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Entry 324 posted in: 3. Gamebits

Fishing Champ is a new MMO brought to us by Games Campus that is also responsible for the superb Shot Online golf simulation. As in my personal dictionary the words fishing and simulation seem to be somewhat contradictory I was of course very eager to try it out. But alas most of the time the website was only announcing that a beta version of the game was still in the make.

Then on August the 16th came the news that an open beta of the game was downloadable. When I found out it was only 169 MB I didn't hesitate to beam it down and install. That went without a problem. Because it was the middle of the night at my time zone of the world I decided to get some sleep first and to start the game when I would wake up.

Starting the game has to be done, oddly enough by clicking a button on the official website. The icon on the desktop is only a shortcut to the webpage in question.

The next day after signing in and clicking the game start button Fishing Champ software started updating. Although this happens all the time on Shot Online, Carom3D and other Internet games I found this a bit strange on a program that had only been released the night before. It could be a good sign of course. Must be that the guys from BeTo Interactive were very alert to get the latest bugs out of the game. I was wrong.

Updating started at 13:52 and the percentage counter only added a percent every 90 seconds or so... I made me some food, gave the cats some food, made me some food again, watched some cycling on the telly and when I came back to the computer nearly two hours later the updates had finally finished, at 15:41 to be precise. My Sygate Personal Firewall logfile told me that the update had taken 583,919,093 bittersweets or about 557 megabytes. I find it strange that a simple upgrade of a 169 MB program takes 3 times the amount of the initial download but perhaps this is a typical Korean thing to do.

But let's stick to the gameplay. After you have created a character you can go to different maps that have several fishponds. Then, just as in real life, you sit on a chair and watch the cork floating. As it starts going up and down there will be a big chance you have a fish on the hook. Finally there is some time for action. You have to fight the fish so that its strength wears off before your power does. Manipulating the mouse buttons or the arrow keys does that. Once you have reached level 10 catching fish becomes a difficult struggle so the first ten levels may be considered as an introduction to the game.

The catch seems to be to acquire all possible types of fish; apparently there are over 30 normal species and some special god- and boss-fishes as well. Some fishes can only be found on the higher lever ponds, other fishes only take special bait, come out at a special time of day or swim in a unique habitat you have to find by yourself.

That's about it. Fishing will give you extra power, extra luck or extra focus and of course there are garments and hooks and rods that will add some points to your personality points as well. Probably when the game goes commercial there will be some ponds you will only be admitted to after paying for it.

The game appeals to the collector in all of us. After 20 minutes of gameplay I was thrilled when I found a new fish species or a bigger fish from a species I already got. But the question is: will this still be the case after 200 hours?

A part of the game I didn't try yet is the aquarium where you can keep your fishes as pets. This is the Tamagotchi part of the game, as you will have to feed them, change the water now and so often and try to keep the herbivores apart from the carnivores.

Graphics are rather cute in a kiddie's style so I suppose the game has been created for the kids segment, although one can never be sure with game creators, especially from the East. The fact that there is a very strict (and stupid) dirty words filtering system may have something to do with that. But I guess when you are a 14-years old you'd rather slash some monsters on the net than catch a fish.

I'm a bit afraid though that the freshness of the game will soon wear off. It'll take you a month to catch half of the fishes but once you realise it will take you another year to grab the rest it might be counterproductive.

But as this is still a beta perhaps the final version will still contain some extra surprises for all of us. (This open beta version expires at August the 23rd.)

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: The Sandbox Of God