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Fisherman’s Bait
Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Sports (Fishing)/ Simulation

Graphics & Sound:
Very pretty. Fisherman’s Bait is about the only time I can remember seeing a polygon fish. The game blends polygon elements (the fisherman and the fishies) with bit-mapped photos for background. The result is pretty good. The sound is great. Lots of ambient nature sounds, the “plunk” of the water as your line hits it, the sound of your fishing reel to the splashing of the fish as it leaps in and out of the water on your line.

There are four basic play modes to Fisherman’s Bait: Beginner (Practice with on-screen displays to help you out), Training (Choose from three different lakes as you learn to “search” for fish), Tournament (Compete for a tournament victory, and VS. (You and a friend compete in fishing).

I would have to say there really is no difficulty level. Fisherman’s Bait falls more along the lines of a simulation. The “difficulty,” for lack of a better term, is finding what combination of lures, lake, and area will “net” you (Ha! I made a pun!) the biggest fish. While some may think this is boring, others may find it fun and challenging. For myself, I found it a soothing departure from the normalities of blowing things up and punching the heads off of people’s bodies. (And I’m talking about video games, I don’t do that in real life.)

Game Mechanics:
After choosing the game mode for Fisherman’s Bait, choose a lake to fish in (if you are in a game mode that lets you choose). After arriving at the lake, you choose a fishing spot, which is what part of the lake you will be fishing in. The next step is choosing your lure -- there are several to choose from, and each behaves differently (some may hop across the top of the lake, while some will sink to the bottom, etc.). Once you’ve cast your line, you can “work it” by moving it around and by slowly reeling it in. Once a fish is hooked, a window of the fish pops up on the screen and the battle begins! As you’re reeling in the fish, make sure to keep an eye on the Tension Meter -- if it’s too red, the line may snap and your fish will be lost, so just let some line out and release the tension. When you reel in a fish, you go to the weight screen, where the fish type and weight is announced. Too small, and it gets tossed back in. The bigger the fish, the more points you are awarded.

I found Fisherman’s Bait a cool diversion from my normal video game diet. Outdoorsmen will probably enjoy this game, as will gamers who enjoy fishing. For all the others out there, if you’re at the rental store looking for something new to try, pick up Fisherman’s Bait. You just might be pleasantly surprised, like I was. Hip Waders and beer not included.

-Glom, GameVortex Communications
AKA Pete Maher

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