August 23, 2018

Dreamcast20 #17: Sega Bass Fishing 2

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast, Sega's final - and in my opinion the finest - home videogame console. Despite a range of excellent games, it simply failed to compete against Sony's PlayStation 2. To celebrate, The Angriest counts down its 20 best games.

I am not usually a fan of sports games, but in the case of Sega Bass Fishing and its sequel I found myself making a surprised exception. The first game was entertaining enough, but as is often the case the 2001 sequel added an impressive list of additional features that made it a richer and more appealing game. There was an expected tournament mode, but also a more relaxing free fishing mode that simply let the player go fishing in the location and style of their choice.

The game made obvious but excellent use of the Sega Fishing Controller, a specialised rod controller that better simulated the experience of fishing. Dedicated peripherals were a major element of the Dreamcast, whether the Fighting Controller, the Arcade Stick, the Microphone, Modem, Lightgun, or even a set of Maracas. The Fishing Controller was one of the more effective additions to the console, even if its uses were limited.

This is a great example of Sega's arcade titles of the time, which was a creative high point for the company. It has crisp, appealing visuals, a catchy J-rock soundtrack, simple but addictive gameplay, and just an all-round clean aesthetic. It is the sort of title that made me such an enthused fan of the Dreamcast as a console. The focus was purely on fun, and taking a simple and easy to understand task and turning it into something you simply keep replaying. The 'one more go' effect is high with this one.

The Sega Bass Fishing franchise has continued well past arcades and the Dreamcast, with subsequent installments arriving for the PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and Windows. Numerous copycat games by independent studios have also continued to hit the market over the past two decades. It's a formula that works.

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