Rapala Tournament Fishing
At its most basic level, Rapala Tournament Fishing is essentially a port of an existing console game embellished with a whole new control system uniquely suited to Nintendo's motion-sensing Wiimote. Considering how perfect the remote and nunchuk are for videogaming angling (as witnessed to some extent in The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess) it's acutely surprising that this game is as shockingly poor as it actually is.
In theory, it should be a completely different story; the basics all appear to be present and correct - a vast range of fishing equipment on tap, 11 different locations to explore and fish to their very limits, 20 tournaments to compete in, multiple game modes including an arcade mode and time trials... it's clear that some effort has been put into giving the player as many different angling options as possible.
The problem is that the implementation of the control system on the Wii is absolutely abysmal, to the point where the ultra-simplistic d-pad control of your boat is marginally more satisfying and infinitely more responsive than the fishing itself. The core problem is one of response. Once you've cast off and your line is in the water, catching a bite essentially boils down to wobbling the controller about and seeing what happens. Your movements do not actually seem to correlate too closely with the 'action' on-screen and there's zero skill whatsoever required in hooking a fish. Regardless of the user's input, chances are that within seconds you'll get a bite any way. Then there's the process of reeling in the fish - an unsatisfying event where the controls seem to act merely in an advisory capacity. There is some nod to the concept of the tension on the line, and in some cases, the fish will break free and escape - it's just a shame that the response is so utterly poor that you rarely feel engaged in the process at all.
If the control system ruins the game, the graphics do little to mitigate matters - definition and animation are both poor, mediocre even by current gen standards. There's no love for 480p or widescreen either, making the game look and feel even more like a run-of-the-mill PS2 game.
I can't say that I have much love for the sport itself, but games like SEGA Bass Fishing/Get Bass prove that if the gameplay and control method feel right, the concept works and can prove to be very entertaining. That being the case, Rapala Tournament Fishing is frankly terrible considering the rich potential the Wii controller offers for games of this ilk.
3 / 10