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In-Fisherman Bass Hunter 64

Rated E for Everyone


Nintendo 64 (N64)


Take 2


Gearhead Entertainment


July 1999

ROM Size:

64 megabits




Sports (Fishing)


Cartridge (3 slots)


Rumble Pak



> Final Rating: 2.8 out of 5.0


Fishing games are represented by a small but dedicated group of gamers on each system. A system's first fishing game usually arrives a couple of years into a system's life cycle. Now, almost three years after the Nintendo 64 first appeared on American shelves, comes the system's first fishing game: In-Fisherman Bass Hunter 64.


For Bass Hunter 64, Take 2 Interactive secured the "In-Fisherman" license, which is a magazine best-known as the self-proclaimed "world's authority on freshwater fishin'." Fans familiar with In-Fisherman also will be happy to know that Al Lindner has lent his expertise and tips to the game.

Gameplay & Control

Upon starting In-Fisherman Bass Hunter 64, you'll have the choice between three save slots. It's nice that the game saves directly to the cartridge rather than saving to a Controller Pak. Once you pick a save slot, you have the choice between a male and a female angler. Then you get to enter your name.


Two modes of play are available in Bass Hunter 64: Championship and Fish For Fun. The former represents the simulation side, whereas the latter represents the arcade side of the game. Unfortunately, both these modes are only for one player. No other original modes exist, either.


In the Fish For Fun mode, you can practice with the types of conditions you want. First, you pick the difficulty level. Then numerous conditions can be toggled. You start by picking your lake. Only one place, Lake Arthur, is available at first. Butler Chain is another lake you can open through the Championship mode. Then you can switch between fishing locations on the lake: Hidden River is initially your only choice. Other sections on Lake Arthur are Dutch Hollow and Shannon Run. Getting further into the Championship mode will open these likewise.


Next, you can pick the time of year to fish. Your choice is among pre-summer, summer peak, summer, post-summer, fall, pre-spawn, and post-spawn. Weather can be switched between fair and foul. You also can pick recently fair or recently foul in conjunction with the current weather. Finally, the following water conditions exist: stained and warm, dark and warm, clear and cool, stained and cool, dark and cool, and clear and warm.


All these variables affect how many fish can be found and where they can found. But, actually, you can only keep bass despite the fact that other fish (catfish, bluegills, etc.) are in the lake. Specific challenges must be met in the Championship mode, so fishers will have to understand what these variables mean in order to meet the requirements of each tournament, anyway.


Speaking of which, the Championship mode throws a series of pre-planned tournaments at you. A tournament usually has time limits and fish number limits. You have to finish near the top to move on. Tournament event success also will you give "purchase points," which you can use to acquire new fishing equipment—bait, rods, and boats.


It's easy to cast in Bass Hunter 64, which is good and bad. The Control Stick controls the casting power and rod movement. The default cast style is overhand, which can be selected with Top C, but you also can pick a skip cast with Bottom C and a sidearm cast with Right C. Pressing down on the Control Stick increases the power percentage and pressing up decreases it. Then you just press the A button to cast away once you have your desired power. It's easy for beginners, but no skill is required to cast properly—even if you pick controller option B, which requires you to be a little more precise with the Control Stick.


Additionally, before casting, you can use your trolling motor with the Control Pad. You also can press the R button to bring up the menu icons. This is where you can change your rod and lure. Moreover, you can pick an icon to let you drive your boat to another location, which is simple fun in itself. Finally, you can look at the live well and change the lake conditions during the middle of a Fish For Fun game.


Once your lure is in the water, the A button is a fast reel, the B button is a slow reel, and the L button reels in the line one turn per button press. The R button cuts the line for quick retrieval. Setting the hook is accomplished merely by pressing back on the Control Stick or by pressing Z whenever a fish bites. You'll also need to increase and decrease drag with the Top C and Bottom C buttons.


Before casting, you'll get a full screen view from behind your angler on the boat. A fishfinder is in the upper-right corner to help you find a good location to fish. When your lure hits the water, the screen splits into two: the top-half shows an above-water view of your angler and the bottom-half shows an underwater view of your lure and fish. The split-screen approach works well since it shows animation from the angler and shows animation from the fish.

Graphics & Sound

Gearhead Entertainment did a nice job with the graphics. The anglers are modeled and animated surprisingly well, as evidenced by the casting and reeling motions. The fully 3D lake environments have extended horizons with lots of atmosphere. Lake reflections, water movements, moving clouds, and rippling water are all little touches that help. Environmental effects such as shadows, rain, and different water conditions further enhance the appearance. The downside, however, is the underwater view, which you'll see quite often. Underwater is simple and bland, and the fish don't seem as lifelike or have as much animation as in other similar games.


The sound portion is not so good, though. Music appears during menus and when you're trying to reel in a fish. Both songs are weak and do nothing for the game. Most of your time will be spent listening to sounds of the environment. Some good sound effects exist for casting, reeling, water, etc., but the environment sounds are too sparse. You'll occasionally hear birds chirping, seagulls squawking, or distant motors running. Much more could have been done here.


In-Fisherman Bass Hunter 64 is a faithful and accurate representation of fishing, but it is too simple to cast and it has limited gameplay options. Still, the pretty graphics and solid physics engine make for a decent game. If you're a die-hard fishing fan merely looking for a good solo experience, you can't go wrong. If you want anything else from your fishing game, then you might want to look elsewhere first.
















Not available.


Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: March 30, 2000

Appendix Added: N/A




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