Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Animal Crossing + Endless Ocean = Yuji Naka's Fishing Resort

Up 'til now, my experience with fishing games has been limited to the enjoyably relaxing mini-games that were included in the Animal Crossing titles and in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

That shouldn't surprise me as much as it does, as I've fished just a handful of times (if that) in the 34 years since I was born. Also, the only fishing game that has even slightly piqued my interest since I began gaming as a youngster was the Dreamcast version of Sega Bass Fishing--and that was due, mainly, to me suffering from "Dreamcast fever" at the time.

Interestingly, the fishing game that may finally get me to bite into this genre has a connection to the company responsible for that wonderful little system. The title in question: Yuji Naka's Fishing Resort (Family Fishing in Japan), which will be released stateside for the Wii this fall courtesy of the folks at XSEED Games. (Naka, currently the head honcho at Prope, used to work for Sega's Sonic Team.)

Why am I so interested in this game? Watch the following (Japanese) trailer and see for yourself:

Don't worry if you couldn't make it through all three minutes and thirty-one seconds of the trailer. The following description should do a similarly bang-up job of helping you understand why a non-fisherman like myself would be intrigued by this title.

"Players are put in control of their own island vacation and free to do as they please--get up early in the morning and try to grab massive fish in the deep sea, or rent a bicycle and travel to a remote lagoon. Players are free to fish wherever there is water, and a variety of locales are available, from tropical ocean fishing on the high sea to ice fishing atop the island’s mountains. With over 20 fish-related mini games and over 200 varieties of fish available--not to mention four-player competitive modes and online leaderboards, which show players how they stack up against other anglers around the world--there’s plenty of content for both casual players and completionists alike."

Sadly, the "special controller" the folks at Namco Bandai created for the Japanese version of the game (check it out here) won't be accompanying Fishing Resort to our shores. It's hard to complain about, though, since it likely would have made the title more expensive--and thus less appealing--to a lot of potential buyers.


LottieTwintails said...

You too, huh? Yeah, oddly, even though I'm not really into fishing games, this game looks too interesting (and cute) to pass up on.

I'm probably more interested in collecting new costumes and wandering around the island than I am with catching fish, but I'm hoping there's enough variety in the minigames to keep me occupied regardless.

I also know of the River King series which are sort of RPG-fishing game hybrids, but I've never been quite interested enough to play them.

I'm wondering if it's possible to import that special controller...?

Bryan Ochalla said...

I hear ya, Kamiwoo. I'm surprisingly interested in the catching fish part of the game, though -- esp. since I had loads of fun fishing in the Animal Crossing games I've played.

As for the River King games -- I've heard of them, but know next to nothing about them. I may have to check them out soon, too.

Oh, and, yes, I would guess it's possible to import the controller, too, although you're sure to pay a lot more for it than you would if it were released here.

Unknown said...

Oh man, I was almost going to pick up the River King game for the DS the other day because it was like $10. Then I read some reviews and saw that it might actually be rather bad? But now you guys are making me want it again.

Just so you know, I believe the DS one, released by Natsume, is the first and only River King game to be localized in English. Apparently the others are notoriously hard and so they made this one easier to entice newcomers, but it kind of flopped.

Haha, get it? -_-;

Unknown said...

Oh hey, I just noticed you updated your now playing list to include Sugar Shooter! How are you liking it?

LottieTwintails said...

I'd rather a game not be too hard and keep the player floundering at the beginning with no chance to advance...

I swore I heard about a "Legend of the River King" for Gameboy Color or something back in the day, is that the same series...? It was released in English, too.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Anne! Hmmm, I seem to remember at least one other River King game being localized. I'm going to have to look it up and get back to you. If you're right, though, that the DS is the only one in English and it's crap, that's too bad :( The series sounds pretty interesting!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Anne: I'm actually enjoying Sugar Shooter a LOT! It took me a little while to figure everything out (I've literally never played a bullet-hell shooter before), but after I did so I started having a blast. I just got to the final boss (on easy mode, admitted) a few minutes ago, interestingly enough. To say it's tough would be an understatement. Still, it's a lot of fun -- esp. in short doses. I'm going to write up a review this weekend and post it next week, so keep an eye out for it :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Kamiwoo: I agree. Games that get hard as they progress are fine with me, but if they start off hard and stay there it's annoying. Thankfully, I'm guessing Fishing Resort will not be one of those games :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Anne: According to good ol' Wikipedia, four River King games have been released in the US so far -- two for the GBC, one for the PS2 and one for the DS. Anyway, if you *do* ever check any of them out, let me know, will ya?

Viewtiful_Justin said...

This game looks way sweet! I haven't played a fishing game since Bass Masters Classic for the SNES, which my dad, his girlfriend, and myself played the hell out of way back in the good ol' days.

I've been looking for a good fishing game for a while, and this one is the first I've seen that looks full-featured enough to be worth getting! I'm thinking this might be a must have for me.

Bryan Ochalla said...

That's great, Justin! We'll have to try to play each other online if we both get the game. Anyway, I'm really looking forward to it -- and possibly Namco Bandai's Go Vacation!, which looks like this game mixed with Wii Sports Resort.

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Yeah, I'm keeping an eye on that one, too. I'm confused as to what it actually is at the seems like a game with an identity crisis.

Unknown said...

Aw, thanks for the correction, Bryan and Kamiwoo. It was the River King: Mystic Valley for the DS I was thinking of, not sure why I thought that was the only one released in English... Sorry, I should complete my research before saying stuff like that!

I did read a couple of reviews of it, though, including one at RPG Gamer (I quite like them, they're usually in line with my personal tastes and their reviews are always pretty informed), and I believe they said the story was severely lacking and the gameplay was easy/not developed enough. It's a shame, though. Maybe it'd be worth checking out which of the River King games in English are considered the best?

So glad you're liking Sugar Shooter, Bryan! I'm thinking of picking it up sometime soon myself. The only bullet-hell shooter I've ever played is Einhander, and I'm not sure it qualifies (is bullet-hell a subcategory of shmup? I'm not sure the difference). Can't wait to read your review!

Bryan Ochalla said...

Huh, I thought the game's premise made sense when I first read about it -- or at least as much sense as the premise for Wii Sports Resort. My fear with Go Vacation! is that games that try to do lots and lots and lots of things rarely do many of them well. I'll definitely be waiting for impressions before picking it up.

Bryan Ochalla said...

You don't have to apologize, Anne! I wasn't trying to correct you, not at all. I just wanted to see for myself how many River King games were localized for the NA market, as I remembered reading about the PS2 version a while back.

I agree with you about RPG Gamer. I love that site!

As for Sugar Shooter -- yes, I'm definitely enjoying it. Oh, and, yes, bullet-hell shooters *are* a subcategory of regular ol' shooters/shmups. I couldn't tell you all the things that make a game a bullet-hell shmup, but the most obvious is that enemies/bosses shoot a LOT of bullets at you. Also, the player's ship (or whatever) often has a very small "sweet spot." If a bullet doesn't hit that sweet spot, it doesn't count as a hit -- even if your ship is quite a bit larger than the sweet spot.

This one also has an interesting mechanism that I believe is part of most bullet-hell shmups: When you're not shooting, you can absorb some enemy bullets, and the energy you received from these absorbed bullets helps you increase the power of your own bullets/weapon.

I have to warn you that the game is somewhat ... pornographic, for lack of a better word. As you continue to wail away at your opponents, they lose their armor/clothes and become ever closer to naked. Also, when you defeat them, you get to see a short cut scene that generally involves nakedness and some sort of sex act. It's all pretty tame, really, especially since all of the characters (men) are more than a little cartoonish, but I'm sure some folks (yes, even gay men) would be turned off by it.

Personally, I find the images kind of hot -- or at least a little hot. Plus, the overall art style is quite appealing, so even if you don't like the short cutscenes I think you could like the game overall.

My only issue with the game at this point: I'm not sure I would have been willing to spend $15 on it. I could see it being $5 or even $10, but $15 seems a bit steep to me, esp. since it's basically a boss-rush, bullet-hell shmup. That said, I'm definitely thinking at this point that I'll buy the sequel when it's released later this year ... if I have to. (The folks at Dudele Studio gave me the original for free.)

I really should just copy and paste the above into a post and publish it as my review, but I'm sure I'll start from scratch and try to make it a bit saucier :)