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August 17, 2015

Fishing Master: World Tour (Part 2)

Read Part 1 here!

I spent most of Part 1 explaining all the mechanics in this game, now it’s time to take a closer look at the plot! Not like there’s a big one, anyway… It’s just "go there, catch fishies, move to next spot, catch fishies". I mean, there’s not really a plot outside of this smug rival who suddenly showed up… I never understood why rivals are so often portrayed as smug a-holes who believe themselves better than everyone else. Weren’t they taught politeness by their parents? Do they even know what humility is?

The only place where trolling is acceptable.
In North America, our main character passes by Hawaii, San Francisco, Detroit and Campbell River, all so he can participate to a Tourney in New York. Yeah, there are tournaments in this game. Oh, by the way, it says “North America”, and yet all five fishing spots are in America. I call false advertising on that. What, was “Fleuve Saint-Laurent” too hard to pronounce? Nobody likes Canada, or what? Even Bass Pro Shops’ The Hunt claimed it had hunting grounds all over North America, but there were 9 grounds on the United States and only one in Canada! Is that a strange conspiracy, a plot to have Canada fade into obscurity in the Americans’ minds?

At Campbell River, you stumble upon the rival yet again. This time, he presents himself as J.J.. What’s that for? “Jerkass Joe”? After fishing a bit here, we unlock the tourney in New York.  Oh, by the way, if you hook an ant lion to your line, you may catch in Campbell River a pink Princess Trout. Yes. With tiara and all. Not joking. That fish got a freaking tiara on its head.

I don't remember where we could catch that one, so
I,m just putting it here. See all that detail on the fish.
They look real, don't they?
Now, let’s go to New York, New York. There are six different types of fish to be caught there, but since it’s a Tourney, you’ll only get to keep the requested type of fish, and all the others will be thrown back to the sea. Here, the Tourney’s organizer will announce the type of competition; is it the longest fish? Is it the heaviest fish? Either way, you have to prove that you’re better than everyone else! I’ll give that to J.J., he catches some pretty damn big fish. That doesn’t justify his behavior in any way, though. He’s the main opponent to take down here, as he’ll frequently take the top spot and win the Gold medal. However, you can beat him at his game. If you’re lucky, you could even catch a huge fish far bigger than everyone else’s! In my playthrough for this review, I caught a 12ft. white sea bass. The one caught by J.J. was only eight feet long.

Having won the tourney, Nicolas receives the North American Angler title, which means they can move on to the next place of interest: Asia! Sadly, the boat gets caught in a storm, causing it to crash near a sector of Japan we haven’t visited yet. The Captain strongly encourages you to go out and fish for a bit in this part of Japan while he gets the ship repaired. Wow, this guy is so professional it hurts. Nurse, bring the First Aid!

And yet his boat is in good enough shape that it can still travel between Japan and America. This not sense make. Logic: It’s not just for real life, y’know.

Yup, definitely a kappa. Or a prototype
of Michael Bay's Ninja Turtles.
In this new sector of Japan, we can fish at the Sea of Okhotsk, where you can get a Halibut if you catch the pink fish, and then the Appi River, where it’s entirely possible to catch a kappa (a Japanese mythical creature) if you have a cucumber on your hook. Sure, it’s been renamed a “Water Imp”, but it’s a kappa. It looks like it came straight out of a Final Fantasy game. And if you’re unlucky (like I am), you might instead pull out an old root, an empty can, or a tire. My in-game character has a whole collection of those on display. Anyway, you are soon tasked with catching a Mega Telescope Eye, a freaky big-eyed fish living in Tokyo Bay. And it’s light green, which means you HAVE to catch it. Oh, but it’s not a big deal, it’s rather easy to get. Though you might get freaked out by its huge eyes.

Once that – AAAAAH! SCARY! – fish is caught, you can move on to Asia. There, you gain access to four fishing spots, and many, many kinds of fish. In the Indian Ocean you can catch a Regal Tang (I’m so sorry to all Finding Nemo fans! I caught Dory!), there’s a giant Taimen in Mongolia, And in the Mekona and Yangtze rivers respectively, you can catch a male and a female “Humanface” Fish. As in, really “Human-face”. A fish with a human face. Please allow me to have a freak out.


Will you catch something big in here?
*deep breaths* Okay, I’m fine now. Oh, also, you can catch those with balls of dough. Don’t try to understand. Anyway, to move on to the next location (Europe), you need to catch a Giant Taimen in Mongolia. That’s a giant fish, and it’s hard to get, but 1500 points are totally worth it. Then again, if you’re unlucky, you may come back from Asia with a collection of pots of all shapes and sizes. For the record, the junk you fish out doesn’t give any points; but since they look and act like fish while underwater, you can never tell that a piece of junk has just bitten your bait, and you only find out once you reel it in – it’s deceptively easy to do, the item offers no resistance. And thus you can either let it sink in the ocean with your bait, or fish it out and start a garage sale of old tires, empty cans, boots, pots and stuff. Don’t hope to make much money, though.

So, now we’ve unlocked Europe. There are six fishing spots there, and of course we have a random encounter with J.J., who brags again and slips out info that there’s a fishing tourney in Paris, France. Ah oui, I will like to go there. But first we go fishing in the North Sea, the Loch Ness, in Venice, and finally in the Caspian and Mediterranean Seas. Wished I could just train my kappa and teach him to punch J.J.’s lights out. A couple cucumbers should do the trick.

Oh yeah, you can catch some crazy giant pink fish here. There’s the giant squid (which is considered small at 30 feet long!), a “Dinofish” in Loch Ness (I guess it’s Nessie’s kid? I dunno. It looks like a cross between a shark, an eel and a crocodile), or a remora in the Mediterranean Sea. Of course, new fish to catch means new bait, so you may have to buy the new kinds of bait available at the shop. The Dinofish will only accept a piece of raw ham, as an example. And yes, there’s raw beef meat for future locations where even piranhas can join in the fun. Because who never wanted to catch a fish that had a liking for flesh?

And I’m not gonna spend too long fishing with a ham hock, I’m afraid I’ll catch a wild Ponyo. Especially in Japan. I don’t wanna catch Ponyo.

So, the protagonist finally gets to the fishing tourney in Paris. Ah bummer, there’s only, like, three different types of fish here. Not the most exciting place. Once again, you can’t predict which fish will be demanded nor what the task will be: Catching the longest? The heaviest? Mine was as follows: I had to catch three or more Posh Halibut, after which the heaviest three would be kept, and whoever has the highest sum weight wins. I won, I have beaten J.J.’s catches by 4 lbs. Take that, J.J.! If you can’t be damned to show respect to fellow competitors, why should I show you any respect?

This is Egypt. Cue obligatory pyramid shot.
Or else we wouldn't know we're in Egypt.
So, after this tourney, you get to visit Africa. There’s another tournament there, but before you can go, there are plenty of places to check out, like the river Nile, Lake Tanganyika (am I spelling that right?), or Cape Town. The tournament takes place in a Savannah, too. As for which special types of fish you can catch here, it includes the Nile Perch and the Electric Catfish (Oooh, shocking!). For once, some of the most interesting fish are not colored pink; in Cape Town, you can get a coelacanth if you’re lucky, and if you’re even luckier you might pull out a megamouth shark. A friggin’ shark!

And of course, J.J. shows up at Lake Tanganyika to mock you. Because of course he does. No sense on respect was taught to that kid. He says Nicola (the main character, for those who didn’t get that I named it after me) must be feeling pretty proud of winning two competitions… but of course he says that by still claiming he’s better. Dude, your ego wouldn’t have enough space on the Moon! Cut that out, will ya? Thankfully, this guy never stays around for very long. He just brags, mocks the player, then leaves.

Well, there’s at least one good thing in Africa; there’s no trash anywhere in the fishing spots. I mean, pots, boots, that stuff? You won’t find any here. Just cast your line, and you’re certain to get points if you land a fish. I dunno what that says about every other place, where junk can be fished out easily… I mean, the major fishing spots here don’t contain any kind of junk!

You can attack the animals around the savannah with
your line. Can't catch them, though.
Sadly, the tournament fishing spot does… but no, it’s not junk from humans. You can fish out worthless animal skulls. Still pretty cool, I guess… Though I wonder if the organization behind the tournament put the skulls there on purpose so we’d fish them out… Anyway, the competition I was a part of demanded that I catch the biggest arowana possible. I fished out a 3.0 ft. long arowana, hopefully long enough to win. When the tournament ended, J.J. didn’t seem sure he’d win this one… and a strange-looking guy in a blue vest and a haircut that hides his eye was also participating, with him thinking that he has already won the world tournament. Oh great, another dick. Well, at least this one is less outspoken than J.J…. So, we get the tournament results… and YES, I won! Hurray! Choke on those ridges, J.J.!

So, we were supposed to head to Oceania, but our ship’s captain, always the trained professional, accidentally brings us to Japan. Either way, he forces us to stop here and fish for a bit. Hey, Gramps, can I fire this guy? Please? I’m sure there are much better captains out there who would drive me around the world for this competition.

Again, I have no idea where that is.... it might not
even be in Japan.
Anyway, we absolutely have to stop by Japan, so here goes. This time around, we can access the Shimanto River, the Inland Sea, the Kanmon Straights… As for the special fish you can catch, well, there’s the snakehead or the cherry salmon… In the Inland Sea, you can use raw meat to catch a giant sutgeon. And giant, that’s not exaggeration. Mine was 39 feet long. Oh, also that’s where we meet that mysterious second challenger, who seemed a lot less annoying than J.J. was, but he still brags about being the best and stuff. I swear, I’m gonna write a book called “Don’t Be A Douchebag: Tips And Tricks For Friendly Competitions”. It appears the competitors in this world need a reminder that acting like an a-hole just makes people hate you.

After the Kanmon Straits, we find out the final part of the tournament takes indeed place in Japan; in Yakushima, to be precise. So give yourself plenty of time to complete the fish journals, rack up points, you’ll need to buy a lot of bait! So, our protagonist enters the final competition of the game. (But it’s not the final part, as there are numerous bonus locations after this tournament is won.) This time around, I had to catch a Dorado, and the longest one would be kept. I fished out only Dorados, and the biggest I got was 5.8 feet long. Needless to say, I aced that competition, with Ryan being second (at 5.0 ft.) and J.J. not even making it in the Top 3. Sure, Ryan still brags, but look, I caught the bigger fish, I won. Still, Ryan decides to throw a dare to the player: Catching a Fiendfish, an extremely rare and powerful fish that can only be caught in select areas. Only then will the player earn the title of Fishing Master.

You know what? I think I’m fine with that. I have finished the actual competition, so I think I can stop here. Tune in next Friday for the final part of this review, where I (hopefully) catch plenty of exotic, dangerous or nonsensical fish!