January 6, 2001
Sega Bass Fishing is one of the most interesting titles on the Dreamcast. It's not necessarily the game that does it, more the controller that is bundled with the game. You see, Sega Bass Fishing comes with a fishing rod controller to reproduce the excitement of the arcade game as faithfully as possible. It is definitely one of the most innovative and unique gaming controllers in years, and adds whole new dimension to the game.
Sega Bass Fishing, or Get Bass as it is known in Japan, was actually released to Dreamcast owners in Japan on April 1st 1999, several months before the Dreamcast system even came out in Australia. However, that didn't mean that Sega Bass Fishing quick coming out here. Following poor sales in Japan Sega debated the merits of releasing it in Europe for some time. Fortunately they changed their minds following strong sales in America. The game finally made it to the shelves here in April 2000, and promptly sold by the truckload. So what's the big deal then?
Sega Bass Fishing is a conversion of the arcade game released way back in 1998 and using the Model 2 arcade board. The home conversion includes a couple of new areas to fish in as well as a tournament mode. The game also keeps track of all your fishing expeditions and biggest catches. Sega Bass Fishing begins with the flick forward of the virtual fishing rod which signifies casting the lure, which there are plenty to select from. When the lure hits the water it wither sinks or floats depending on the lure selected. by jigging (jerking) the rod and reeling in the line the lure moves and may attract a fish. The bigger the better however the larger the fish the more chance of the line breaking as the tension increases. It is also possible to angle the rod to remove some of the line tension of bring the fish closer to your boat.
While the game is a lot of fun in the short term, and definitely when you have friends over my biggest concern is that the game doesn't have a huge amount of replay value. Being based on an arcade game means that it's aimed at short game times. Sure the tournaments are fun, but how long do you want to cast and reel in a fish for?
Graphically there is little to fault with Sega Bass Fishing. The underwater worlds are very detailed, even sporting some small crayfish, and the fish seem to act in a realistic manner. The textures on teh fish, while reduced slightly from the arcade version, are still very detailed. My only niggle with the graphics is that occasionally the fishing line will pass straight through a rock or jetty pylon. It hardly distracts from the gameplay though.
While you can use the standard controller with Sega Bass Fishing, I would highly recommend getting the fishing rod to use with the game, it adds so much more enjoyment in the long run. Sega Bass Fishing is a title which is a great arcade conversion with some nice additions for the home. It's games like this that make the Dreamcast such a unique and fun system to own.