SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$9.99

DEVELOPER
Syscom

PUBLISHER
Take 2

RELEASE DATE
07/00

Action Bass Review

By: John Doe


There are some things very right about playing a fishing game, none of which I can think of at the moment. To me, if you really need to sit down and virtual fish, you either live in the Sahara Desert or you are just really, really lazy. But to each his own. This game may just entice you to drop a ten spot and try out a genre that you hasn't hooked you before. Hooked. Get it? See, the delicious puns are even thrown in at no extra charge.


Highs:
Lows:

First off, it should be noted that this game is priced just under $10, which is certainly a good value for a PlayStation game, which often are priced at a bare minimum of $50. But I'm not approaching this review from a "Well Its pretty good for a cheap game" angle. Yes, you can buy a beat-up, piece-of-crap old beater of a car for an inexpensive price too, but it doesn't make it good. The price is great, but I'm going to analyze it just like any other game.

A majority of modern fishing games have extremely detailed 3-D environments, but this is not the case with Action Bass. Instead of concentrating on creating full-roaming 3-D settings, the above-water backgrounds have gotten much more attention, and are more detailed than most other fishing games on the market. Beautiful reflective surfaces and background elements bring a nice touch to the game. But the game is marred graphically by tons of pop-up and clipping underwater. The bass aren't particularly detailed either, and the underwater scenery is fairly bland.

The background effects and nature sounds in AB are very realistic, and though they aren't exactly jaw dropping, they enhance the game quite a bit. There really isn't a whole lot of music, so the background sounds are really allowed to shine. Other than the cool sound effects, there isn't really a whole lot else to comment on.

The gameplay runs against the grain to most fishing games. Whereas many other comparable games concentrate on realism to the tiniest detail, AB is much more of an arcade-style title. The fishing is quite fast-paced, and the emphasis is mostly on keeping thing interesting than on realistic simulation. At the start of the game, players only have four different lures available to them, which grows to five after the game progresses, and continues to increase as you move to different stages. The games main game mode, named Challenge Mode, revolves around tournament action, where you must place in the top three to progress, and there is a minimum fish size for it to be included in your score.

Also available is Free Mode, which is basically a practice mode where you can develop your skills with no time limit, or competition. The main challenge is this game is mostly figuring where most of the bass are lumped together in the water, and then figuring out which lure is most appropriate. Fishing knowledge or experience is definitely not necessary, which is both a blessing and a curse - while non-fishing fan gamers may find the arcade-style action exciting, those looking for a realistic fishing experience will probably be turned off to the game. You can't drive your boat around to look for more areas to fish, and the fast-paced arcade action really doesn't even try to replicate the true experience of fishing.

Overall the minimalist action found in this game will appeal to some and completely turn-off others. If you're looking for a deep, long-lasting game that will keep you entertained for months, you certainly won't find it here, but if you're looking for cheap thrills that will probably hold you for maybe a week at most, this is your game. Basically it's what you would expect from a $10 game.

OVERALL
6.0

GRAPHICS
5.0

CONTROL
6.5

MUSIC/FX
7.0

FRUSTRATION
3.0

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