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Let’s Fish! Hooked On (PS Vita) Review

/ May 8th, 2013 No Comments

Let's Fish
Let's Fish

Let’s Fish! Hooked On (PS Vita) Box Art

Let’s Fish! Hooked On is an arcade fishing game for the PlayStation Vita. SIMS Co., Ltd. developed the game and Wired Productions published it. The game features character designs by Akio Watanabe, also known as Poyoyon Rock. SIMS Co. has plenty of prior experience working in the fishing genre having developed Sega Bass Fishing for Dreamcast, Hooked! Real Motion Fishing, Sega Bass Fishing, and Reel Fishing: Angler’s Dream  for the Wii, and Fish On for 3DS. Let’s Fish! was originally released on Jan 29, 2013 in North America.

Story

It was all a dream! Since the day they could remember, it was always their dream to obtain it. Every year, anglers from all over the world come to compete and hopefully fulfill a fantasy they have chased since they first dropped a lure into the water. To become the Angling Master is a true honor and the dream of anglers the world over. Only one organization can dub a new Angling Master and that is the World Bass Fishing Alliance. Four young anglers are competing in this year’s Let’s Fish! Hooked On World Tour to achieve their goal of becoming the Angling Master. Each of these four youngsters have their own reasons. Whether it is Jaime who wants the attention of her childhood friend, Ryuji’s desire to live up to his father’s past glory, Kano who views the title as a way to learn to make friends finally, and of course, Ai, a young girl who wants to save her parallel world from chaos by winning the title of Angling Master and bring both worlds to peace.

These are themes everyone can identify with and find some portion of themselves in, who among us has not tried to save the world by winning a fishing tournament? The fact that Let’s Fish! has any sort of story to it is fascinating. It gets tons of credit for that fact and for having one of the craziest story conceits for this type of game. If Harry Potter  had to catch a bunch of bass to defeat Voldermort, that would have been a much more interesting film franchise. While Ryuji, Jaime and Kano have a decent interpersonal storyline, Ai really has fun with the simple idea of a narrative in an arcade fisher and easily ramps up the narrative intrigue of the game. Everything features very anime-specific writing and character quirks that are nice touches. The main problem is that the narrative delivery is a bit wonky. To disseminate the story to players, the game features slow cut scenes featuring static-to-moving images with minor animations and text scrolling. While the art is great looking, the lack of voice over makes sitting watching the scenes is dull and the inability to control the text progression is a bit annoying. Yet the existent of a story is great, but the execution lacks a bit.

Gameplay

Let's Fish

Button up them jorts, lady.

Let’s Fish! successfully reproduces the feeling of fishing with its waiting and hoping for a fish to find a wayward lure alluring. The gameplay itself has quite a bit of complexity to it. The player can either use traditional controls or the touch screen to reel in all them bass. To cast off, the gamer will press or swipe the screen and it will prompt a gauge to determine length of the cast. Once in the water, the player needs to direct the lure toward fish in the hopes of catching their attention. If the gambit is successful and the bass bites then a prompt will come up. This prompt will be in different directions one end with a fish, players need to swipe in the direction of the fish while reeling in the fish in order to keep the line from snapping. When successful, the gamer will have caught a fish and hopefully help them to win the specific tournament, challenge or skill up challenge they are entered.

In addition to the basic gameplay, there are some RPG-ish elements with the characters and each have a specialty. Players can earn SP and buy new skills (further upgrading them with more SP). Yet this leads to one of the biggest drawbacks of the gameplay, there is never really any strong indication of how any of these things work. The gameplay is mainly trial by error and tinkering around, and what a player will get out of it is largely what they are willing to put into it. The game features a tutorial mode, but it does not teach how to play the game, more it has a list of the controls and how to perform them. Then moves into a practice round where players can try out the control, but does not tip off how to learn these systems.

Graphics and Sound

Let's Fish

Cat’s in the cradle and all that.

Graphically, the game looks decent. The art style is great and the story segments with the hand drawn animation looks wonderful. Character models though range from solid (Jaime) to tortured (Ryuji). Environments are solid and they feature some good structures and differences among the fishing locale. Them bass doe, they look pretty great and the game has some good water effects. It is not nearly the droplets coating Nathan Drake’s Ambercrombie hair, but it does have a good opacity to it. Let’s Fish! features some smooth tunes to catch bass by. It is pretty calming and they change ups between songs is solid. The biggest fault with the sound is the lack of voice acting for the story segments.

Overall

Let’s Fish! Hooked On is a game that gamers will only get out of it what they are willing to put into it. For fans of arcade fishers, the game will offer some solid fishing action, but will hardly convert those who find the genre tiresome. It has some great ideas for how to integrate a story into a sports game, but has some execution problems along the way. Additionally, much credit needs to be given for integrating the Vita’s touch screen and giving gamers’ two options to play. Seriously though, go become a full fledged wizard by winning the Angling Master title!

LET’S FISH! HOOKED ON (PS VITA) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall63%

GAMEPLAY7

While the ability to attract fish and most of the finer gameplay points are a mystery due to a poor tutorial, when players find some in roads to catching fish in the game, it is a decently fun experience. Yet without the game ever really giving good tips or cluing in gamers with the details of how to play, players will only get out of the game what they are willing to put into it.

GRAPHICS6

Poyoyon Rock's hand drawn animations are gorgeous, but the 3D models based on his art generally fall flat with several character models looking tortured. The environments are not terrible at all with bass that look good and decent water effects.

SOUND6

The music is alright featuring some smooth tunes that make fishing in the game a placid experience, but the lack of voice over generally makes sitting through the game's few cut scenes tedious.

STORY6.5

The game gets a ton of goodwill for featuring a story for its World Tour mode, especially in a game where normally any thought of narrative is usually skipped over. The issue becomes that the stories for the most part are bland and narrative construction is poor.


A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. Currently, he lives in Tustin, California. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
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LET’S FISH! HOOKED ON (PS VITA) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall63%

GAMEPLAY7

While the ability to attract fish and most of the finer gameplay points are a mystery due to a poor tutorial, when players find some in roads to catching fish in the game, it is a decently fun experience. Yet without the game ever really giving good tips or cluing in gamers with the details of how to play, players will only get out of the game what they are willing to put into it.

GRAPHICS6

Poyoyon Rock's hand drawn animations are gorgeous, but the 3D models based on his art generally fall flat with several character models looking tortured. The environments are not terrible at all with bass that look good and decent water effects.

SOUND6

The music is alright featuring some smooth tunes that make fishing in the game a placid experience, but the lack of voice over generally makes sitting through the game's few cut scenes tedious.

STORY6.5

The game gets a ton of goodwill for featuring a story for its World Tour mode, especially in a game where normally any thought of narrative is usually skipped over. The issue becomes that the stories for the most part are bland and narrative construction is poor.