Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 07/15/03 | Updated: 07/15/03


I’ll be the first to say that I’ve never really understood the overall draw of the fishing genre of games and there isn’t much that I can find about them that makes me want to constantly play. With this title, Black Bass is all about putting you in the role of the ever vigilant fisherman and the contests that apparently go on with the ‘sport’. To be completely honest, I really can’t find much with this title that would make me want to be the armchair sportsman, and this title was more of a snooze that a pleasure to play. However, there must be a bright side to this and if I couldn’t find it, maybe you can.

The game play that you find in Black Bass is supposed to really put you in the middle of the lake and give you the feel of being out there and fishing. However, the feeling that I got while I was playing this was that I was wasting my time, cruising around a big lake and trying to find the mythical ‘Black Bass’. While there must be something to this when you’re actually in a boat and you’re actually out there casting a line into the water, I can’t find it here. The physics of the game is what really aggravates me and makes my teeth clench together in agony.

When you’re out on the water, you’ll find that you have to pick the correct spot that will have you in the midst of a fish catching frenzy. I’ve found that there are a ton of different spots that you can put your boat, but then the overall experience goes from somewhat interesting to completely boring without blinking an eye. You have to select the correct type of lure and toss it out into the lake in order to catch the fish that will give you points towards an overall score. This ranking in score is important if you want to open up other lakes and fish in other spots.

Some of the more interesting features that the game has to offer are the types of lures that you have at your disposal as you’re playing as well as some of the environments. When you actually get started, you have to select the correct type of lure in order to catch the fish that you want, and those fish are relatively picky about where and when they want to hit your lure. You might spend an hour just trying to catch a fish and when you do, you have to fight with it in order to get it into the boat, which is a task in itself. If you throw your line too far to the left or right, you’ll lose the valuable lure, which doesn’t allow you to continue until you’ve selected a new one.

The animations that you have are extremely limited in fashion, from the types of locations and the overall fishing experience. You’ll find that there isn’t anything here that will catch your eye, because there isn’t anything that really jumps out at you aside from the fish when they do happen to bite. The actual environments are slow to start and there isn’t much to them other than blue water and some sort of wave effect in the background. Any other animation is limited to simply jamming the buttons when you nail a fish and then moving your boat along the lake with a pointer to cast from that spot.

The actual music in Black Bass is atrocious and you’ll find that there is little here that you can really remember after you’ve shut off the game. If there is something here that is supposed to be a ditty that keeps your foot tapping while you’re trying to fish throughout the various lakes, then its escaped me at all angles. The different tunes that you do come into contact with come with either casting your lure or selecting a different lure from the tackle box which takes the music from semi boring to really boring. In the long run, you might do well to listen to something else while you’re playing to keep you satisfied.

Black Bass is one of those titles that escapes me on both the fun and the excitement factor as well as the general feeling that I look for when I’m playing a game of any age and type. There isn’t much here that will keep any gamer on the upswing and most might find fishing games of yesterday to take a backseat to what we have now in terms of visuals, music and overall fun. If you’re into the sportsmen type of games, then you can try this one out for the hell of it, but there isn’t much that will keep those looking for excitement all that happy and coming back for more.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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