One of the games in Natsume's E3 2011 lineup was Reel Fishing Paradise 3D, a 3DS entry into the Reel Fishing franchise featuring impressive 3-D visuals and simplified fishing gameplay. We got to drop a few lines into the water and kick back with the game, which features a fairly wide array of locations, fish and lures. Though we only had a relatively short amount of time to check out the game, we played enough to get a feel for what the final game might offer for your fishing enthusiast on the go.
Reel Fishing Paradise 3D has 15 locations to cast your lure, each with its own assortment of the game's 40 species of fish. You stand in a fixed position in the landscape, though you have free reign to pivot to some degree left and right and choose in which direction you wish to cast. As you survey the lake or river in front of you, the 3-D visuals are incredibly picturesque and rank right up there as some of the best that the platform has offered thus far. Birds fly above the water, and scenes like waterfalls and lakesides are the types of the places that would make for fantastic fishing scenery in real life.
Once you cast your line, the view sinks under the waves, utilizing the 3-D effects to their fullest potential as you peer through the clouded waters to watch schools of fish glide around. The game features over 100 lures, each with its own levels of effectiveness versus certain types of fish; using them effectively is a matter of not only using them in the right spots versus the right fish but also using proper technique of taking in the line to make the lure behave in a way that's attractive to the eyes and taste buds of a passing fish. Each lure comes with a small picture guide on how to best use it, so it's not as if trial and error is the only way to learn how to catch a fish, but it gives you enough information to go by without holding your hand.
Once you have a fish on the line, you must first hook it and then fight with it to bring it in. A tension meter appears on the left, and it grows depending on both how much pressure you are reeling in the line with and whether the fish is swimming toward or away from you. If you max the tension meter, the game gives you a second or two of audio cues before the line snaps and you have yet another story about the one that got away. This makes fighting a fish more a matter of working with it as it comes toward you and not just trying to overpower it. After a short time, you are rewarded with a splash and a scene of a clearly out-of-its-element fish lying on the shore and gently flapping its tail as the game details the fish's species and size.
Though we didn't have the chance to check out the feature, the final game will feature tanks for both freshwater and saltwater fish, and you'll be able to keep your catches in them. These fish tanks will be customizable and essentially serve as trophy cases for the living trophies from your more successful fishing outings. The game will also feature missions that you can undertake, such as catching at least X number of fish or catching a certain species above a certain size.
Though our time with Reel Fishing Paradise 3D didn't cover more than a fraction of what the game has to offer, it did have some simple, portable fishing gameplay backed by some truly impressive 3-D visuals. There is certainly some depth to the sheer selections of locations, fish and lures, but the full extent to which they all work together won't be known until the game's release later this month.
Greg Hale also contributed to this preview.
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