Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Perfect Summer Game Pt. 5 [Final]

Blaugust Day 5

Summer is coming to a close, or at least it feels like it is. It's time that I decided on a perfect summer game to round out the season. The perfect summer game should have all the traits of the games I've mentioned so far. To recap, the traits that make up the perfect summer game are the following: set in a tropical island paradise like those seen in Chrono Cross and Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude; social activities which can be found in games like Napoleon Dynamite: The Game and Feel the Magic: XY/XX; even the licensed game duo Road Runner's Death Valley Rally and Desert Demolition Starring Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote help to see the smoldering hot "outside" as a fun environment.

So I went over to my humble games shelf and looked for a game that possessed these qualities. I didn't find one. So I went over to my Wii tower and there I found the perfect summer game: Fishing Resort for the Nintendo Wii. I know you're probably thinking "is that like a Cabela's game?" and 1) not really, and 2) Cabela's video games are actually good games. Where the more technical, western developed fishing simulator focuses on realistically depicting a fishing trip, Fishing Resort captures the spirit of fishing and amplifies it with Japanese flair.

A character of your creation goes on vacation to the island of Penangkapan. There are supposedly 15 different locations to explore but I haven't been to them all. I play Fishing Resort to relax, so I've only made it to a few areas. The fishing is different in every area, and even varies within each location. There is a bit of technical stuff as you must have the right bait, lure, rod to catch the right fish. You won't catch a swordfish with a bobber, but you can sure try. You can choose to follow the main quests the game gives you or choose not to. It's easy to take a boat out to the reeds and just fish, or ride a bike out to an alcove until sunset. If you do want a challenge there are daily challenges where you fish against other vacationers for a prize. It's not all for bragging rights as all the fish you catch get added to your aquarium. The aquarium has smaller fresh water fish towards the front, and larger tropical fish and sea creatures as you go further back. This feature is pretty impressive on its own.

If you find yourself playing Fishing Resort and have no desire to fish, there's still hope. Your custom character starts off with some money [and can earn more by catching fish]. In addition to fishing gear you can shop for clothes. You can make your Mii-like character look even more like you, or dress them up in silly costumes. There's also a handy camera so you can snap a picture at the perfect moment. The game really is beautiful so these moments pop up very often.

Fishing Resort was developed by Propeand advertised as "A new game by Yuji Naka, 'The Creator of Sonic'!"–but it would've stayed in Japan if it weren't for XSEED Games. A lot of people mistake XSEED for a mere video game publisher or even a developer. What they do is way more special than that. XSEED finds successful Japanese video games that publishers won't bring to North America. They get the rights to publish, market, and distribute the game in this region. And then they take the source code and localize the game. This entails a hefty amount of translating text, audio, and even in-game assets until the game is playable to a westerner. To entice you into buying their niche games XSEED's titles usually come with some extras like a game's OST on CD, an ornate game box and manual, or maybe a concept art pamphlet. Retailing at $40, Fishing Resort came bundled with this:
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I love Wii peripherals more than I probably should. I know they are gimmicks, but at least they're tangible gimmicks. Fishing Resort has motion controls that are fun and frustrating. Fun because the motions accurately reflect fishing, and frustrating because sometimes that means reeling in a big one only to be disappointed by some seaweed or driftwood. This is one of those games that gets motion controls right. It also tried something different and stands out as a fun and unique game as a result.

That's Fishing Resort, the perfect summer game. To me it is the embodiment of summer in video game form. Feel free to go back and read my thoughts on other games I consider great summer games. I was inspired to make this series of blogs after watching Joshua Gillespie's Top 10 Favorite Summer Themed Games video. You can watch it here:

To anyone reading along, what is your perfect summer game? Do you have any games you associate with summer?
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