Among the loud booths that were ringing of bullet sounds and monster screams, Natsume was once again showcasing their latest title and one of which was the latest entry in the Reel Fishing series, which is now coming to Switch.
My exposure to the series until now, was non-existent, so I went in, with no idea what the game was all about it. Thankfully a rep from Natsume was on hand to walk me through the game. This time the story is about a few college friends who decide that in order to get their course work done, they will take a trip and use that experience to help them out. IF there is more to the story, I did not get to see it, but for a reason to travel and more importantly, fish, it does what it needs to.
Of course, with the setup complete, it was time to fish and the game does a solid job of doing that, when you are along the shore and ready to cast, you press and hold the button down, with a reticule appearing on the water, to show where you are going to throw. The longer you hold it down, the further you will cast, so you need to time your presses right, as if you overthrow where the fish are, you might end up with nothing. Before you cast though, you have some space to move, you can head up and down the shoreline, turn a little, in order to line up the shot, giving you plenty of time to prepare where you are going to have your lure land. There are a number of locations that you can visit as well, from calm lakes to the rocks along the ocean, each has a variety of fish that you can catch, and as the game will present you with some missions, you will get the chance to explore them all at some point.
Once in the water, you have a few options, you can reel in the line fast or slow, with both being good for individual tasks, you have a slight amount of bob to the lure, but the bulk of your movement is limited to moving the rod. When a fish takes a bit, the game has a circle appear, the size of the fish determines the size of the wheel, if the fish is small, the wheel is larger, making it an easier to get. In order to get the best chance of hooking the fish, you need to hit the reel button, once the moving line goes green.
With the fish hooked, there is a little game in itself here, reel in to fast, or have the rod going in the wrong direction and the line will go red, indicating it is about to snap, so you need to keep going back and forth on both, to ensure you get the fish. Once hooked, it was a matter of ensure the line did not snap, but also that your stamina did not deplete, as reeling in to fast, whilst fighting the fish is an easy way to do so. Managing your stamina is done at the base camp, with a combination of meals and drinks, which leads into the other part of the game, the crafting system.
As you fish, you will pick up materials, bits of iron and such, and at the end of the day, you can sell the fish to the local market guy, and use the money he gives you, to buy cooking supplies and missing materials. Back at the camp, you can use the food you have, to create meals, which all have different boosts, letting you stay out a little longer, giving you more stamina and such. The materials that you collect can be used to craft new lures, rods and reels, with a host of differences on each of them, that means that there is a lot of variation on what equipment you can fish with.
Given the amount of locations the game offers, the number of fish, as well as the crafting system, means that there is just a lot to do. Levelling up and interacting with your fellow college mates and town locals, will provide some story as well, which combined with the listed above, makes for an interesting hook.