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Bassmasters 2000

Rated E for Everyone

Platform:

Nintendo 64 (N64)

Publisher:

THQ

Developer:

Mass Media

Released:

November 1999

ROM Size:

128 Megabits

Players:

One to Two Simultaneous

Genre:

Sports (Fishing)

Save:

Controller Pak (7 pages)

Optional:

Rumble Pak

 

 

> Final Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0

Introduction

Only the N64 could be unfortunate enough to receive more fishing games in one year than RPGs. Yet, strangely, one could make a case that THQ's fishing game (Bassmasters 2000) is more fun to play than its RPG (Quest 64). Whether you actually like real-life fishing or not, Bassmasters 2000 is easy-to-play, entertaining, fun, and authentic.

 

Bassmasters 2000 is officially endorsed by B.A.S.S. (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society) for real pros, real lakes, real tournaments, and real equipment.  Emphasis is split between simulation and arcade depending on the game mode. Best of all, Bassmasters 2000 is the only N64 fishing game to feature a two-player mode.

Gameplay & Control

You choose from four game modes in Bassmasters 2000: Exhibition, Tournament, Speed Fishing, and Casting Game. Two-player simultaneous play is available in every mode except Tournament.

 

In the Exhibition mode, you can change numerous settings, then go out and catch as many bass as possible in one day. Entering the Tournament mode sends you on the BASS Masters Tournament Trail to try to qualify for the BASS Masters Classic. These two modes represent the more simulation-like aspects of the game.

 

Two original arcade-style modes are Speed Fishing and Casting Game. The goal of the former is to catch the most fish in three minutes. Well, except, catching fish gives you additional time, so the matches usually last longer. The latter's objective is to cast your lure into floating targets to test your accuracy. The highest score is the winner.

 

Many options can be changed as well. First, in the Exhibition mode, you can configure Lake Conditions. That means you can change weather, temperature, water, season, fishing time, and more. Your boat, if applicable, and tackle (rod, line, and lure) also can be switched if you desire.

 

Regular options exist, too. The difficulty level can be toggled among beginner, amateur, rookie, and professional. You can decide if you want the Lure Cam always on, strike only, or never. The controller configuration can be switched to one of 11 settings, including one specifically for the Mad Catz Rumble Rod. Finally, individual sound levels can be adjusted for music, sound effects, and commentator.

 

Before describing how to fish, let's look at the screen first. The Lure Cam is for the one-player mode. It shows your lure in the water. A Humminbird Fishfinder will be displayed (in the one-player mode only) when using the Trolling or Outboard motors. It displays water depth and fish underneath the boat. Player one's sound effect for this is a bell, whereas player two's sound effect is a gong. Also displayed on the screen are a wind speed meter, a location indicator, and a clock.

 

Next, let's look at the controls of Bassmasters 2000. When fishing, the A button is slow reel, the B button is fast reel, and B+A is medium reel. The Z button brings up the menu wheel. The menu wheel gives you the opportunity to drive the boat elsewhere, to change your tackle, to look at the live well, and, in the one-player mode, to look at a map or get tips. The Z button also increases the drag. Conversely, the R button decreases the drag. The L button will cut your line. The Control Pad trolls the boat. For the C group, the Top C button changes the camera angle, the Bottom C button toggles above and underwater views, and Left and Right C rotate the camera. That leaves the Control Stick for casting, but it also drives the boat where applicable.

 

Actual fishing in Bassmasters 2000 is easy to master. To cast, just hold back on the Control Stick and release it to the neutral position when you're at the desired distance. A target icon moves across the water to show where you'll cast. Once your lure has landed in the water, the view will switch to underwater. With your line in the water, Line Out, Lure Depth, and Drag indicators appear on the screen. You'll want to keep an eye on Line Out and Lure Depth so your lure isn't too shallow or too deep and so your line isn't too far or too close.

 

Once you get a bite, pull back on the Control Stick to set the hook. Then you can start to reel in the fish. When the hook is set, a Tension meter appears on the screen. If it becomes red, you'll need to loosen the drag with the R button so the line doesn't break. But once the fish is tired, you can increase the drag (a.k.a. tension) with the Z button to reel it in faster.

 

But just because you catch something doesn't mean you get to keep it. You're only allowed to put bass in the live well, so all other caught fish must be let go. This is a bass fishing game, after all. By the way, the Rumble Pak is a perfect fit for this type of game.

 

Although Roland Martin, who has provided two-dozen tips, and Shaw Grigsby, Jr. are in the game, you have the option to create your own angler for saving to the Controller Pak. You can customize name, gender, hat, hair, face, life vest, pants, and shoes. A maximum of seven anglers may be saved, and all tournament, stats, winnings, and equipment will be saved.

 

So how does all this come together? It's easy and fun to fish in Bassmasters 2000, but it's not necessarily easy to catch many bass. Impatient gamers' best bet would be to go into the Speed Fishing game where fish are plentiful. Because in the Exhibition and Tournament modes, many variables, such as time of day, weather condition, lure, and lake environment, determine where you can find fish. That's where the realism comes in.

Graphics & Sound

For a game released three years after the system came out, Bassmasters 2000 isn't graphically impressive. Perpetually calculated real-time wave effects are non-existent. High-resolution graphics can't be found here. Backgrounds, which are fogged in, are nothing to write home about, either. In fact, the low-res, blurry graphics, which even can get blocky, are disappointing overall. The game's saving graces are the anglers and the fish. Each is modeled well in 3D and lends to the authenticity. And although the semi-translucent, rippling water may not be impressive like Wave Race 64, it does get the job done.

 

The sound in Bassmasters 2000 fares better than the graphics. Stereotypical "hick" music (an upbeat violin song) populates the game. It's lively and composed well. Furthermore, realistic sound effects and actual speech from the pros are included. The aural experience does a good job of conveying the environmental sounds of fishing and adding music where appropriate.

Conclusion

In-Fisherman Bass Hunter 64 or Bassmasters 2000? Overall, Bassmasters 2000 is the better N64 fishing game, if only because of its arcade modes and two-player simultaneous action. It's not aesthetically impressive, but fishing fans will be satisfied overall. Non-fishing fans will want to rent it before committing to a purchase.

 

Graphics:

2.5

Sound:

2.8

Control:

3.5

Gameplay:

3.2

Lastability

3.0

OVERALL:

3.0

 

DOWN THE ROAD

Not available.

 

Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: February 28, 2000

Appendix Added: N/A

 

 

 

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