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Sega Bass Fishing Duel
PS2 Staff Review by Aaron "Bearsfan" Thomas

Sega Bass Fishing Duel is the latest and I guess someone would call it greatest fishing game to hit the Playstation2. The game allows you to fish in several different environments, enter tournaments and even compete against friends - a substantial list of features for a game emulating the sport. However, if you dont have much of an interest in fishing, theres no chance in hell that youll like this game, but if you are an angler, youll probably dig it.

The good thing is that SBFDs whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While most fishing games arent particularly sharp looking, SBFD didnt even try, and looks more like an early Dreamcast game than a current PS2 game. This is of course because it was originally a Dreamcast game. The fishing areas are small enough that they could have been very detailed, but it seems like the developers were saving polygons up for something that they never got around to programming. The water looks average, with no particular effects to make it look like real water.

The good thing is that the fish all look pretty good, but if you dont know a Bass from a Crappy, this wont matter to you much. There arent enough animations for the fish either, as youll see them swim towards the lure, then pop into a ready to bite position, and then pop into the swimming motion again. All in all, this is about as bland as a game can look.

If the graphics are an indication of how bland a game can look, then the sound effects are a good example of how bland a game can sound. The music is some horrible 70s sounding malarkey, and is so bad they would have done better to not have any music at all. Theres a cheesy announcer, kind of like the Ridge Racer guy, and you pretty much end up wanting to throw him into the lake after an hour or so. The sound effects are decent enough, but theres only so much you can do with fish and water.

SBFD offers several gameplay modes for the at-home angler. For the laid back fisherman, you can free fish in one of the games six fishing spots, or if your competitive juices are going, you can head to a tourney, or compete with a friend. The modes are all very basic, but I guess thats the beauty of fishing for most people - its simple.

Catching a fish is easy, but landing a big ones a little more difficult. After youve cast, you slowly reel in with the R1 button, and you can jerk the line with the analog stick. If youve got the skills, hell bite, and you can hook him and start reeling him in. Attention must be paid to the tension on your line, because if it gets too great the line will snap and youll be telling stories of the one that got away. To net your catch, you simply line up a meter and voila, youve got a fish. Sega did a nice job of creating an easy to learn, yet hard to master control scheme, and it works well.

On a whole, the game is solid, but its certainly not for everyone. The action, while taking place at a faster pace than real fishing is certainly going to be too slow for many, and theres just not much to do but cast and reel for hours at a time. Since you can buy they game on the Dreamcast, a Dreamcast and the fishing controller for only a little more than just the cost of this game, its tough to recommend this as a purchase to anyone but the most hardcore fisherman.

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"The action, while taking place at a faster pace than real fishing is certainly going to be too slow for many"

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