Let's Fish! Hooked On (Video Game Review)
The story of Let's Fish! Hooked On focuses around the fishing World Tour and each of the game's four protagonists. Jamie is arguably the game's main character and the most recognizable character, as she's featured on the cover art for the game. Jamie joined the tournament after learning her childhood friend, Ryuji, would be entering the contest as well, and she has special abilities that make her great at hooking a fish. Ryugi is the only male character in the game, and he decides to enter the tournament to win the World Tour like his father before him. Kano is another aspiring world champion with an attitude that seems to change with weather. Finally, there is Ai who is arguably the most interesting character as an apprentice witch with otherworldly powers that wants to win the tournament in pursuit of world peace. Each character has a different story that is told through voiceless cut scenes throughout the game with each offering a little more entertainment than the last.
It's definitely cool to see a fishing game that focus heavily on a storyline, but the main draw here is in catching fish. There are three different levels of tournaments in Let's Fish! Hooked On: Amateur, Professional and Master class. Each level of the tournament will last about 12 events, and the game gets increasingly difficult with each unlocked event. There are over 40 courses in the game, but many are simply repeats of previous stages with different weather effects, challenges and so forth. As you progress through the courses, you'll unlock more advanced skills for your character that adds RPG elements to the game that is definitely a fun addition. One of the most appealing aspects of Let's Fish! Hooked On is the massive tackle box full of lures you can collect throughout your time with the game. Each lure offers different boosts, and you'll unlock a considerably larger amount of lures by mastering missions in the Challenge mode. Challenges will include various trials such as catching so many fish in a certain time or by reeling in large fish or large amounts of fish in a single mission. Challenge mode is definitely a lot of fun and is a nice surprise for the game, however, there's also a training mode that offers a timer and little more to the experience and the boring Underwater mode where you ride on rails underwater panning the camera around with the gyroscope of the PlayStation Vita. These two modes add very little to the game unless you seriously love staring at artificial fish tanks.
The best feature in Let's Fish! Hooked On's presentation is the game's controls. At any time during the game, you can utilize the directional pad, joystick or touch screens to reel in your next big catch, and each of the controls are tight and responsive as they should be in such a touch sensitive game. Learning and mastering the controls is a whole other monster however, and a lazy tutorial at the start of the game isn't always enough to teach you to fully understand how to play the game in a single attempt. Of course, the game features some cute little anime inspired sprites, and we love the fact that a game finally has female protagonists that outnumber the male characters, even if they seem to mostly be there for eye candy. The graphics have occasional muck ups, frame rate drops and other glitches, but they are stellar for the most part and one of the better looking games available on PlayStation Vita. A fun soundtrack also keeps you in the action, while the in-game voice acting allows you to know if you've had a good cast or not. Let's Fish! Hooked On isn't as revolutionary or as polished as SEGA Bass Fishing was in the late 90s, but it's still a whole heck of a lot of fun and a good reason to dust off your rod, reel and tackle box. Download this addicting game on your PlayStation Vita today and Let's Fish!
Let's Fish! Hooked On is now available exclusively for PlayStation Vita and can be purchased for $19.99. Let's Fish! Hooked On is rated E by the ESRB. For more information on the game, check out the official Let's Fish! Hooked On website.
Developer: Sims Co. Ltd
Publisher: Wired Productions
Available exclusively for PlayStation Vita (reviewed)
Release Date: January 29, 2013