By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
In the last couple of years I have seen more and more games being developed for this hobby that is even considered a sport among some people. I personally am not that big of a fan of fishing, even though a part of my family grew up using a fishing rod as their way of life; maybe that job aspect of it just made it not that appealing for me. However World Tour Fishing recently went into the closed beta testing phase selling fishing as a friend and not just food, so I took up the assignment to see what is so appealing about this ‘sport.’
Fishing is oversimplified often by the uninitiated. You do not simply throw in your bait and use a net to get the fish as they swim by. Instead we use a large rod, with a fishing line and a hook and we wait until one of these dumb creatures sees the shiny food or lure in the water and take a bite from it. Patience is a virtue, especially with fishing because it can take hours before a fish feels like taking a bite from your bait. Fortunately the fish in World Tour Fishing are a bit hungrier, but patience and precision timing still play a part in the fight. Before you head onto sea with your fishing boat and your expensive fishing rod, you start small, with a rod made from bamboo. In the tutorial you will be introduced as to why fishing can be seen as a relaxing sport, something you do on the weekend when you have absolutely nothing better to do, and you feel like sitting next to a lake with no one and nothing around you.
I have actually fished a lot in my life when I was still young, so thanks to my forceful inclusion in family affairs I know enough to offer insight into this game’s realism. And I was pleased to say that as soon as the tutorial began, I was seeing plenty of similarities present. You obviously need all the right tools to start fishing; if you do not have all the necessary items you will obviously have a harder time catching fish. Patience comes into play to compensate for this, or so I feared as I placed my virtual hands on my first bamboo rod. Since I have as much patience as a 10 year old kid walking through the gates of Disneyland at dawn, I figured this was going to be a rough introduction to the game.
And so the waiting began. Thankfully World Tour Fishing isn’t an ugly game, nor is it over the top anime themed like most of the fishing games currently on the market. WTF takes fishing seriously in an attempt to capture real fishers that don’t have the time of day to drive 8 hours every weekend to get to their favorite watering hole.
When you have swung your mouse around to start fishing, the waiting game starts. After a few teases and swirls in the water as fish contemplate your bait through some sort of RNG system, the dance of death begins. When the fish does become interested you will have a couple of ways to reel in the fish. The game made it a little arcady to make for a challenging and interesting experience that more core gamers will enjoy, but made sure not to lose out on realism in the process. When you have successfully ‘engaged’ the fish in mortal combat, the reeling stage begins. Your fishing rod does damage over time to the fish, and successful jerks and reels further damage the fish’s stamina. Just don’t get overzealous as doing so will also build tension on the line, eventually resulting in the line snapping if you don’t manage your meter properly.
Another form of realism comes in the way you use your fishing rod. If your fish moves to the left, you can try to counter the fish by swinging your rod in the opposite direction, dealing additional damage if timed correctly. When you have finally managed to bring in the fish, you will be able to keep it and release it. By keeping it you can throw it in your fishing tank or sell it for some money.
The actual fish your dad struggled with when telling the wide armed tale of the one that got away.
At first you will only catch fish that are a couple of centimeters long, not really worth keeping honestly, but a good source of revenue nonetheless for upgrading your tools. Keep at it long enough and eventually you can purchase your own boat and cruise around the lake in style. That’s where this game begins to shine.
As you can see, fishing is not the greatest hobby I have ever done in my life, and even though I have done it a lot in my life, I still can’t enjoy it as much as my family. That said, this game nails the parts of fishing that enthusiasts do enjoy a good deal better than anything else on the market. Meanwhile the UI and mini-game type controls are just enough to keep the gamer in us on the hook. Patience is a virtue, with literally everything that you do while fishing, but thankfully the game itself offers enough quality graphics and precise controls to be taken seriously as a modern MMO. WTF doesn’t take long to learn and offers a relaxing and fun title that will be popular among collector’s and time wasters alike. If that sounds just right for you, don’t miss out on grabbing a beta key before closed beta ends, or you’ll be sitting it out on the shoreline wondering where all the fish have gone.