Rapala Fishing Pro Series (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Surprisingly, I’ve found many fishing video games to be quite fun.  And the newest is Rapala Fishing Pro Series for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (PS4 version reviewed here).  So is this game a keeper or one you’ll want to throw back?  Read on and find out!

Play control is the same in all modes, and is pretty easy to learn. First you drive your boat around a lake with the L pad and R2 shoulder button.  When you see fish on the radar, you can stop and cast.  Casting has a meter similar to golf games.  It’s hard to get your timing just right, but it doesn’t seem to matter in the game too much.  Once you have your lure in the water, you can reel it in with the R2 button.  Each lure will attract different kinds of fish, and you can equip them in the boat by pressing the triangle button.  Also, you can wiggle the lures while in the water to tempt the fish, and each lure has a different button press code to wiggle, but it’s pretty easy to learn since the game shows you which are the correct directions to press.  Once a fish bites, set the hook by pressing up and reel it in with R2.  Use the L stick to pull left and right, and if you can keep the fish in a center square long enough, you can press R3 to get a reel in bonus and pull the fish in faster.  The game does a good job teaching you the basics in the beginning, and you can always replay the tutorial if you need a refresher.

There are three modes of play.  In Solo Mode, you can pick any lake you want to start in, and they’re all based on real life lakes.  They even have Lake Guntersville in Alabama!  Yay! (I have many relatives that live near that lake, and I’ve been on it several times, myself)  As you fish, you’ll get certain goals to reach, like catch a certain number of fish, catch a fish higher than a certain weight, etc.  When you complete a goal, you’ll earn cash money.  Use the money in the shop to buy more lures, better rods, and improved fish finders and radar, as well as gear for your fisher avatar.  You’ll also need a little bit of money to compete in the other modes as well.

Such is the case with Tournament Mode.  Here you compete with other computer anglers and if you rank high enough, you can earn cash, too.  There are several different events that you compete in and they last around 15 or so minutes each.  Only problem is they’re not so clear on the rules.  You’ll know what kinds of fish you need to catch, but it’s not told if you need to catch a certain number or a certain weight.  Also, they don’t tell you that the time limit includes your trip back to the pier, so you might get penalized if you don’t get back in time and aren’t familiar with how these tournaments work

The last mode is the Daily Challenges.  They change every day, and you can choose from several tasks, like catching a certain number of fish or getting the biggest fish.  You can even upload your scores to a leaderboard, and you don’t even need a PS Plus account to do so.  If you rank high enough, you can earn money this way, too, but it’s really hard to do!

Aside from the unclear rules in the tournaments, I couldn’t find many other major faults.  Although it does seem like one big commercial for Rapala’s lures and other fishing gear.  It’s not very realistic, as fish just seem to line up to bite your line, but I didn’t mind that as it means you’re always doing something.  The graphics aren’t that great, but they’re at least serviceable.  And that’s a good way to describe the whole game, really.  Serviceable.  Not great, but not bad either.  I got some mild fun out of it at least, anyway.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text.  The game might be considered somewhat educational as it shows all kinds of fish.  Rapala Fishing Pro Series is rated E for Everyone.

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