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Fishing Resort

by James Jones - January 6, 2012, 2:07 pm PST
Total comments: 5


It's more than just fishing, although I'd be lying if I said if you didn't do a lot of fishing.

It seems a bit unnecessary to explain Fishing Resort: this is perhaps the most descriptive (and least creative) title of any game in history. However, for the sake of “the process,” Fishing Resort is a game about an island where you can fish. A lot. For those already beginning to tune out there is a pretty major surprise here: Fishing Resort is a surprisingly involving title with a great deal of unexpected, although assuredly fish-related, diversity.

Fishing, obviously, is the main draw. I’m hardly a professional angler, but Fishing Resort has given me my own “fish that got away” stories. Protracted battles with massive fish punctuate extended periods of tranquil quiet. A seemingly endless menagerie of fish, from absolutely tiny to impossibly gigantic, make each new species caught the source of a brief celebration. With over 200 species to catch, spread across the island’s eight biomes, it seems impossible to catch ‘em all. It hasn’t stopped me from getting invested in the pursuit. Getting on streaks of catching the same fish is enough to draw ire, especially when trying to expand the fish collection and level up.

Yes, Fishing Resort has a level system. Beyond the simple quest for sea creatures, Fishing Resort is a bit of a semi-open world RPG. While it’s a bit of an old example, Mario Tennis on the GBA is a good approximation. Each of the island’s zones is populated with more than just fish. Throughout are people offering up quests, mini-games, and challenges that can be completed for points (money). These points can be spent to gain access to new areas on the island, buy better tackle, rent vehicles for your daily travels, upgrade the aquarium that houses your fish collection, and yes, pay your lodging fees. It’s true most of the quests follow the “if you have a hammer…” line of thinking, but with a fishing rod; the name of the game is Fishing Resort, so that’s perfectly acceptable (and sometimes silly – “catch a fish to find a lost child”).  

While most of the non-fishing isn’t that interesting on its own, exploring the massive and diverse areas of the island does prove a nice distraction and makes earning access to other parts of the island a good impetus to keep at it. Fishing Resort probably isn’t the kind of game somebody can play for hours at a time: the very act of reeling by “reeling” the Nunchuk can prove exhausting. It is, however, the kind of game that I can (and have) return to for short play sessions every day. It’s also worth noting that the quests you get from people aren’t very numerous, although the ones you can get from the resort staff can be repeated.

Fishing Resort has a silly personality that presents a nice contrast to the rather sedate fishing. It isn’t an explicit attempt at humor. Rather, it is a more subtle series of accents within the game world that provide brief moments of levity. It would be best to explain by citing instances of a rather simple part from the game: displaying the catch. After catching most fish my character holds up the catch, it is measured and given a letter grade, and a happy jingle plays. When a small fish is caught the camera zooms in hard, as the fish really is small, leaving only half of my angler’s face in shot. When the fish is just a couple of inches long it can be a funny image. Catching seaweed or driftwood does exactly the same thing, even the jingle, but instead the fisher’s face is contorted into a grimace. Fishing Resort is full of these small, but charming, touches that make the game more inviting.

The visual style of Fishing Resort is a bit of an odd mix. Your character is probably the closest approximation to Nintendo’s own Miis that I have ever seen, except he can wear actual clothing (which you can buy). However, the setting and the fish are very realistically styled and look very sharp. It’s an interesting, although not at all unpleasant contrast. Just exploring the island is enjoyable because of all the hidden channels there are to navigate, and it would not be nearly as engaging if not for the white sands, blue coastal waters, verdant jungles, and frozen wastes. It’s worth getting up early (in game time) to see the stars in the sky and watch the sun rise, if only once.

The game makes a minimalist use of sound. Much like real fishing, things tend to be very quiet and solitary until the fish is on hook. In fact, the only time music plays in game is either in the lobby of a hotel or when you have a bite. It fits with the game: it is peaceful overall, but punctuated by moments of extreme action.

Fishing Resort is a very good package. There are a lot of things to do, and the world they’re done in is attractive and inviting. The slight quirkiness adds a touch of seasoning to what might otherwise be somewhat dry. The game controls well and captures the essence of the fishing experience. Fishing Resort is more than just fishing, but it still might be one of the most approachable fishing games on the market.


  • Lots of beautiful places to see
  • Lots of fish to catch
  • Lots of things to do
  • Extended periods of fishing will destroy wrists
  • Waiting for a bite can get dull


shinyray01January 06, 2012

Now i feel incline to buy it, from what i heard from RFN and now this review. it has been mostly positive comments.

BlackNMild2k1January 06, 2012

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Fishing Resort Wii - $19.99

Looks really good if your into fishing and want a free roaming environment to do it in on the Wii.

NintendadJanuary 07, 2012

Another favorable review. I'm most certainly picking this up when I complete Zelda. I wish someone would try the rod attachment out and review that with the game.

finchiekinsJanuary 09, 2012

I'm happy seeing good reviews for this low-profile game. It sounds very River King-ish! It'd be nice to see more fishing rpg's, but they're understandably not too popular.

goodnewsdocJanuary 10, 2012

I've never offered up a game review prior to now, but when I began searching for "help" with Fishing Resort and discovered that hardly anything had been posted by users of the game, I felt obliged to throw my two cents worth into the mix.

I'm a disabled Navy veteran and was once an avid fisherman - both salt and fresh water fishing kept me busy for over 40 years of my life. I'm now 54 and fully retired.

Fishing Resort was given to me by my wife for Christmas. It was an excellent choice given my physical limitations and the tedious hours of boredom I endure. Enough about me, though - onto the game.

When I opened the game, I had near instant flashbacks to fishing games I'd played on my PC back in the late 1990s - games that were slow, boring, and terribly unrealistic. Fishing Resort has proven to be light years beyond those early fishing games. From its color scheme and artwork, to the mini-games built into it, it proves to be an excellent way of passing time - passing time with the challenge of a progressively leveled game that requires planning, skill, and patience.

I was disappointed that my Mii from Wii couldn't be imported for my character. I was relegated to using a rather goofy, child-like, avatar whose only resemblance to me is my tan and gray hair. The available wardrobe for dressing the fisherman is akin to outfits worn by toddlers. I was glad when I built up my points to the level where I could dress my character more like a fisherman. Accessories such as hats are just plain silly - the large straw hat is so big that it sometimes blocks your view of your line, bobber, or the fish you're fighting.

The premise of the game is simple. You're on a fishing vacation at an island resort. Your daily activity is governed by a clock. When the fishing day is over, you have to go to your motel room, check your bulletin board, and yes, you must go to BED. Don't be discouraged though, sleep time is a short-lived pause for the game to save data. Your character "wakes" in a few seconds at 7 a.m. - ready to fish another day.

Initially, you're provided a beginner's rod, reel, and free bait. These are suitable for catching the smaller reef fish, but as soon as you amass enough points from turning in your catch every day, you'll want to upgrade to stronger equipment and baits for regular and larger fish. In the advanced levels, you will be able to catch Alligator Gars 11 feet in length. As you advance in skill level, the game opens up new locations and new species for you to catch. The locations range from beaches, to ponds, to rivers, and lakes. With each new fishing venue, you will check out of your hotel and be transported to a different hotel. There, you will check in and familiarize yourself with the species at the new location.

You will find yourself fishing from the beach, piers, rocky cliffs, and from river banks. Additionally, you'll operate high powered bass boats, Zodiac style inflatable boats, kayaks, etc. Each requires a brief learning period.

To save travel time from hotels to your fishing destinations, you can acquire a map from the bulletin board near the fishing center in the hotel. You can use the map to "warp" to your preferred destination for the day. Since the hours of the day are condensed, getting to your fishing destination as quickly as possible gives you more time to catch fish. Fish caught equals points earned. Rarer species generate more points.

Now, about fishing. The rod is your Wii controller. Your reel handle is the nunchuk.  It won't take you long to figure out how to cast and reel. You can fish with a float and bait or with lures. I've found the float fishing method to be more reliable - with less wear and tear on the wrists. Using the joystick on the nunchuk allows you to zoom in on your fishing float. Just like with "real" fishing, the bobber will dip when you're getting a bite, whereupon you'll set the hook with a quick jerk of the Wii controller. Timing is important. If your timing is off, you'll lose your bait OR you'll snag a piece of driftwood or seaweed. Don't be discouraged by the driftwood catches - even driftwood gives you points (as does the seaweed). As you fight the fish you've hooked, the controller will buzz in an attempt to simulate resistance. You'll quickly learn to angle the controller left, right, or upright as you fight the fish. The game gives you an indicator of the position the rod/controller should be positioned - miss the position too much and your line snaps and you lose the fish. Most fish will run some distance - stripping off line. (A line footage indicator keeps you abreast of how far out the fish is.) Your job is to reel fast enough (or slow enough) to maintain proper tension on the line. A tension indicator helps you know when the tension is too little or too much. YES, you really have to play the fish like the real thing. HOWEVER, you are rewarded with some pretty exciting fights including jumps, thrashing, etc. Just wait until you're in the jungle and you latch onto your first huge alligator gar!

Oh, before I forget to mention this, you CAN see into the water in most fishing situations. So, you aren't at the mercy of the game when it comes to what you're going to catch all the time. For instance, when fishing from the piers, you can see the tropical fish clearly. If you don't want to catch the species that is about to bite, you can reel in a couple of turns and scare that fish away. You can also cast directly to species you need to catch. For instance, when fishing in the jungle rivers and you've already caught plenty of peacock bass, but you still need to catch an alligator gar, reel the bait away from the bass and see if a gar will come and take the bait. Better yet, move your boat into a position where you can see the gars (or whatever species you need) and cast directly to them.

Note: Some of the bigger species fight for two or three minutes - so you don't want to waste a lot of time fighting species you DON'T need. Those two or three minutes equate to perhaps an hour of your fishing day - use that precious time to stalk and catch fish you actually need. Pull away from the undesired fish and cast toward something you need because before you know it, the day will suddenly end and you're forced to go back to the hotel or lodge and turn in the day's catch. If I hook something I don't want, I will intentionally break my line by not fighting the fish properly (i.e., reeling too fast or not holding my rod at the right angle). This will make perfect sense when you start fishing at the amateur and pro levels.

This is a game that takes a lot of time. You can easily spend two or three hours before you know it. Once you're hooked, you're hooked.

One added distraction to this game is that early on, you will have the opportunity to speak with "other" guests at the resort. PLEASE do so. These characters have various message bubbles over their heads. Some of them just want to talk about the weather, others give you tasks to complete, others give you clues about mini-games you can play or sell you licenses to fish at new destinations. In the main hotel lobby will be a character who'll ask you to catch fish for the aquarium. The next thing you know, you're the director of the darn thing - with about 14 different tanks - half saltwater, half fresh, some tropical, some temperate, some arctic. Throughout the game, everything you catch goes in these tanks. You'll use the points you amass to decorate the tanks. The more fish you add, the more visitors come to the aquariums and you gain daily points for the visits. As of this writing, I get close to 40,000 points per day from visitors. I've put well over 1,000,000 points into aquarium improvements, but with bonuses and point values for each fish I've caught, it didn't really take that long (maybe a couple of weeks of daily play). You might be thinking, "I'm not buying a fishing game to end up being an interior decorator at a large aquarium!" But, the end result is STUNNING! The fish are amazingly lifelike, brilliantly colored, and the swimming action is authentic. Your aquariums will include lobsters, shrimp, octopus, squid, killer whales, sharks, stingrays, tuna - and even penguins! As you tour your aquariums, you may chose to just sit and watch as the fish interact and swim in a perfectly orchestrated underwater ballet. It's as soothing as the real thing - with one exception - YOU caught the critters in the tanks. (except for the penguins - they just show up after an ice fishing trip).

I've completed about five of the eight fishing resorts at this point and I'm having a bit of trouble advancing. Before I can move on to the next resort, I have to catch a certain catfish in a lake and I can't find it. I'm sure it's just a matter of time, but it is frustrating.

Oh, by the way, you have to pay for your hotel rooms and transportation out of the points you earn from your catch, so it pays to fish like crazy and catch as many fish as you can each day. If you find something like the "demon stinger" fish, catching several of them will give you bonuses -- there are many species like that -- take advantage whenever you start catching something odd. One fish might be worth 75 points, another might be worth 1,500. Earn as many points as you can.

Also, inside your suitcase is a fishing guide with sections for each resort destination. Check it to see which species you still need to catch. That way, you won't waste time catching the same species over and again. Another way to gain bonuses is to check the bulletin board near the Fishing Center - there you will find activities to participate in (like trolling or ice fishing or tournaments). Also, you'll find 3X5 cards posted with bonuses offered for specific species. These cards will also tell you EXACTLY where to catch them.

Good luck with your game - happy fishing!

The Goodnewsdoc

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Fishing Resort Box Art

Genre Simulation
Developer Prope

Worldwide Releases

na: Fishing Resort
Release Nov 22, 2011
PublisherXseed Games
jpn: Family Fishing
Release Aug 04, 2011
PublisherNamco Bandai

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