Let’s Fish! Hooked On
As far as games go, there are only so many fishing games, and this is the only one for the PS Vita. Let’s Fish! Hooked On also has the anime lovers community, however, mashing up these two styles in a game can be dangerous. After all, how many people love both fishing and anime? Let’s take a look at how Let’s Fish! Hooked On reels in.
Let’s Fish! Hooked On has four unique playable characters, each with one strength such as hooking or casting. Each character also has their own story for the World Tour mode, which is essentially the story mode. With one male character and three female characters, each character is pretty attractive and easy to get into, although slightly generic for the anime style. The only time the bland story actually takes place in the very beginning, seeing each character’s motives, then at the end, seeing what they’ve accomplished. Those 2 scenes are played out visual novel style with non moving backgrounds, still characters, and no voice overs. None of the stories are deep or intriguing.
Let’s Fish! Hooked On is all about fishing, so as with many sports games, the gameplay can get repetitive. When you start a stage, choose a lure from your list with the highest allure rating for that stage and cast into a group of fish using a power meter. There are 4 different lure types based on how deeply you want the lure to drop. If your character says something, it means a fish is interested in your lure, and will probably bite. When the fish does, you must push the control stick in the direction it asks you to. You can also use the touch controls which are a little more quirky and harder to use, but more fun and immersive. Once the fish is hooked, you reel in (slow or fast, although, I see no benefit to reeling slow once the fish is hooked) and push the stick in a direction based on the line tension. If the tension is high, push in the direction the fish is swimming, and if it is low, push in the opposite direction. As you’re reeling the fish in, you’ll get pop up quick time events for “rod action” asking you to push the left stick in the direction denoted on the screen. This will help balance your rod tension. Once you’ve caught the fish, rinse and repeat. There’s not a whole lot to it, and the fish spawn rather quickly for fast, arcade style gameplay as opposed to long, drawn out fishing expeditions. There are a couple of game modes such as World Tour, Challenge, Training, Underwater View and the Tutorial. World Tour is where the bulk of the gameplay lies, with tournaments, unlockable lures, skill points and special skills to unlock for each character as the months and years go on. This is also where the very scarce story lies. Once you complete world tour, they give you one more special tournament to do, but nowhere to go or unlock from there. You can always go back and do any tournament you wish, however. Challenge mode requires you to complete certain challenges for each stage in each season using powered up characters and all the lures that you’ve unlocked thus far. You can also unlock more lures in challenge mode. Challenge mode also features an online leaderboard. Training is just a free play mode on any of the courses you’ve unlocked. Underwater View mode allows you to look at each course under the water using the Vita’s gyroscope, allowing you to see which fish dwell where. And the tutorial… The tutorial is absolutely baffling. With walls of text every time you want to do something . There are no pictures, no button prompts, they just kind of throw you in with a couple of paragraphs and expect you to go at it. You’re better off on your own, honestly. Unfortunately, the game suffers from a number of irritating glitches. Jump on down to the “glitches” section for more information regarding those.
Music and Presentation
The music in Let’s Fish! Hooked On captures each individual stage’s feel. From a quiet lodge to a busy highway underpass to even a Japanese temple, the music follows suit for each stage. When you hook a fish however, the music changes to one of a couple of hectic tracks that really kind of throw you off. It’s not bad or irritating, it just really doesn’t match the stages well. Also important to note is the character voice acting, how terrible it usually sounds and how frequently it cuts in during fishing. From letting you know when a fish is interested in your lure, to hooking a fish, to completing on screen prompts, it can be a little much. If you leave your character idle for just a few seconds, they start talking too! It just kind of gets in the way. The presentation and graphics are very strange. When you’re looking at the fish or the environment, the graphics look stellar and very realistic. However when you go underwater with your lure, some textures get VERY ugly, especially the plants which look all blocky, pixilated, and even broken. Also, the fish and environments are super realistic, but the characters are anime style, so when you catch a fish or see the characters against the environment, they clash pretty badly. Imagine taking a character from Persona and putting them in Skyrim. It just doesn’t make sense sometimes.
Let’s Fish! Hooked On suffers from so many glitches that I have to include them here in my review. Every now and again you’ll get a fish that will clip right through your hook, and that fish will be unable to be hooked on. Sometimes a fish will have no animation, and just float toward your lure. Sometimes the game will have frame rate problems and move way too quickly or way too slowly, making it much harder to catch fish. And of course the fish will clip through objects and barriers no problem. The glitches definitely take away from the game and the immersion, not to mention just being downright irritating.
Let’s Fish! Hooked On can last for a very long time. There are four unique characters to build up and play through the World Tour with, which can last quite a while. There is also challenge mode, with 11 stages, 4 seasons for each stage, and 3 challenges within each season for a total of 132 challenges to play through! The game states that there are 240 lures to unlock, but the lures stay unlocked with all 4 characters, and they are simply recolored and renamed for each character, so in reality, it’s 60 lures. You can expect about 30-40 hours of gameplay if you choose to do everything and go for the platinum trophy.
Why the Vita?
Let’s Fish! Hooked On plays very well on the Vita due to its fast paced, arcade style gameplay. Also, all of the tournaments in the World Tour mode can be completed in about 5 minutes, making for a great pick up and play game if you have a few minutes to spare. The game also utilizes the Vita’s special features quite a bit. You can play the whole game without ever having to press a button. You are actually forced to navigate the menu via the touchscreen. The game uses the touchscreen and the back touchpad during gameplay, but if you decide to play with the buttons, the back touchpad can mess you up if your fingers go astray. In underwater view mode, you also use the gyroscope to look around.
The Bottom Lines
- Fast paced, arcade style gameplay.
- Excellent length, unlockables, and replayability. (Especially for 20$)
- Great portable game.
- Interesting environments.
- Uninteresting story and fairly bland characters.
- Tons of almost game-breaking glitches.
- Somewhat boring and repetitive.
- Annoying character sound clips.
- While the graphics can be impressive, there are simply too many awful looking textures and mismatch between the environments, fish, and characters.
Final Score: 4/10
Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good in this fast paced fishing simulator. If they ever patch those glitches, feel free to bump it up to a 5 or a 6. It’s still great fun, and if you’re a fishing buff, this is all you’ve got, I’m afraid.