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Ridiculous Fishing
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Review: Ridiculous Fishing

6:00 PM on 03.16.2013 // Jonathan Holmes

It's the best fishing game

A lot of great game developers are fascinated with fishing. Pokémon, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Animal Crossing all feature the option to fish. Earthbound/Mother creator Shigesato Itoi created a series of fishing games. Former Sup Holmes guest Sophie Houlden wants to make a game where every system is based on fishing

What is it that makes fishing such a compelling mechanic to developers? Ridiculous Fishing helps to answer that question. It's takes all of the moment-to-moment experiences associated with fishing (calm, anticipation, surprise, disappointment, pride, shame, epiphany) and turns them all up to appropriately ridiculous levels of intensity. That's why it's the best fishing game.

Ridiculous Fishing (iPad, iPhone [reviewed])
Developer: Vlambeer
Publisher: Vlambeer
Released: March 14, 2013
MSRP: $2.99

Like real-life fishing, Ridiculous Fishing is simple enough on the surface, but once you sink past that surface, you'd be surprised at the depths you'll plunge to. The game utilizes three phases of interconnected gameplay types to make every round of casting into a three-act adventure in and of itself. 

First is the "dodge" phase. After casting your line, your goal is to dodge as many fish as possible in order to make your way as low as you can go. This runs counter-intuitive to your fishing instincts, as it pays off when you get to phase two. The farther down the briney depths you sink, the more types of fish you pass, with each new breed being more exotic and valuable than the last.

When you hit a fish or reach the end of your line, your line starts its way back to the surface. That's when the "catch" phase begins. Now you play the aggressor and work to catch all those fish that you ran in fear from while passing them by in the "dodge" phase. The more fish you grab, the more fish you'll reach the surface with for the "shoot" phase. This is the part of the game where you fling your fish into the air and blast as many of them as you can with various firearms. It is ridiculous. 

These three phases work on the "Pac-Man principles" of design. You're first made to feel afraid of making contact with other in-game characters, putting you in a nail-biting mode of heightened awareness as you negotiate a maze of threats and obstacles. That tension builds until the "power-pellet moment" of phase two, where the tables are turned and you work to aggressively gobble up everything that you were running from mere moments before. That rush of "get it while you can" is then turned up a notch in phase three where you have seconds to cash in on the lives of your defenseless quarry.

It's an amazing formula, which is probably why the game's predecessor Radical Fishing was "admired" enough to be shamelessly ripped off by a-game-which-will-remain-nameless-as-to-reduce-how-successful-it-may-become. Suffice to say, Vlambeer (the developers of Radical Fishing and Ridiculous Fishing) had something to prove here. They had to make a game that not only made Radical Fishing totally obsolete, but would also completely outclass the game that ripped them off as well. 

Vlambeer's personal drive to create the very best iteration of the Radical Fishing concept has paid off for all of us. Everything about the game has been maxed out in both content and quality. There is huge amount of fish to catch, each with their own behaviors and level of scarcity. Some of which actual steal money from you if you catch them, which is a great way to turn the the formula on its head. There are fish that can only be caught at certain times of day, in certain areas of the map, or otherwise require some unconventional means of discovery. There are even boss fish battles. No expense was spared in the creation of this world of fish and the people who kill them.

The more types of fish you discover, the more areas on the world map you unlock, and the more money you're likely to acquire to use toward purchases of the game's many (often hilarious) items. There are loads of different guns, lures, and other items to collect, all of which add gameplay twists, but are never overpowered. This speaks to the game's finely tuned difficulty curve, which never leaves you feeling hopeless, but always gives you the idea that you may do just a little bit better after just "one more game."

When you're not fishing, you can explore the game's largely optional narrative through the in-game Twitter parody Byrdr. What seems like a inconsequential trifle at first quickly unfolds to be quite an emotionally charged tale, which makes sense considering that it the ARG was written by The Stanley Parable creator Davey Wreden. The theme of redemption and questioning of self worth are perfectly in tune with the life of a fisherman.

The art direction here utilizes an angular mosaic style that evoke the strengths of sprite-based graphics without leaning on the idea of "retro" appeal. The abstract look exudes an unpredictable, playful character that's the perfect fit for a game called "Ridiculous Fishing." The music is simple and strange, also a perfect fit for a game with such a name.

Yes, perfect is the word for Ridiculous Fishing. Everything comes together to deliver a cohesive whole that works to alternate between making you smile, making you wonder, and most of all, making you want more. Thankfully, the game is quick to offer more. Just when you think you've seen the end, there's a new area, new item, a new kick in the storyline, or new fish to savor. 

Ingeniously designed, continuously compelling, painstakingly crafted, dripping with personality, packed with content -- I like everything about Ridiculous Fishing.



THE VERDICT

10

Ridiculous Fishing - Reviewed by Jonathan Holmes
Editor's Choice Award - Is it legal to marry a videogame? Because I want to be with this game every day for the rest of my life. It completes me. It is my soul mate.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
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Paul S avatarPaul S
GeoHolmes [img]https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/ntf3p5PqS2GteYfXUH33[/img]
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I have no idea what this game is about but if this isn't the best goddamn cover art ever, I don't know what is. [url=http://imgur.com/3yw3G8S][img]http://i.imgur.com/3yw3G8S.jpg[/img][/url]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
#thanksnintendo.
Shinta avatarShinta
Xenoblade X limited edition on Amaxon now. Will probably sell out very fast like usual. http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=1103729&page=1
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Just got a Vita with a 16GB card for super cheap. What games should I be looking out for?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
So the XCX Special Edition was marked as in stock for 20 seconds and I got a copy! I am disproportionately excited considering what it comes with. Hopefully the art book and packaging are high quality. WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Surprise, Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition has already sold out on Amazon.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Just a heads up, the Xenoblade Chronicles X Special Edition is up for preorder on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Xenoblade-Chronicles-Special-Edition-Wii-U/dp/B014LNTVGK I think it'll be available elsewhere but you know. Nintendo. Love em but hard to find.
Clicks Clacks avatarClicks Clacks
Picked up Valkyria Chronicles for $5 in the Humble Store, figure I'd advertise that for anyone that doesn't have it yet. Sale ends in less than 42 hours after this post yo. https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/valkyriachronicles_storefront
gajknight avatargajknight
My copy of National Geographic came today. Best subscription I've paid for, worth it for the lovely pictures alone. This one has a story about elephant poachers and ivory tusks with spy chips in 'em. James Bond shit man.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
If someone used the blog reply feature to just divide a somewhat long blog into easier-to-digest chapters that could be consumed at the leisure of readers, would that be kosher?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
[youtube]https://youtu.be/7bzKWOeSVn4[/youtube]
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
@Barry Kelly It looks like it will get pretty difficult later on. It even has instafail stealth sections according to @Chris Carter #neededanexcuse to #tryouttheatfeature
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I hope MGS V manages to have some sort of challenge to it. I just replayed MGS 4 for the first time since release and wow that game just practically plays itself. And that's outside of the long sections it is playing itself!
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Splatfest Decipticons, Let us crush the Autobot menace [img]http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/attachments/transformers-fan-art/27462687d1408744118-3d-tarn-model-tarn-propaganda-copy-01.jpg[/img]
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Hey, all you Australian/UK/German Pokemon trainers out there! The Shiny Rayquaza event is ending, has just started, or will be starting in a few days (respectively), so be sure to get in on it while the getting is good!
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4 days unt... no, wait... 3 days until Sahelanthropus.
Jish K avatarJish K
Greetings. For I am new. And still struggling to get that dang blog header to change.
From Must Git Gud avatarFrom Must Git Gud
MGSV is looking very good so far! Played to 2% completion last night. Pure stealth seems REALLY hard so far. PS3 version runs fine, loading times are OK, no slow downs, draw distance and pop-in are a bit rough. No glitches. Be prepared! Get it on PS4.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Jealous of all my brethren at PAX Prime. Sad I will miss out on the drinking, orgies and catching the PAX flew. This time next year though, I'll be there! I promise!
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