I'm not that big on sports games, although I've been known to let my guard down on occasion and actually enjoy a few. But for the greater part a sport already IS a game, why not just go outside and play it? Save yourself the money.
But fishing games aren't quite like that. You need a boat, reels, bait, the list goes on, but even when you DO have all that stuff you just sit there and wait. Maybe I've been spoiled by the fast action of today's video games, but I don't think a game where waiting is a prime factor in the experience translates very well in to a video game.
Now, don't get me wrong, I know Sega and its fans are big on the fishing genre, I mean look at the facts, Sega Marine Fishing is the sequel to Sega Bass Fishing, which found more than a cult following and actually managed to sell some titles. Truth is, they don't make specialty controllers for genres nobody plays. As far as fishing games go, this one is top-notch.
But from a gamer's point of view, its seriously lacking. 12 different lures to choose from and 15 different fish. That's supposed to be a lot? Its obvious where they focused their time, modeling wise, the fish look great, seriously, but the humans on the boat are terrible. Like the models from GoldenEye (Rare, Nintendo 64) they can't move their hands, and when they bend over you can literally count the polygons on their backs popping into place (12). Also, there's some voice acting, and no matter how much you adjust the volume controls it's hard to hear, and what you can hear is horribly repetitive.
I'm insulted that when I hook a fish, it starts playing loud rock and roll-style music, as if THAT is supposed to make it cool. I mean, it's such an obvious attempt to "lure" in people who normally don't enjoy fishing games by making it seem more "extreme" or something.
I know people, I actually do, who like this game. Not love it, but like it. And I can kind of see what they see here, in the "story" mode you can win items and fish that you compile into a huge aquarium, and you can go in at any time and watch your winnings swim around through the coral you won, and since there's nothing more soothing that water, its kind of nice. You could leave it on in the background if you don't own an actual aquarium.
I found Sega Marine Fishing on sale at a local department store, and it even came with a free VMU. The price had been market down to just $9, and that was cheaper than buying a brand new VMU. I really looked at it as buying a VMU for $9 and getting a free game, not the other way around.
Basically it's the best damn fishing game out there; unfortunately it's also a fishing game.