SEGA Bass Fishing Review (Wii)

Videogame fishing and motion controls go together like eggs and bacon. You can heartily enjoy either by themselves morning, day or night. But the taste is so much sweeter when they collide.

This match made in heaven is precisely why porting the SEGA Dreamcast version of SEGA Bass Fishing to Nintendo Wii was a no-brainer. SEGA didn’t have to manufacturer and produce a new “rod” accessory to simulate the sport’s signature moves. The Wii’s default Nunchuk and Remote provide all the motion goodness needed to faithfully recreate casting and reeling in a big one.

With two controllers at their disposal, SEGA has masterfully mapped the controls to each without compromising the fishing simulation. The Remote is used to cast the line out and wiggle the bait in hopes of luring a catch. One a fish is snagged, the Remote can be jerked just like a real pole, while the Nunchuk is twisted in a circular motion to recreate reeling the line. The combination feels surprisingly natural and could feasibly only be trumped by a dedicated reel control accessory.

Because SEGA Bass Fishing is essentially a port with only a few new tweaks, the interface, scenarios and gamplay feel remarkably familiar. Upwards of 20 lures, varying weather, and 15 locations all still play a role in what types of fish appear where, while Arcade, Practice and Tournament modes offer enough variety to keep a diehard videogame fisherman entertained.

The only new true addition outside controls is a fourth Nature mode that ratchets up the difficulty a bit with short-timed sessions and fish quotas. SEGA Bass Fishing veterans will naturally drift into this stricter mode for something new, even if it isn’t that far off in execution from Tournament mode.

The rest of SEGA Bass Fishing is essentially identical to the Dreamcast version. It still looks like a game originally produced in that bygone area with overly simplified visuals and basic arcade one-liners announcing the start or a catch. SEGA’s only glaring mistake is looking past basic multiplayer head-to-head options that are sorely missed.

Aside from more natural controls offered by the Wii Remote and Nunchuk and one new gameplay mode, SEGA Bass Fishing’s Wii debut doesn’t tread any new waters. But on a motion control-based console lacking any significant fishing title to exploit its strengths, an old hardened favorite is exactly what the chef ordered.

– Dan Bradley

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