It's amazing how quickly lying comes back to a person, how swiftly the truth disappears in the mist hanging lazily over still water. Put a rod and reel in his hand and a man's abilities are limited only by his imagination.
Not 10 minutes into playing ''Sega Bass Fishing'' for Sega Dreamcast I found myself slipping back into the boyhood tendency of spinning fish tales, of turning a few hours sitting on the shore of our local lake into the kind of primordial struggle of which legends are made.
''Sega Bass Fishing'' brings it all back. But this time, I don't have to get out of bed before sunrise.
Based on the coin-op game of the same name, ''Sega Bass Fishing'' can be incredibly addictive, particularly when played with Sega's fishing controller. Unlike other virtual fishing games, ''Sega Bass Fishing'' actually feels like fishing. Repeated casting and reeling with a standard Dreamcast controller gets tedious. It's worth shelling out the $30 for the fishing controller, which looks like a cross between a fishing pole and a VCR remote control.
Players can actually cast with a flick of the wrist and then reel the lure in. Jiggling the ''pole'' makes the lure dance, which may scare away the big one -- or make him curious. A vibration function makes the controller jerk and weave when a bass bites, adding a layer of realism.
Perhaps the coolest thing -- and ultimately the thing that undermines the realism -- about ''Sega Bass Fishing'' is the perspective. The camera follows the lure underwater, so players can see what the fish are doing at any given moment. It's beautiful scenery, rendered smartly by Dreamcast's 128-bit processor.
But this isn't fishing. Part of the art of fishing is knowing -- or, rather, guessing -- what's going on beneath the surface. And that's what permits the best part about fishing -- the lying. Every fish that gets away is a monster.
''Sega Bass Fishing'' may get players in the mood to tell a whopper, but the underwater camera and blow-by-blow narrative undermine the ability to get away with it. Even so, the game is a load of fun. Honest.
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