Review by BHodges
"Fishing in 3D."
Virtual Fishing was released for the Nintendo Virtual Boy in December of 1995. It was only released in Japan, but will work on an US Virtual Boy without any modifications. Nearly all of the text in the game is in Japanese.
Gameplay - 6/10
In this game you go fishing. You can choose between different spots and there are two game modes, tournament and time attack. In tournament mode, the goal is to catch as many fish as you can in eight minutes. In time attack, you have to reel in five pre-hooked fish as fast as you can, if the line breaks, you lose. There is also a pier where you can fish for as long as you want, the goal here is to catch at least one each of the eighteen varieties of fish. Fishing involves casting the line out and reeling it in. When you get a nibble, the rod will bend, you press R to attempt to hook the fish. This is the real challenge of the game, knowing just when to press R to hook the fish. If you hook the fish, the view switches to underwater and you try to reel the fish up to the surface without breaking the line. You have the ability to choose between two types of bait to use, but I can't see the difference in performance between the two.
Play Control 7/10
The controls are very responsive, the only problem is that you don't have that much control over the fishing. You can control the direction of your cast (which doesn't really do anything), vary the speed while reeling in the line, and press R to try to hook the fish. That's all, you actually have more options while fishing in the LOZ: Ocarina of Time, than you do in this game.
Story - N/A
There may be a background story to this game, but since the instruction book is in Japanese, I have no idea what it is.
Graphics - 7/10
The graphics are pretty decent. The scenery while fishing looks really great. Underwater looks good, the only problem is that between the bottom and the surface, there is just black nothingness, they could have put in some other fish in the background or something. The fish look okay, but a little more work could have been put into their animation. I really like the look of the credits, they move from bottom to top and when they are in the middle of the screen, they move towards, then away from you.
Sound - 3/10
Like nearly every other VB game made, the sound is very weak. The music is okay, but mostly forgettable. The sound effects are dull and occasionally won't sound when they are supposed too.
Playing Time/Replay Value - 7/10
I have spent a lot of time playing this one. There is a lot to do: there are two extra fishing spots you can unlock, seven trophies to win, and a fishing book to fill with the 18 varieties of fish. The game saves all of your scores, so you can keep trying to improve on them.
Buy, Borrow, or Avoid? - Borrow
I really like this game. One problem is that copies of this game usually cost over $40. The other is that it isn't for everyone. If you know someone who owns this game you should definitely give it a try.
Overall Score - 7/10
While fishing isn't for everyone, this is an enjoyable game for the Virtual Boy.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 06/26/03, Updated 06/26/03
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