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Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009 Review (X360)

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Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009 Review (X360)
Activision
Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009 is the lazy man’s fishing game. You never have to move your boat and it doesn’t matter what lure you use because the fish will bite anything and you literally catch a fish on every cast. There is no challenge or strategy or realistic fishing here whatsoever. The potential audience for fishing games is already pretty small, but Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009 is too simple of a game to appeal to even the most desperate fisherman. Find out all of the details right here.
Quick Hits

  • Title: Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009
  • Platform: Xbox 360
  • Publisher: Activision Value
  • Developer: Fun Labs
  • ESRB Rating: “E” for Everyone
  • Genre: Fishing
  • Pros: Detailed fish; fast pace; easy 1000 Gamerscore points
  • Cons: Lures, position make zero difference; way, way, way too easy; long load times

Gameplay

Whether you are playing the Tournament, Open Fishing, or Quick Challenge modes, the game plays out pretty much the same no matter what. After a long load time you appear out on the lake on your boat. Don’t worry about driving the boat around, though, because most of the lake is blocked off and you can only fish in a small area. And it doesn’t matter anyway because there are always fish around no matter where you are. Always. You cast into the water using the right analog stick (just like shooting the puck in NHL 09 or swinging a club in Tiger Woods), and you reel in with the left trigger. As you reel in, an icon pops up on the bottom of the screen and, after following some Quick Time Event-style button presses, you have activated the “Attract Fish” function. Now, no matter what you do, you are going to catch a fish. And in tournaments that challenge you with a specific species, you will only catch that species. Even if you don’t use the attract fish function, you still catch a fish 99% of the time, but it might not always be the species you wanted. Now, I ask you, what the heck is the point of a fishing game where you catch a fish on every single cast? Where is the fun?

Activision
Not only do you catch a fish on every cast, no matter whether the goofy radar says there are any fish in the water or not, it also doesn’t matter what lure you use. There are 30 lures to choose from, and other than challenges where you have to use a specific lure, there is never any reason to change. Your instincts as a fisherman may scream at you that a certain lure would be better in a given situation, but the fish will bite anything so it doesn’t ever matter. It should be no surprise, then, that the spinnerbait and buzzbait, the bass fisherman’s bread and butter and what I’d probably be throwing in real life when presented with the conditions on most of the 7 lakes in the game, aren’t even unlocked until you beat the very last tournament. Let me say that again – your best weapons for catching fish (in real life, anyway) aren’t even available until you have already finished the game! If that doesn’t prove how backwards and stupid this game is, I don’t know what will.

Also, in most fishing games, at least more recent ones, they give you a ton of options for rods and reels and lines and lures and boats and even clothing. Not here. Your only character choices are a generic looking man or woman and there is no customization whatsoever. Likewise, you can’t change your boat. You do eventually unlock different rods and reels, but they make zero difference.

Graphics and Sound

Graphically, Fishing Frenzy 2009 is a bit of a mixed bag. The world on top of the water is kind of an ugly mess. The water itself looks good, but the shoreline and plants all lack detail and just aren’t very attractive. Underneath the water, however, the game is actually pretty nice looking. You see tons of fish swimming around, underwater plants are everywhere, and there are fallen trees and many man made objects strewn around the bottom. The fish are also surprisingly detailed and look very good.

The sound is entirely forgettable. Bland music. Bland sound effects. And bland announcer that only chimes in to tell you about how good or bad your latest catch is.

Bottom Line

Activision
All in all, Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009 is a completely terrible game that not even the most die-hard fisherman will be able to enjoy. The main problem is that the game is just too easy and none of the normal things that matter in a fishing game – choosing the right rod and reel, finding the best spot on the lake, using the right lure, etc. – make any difference. You always catch fish no matter what, and that is just completely stupid. The only way I can possibly recommend this game is if you are a gamerscore junkie and want to pick up 1000 fairly easy points. Give it a rental, spend 3-4 hours with it to collect your points, and then take it back. For anyone else, I advise you to avoid Rapala Fishing Frenzy 2009 entirely.
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