Fishing Resort Review (Wii)
Fishing games on the Wii are about a dime a dozen. There are plenty out there to choose from. Some of them take the more realistic route of games like the Rapala series, while other takes a more game type approach to them. There are retail fishing games, with attachments to make you feel like you’re holding a rod. There are WiiWare games that have smaller environments and less fish. There are virtual fish tanks on the Wii. Basically if you like fish, there’s a game out there for you on the Wii. It’s really hard to find one that can be recommended to all, but I think, at the tail end (no pun intended) of the Wii’s life cycle we might have found it.
What You Need to Know
Yuji Naka, the creator of Sonic, has developed a fishing/RPG mash up called Fishing Resort that is being published by XSeed Games. Its a little bit fishing, a little bit RPG, but it’s a lot of fun. You start the game going on vacation to a resort where the primary activity is fishing. When you get off the boat you’re given a basic rod and some bait and sent on your merry way. As you catch more fish you’ll earn more points, which are the currency in the game, to buy more equipment. You’ll see many varied environments, dozens upon dozens of fish and people will ask you to do things along the way.
Many times when you’re dealing with fishing in a video game you press a button to cast your line, wait a few minutes for a bobber to dip below the water and hit a button again to reel in your catch. The Wii has brought some more realistic style fishing games to life, but this is by far one of the best (and I’ve played a lot of them). You’re given a basic float lure to start with that just sits on the water, but after a bit you’re given access to more types of lures like spinners, cranks and more. Each of these different types of lures also gives you the ability to go into a pretty lengthy tutorial that teaches you exactly how to use them. These tutorials also result in giving you a lot of experience points that you can turn into money so it’s worth your while to learn exactly how to use them.
If you’re into fishing you’re really going to enjoy the simulation portion of Fishing Resort. The fish seems to react quite realistically fighting with you appropriate to the species of fish you’ve hooked. The Nunchuk acts as your reel and you’ll find yourself really fighting sometimes to bring in that big catch. There are moments of downtime as you wait for fish to come to you, but those periods don’t usually last very long. It’s very true to the real life sport of fishing as most of your time there is spent just waiting.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Fishing Resort is that it has a bit of a cartoon style look to it. The characters are slightly exaggerated, with goofy expressions and big heads. Outside of that you’ll be amazed at how gorgeous all of the different places that you’ll fish look. The opening beach area itself has many varied terrain types from the white sand of the beaches to rocky cliffs with plenty of places to fish from. It’s the water itself that is truly spectacular. You can see deep into the water itself where all the fish are easily recognizable. Some larger schools can be clearly seen telling you where the best places to fish are. When animals leap out of the water splashes accompany them and it just looks great. Perhaps the most amazing thing I saw in the opening area though was the sun. Time passes fairly rapidly with each hour in game taking only a minute or two. As time passes the sun moves along and you can watch it go from high noon and just watch the sun set below the horizon. As it did so the sky grew darker turning from a vivid blue to fiery orange and into a deep purple (not the band). It was absolutely gorgeous to behold.
From there you unlock new environments to fish at, like a lake that’s full of tall grass and lily pads, or an Amazon Rainforest type area complete with all the wildlife you would expect. There are even places with deep frozen ponds that you can go ice fishing in.
I was even surprised at how realistically the wildlife in the environments behaved. I saw a duck fly in and land on the lake once and thought it might have been a scripted event, but I watched him swim around, dip his head below the water and even observe me for a moment. I drove my boat over towards him and as I got closer he flew off into the distance and landed at another portion of the pond. There was definitely a lot of work put into creating believable environments that you might just want to explore and see what you can find.
It’s Also an RPG
So Fishing Resort sounds like a fishing game right? Well it is, but Yuji Naka and the development team at Prope wanted to spice things up a bit and also added in a number of RPG elements to make it fun in between fishing excursions.
Early on in the game you’ll be given a job as the manager of a local aquarium. When you take charge there isn’t much in the way of exhibits and very few fish. As you catch more and more varieties of swimmers they’ll go into your aquarium where they become part of an exhibit. You use the cash you’ve earned to upgrade the exhibits and try to make it the best aquarium in the world. You can set prices and add new exhibits all the time, as long as you have the cash on hand. It’s a neat little business simulation that breaks up the fishing itself.
There are also hundreds of resort goers that you’ll run into while you’re out and about doing your thing. Like any traditional RPG many of them want to talk to you and they have tasks they want you to perform. Some of them are pretty simple like taking a lost fishing pole to a woman’s husband, but they can also be pretty hard to achieve as well. Many of them will take you several in game days to complete so don’t expect to finish all of them quickly. Each of these quests gives you experience to use in the game.
Lot’s of Experience, but Not Enough
Everything you do in Fishing Resort gives you experience points that you can turn in to cash. The problem is that even then it’s not enough. Each fish you catch, especially early on, doesn’t really give you a whole lot. You’ll need to do a lot of the side quests and enter fishing tournaments to really get lots of experience points. Rods, reels and the aquarium take a lot of resources to buy and you’re going to find you’ve earned 10,000 Points and then quickly lost them all on a new rod or stocking up on the bait you need.
You almost get the traditional RPG experience of grinding for experience so that you can buy the new equipment to be able to catch larger fish. Grinding isn’t typically a fun experience in a traditional RPG and it’s certainly not a lot of fun when you’re doing it 100 points at a time.
There are definitely a lot of fishing games out there for the Wii and many of them do a good job of getting across the idea that you’re fishing. Some of them go for more realistic looks than Fishing Resort does, but very few give you more to do than that. You really get the sense that you’re on vacation with this game. The fishing is a lot of fun. The environments are gorgeous and there are plenty of new people to meet along the way. I would easily recommend this game to people who like fishing. Even if you’re not a big angler there’s still a lot to get out of this one. Just understand that 80% of what you’re going to do in the game is fish.
Review copy of the game provided by XSeed Games.
Played a lot. Caught thousands of fish. Expanded the aquarium and gave that lost fishing pole back to the woman’s husband.
Total Play Time: 28 hours