Right off the bat I will say that I have zero experience with real life fishing and that is probably what drew me more to Ultimate Fishing Simulator – all the action and experience minus the real-life effort (perfect especially now in the time of Miss ‘Rona). This does not in any way mean Ultimate Fishing Simulator is easy, it is anything but! It is after all designed to be an accurate fishing experience, fish, fails and all. Ultimate Fishing Simulator took me from ordering fried fish to feeling empathy for every fisherman in the world. With 14 Levels to play through, each with its own unique location and even climate, the challenge begins long before you hook your fish.
In each location, there are multiple spots you could choose to make your fishing post. Depending on the species, your bait and the conditions in that environment, not every location will cause a successful catch. So, it really then becomes a matter of trial, error and tons of patience.
My first location in Ultimate Fishing Simulator was Betty Lake. Here there are various trout species that you can catch including the Rainbow, Bull, Brown, Brook and Cutthroat Trout. The view looked amazing, and I was ready to catch my first trout. Rod and fly bait in hand, I set off to find my perfect spot on the lake’s bank. With controls for a near cast and far cast, it is up to you how far or close you would like to fish. However, it is important to note your rod and line’s specifications. This takes into account its length, durability and threshold for tension. There is even an Encyclopedia of all the fish species for you to better understand your prey, their preferred bait, weight, ideal conditions and even a 3D view of the fish itself. In Ultimate Fishing Simulator, the most important part of a successful fishing attempt is your research and preparation. I unfortunately only learned this late.
I finally step onto the bank and decide to cast far, my guess is that there may be more fish in the deeper waters. Now I wait. And wait. And wait. At some point, I thought perhaps there are no fish here and that this waiting was a sort of Mr. Miyagi profound lesson, “In order to catch, you must let go…” or something along those lines. I then remembered that this is Ultimate Fishing Simulator, meaning this is as accurate as fishing can get. If so, do people really wait this long and why? I actually had a moment where I looked in my inventory for some form of dynamite where I could just throw it in there, say “Fire in the Hole” and gracefully strut my way across the lake collecting the unfortunate survivors. But alas, there was no such aid available at my disposal. So I wait…
After what felt like an eternity (it was around a minute really) I could make out the silhouette of an approaching trout. BITE! Ladies and gentlemen, I finally had a fish on my hook. Little did I know that the fishing has only just begun. Once a fish takes to your bait, there is a stage called “Fight.” It is exactly what you think it is. Once a fish has taken a bite, you now need to strike at just the right moment. Too soon or too late and the fish will escape, with many trust issues now I assume. This was so hard to get the hang of, but the vibrations on the controller along with the information bar on the bottom of the screen helped. So let’s assume you get the strike timing correct, now you need to fatigue the fish. And the good Lord knows this is tense and exciting at the same time. To wear the fish down, you need to experiment with reeling your line while paying attention to the tension so it doesn’t break before you can catch your prey. Another method is to pump the rod and line. Experimenting with these methods will let you see how to balance your technique and which works best depending on distance and the weight of the catch. Now let’s assume even further, you have worn that fishy down and you can now reel it in and hold it with your hands. First, congratulations for you have caught your first fish! Second, take a break and drink some water, you are probably exhausted at this point.
Once you have successfully caught a fish, if it is your biggest or first catch of that particular species, it will appear under your trophy fish collection. Depending on the species and weight, you will get some money for your efforts. Another thing that can influence how much money you can make with your catch is experience. This is earned through points and obviously successful fishing. These points can be used to increase your skills and earn you good money. Experience points are also how you level up in Ultimate Fishing Simulator. Use your points and money to upgrade yourself for even more challenging and rewarding fishing expeditions. From special kinds of rods, like one that increases your luck, to specialized lines that can withstand greater tension and enable you to catch much larger fish, and even a wider range of bait You will definitely need it when you fish for some legendary Marlin.
Another nice detail of this game is the environmental conditions in each level. Everything from temperature, wind speed and direction as well as time is beautifully crafted into this game. One moment the sun is shining and its 10:00am, the next thing you know you’re in pouring rain, temperatures have dropped and it’s somehow 4:45pm! This makes Ultimate Fishing Simulator a game you can play for hours as it’s not boring to the eyes in the least bit. The music in the game is definitely a useful help, especially when your patience is wearing thin. Oh, did I mention that you can switch your view to an underwater perspective where you are in the bait’s view waiting for some daring fish to be seduced. This view is one of my favourite things about this game. It makes even your little trout seem like Jaws while being able to see the submerged world your prey lives in.
By the time you have completed this game, you would have taken everything sweet old Betty Lake taught you and then take it to the nth degree. Having a go at Ice Fishing, Float fishing, Spinning fishing, Bottom fishing and even Trolling. Each with its unique sets of challenges, requirements and rewards. All very much worthwhile to experience. I didn’t experience much glitching with Ultimate Fishing Simulator, which was great because the game is hard on its own. The last thing I want is for the game to freeze while I’m Ice Fishing.
So, would I recommend Ultimate Fishing Simulator? Yes. Is it for everyone? Probably not. But that’s okay. Every gamer has their unique tastes and perhaps having your blood pressure elevated because of inevitable fails isn’t your thing, but Ultimate Fishing Simulator is definitely worth giving it a go. I surprisingly got to a point where I enjoyed the wait. It was like a peaceful pause from real life and a moment to take in the lovely views. Now, would I actually go fishing in real life? Maybe, maybe.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Ultimate Fishing Simulator Review
Gameplay - 8/10
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 7/10
User Review( votes)
Ultimate Fishing Simulator is a stressful game, but one that ironically lets you feel relaxed every now and again. It’s accurate blood-pressure raising depiction of fishing will have you seeing fish differently by the time this game is done with you.
- Visually convincing.
- Many different environments.
- Different fishing methods.
- Variety of species.
- Can be relaxing at times.
- Loading times can be rather long.
- Difficult initial learning curve.
- Some aspects can be confusing.
- No dynamite in your inventory.