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Game Over Online ~ Great Outdoor Games Bass 2002

GameOver Game Reviews - Great Outdoor Games Bass 2002 (c) Konami, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Great Outdoor Games Bass 2002 (c) Konami
System Requirements Game Boy Advance
Overall Rating 68%
Date Published Wednesday, February 6th, 2002 at 07:57 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

On the ill-fated Dreamcast system, Sega was reliant primarily on itself for its sports ventures. In everything from NBA to the NFL, they had to craft their own titles because of the lack of third party software support. Thus, Sega set out to use their first party developers to literally craft out two niche genres of sports: tennis and fishing. Through franchises like Sega Bass Fishing, fishing was brought to the forefront of the console world, albeit it had less of an impact than Sega's tennis forays. Nonetheless, the fishing explosion on the console side of things was nicely mirrored with continuing interest in hunting and fishing titles on the PC. When Konami brought Great Outdoors Games Bass 2002 (Bass 2K2) to the GBA, I bet the developers were hoping whatever success bass fishing had gotten on other platforms would spread to the GBA as well.

Fishing games, in general, have always been relegated to the leisure sport category, often lumped with titles like hunting. In the beginning, fishing titles were poor 2D executions of the actual thing. A full 3D engine was brought on by titles from Sega and PC stalwart, Sierra. What can 3D add to a fishing game? The developers here don't posit that query because they have resorted to the usage of 2D sprites, albeit very well animated 2D sprites. The fishing venues and fish are all sprites, denoting the GBA's lack of power to tackle a full 3D rendering, but the execution is just as well. Much attention is paid to the fluidity of fish traveling underwater. The venues are photographs of actual places, although the photographs' resolutions are not as clear as they could be.

Because of the use of 2D graphics, there is very limited mobility for your fishermen. Try as the developers might, the combination of good animation and static photography is a fait accompli that does not measure up to contemporary expectations. Bass 2K2 invokes all of the usual trappings with a campaign and free fish mode. You can compete alongside a human player too, in a bid to fish for the largest catch in a certain amount of time. Some of the more innovative and deeper modes of play found in PC counterparts are curiously missing.

The actual fishing, lure and reeling are well done for the GBA interface but it certainly doesn't give any sense of actual fishing. After a few tries at the game, you'll have memorized some of the eye-hand coordination movements you have to execute in order to successfully reel in big fish every time. With that said, Bass 2K2 does not feature completely anemic gameplay. It simply cannot rise above mediocrity.

The actual title of this game denotes a plan for Konami. Obviously they want to do Great Outdoors Games of other activities. The yearly 2002 denomination denotes some sort of continual effort to improve on this. As it stands now, it resembles the first infant titles of Sierra's first Trophy Bass series; a decent game but not anywhere near an actual simulation. The music and sound are certainly a step in the right direction, although fishing titles are never known for exemplary sound. Like with all franchises, it will take some time to improve this one. Thus far, Bass 2K2 is at its best as a diversionary title; more like the experience of playing a few minutes on a PDA. Unfortunately, with the GBA's dimensions, it won't be an oft-used diversion. Hopefully, next year's version will feature deeper (no pun intended) simulation modes and gameplay.


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