From G4Box and the interestingly named My New Children Inc., comes a new massive multiplayer online fishing game called Fishing Hero. This concept got some of us at the Twinfinite office very curious, so two of our writers set sail into the virtual blue yonder to give you their impressions of the game, letting you know whether or not Fishing Hero is worth looking into.
It is usually apparent what audience certain games are made for. In the case of Fishing Hero, I’m guessing the people that would most enjoy a fishing MMO would be the people who have enjoyed that sidequest in previous MMOs. I, personally, never quite enjoyed it in any game and I thought that perhaps Fishing Hero would make these types of games more lucrative and fun. Sadly, Fishing Hero has a lot of issues that need to be fixed before it can contend with some of the bigger MMOs out there.
When you first start out in Fishing Hero, you are introduced to a man (and by introduced I mean a dialogue box just pops up with his face on it) who teaches you the basics of the fishing mechanics. At this point is where some of the issues with the game begin to arise. The dialogue is pretty badly written; it seems as though someone started writing in a different language, and then decided to copy-paste whatever they got from Google Translate. Aside from that, there are some issues with the UI when the tutorial is going on. Some parts of the UI overlap a bit, thus making it a little tedious to advance in the tutorial and to later buy items and check out the shop.
Though it is important to remember to look at this game in the context of something that is still being beta-tested, the gameplay as it stands leaves a lot to be desired. The fishing mechanics are relatively simple, you’re essentially “battling” fish when they are on your hook. The casting of the line is just a point and click somewhere onto the ocean surface. The actual battle is just a series of timed clicks and swings, and gets repetitive fairly quickly. I found myself battling fish way beyond my level simply because once you got the hang of the battle, you could pretty much take on any of the fish in the area.
One of my main issues with Fishing Hero, however, had to be the fun factor. The game itself wasn’t horribly broken, I saw potential with the things that were being done and the possibility of expanding boats and reels seemed pretty cool when I first heard about it, but the game just wasn’t exciting enough for me. As I said before, Fishing Hero is clearly marketed to specific people, but maybe the whole idea of a “niche” audience doesn’t really suit a game that is trying to be an MMO. If there were more gameplay considerations for those of us who didn’t really enjoy the somewhat monotonous fishing mechanics we’re familiar with in other games, Fishing Hero would likely be able to attract more players.
In spite of my own personal opinions about how difficult it is to make a “fun” fishing game, I also recognize that there are people who enjoy games with an overall relaxed and easygoing tone. Fishing Hero is a game that you don’t have to dedicate all of your attention to. It’s completely possible to tab out of the game and do something else while your character casts out their fishing line. As soon as you hear the sound indicating a bite, you can just go right back in and catch that sucker. Overall, Fishing Hero has some potential with the more casual gaming market, but as it stands, it would probably need some serious gameplay tweaks in order to grab the interest of gamers who are more inclined to play action-y MMOs.
I am not entirely sure what I was expecting when I first saw the Fishing Hero website, but something excited me. It was probably the novelty behind a fishing MMO in general; it was something I had certainly never heard of. Seldom are there ever chances to be able to sail around catching badass creatures like megasharks, killer octopi, or even a sharktopus. I wanted that badly, so I signed up for the beta and downloaded it without hesitation. Unfortunately, for my tastes, Fishing Hero plays it too safe, although that might actually appeal to some. Thus is the polarizing issue with Fishing Hero: it’s like regular fishing.
This could be a novel idea for some people living in places where fishing is an inconvenience for whatever reason, but with other fishing games out on the market and the whole colorful presentation, I was expecting something more along the lines of Monster Hunter in the ocean, however that is not Fishing Hero. You will eventually be able to catch and make those deep sea pals, but not any time as soon as you might hope. Ol’ Bottlejaw, the shark that took your legs back in 1932, will have to wait.
Fishing Hero may currently be in beta, but in its current state, it is hardly an engrossing experience when compared to other MMOs on the market. The game’s biggest issue is how it’s so similar to regular fishing, in terms of long bouts of tedium. The fantastical element missing from Fishing Hero leaves it being a somewhat bare experience making me wonder why I don’t just drive to the coast and go fishing myself. Although, as I mentioned, I’m sure someone without that opportunity can find merit in the quasi-realistic components of Fishing Hero. Personally, I found it pretty enjoyable and relaxing for a few hours once I completely muted the awful in-game music and just played Heart’s Dreamboat Annie on a loop. It’s the perfect fishing music and while it made it a casual and pleasant experience, I still felt unfulfilled.
The “battles” with fish have some room for excitement, but they are hardly ever a real challenge. Many people are going to itching for a face off against massive, mysterious, mythical fish, but those are nowhere to be found. To be fair, I was given one quest to catch three mutant fish, but I really could not find them, as much as I wanted to finally encounter any sort of monstrosity. Once again, the most intriguing aspects are just out of reach. Fishing Hero could really use a more spectacular and vivid atmosphere to pique the interests of a larger variety of players.
It may be an MMO, but it only feels like it at its most basic gameplay elements. While you can be on a map with around 8 other people at a time, trudging along the waves, catching fish after fish, there is no stimulation of interaction or excitement beyond what’s happening from your own slow little boat. In fairness, there is a co-operative mode, but it is still unavailable.
Essentially, Fishing Hero has about as much excitement as regular fishing, but that realistic pace can prove to be more of a hindrance than anything else. With your basic MMO community and micro-transactions at play, Fishing Hero offers little to really hook players and keep them coming back for more. You might want to keep an eye on it though. In its completed form, Fishing Hero may well end up something very special.
The closed beta just ended to give time for the developers to work on fixing a number of problems and bugs met by recent players. Fishing Hero will return in open beta at a currently undetermined date. We will keep you updated once that date is given, just in case you are interested in trying it out.