One of the longest running fishing video game series is now flopping about on the Nintendo 3DS. Compete in fishing tournaments to earn money to upgrade your gear so you can catch better fish. Or just relax and enjoy reeling in fish in the Free Play mode. Get into the action with unique casting and reeling controls, too.
The controls are what sets this fishing game apart from other handheld angler titles. The game uses the 3DS motion controls for casting and fighting with the fish as you reel it in. To cast, just flick your 3DS forward like how you would flick a fishing rod. You can do long casts or short ones. Unfortunately, short casts are harder to pull off, and you can’t leave the tutorial without performing one. I managed to do it eventually, but I don’t know how. Press the A button to reel in after a cast. If a fish bites, quickly jerk the 3DS up to hook it. As you fight the fish while reeling it in, you can tilt the 3DS left and right as if you are pulling the rod in those directions to keep the line from snapping.
You can compete in and unlock tournaments in various locations, like shallow lakes or deeper waters. There are varying weather conditions, too. Eventually you’ll need to buy waders and a boat to get at some fish. You usually have a certain amount of time each day to catch the largest type of species of fish specified in the tournament rules. Unfortunately, the tournaments take forever, and it is difficult to catch good fish at the beginning. Luckily you can save your game at any time, a must for a handheld title.
After your first tournament, you can try Free Fishing mode where you can just relax and fish for fun. You can put fish you’ve caught into a private pond to view, or take them to the shop to sell them or make prints from them. The shop also sells upgrades and new gear to help you fish better. If you connect your 3DS to the Internet, you can view worldwide rankings, too.
Unfortunately, there were some problems that kept me from getting ‘hooked’ on this fishing game. The tournaments are long and slow, and also rather difficult to win. The graphics are barely above N64 standards, and objects like lily pads can block your view. Luckily the fish are a little better looking than the backgrounds, but catching them can be tough. While there is a handy indicator showing you when the line will snap, there isn’t a very good way to tell which direction the fish is swimming in, and which way you should tilt the 3DS to fight it. There are emotion icons above the fish to let you know how interested they are in your lures, but usually the fish are so far away you can’t see the icons anyway. While I’ve never played a fishing game on the 3DS before, I have reviewed other fishing games on other consoles that are way more exciting than this. But if you like slower-paced fishing games that pack a challenge, you might enjoy this one anyway.
Kids will love the immersive motion controls for fishing, but take care that they flick gently and have a good grip on the 3DS so they don’t drop it. Reading skill is a must for all the text. The game could be considered slightly educational as it shows you various species of fish. But some kids may get frustrated at the high difficulty level or bored with the slower paced gameplay. Super Black Bass Fishing 3D is rated E for Everyone.