Genre(s): Role-Playing, Simulation, Sports, Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 02/06/2022
A code was provided for review purposes
Casting my Line
Fishing Paradiso is a narrative-focused fishing simulation game. I was initially drawn to the game because of its charming pixel art and calming vibe. Did the game leave a lasting impact on me? Find out in this Rapid Review.
One of the most significant aspects of this game is the story. Each character I met, each location I visited, and each dialogue line served a specific purpose. Though innately, this is not a bad thing, it left me mixed. Initially, I was impressed by the variety in the character design. The unique setting allowed the developers to cohesively introduce characters of varying ages, lifestyles, and species seamlessly. I enjoyed seeing the different personalities and how they worked together to become a unified team. However, at the same time, the rigid structure of the dialogue made it challenging to get attached to the characters. They were undeniably charming, but I did not truly get attached to my character or the surrounding world.
This was particularly evident when my character assisted his friends or had a dream about his previous life. The dialogue lines did not denote intricate personalities as much as I have desired. Conversations often summarized components of characters without showing how certain actions impact their future or past decisions. Overall, the characters blended and were only truly differentiated by their actions. Character personalities were not overly prominent during my playthrough.
Though the straightforward nature of the dialogue and storytelling was a bit disappointing, the story the game told was still cute. There were a few scenes that moved me, and I enjoyed seeing the interactions between characters. Still, considering the number of dialogue lines, I would have liked something more immersive.
Reeling with Excitement
Much like the writing, the core gameplay loop in Fishing Paradiso is simple and straight to the point. Essentially, the whole game consisted of me going to different islands and catching fish. Certain characters would request different amounts of fish, and sometimes I would have to catch a certain quality level of fish, but even considering this, the primary loop is a simple process. I enjoyed how straightforward and progress-oriented the game was. I always knew what tasks were required and which were optional. The designers excellently designed the progression in Fishing Paradiso.
However, while I enjoyed the way progression occurred, the act of catching fish was much less involved than I would have liked. I easily progressed my way through the main campaign by just casting my line and holding a button down. While I had to aim my line and time my throw to reach optimum power, the act of fishing itself required very little skill. This was not innately a bad thing, especially because the game is intended to be calming. However, considering the significance the mechanic has on the game, I would have liked to see something significantly more dynamic. The fishing was calming, but it did not excite or engage me much.
Instead of having an intricate fishing mechanic, the depth came from choosing which elements of my rod to upgrade. I earned coins from completing different quests and catching fish. Thus, I had to decide how to spend them. Unlike some other games where these decisions heavily impact me, these decisions were never significant. If I needed to upgrade my rod, I could always earn more money. Thus, the upgrade system did not make me feel stronger. Instead, it just made progression in Fishing Paradiso more time-consuming, as certain upgrades would be required for certain tasks.
The primary gameplay of Fishing Paradiso is by no means bad. In fact, it can be very therapeutic. However, it is not particularly riveting. A lot of the game consisted of me performing the same action over and over again. Moreover, the minor adjustments that came from the upgrades also did not excite me. The game does achieve its goal of being a fishing simulator, but it does not reward precision or skill.
Though the gameplay was nothing to write home about, the stylistic design is incredibly charming. The art style is vibrant and colourful. Each fish is unique, charming, and even tactfully named. I liked seeing the different creatures I would reel in, as each spot had plenty of unique catches. Even the landscapes were nice. Each asset contributes to a lovely environment. Similarly, the music is lovely. I enjoyed hearing it as I fished. It was calming and reminded me of warm, summery days. Occasionally, it even got stuck in my head. The atmospheric design is a fantastic element of this game, and it enhances the calming environment the game provides.
Despite not falling in love with the characters and finding the fishing mechanic a bit tedious, Fishing Paradiso has a substantial amount of charm. I enjoyed learning more about the world and even just seeing the different fish I would catch. Still, the lack of depth in the fishing mechanics and the repetitive nature of the gameplay loop hold it back. As a calming adventure, there is a lot here to explore. However, the world of Fishing Paradiso did not have the complexity or excitement to keep me riveted.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can purchase Fishing Paradiso from the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.