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Virtual Fishing Review
Author: Feel | Date: ? | Rating: 7/10


Virtual Fishing is, as you probably can guess, a fishing game for the Virtual Boy. The game was released by Pack-in-Video in December 1995 and is one of the Japan only games. Now let's get down to business.

GAMEPLAY
Actually there isn't too much gameplay in this game. You pick one of three save files, enter your name and then you're set to begin fishing! The main game consists of tournaments (two of them have to be unlocked) in which you have to catch as much fish as possible in eight minutes while competing against six computer controlled opponents. Eight minutes may sound like a whole lot of time, but it's not really.
It is the lenght, not the weight, of the fish that counts, and every fish you catch is counted towards your total fish lenght. There is also a certain fish lenght quota which needs to be met in every tournament. After picking one of the eight fishing spots the only thing you need to know is when to hook the fish. While you can change between two different baits and decide whether you want to throw the line left or right, this do not seem to alter your chances of getting fish at all. To make thing worse, in seven of the eight spots the timing always remains the same! This means that once you've learnt when to hook, you'll always win the tournaments.
The real challenge lies in the eight and also the only non-tournament fishing spot. Here you can catch up to 17 different fishes with different hooking times. After hooking a fish the game switches to an underwater view. Now the fish needs to be reeled in, which is done by holding A whenever the fish isn't swimming away from you. If you try to reel it in when it's moving, the line might break. The controls are reponsive and well thought.
After winning a tournament you unlock a time attack mode for the same spot. In time attack you have to reel in five pre-hooked fish as fast as possible. Apart from the fishing, you can read about fishes you caught in the encyclopedia, look at your records and erase your saved data. Trying to beat your own records makes you come back to the game after beating it.

STORY
From what I've seen in the game, it's pretty much non-existent. People in the game only talk about the rules, make comments about the fish you caught or congratulate the winner. And it's all in Japanese, but if you can't understand the language you're
not missing out on much.

GRAPHICS
I think this game has some nice 3D effects, especially in the underwater view! A sea bottom has never looked better, too bad there's nothing, and I mean nothing at all, between the bottom and the surface. The developers could atleast have put
some other fish in the background or something. Other nice places to look at are the fishing spot map and the actual fishing spots. The scenery is different for every spot and all of them are nice on the eyes. The fishes all have their own unique look,
but they could have been better animated. On the title screen fishes swim by and in the menus small bubbles are rising, even the ending credits are well done. All in all, this game has some really nice graphics. Not fantastic, but nice.

SOUND
The music in this game is good. The tunes help you get in the fishing mood and are all relaxing. They do their job, but are rather forgettable. Also a couple of more tunes wouldn't have hurt. The sound effects are weak and sometimes glitch. When
you're fishing you can always hear by the sound when it's time to reel the fish in, but sometimes this sound disappears. This is very annoying and makes you lose precious seconds in the tournaments.

ENDING WORDS
This game usually costs around $60 USD and is kinda rare. It's also quite short and can be beaten in about two hours. This game was only released in Japan and contains almost no English text at all, but it's still easy to grasp the basic
gameplay. I know fishing isn't for everyone, but I really
enjoyed this game even though I don't like to fish in real life or play other fishing games. If you're a collector you should definately pick this game up, but if you're a regular gamer then I don't know if it's worth it.