Bassin's Black Bass with Hank Parker
Review by slayk
"If there were ever a fishing game to top all other fishing games..."
Ahh, where to start with this creme-filled chocolaty-goodness masterpiece of a fishing game... This game probably has more hours spent on it by me than any other game, epic RPG or no, that comes to mind. What makes this game so fun is the ease of play coupled with the amazing skill required to bring in the real lunkers.
Gameplay: 10/10 This is what gives the game it's greatness. While being much quicker and simpler than actual real-life fishing, the game is not overly simple. The early fishing level has a fairly easy goal. The fish there are plentiful and easy to catch, but lack any decent size. This initiates the fisherman, allowing him/her to earn their reel and come to understand how the game works without losing many important lures. From there on, the fish in the lakes up in size, but the target weight increases at a steeper rate, giving a challenge to the fisherman. The view (being top down) adds to the game by easing the guesswork out of finding fish.
Graphics: 8/10 They are good, but not outstanding. The plant life is fairly realistic, and the water animation is good. The fish while still in the water are decent at best, as a certain species of fish will always look very much alike excepting in 3 or 4 variations in size. (Tiny, Decent, Large, and OMG LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT LUNKER!) the rest of the graphics are pretty much what can be expected for a game of its time.
The controls are easy to understand, they respond to user input well, and they are not unnecessarily complicated.
The lakes are wonderful. Each has its own distinct personality and its own defining features. The weather for a lake is usually the same always for that lake, testing the fisherman's ability to handle each scenario handed out by mother nature. The lakes vary in depth, size, shape, landmarks, and optimum fishing areas. My only gripe is that there is only four levels.
Artificial Intelligence: 10/10
Each fish species and size fights different. Pikes swim in circles, Bass jump out of the water, Catfish just pull with brute strength. The larger the size of the fish, the harder the fight for the most part. Also, the more weight you bring in, the more weight your competitors will bring, allowing for a decently close finish most times.
Non-gameplay Issues: There are really two distinct areas where this can be described, records and character generation.
The game keeps record of all the biggest fish of all types caught by all the anglers you have used. The official records have the biggest fish ever weighed in, and the unofficial records are the biggest fish ever caught (including non-bass fish). This area gives you a nostalgic feel for all the record fish on your best game.
Character Generation: 8/10
The character's (your angler) name and looks can be customized to an extent. The name has a decent character lengh limit, with two names for first and last name. The appearance can be changed from male to female, with choices of hat, glasses, facial hair (for men), and outfit. My only complaint with this section is the limit of available choices.
Rent/Buy: Buy. 'Nuff said.
This game is probably one of the best and easiest to play fishing games to ever exist in the history of video gaming. It is well worth the cost and time put into it.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/24/02, Updated 07/24/02
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