TOKYO--Fishing simulations certainly don't appeal to everyone, but there is apparently enough of an audience to keep developers creating them year after year. One of the newest fishing sims is Fish Eyes Portable for the PlayStation Portable. We had a chance to play the game on the floor of TGS, and while we were able to figure out some of the basics, the game's largely Japanese text meant that we were missing out on much more than we played.
The game seems to employ a home base of sorts, in the form of a tranquil cabin in the woods where you can access a number of different menus before striking out on the lake to test your luck. On the lower floor of the cabin, you can examine a menu system for the different lures you own, and you can even check in on an aquarium full of fish you've presumably caught yourself. There's also an upstairs room in the cabin where you can sit at a desk and presumably fill out important fishing paperwork or send vital fishing correspondence, or you can even...you know what, forget it--we have no idea what you could do up there. All we can tell you is that the room looked decent on the PSP screen and was easily navigable with the directional pad.
After checking out the cabin, it was time to go out to the lake and try our luck. At least at the location featured in the game, we were limited as to where we could fish and kept to the bank of a lake. Pressing the left or right trigger moved us laterally up or down the bank, while using the D pad or analog stick aimed our cast. To cast the lure, you hold down the circle button. Once the lure is in the water, you can move to a top-down view of the action (such as it is) to see if there are any fish roaming around your bait. The view only seems to last a few seconds, however, before snapping you back to the first-person view on the shore. You can tug your line left or right by moving the analog stick, but because we couldn't get a single bite from the picky fish in the lake, we aren't able to report on vital information such as fish artificial intelligence, fish aggressiveness, fish speed, fish agility, and other general fish qualities that might be in this game (we like to think there are fish hit points, but that's just us being silly).
Because Fish Eyes Portable is so heavy on Japanese text, it's tough to really give it a thorough shaking down on the TGS floor. It's possible the game could be released overseas, we suppose, if only because we've seen fishing games in the past. Should we get news of a Fish Eyes release for the States, we'll look forward to playing a version of the game we can actually comprehend.