LEGEND OF THE RIVER KING / Natsume / Game Boy



Combining fish with pretty much anything except Sandwich, Tacos and Stew usually leads to awful results. Apparently the same is true with fishing games, at least judging by Legend of the River King. It's simplistic fishing mashed up with RPG battles and a little whiff of Pokemon and the end result is just tedious and blah.

The jocking of Pokemon is obvious with the kid in the baseball cap starting out from his small village and etc., but the game has none of the sly humor that made the original Pokemon charming. This is Natsume and they're all about the Serious Fun, so this is all treated straight-faced and about as dry as it gets. The setup is that your sister is slowly dying of some disease that can only be cured by catching this super-rare fish, so off you go.



The game apparently expects you to have (and read) the manual, as nothing at all is explained in-game. It's not real complicated, but there's some little non-intuitive and annoying hinks to fishing. Like, you have to equip new bait manually after every failed or canceled cast. And actually reeling the fish in once you hook one is kind of bizarre. Also, the "cancel" button for backing out of certain things arbitrarily switches sometimes, which is obnoxious.

You can apparently raise some of the fish you catch for some reason, but I couldn't be fucked to even try that. Just catching one to sell to keep yourself in bait is enough of a struggle.



Oh, and for some weird reason there's sometimes RPG battles as you walk around looking for a good fishing spot. You can't seem to equip the kid, so you just punch it out with spiders and bats and stuff that you easily overpower. These battles seem really tacked-on and pointless.

I don't really know what was going on with this game, my best guess is some Marketroids were sitting around brainstorming how to come up with their own novel twist on how to cash in on Pokemania, and somehow they came up with fishing and kicked it down to a bunch of unfortunate devs to sew together without any real cohesive overall vision or blueprint. Whatever the case, it doesn't work. More attention should have been paid to making the core fishing action fun and not obnoxious, and the RPG battles probably should have just been entirely kicked to the curb.



Videos :

* Gameplay Video



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