'Not A Bad Sized Catch'
Get out the tackle box and fire up the ol'' mercury outboard, 'cuz it's time to go fishin'. Trophy Bass Fishing 2 is a new game from Sierra that puts you right smack in the middle of world class bass tournaments, no entry fee required.
The designers did an excellent job with Trophy Bass 2. The graphic interface is easy to use. The backgrounds are pleasing to the eye, especially at high resolutions. Each picture is nature related, whether it be a glassy lake in the morning, or a large mouth striking a lure. The lake overhead is adequately rendered, and the little tools to the side are good enough. The graphics when you are fishing are good, too, especially the shoreline. The rocky shore looks super realistic and the digitized fisherman moves very smoothly. It's unrealistic that you can see the fish while they are in the water, however. The fish themselves are small sprites, but detailed enough not to take away from the game.
The most impressive graphics are those when you select lures and rods. Crystal clear digitized pictures show all your options. There are several types of lures to choose from, and all of them have several different colors to choose from. You have a few rod choices, all of them Pinnacle Rods. There is even an option to choose how you cast your lure. You can flip your lure for a quiet, but short delivery, or you can heave that crank bait with a two handed toss. When choosing your casting style an animation sequence is shown of the cast and a description of the pros and cons of the cast are displayed to help you choose how to deliver your lure.
The sound is pleasing. Birds chirp away, frogs croak, waves gently rock against the shore, and fish leap from the water and make a splash. The sound of reeling the lure in is annoying. It creeks and wails when you pull it in, and when you fight a fish, the sound just doesn't go away. The music is okay, but I was expecting CD music, not MIDI. MIDI music is okay, but it sounds pathetic compared to CD music, unless you have a 32 bit sound card.
Unfortunately, the gameplay becomes boring after awhile. You can only catch so many fish before it gets repetitive, but there is a little thrill every time you pull in a whopper of a big mouth. Moving around the lake and using the fish finder is easy, and casting and reeling in the lure is simple, too. Fighting the fish can be a little clumsy sometimes. I often found myself moving the mouse to the menu bar at the bottom and switching to another program. Getting my pole in the air also took a little time to learn, but once I got used to fightin', it became easy.
The game takes awhile to load, even on a 4x CD-Rom. A nice feature is multiplayer. You can fish away against people over a LAN, modem or over the internet. It is not the most competitive game on earth, but it's a fun little gimmick plus you can chat with other anglers and tell fish stories.
So in conclusion, if you enjoy fishing, and don't mind trying to catch a virtual fish over and over, then you will enjoy this game. Personally I suggest the real thing instead of the game, but this is a good way to learn the ropes of fishin'.