A big part of the appeal of fishing in real life is simply getting away from the joyless marraige, emasculating office job, whiny kids, etc. Hell if you actually catch any fish, sitting on a boat with some beers all day and absolutely nothing going on around you is good enough.

Sega Bass Fishing started life as an arcade game, though, and Tranquil Lake Simulator is the exact polar opposite of what arcade owners wanted. So it condenses fishing down to the core essentials repeated at high speed; you get a couple minutes in each setting and have to quickly pick your lure, pick your casting spot, slowly reel back in in the manner appropriate for that particular lure, and have a hasty dramatic struggle with a fish if they bite. You're competing to reach certain limits of total weight caught, so you're basically trying to singlehandedly replicate the output of a commercial fishing boat.

The arcade mode is included, and this forced you through a linear sequence of levels (though you got to pick the starting one), and gave you only a couple minutes in each level (with a few bonus seconds tacked on when you got a bite). Fall below your weight limits at the end of any level and there goes your quarter.

There's also "original" mode, which was added for the Dreamcast port. This has the same levels as the arcade mode, but gives you more time in each of them, and you're in a pool of 50 unseen fishermen and have to simply place in the top 10 of overall weight caught to move on. You can also choose to play as a Fisherwomyn in this mode. Data about the fish you caught is also recorded between levels for future boasting, and you can also unlock new lures as you play and look in your Tackle Box for a brief description of how to properly use them, which would have been exceptionally helpful in the original arcade game.

The game has an appealing look and is initially some fun, but quickly gets repetitive, and is rendered even more tedious when you unknowingly pick the wrong lure for the level and the fish all just sit there like -__- at it. Or when the level doesn't spawn very many fish and you're just casting about looking for anything at all. You're very much at the whim of a Random Number Generator here. I've never personally fished IRL for anything as big as some of the bass in this game, but reeling them in seems somewhat jerky and random and might not ring true for experienced casters. The game is very forgiving, so it's not frustrating, just kinda feels sloppy and all over the place sometimes.

The original arcade game had a special fishing rod controller, and they released a similar peripheral for the Dreamcast, so possibly using that might have alleviated some of the control jank when reeling fish in. On the PC you're probably stuck with the Xbox 360 pad as your best alternative, though.

Kinda fun for a bit, but I think the game was mostly designed to sell on the novelty factor in arcades and graphical "wow" factor early in the Dreamcast lifespan, and of course games like that never age very well.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video