It's Deadly Alright
Alaskan Fishing May Fail To Hook Gamers
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There seems to be no end to the madness when it comes to reality television. Everything from stranding people on a deserted island to watching truck drivers navigate the frozen Arctic Ocean has been used as a back drop for these engrossing shows. One of the most popular reality TV shows, Deadliest Catch, has captured the attention of countless viewers. Unfortunately, a successful show means nothing in the world of video games.
The most important feature of any game is its gameplay. If a game isn't fun to play, then everything else about it may as well be irrelevant. However, Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm is somehow able to break this seemingly unbreakable rule in one, horrible way: graphics. This game has, without a doubt, the worst graphics I have ever seen. In an age where developers are constantly trying to push systems to their limits by creating works of art with their games, it amazes me that the game actually has frame-rate issues.
Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm looks, at its best, like a bad PC game from five years ago, and at its worst, like a drawing from a 10-year old. Frame-rate slow down is bad enough for an Xbox game, but the game takes it a step beyond that. There is absolutely no imagination to the graphics. For example, the developers included a flock of seagulls that follow your ship around. But instead of enhancing the atmosphere to the game, you may find yourself developing a hatred of white birds.
For starters, the seagulls look like little white lines circling around the top of your ship. On top of that, the seagulls squawk in a never-ending cacophony. They are just one example of the poor graphics, though.
In a game centered around ships and their crew, taking the time to make the ships look good is crucial. Unfortunately, while the ships look decent, there isn't a whole lot of detail put into their design, and one boat looks just as simple and unimagined as another. Players are able to customize the way that the interior of the ships look, but are only given two color schemes and patterns to work with. It is also possible to customize the look of the exterior of the ships, but this feature is not well detailed either.
Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm doesn't make a good first impression with its graphics, and once players delve into the gameplay, the pain only gets worse. The game puts players at the helm of their very own crab-fishing vessel. Sadly, being at the helm means doing a whole lot of nothing. In order to move the ship from point A to point B, players can do one of two things.
The first form of movement is to simply push the throttle forward and steer accordingly. This method of transportation takes so darn long that I was actually able to pick up my notebook off the floor and write several lines of notes before the ship was even close to its destination.
The second form of movement is far less tedious, but just as boring. Players are able to chart out their destination on a computer and watch the ship move there in "fast time." While looking at the computer screen, players are also able to see where the largest congregations of crab are at any given time. It is also possible to plan where you want to lay your "pots" (cages) down to catch crab. While this is fairly simple and straightforward, it doesn't exactly make for an exciting experience.
Beyond the way the ship moves, players are also tasked with hiring a crew to run their ship. Hiring the most experienced people will make crab fishing easier, but they also require a larger portion of the total earnings. Hiring some of the new guys means you get to keep more money, but you may not make enough for your expedition to be worth it. This balance really isn't difficult to determine, though, since everyone's stats are laid out in an easy-to-read chart.
The final task that players have in regard to the ship is filling it with the proper amount of bait and fuel. Filling the fuel tank all the way may let you go farther, but at the expense of having enough bait to lure crab into your pots. Likewise, if you don't put enough fuel in the tank, you really shouldn't make plans to go too far.
There are a handful of other activities that can be done in the game, such as a hook-throwing mini-game, or performing rescue missions with the Coast Guard. There is also an online mode, which really isn't worth it considering it's just the single player version of the game with real people instead of computers.
The only saving grace that the game has is the fact that it appeals to fans of the show. From real-life captains and crew, to a number of actual ships, the game does a nice job of appealing to its fan base. The game even features Bon Jovi's song, Dead or Alive, which is the theme song for the actual show.
In all, Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm isn't a great game. It has mediocre gameplay and absolutely horrible graphics. While the game will appeal to some fans of the show, it doesn't look like this title is going to be brining in a big haul. (Pun intended.) Deadliest Catch: Alaskan Storm gets 2 GiN Gems out of 5 for completely missing the mark.
Matt Jones is an avid gamer and enjoys helping people solve all their gaming questions. : matthewJones10@hotmail.com.