Have you ever wanted to go on a mindless fish murdering killing spree? If you are the average human, then your answer should be “no.” However, Shimano Xtreme Fishing will give gamers the chance to do so.
There are a lot of fishing games on the Wii. So to separate itself from the crowd, the word “Xtreme” was added to the title at an attempt to build some hype and excitement around the usually slower paced sport of fishing. Catching fish the old fashion way, using a fishing rod, isn’t exactly extreme so the bow and spear options were added. It is in these two weapons does the “Xtreme” part get justified.
There are three ways to hunt for fish: rod, bow or spear. Using the Wii remote or Wii remote nunchuk combo, gameplay revolves around boating to a spot and casting your line during the rod tournaments. Once a fish takes the bait, jerk back on the Wii remote to set the hook and hold down the B button without being too tight or too loose to break the line. When reeling in your prey, the game will tell you to jerk to the Wii remote in a certain direction. However, if you hesitate for the slightest moment or misfire your Wii motion, you can expect to loose the fish. The sensitivity of the motion controls could definitely use some tweaking. Each tournament also takes way to long to complete, and it really becomes frustrating to have to replay a 40 minute tournament.
Luckily, gamers will probably be spending more time using the bow than the rod. Putting it nicely, you can bet that whenever the bow is selected, just about every fish in the lake will be totally screwed. With the bow’s unlimited ammo and fast reload speed, the player is free to fire away at the poor bastards as you boat around the pond. You might as well be hunting fish with dynamite or quite literally, shooting fish in a barrel. Sure the player is awarded more points for consecutive hits, but it is way more fun to give that meaty bass a headshot with a follow up arrow to the ass even if you miss half a dozen times in the process. The only that holds back the player from driving every fish to extinction is the sometimes spotty hit detection and the scoring system. It is a little upsetting to see what should have been a well placed headshot go right through the target. Also, the game’s scoring system is just as random. The game will award bonus point for shooting a target that is far into the distance or that is moving, but sometimes you will get the “extreme bonus” when you shoot fish right next to the boat and not when you nail one from far away.
As entertaining as the bow is, the spear also has its highlights. When using the spear, the player is no longer perched from the comfort of the seat on the boat, but rather dons the wetsuit and oxygen tank and takes the battle to the fish’s home turf – in the water. Here, the player can swim anywhere in this 3D environment and pick off any fish that stands in your way. The war against the fish is somewhat on more even ground here as large predators can attack you. Alligators and even hammerhead sharks can stalk and kill you if you are not careful. Luckily, you have all the means to defend yourself thanks to your trusty speargun. Besides picking off snappers and pike, it is pretty “Xtreme” to take on a shark head on. It is kind of strange, however, to be shooting hammerhead sharks when in a pond though…but when you spell “Xteme” without the first “e,” you probably should not take this game too seriously anyway.
Unlike some Wii game’s that use a unique art style, Shimano goes for the realistic approach. While not mind blowing, the game’s graphics work well for the Wii and for this style of game. In between loading screens, an “xtreme” metal riff will transition one screen to another. However, this 15 second metal riff is about the only music found in the whole game.
Besides this fishing game, Mastiff has also recently published Remington Great American Bird Hunt on Wii. There are many similarities between this game and this skeet shooting Duck Hunt style bird shooter. In fact, the game seems like it runs on the same engine and even shares the exact same annoying announcer phrases between these two games. And although I have not personally played it, Mastiff’s third game, Deer Drive, looks like it shares these similarities too. If these games were sold as a bundle all on one disc, then it might actually not have been so bad and could even have warranted a slightly higher price point.
Shimano, not taking itself too seriously, will provide a decent amount of entertainment…for about the first two times you play it. Blasting the snot out of fish with a bow and spear is actually fun for a short while, but once this novelty wears off there is little reason to go back. If you find this title in a bargain bin somewhere, it is worthy of a purchase at a lower price, even though the cheap fish killing thrills will be short lived.
Better Than: murdering sea creatures in real life
Not As Good As: the fishing mini game in Ocarina Of Time
Also Try: being friends with PETA
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