During the end of the year gaming season, fishing titles are probably not the first thing people think of, but I am playing Bass Pro Shop Wii. As a fishing game on the Wii the Strike features a lengthy list of equipment and accessories, which is probably its biggest asset in the entire game. If you’re the type who enjoys real-life swimming, you’ll enjoy being able to choose different manufacturer’s gauge lines or use a spoon or jerk bait to catch your fish.
The overall design is pretty simple; first, you create a character to go fishing, and then you pick your difficulty from two choices: Arcade Easy or Bass Pro Hard. Both difficulties give you a GPS and a fish finder, so the only real difference between the two is the level of competition.
The career mode is also a little lacking, seeming to just be designed as filler. After picking one of the ten lakes available in The Strike, you must earn reputation points prior to entering the tournament. Outside of acting as an entry fee, reputation points don’t provide benefits. On top of that, the required amount of points per tournament increases for no real reason. Each small fish provides you with only four points, and you will need 90 to get into a tournament, turning it into a bit of a grind.
Once I actually entered my first tournament, it was clear that it was hardly different than what I was doing before, only now with the added bonus of a time limit and three other players competing against me to catch the highest mass of their five heaviest fish. The tournament isn’t actually bad, but it would have been better if we could have just jumped right into it instead of having to get the otherwise pointless arbitrary fish.
If you happen to be a real-life angler, you might actually enjoy the tournament structure. For the rest of us, though, landing the big bass isn’t incredibly fun; you have to figuratively wrestle with the fish until its stamina is too low to fight back in order to reel it in successfully. At least the Wii version of the game does benefit from the other versions as you do not need to purchase the rod and reel attachment to take a realistic approach to The Strike, giving this version a stronger point over its other console brethren.
Stand alone game: