Andrew and James both try their hand at fishing.
A few days ago I got to check out Natsume's latest addition to the Reel Fishing series at their E3 booth.
You play the game as would be expected of a Wii fishing title, by holding the Wii remote vertically with the A button pressed, then casting forward while letting go of the button. Any angle you tilt the remote during the casting will affect the trajectory, allowing you to aim for different areas around your fishing location in search of new species to land.
Once in the water, you can lightly reel in the line to entice nearby fish, and when one finaly takes a chomp on the bait you yank the remote upwards to set the line. Then begins a delicate balance as you reel in your catch, as pulling too hard will snap the line. Reeling can be done at different strengths by holding the A or B buttons, or by shaking the Nunchuk in a circular motion. The rumble feature on the Wii Remote simulates the tugging on the line quite nicely. The game requires a certain degree of patience and finesse as does the real thing, and going into it too hastily will quickly reduce the game to a mindless chore of "reel, let go when the line strength turns red, repeat". It was not explained on the show floor whether or not you must tilt the fishing pole in the oppostite direction as the fish is swimming a-la Ocarina of Time, but given the casting controls it would make sense. I was able to land two Striped Beakfish, and the line snapped on a third attempt at some kind of red snapper-like fish when I got impatient.
The game promises to feature over 20 locations to visit in search of over 40 different varieties of fish. Even more can be added to the game via download content released at some point after the launch.
Fishing nuts or fans of the previous games in the series are sure to be impressed, but for everyone else it's hard to recommend, as there's likely going to be a Wii U title at some point in the future that does things in a much better way.
My impressions of Natsume's most recent addition to the Reel Fishing series aren't quite as forgiving as Andrew's. Not only would I urge gamers to keep their distance from the WiiWare title, but I'd have a hard time recommending it to even to the most fervent fishing fans.
As Andrew mentioned above, Reel Fishing: Ocean Challenge features over 20 different locations, more than 40 varieties of fish, and the possibility of DLC in the future. However, from my brief time with the game, even its variety cannot save it from tedious and repetitive gameplay. As is the custom with fishing games, the objective is to reel in the largest fish possible. To do this, you use your Wii Remote as a fishing poll and cast by mimicking the movements of a real fishermen. You then wait until a fish decides to take the bait. If it seems that the fish are uninterested, you can gently reel in your lure in order to entice them. This may sound fairly normal for a fishing game, but that's about as interesting as the game gets.
Once you hook a fish, you can completely ignore everything on the screen save a small gauge on the left. This gauge shows the tension of the line--too high and the line breaks, too low and the fish gets away. This is why I cannot recommend the game to anyone, even to fishing fans, as the game is really nothing more than watching a gauge so that you can reel in the fish using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.
If the game's graphics were more impressive than flat, photo realistic textures, or if you had more control over your movement from location to location rather than simply choosing one from a menu, Ocean Challenge might be a decent game for fishing fans. But if the demo is any indication of what the final title will be, I'd stay away from this fishing game.