishing mode, it will automatically be put into your very own aquarium. Be aware that this is no living room sized aquarium, but a full fledged zoological attraction. Oh, and you just don't get fish either. Decorations like sunken ships, rocks, sea-weed, and even a killer whale will become a part of the attraction which you can visit at anytime via an underwater camera (which can be tailored to your liking). This adds nearly unlimited re-playability as you'll constantly be in a battle unlock "just one more item."

Of course, if the game didn't look this great, none of this would really matter. The fish all have a "shimmer" to them when pulled out of the water, giving them an almost eerie sense of realism. Once you and partner pull the fish out of the water, they'll gladly hold it up to the camera for display as it twitches about, dying a horrible suffocation death. Even the water looks fantastic, though the newer consoles have surpassed it. The only downside is the mostly obnoxious voice acting and generic soundtrack. You can only hear your partner say "Good feeesh!" in a horrible Jamaican accent so many times before it becomes grating.

Even if you can't hunt down the official DC fishing controller (Warning: Stay away from the generic ones. The vast majority can't take the abuse), the standard controller is more than sufficient meaning you have no excuse NOT to have this game in your collection. Very few games (if any) feature this many unlockables and you'll be sure to get your money's worth, guaranteed. Yes, fishing games can rock, at least the ones made by Sega.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 04:45 AM