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The Fun Parts
Reel Fishing is a great game to teach kids the basics of the fishing so that fishing trip you're going on this summer will be a lot more fun for them and less work for you. You can teach them a few things about lures, the basics of the rod, and mechanics involved in casting. They can learn a bit about the different types of fish they'll be fishing for and get a feel for their enthusiasm for a sport that you plan on doing a lot more of. A little expensive for the content you get in this Wii title but then this franchise has never been a budget title.
Reel Fishing provides a challenge that will have you thinking about dynamite as a solution for the boss fish you'll try to catch. Catching these fish took me quite awhile since they required a particular presentation that depended on the Wii-motions being pretty exact which was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
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The Bad Parts
Reel Fishing is a franchise that has been around for years on many different consoles but despite the years of experience and practice the fishing is basically the same. There have tried a few different things over the years but nothing to really make the virtual-fishing experience truly entertaining and immersive enough to keep a hardcore gamer occupied for more than an hour or so.
There's only one fishing hole for you to visit that never changes and with no on line option or creation features included with this title you have no options for additional fishing locations. Looking at the same features all the time can become tedious for experienced gamers who are use to a little more variety in the game play and visual presentation.
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The Graphical Picture
The 3D fishing engine that Natsume employs for Reel Fishing creates some realistic looking fish that have nice colors with very little texture. The screens included have a soft graphical look with softer colors and shadows effects that create nice perspective in the underwater screens. The surface screens are a little brighter which makes sense since there's definitely a greater amount of light above the water.
The fishing animations were pretty sparse which means they didn't include many and you won't see a fighting animation as the fish gets close to the boat. The game just cuts to a fish on the dock when it thinks you have landed the fish which is when you find out if the fish you hooked is the one you were looking for or you have wasted your time.
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Sounds in the Game
Reel Fishing's sound track is actually perfectly suited to the game play and action occurring on the screen. The sound track is an entertaining collection of soft tunes for the slower fishing moments and faster paced tunes that help to keep the energy up during the moments when you're fighting a fish. The environmental sound effects included with this title are so soothing they could put me to sleep while waiting for a bite. The sounds of the fight are a little more energetic but they're still pretty reserved despite having a nice sharp sound.
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Reel Fishing is playable enough for a casual gamer or child who hasn't fished for real but veteran fisherman or hardcore gamers will quickly get bored by this video game. Accept for the boss fish there's no real challenge in Reel Fishing and even the difficulty catching these fish can be connected to the imprecision of the controls and your lack of control over the fishing.
You can play Reel Fishing in the Challenge mode, Free Play mode or Versus mode in the multiplayer option. The Challenge mode is the only entertaining mode included. You are challenged to catch a certain number of fish within a time limit. Free Play mode is basically the same as Challenge mode only without the time limits or fish quotas. The Versus mode is only for multiplayer and allows you and up to three friends or adversaries to challenge each other.
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The Last Word
Reel Fishing does the job it was developed to do but unless you're a fisherman to begin with this title isn't likely to entertain you for long and becomes a tedious wrist exercise. The kids will enjoy fishing for awhile especially if you fish along with them and they might even learn a few things about the sport that they'll remember for their first fishing trip. Reel Fishing is recommended for young fisherman and casual family-gamers who would rather fish from the comfort of their own living room.