Everyone knows if you want to experience a proper fishing trip, it's up at the crack of dawn, on frightfully cold day with a high possibility of rain. Whilst you're there you'll catch one or two fish, waste about 5 hours of your day and come back smelling of fish and the wilds.
The fishing simulator has always been there to take away the nastiness, and allow you to fish til your hearts content on the most miserable of days when you just really do not feel like leaving the house. If you grew up with games like Fisherman's Bait, Action Bass and Reel Fishing you'll feel right at home with Pro Fishing 2012.
So Pro Fishing 2012 is not going to win any awards for the best graphics, especially when you compare it to the pretty impressive Rapala franchise, however what is does deliver is a fishing simulation experience like you used to get from the crazy Japanese fishing sims that made it to Western shores back in the nineties, unfortunately few fishing titles see the light of day on PC these days, and if any do get released they are the more accepted arcade style of the genre.
A nice and simple control scheme is at the core of Pro Fishing 2012, and you can pretty much control the whole game with your mouse, and there is no real need to utilise your keyboard at all during play thanks to the shortcut buttons down the side of the screen, and the main control of your reel covered with the left and right mouse button.
It's a fairly easy game to catch onto, simply sink your hook into the water, and sit around and wait for the fish to bite, you wont have them interested in you every two seconds; this is a simulator after all, and to increase your chances of baiting a fish you can drop a bit of food in. As soon as a fish nibbles on your hook it’s the engaging race to keep your line tension stable and reel them in lest you snap your line!
When you begin your fishing 'career' you'll find that you only have access to one location in the UK, whilst it seems slightly unfair to only have one fishing post available, it does not take long to earn the 200 points necessary to unlock the next luxurious location of outside a quaint little cottage in the UK. Boasting 60 locations you'll be glad to know that they are not all in the UK, and range from Australia, Italy, the Netherlands and South Africa each of which is represented by a different photo, and a distinctive variety of fish.
There is a marvellous range of fish ready to catch from simple Roach, Perch and Bream, or the more luxurious catches like Eel or Plaice. As you catch more and more you can track the combined weight of all your catches, as well as your current points which is essential to unlocking new locations, and items in the shop.
The shop per say is not so much a shop; and it is more of a treasure trove of goodies that are that little bit too far from reach, until you grow in your fishing ability. As you steadily unlock everything at your disposal you'll be able to equip a range of different lures, all manner of types of bait, line, floats and more to attract those illustrious fish so that you can grow even more as a fisherman.
As a nice little added extra whilst you fish you can switch between 10 atmospheric tracks that range from chirping crickets to the sounds of the ocean, and if you cannot deal with the unnatural silence whilst playing on your PC, well there's also three chilled out muzak tracks to pick from. There is also a variety of weather conditions that do not affect your fishing experience, but again add a bit of atmosphere to the game, the same can be said for the day/night toggle that allows you to switch between day and night purely for ambient affect.
As simulators go, there is not actually any more that Pro Fishing 2012 can do to be any more realistic of its subject matter, sure the graphics could do with a bit more love, and a few more music tracks would be nice, but you've got a fantastic range of fish ready to nibble on your hooks, and it is truly a waiting game just like a real fishing trip, if you ever wondered what the big deal was about fishing, play Pro Fishing 2012 and you'll see that there is nothing anywhere near as exciting as some people make out, well unless you like simulators that is!
Pro Fishing 2012 is a trip down memory lane that will conjure memories of the fishing simulator that has long since died, when the Japanese giants Natsume and Konami dominated the little known genre, the only problem is, when playing Pro Fishing it sort of feels as though you never left that era. The game itself is not particularly evolved from the fishing games that many of us knew and loved as children, all Pro Fishing is really offering is an affordable and reliable fishing sim that will run on any PC.
Pro Fishing 2012 is part of Excalibur Publishing's Extra Play range that brings simple and effective simulators to fans at a nice affordable price, it is available now in all good stores and online retailers for the low price of £9.99