Sega Marine Fishing was released in the year 2000 for the arcades, Sega Dreamcast and PC systems. It’s similar to Sega Bass Fishing but this time the focus is on Sea Fishing.
Once again the arcade gave you a fishing rod controller which was attached to the cabinet with a cable that would actually pull left, right and away from you to give you a true fishing experience. The Dreamcast port could also use the fishing controller that was released for it.
It’s one of the few games in which you can ONLY catch saltwater species making it a true Sea Fishing Game.
There are several modes of play in Sega Marine Fishing, the obvious Arcade mode where you have to catch a certain weight in total before the timer runs out. The original mode is the meat of the game though as it has lots of extra options, things to do and items to unlock. In this mode you can fish in pretty much all the locations that the arcade mode has but you do not have a time limit. You can unlock things that you can place inside the aquarium to make it look nicer but you can also unlock the fish that go swim inside them.
I like aquarium games but the aquarium part in this game isn’t that elaborate especially when you compare it to Fishing Resort for instance. You can turn the unlocked items on or off but you can’t really place items exactly where you want. When you visit the aquarium you have a choice of 15 camera viewpoints and you can listen to up to 29 music tracks which is quite relaxing.
There are 18 species of fish that you can unlock but it’s not as simple as just catching them. You might have to catch a certain size of fish or catch them with a specific lure, to top it all off you can catch metal version of all species as well. It might seem like a bit of trial and error but I believe the fun is trying to find what unlocks everything.
There are also a number of mini games all of which have something to do with fishing like casting training, lure action training and fight training.
Last but not least you can free fish in each of the five stages: Coral Reef, The Offing, Shallow, Hideaway of Big Fish and the Fishing Port.
Like Sega Bass Fishing, Sega Marine Fishing has arcade roots and it shows in the gameplay which is easy to pick up but hard to master. There is nothing realistic about this game because in it you can catch big game fish like Marlin and Sailfish in shallow waters with nothing but a casting rod. Big Game Fishing in real life requires a boat, deep waters and heavy duty equipment with which you are barely able to cast in any way. Then again realism isn’t that great if you go out to fish and catch nothing, with Sega Marine Fishing you can catch multiple big game fish in the hundreds of pounds in just a couple of minutes!
Catching the fish is not difficult, just cast away at a good spot and hope there are some fish in the neighbourhood. Once you hook a fish it will swim furiously and you have to watch the tension on the line while reeling it in so that it will not break but also don’t let it slack or the hook may fall out. Get the fish near the boat and you will automatically land the fish after which you see what size and type of fish you just caught.
Sega Marine Fishing does well as a pure Sea Fishing Game with plenty of big game fish to catch and some decent action in the arcade mode. The lack of fishing locations and different types of fish can lower the longevity of the game somewhat but for a quick sea fishing trip this is probably the best you’re going to get.