In fall of 2018, we played, reviewed, and streamed Ultimate Fishing Simulator on PC. You can check out this coverage here.
The Xbox One version remains pretty much the same game, for better and worse.
For better, this title retains the same satisfying RPG mechanics to keep the rod in your hands. When a fish is caught, the player can choose to gain experience points or gold. Experience points are needed to reach new levels which comes new gear, equipment, and other unlockables. However, the player needs to spend money to actually purchase and use this new equipment. Both experience and cash are valuable and the player will need a lot of it to see it all. There is a lot here and dedicated fishing fans will have a blast tinkering with all the lines, lures, rods, and reel options. Eventually, the player can venture through the realistic looking lakes on a boat and even participate in ice fishing. The fish dictionary is also loaded with info if you wanted a history lesson on aquatic life. Skill points are used to unlock special abilities like lowering prices, casting further, increasing reeling skills, etc. These perks also add to the addictive nature of the RPG mechanics.
For worse, this console version retains the same PC mouse and keyboard interface, making it cumbersome to control with a controller’s analog stick. Although the menu system is intimidating, often filled with tons of information, the fishing mechanics are mostly straightforward. With casting and reeling mapped to the shoulder and trigger buttons, anyone can catch fish. However, it still is a mega bummer that the player is limited to two camera angles – over-the-shoulder and a static view of the bait underwater. Not being able to rotate the camera when in the underwater view is probably this sim’s biggest flaw as waiting for fish bite slows the pace to a crawl and doesn’t give players the opportunity to admire the realistic visuals. The on-screen text is a little too small as well which makes the overall UI a little difficult to appreciate.
If you are into fishing sims, there is plenty to enjoy here even if this port doesn’t play as smoothly as the PC version. However, if the idea of waiting around to catch a honker doesn’t please you, perhaps the arcadeyness of something like Sega Bass Fishing or RPG-like Legend of River King (Gameboy) by Natsume could be more your pace.
Also available on PC with PS4 and a Switch version coming in 2020.
Not As Good As: catching that honker in real life
Also Try: catching honkers in Animal Crossing
Wait For It: catching honkers in the official announced Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2