Something Smells Fishy

Big Bass Fishing
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Fishing? I’ve never understood the lure (excuse the pun) of fishing and deer hunting games. To me, they are as exciting as watching grass grow, however, I am going to be as fair as possible.

Big Bass Fishing from Take 2 Interactive is a fishing sim for the Playstation 1. In Big Bass Fishing, players can hook 14 different types of freshwater fish, using twenty assorted fishing lures, in three separate game modes and five different fishing events.

In Big Bass Fishing, the three game modes are challenge, competition, and arcade.

The challenge mode contains varying trials which, when successfully completed, unlock new locations to fish. The challenges vary in difficulty, but tend to be 15 minute trials where players have to catch a certain amount of fish above a specific weight to unlock a new map area.

In the competition mode players can compete in different events at any of the locations unlocked in the challenge mode. The events are the 2-day lunker, the 3-day all release, the 3-day tournament, and beat the clock. In Big Bass Fishing points are awarded for the fish you catch. The bigger the fish, the bigger the points. Makes sense doesn’t it? Most of these events require you to either catch a single high point fish or a group of fish with the highest point total to succeed. Okay, got all that? Good, now let’s get on down to the fishin’ hole.

Before you cast off, you need a lure. There are 20 different lures to pick from. Not sure which lure you need? No problem. Just hit the fish info button and the local fishermen will give the skinny on which lures are pulling in the big ones at that specific locale.

Once you find that perfect lure, casting is a breeze. From there on in it’s only a matter of time before you’re pulling them in. Depending on the lure, you either have to reel it in steady or in a pattern of jerks in order to attract the fish. There are meters available to help you with this. The "lure meter" shows if you are manipulating the lure in a possibly fish-attracting manner, plus, you have the "fish interest meter" which shows how interested each particular fish is to the lure in the water at that moment.

Let’s say that you have finally hooked one. Now it’s a matter of reeling the fish in. Reeling a fish in on Big Bass Fishing is fairly easy to grasp. Each fish has a different fighting style and it is up to you to know when to reel him in hard or give him a little slack on the line and let him run. This is where the "line tension meter" comes in. The "line tension meter" lets you know how much stress the line can handle before it breaks. If the line meter goes into the red you have to either pull the rod another direction or give some slack on the line. If you let the line meter go too far into the red, the line snaps and you can say goodbye to that record-breaking bass.

There are also bonus items located randomly in the water to help you with reeling in that monster. The super reel and the super lure are time-limited power ups.

The controls to Big Bass Fishing are easy. There are three buttons and you could probably get away playing using only two.

The artwork features two recurring things; fish and the stereotypical redneck bimbo replete with daisy duke shorts and tied-up, low-cut top. The graphics are sub-par. There are two views when playing Big Bass Fishing, an underwater view and an above water view.

The above water view is a third person view of the fishing bimbo on a boat. The background scenery is all the same drab landscape for the most part except they might add a blurry shack or truck by the shoreline every so often. The bimbo is even shaped a little poorly.

The underwater graphics are pretty drab as well with one exception, the fish. The fish in Big Bass Fishing look and move like real fish. The only screen in Big Bass Fishing that it seems to me that anyone really spent any time making, was the game-loading screens which are yet more seductive pictures of the redneck chick.

The audio in Big Bass Fishing is full of horrible sexually-charged statements about fishing supposedly coming from the mouth of the redneck babe. "It’s not the size; it’s how you reel it in." "I know it’s not the biggest, but, I think I like it." – Those are just two fine examples.

The one thing that really stumped me about the overall sound was the music. When you snag a fish and the tug of war battle to reel it in begins, the game starts to play house music. House music? Over the years I’ve known plenty of people that enjoy fishing, and though they were all very different types of people, the one thing that they would have in common (besides fishing), would be their hatred of house music. Maybe I just have not heard about all those all-nite fishing raves that are popping up all over the country.

I’m not a big video fishing guy, but, I know a couple of people who have played some fishing sims and asked them for their opinions of Big Bass Fishing. They basically told me that the game wasn’t worth their time. These people gave me the impression that in a good fishing game you get to upgrade your poles, reels, boats, etcetera. Big Bass Fishing has none of that. The goal here is to unlock lamer map locations, that’s all.

I’m not a fishing guy, but I know you fishing sim people are out there somewhere, and I advise you to stay away from Big Bass Fishing. I just got to believe that there are better fishing games out there to spend your hard earned money on. Hey! I’ve got a better idea, maybe turn the TV off, finish your online poker game and go to a real lake, stream, or other body of water and do some real fishing.

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