It’s just summer vibes, baby. It’s July, it’s hot, I think of fun in the sun, I think of Sega Bass Fishing. Sega is offering free Steam keys for its often-traveled classic Arcade/Dreamcast games as a limited-time promotion — just sign up for the company’s mailing list to receive a free copy of the normally $8 game on August 1.
I did so right away, checked my email, and eagerly waited for my code only to discover this one catch: Sega wouldn’t send out the codes until after the promotion ended. You have until July 31st to sign up for your free copy of Sega Bass Fishing, and codes will be sent out after that on August 1st. That’s okay, instead of instant gratification, you’re sending a gift to your future self, like when there was a six-month wait on Steam Deck pre-orders.
August 1st doesn’t offer much time to catch “The Big One” before Baldur’s Gate drops just a couple of days later, but I’m confident I’ll be able to get a chance to catch before Larian’s Mega RPG drops and fully embrace the Forgotten Realms’ conceit: Elf Who is Good at Everything.
One note about Sega Bass Fishing on PC: It didn’t seem to play well with the original Dreamcast fishing rod controller, even with an adapter. According to user AV on the game’s Steam forums, “The rod motion in this PC port is hard-coded to be bound to the analog stick on the Xbox console, so you still have to either control the rod motion with the stick (recommended) or have a surgically fixed hand to navigate the menu by setting everything to the rod motion (more frustrating than it sounds). Don’t drop $86 on the Sega Dreamcast fishing rod controller on Amazon for explicit use in Sega’s PC version Bass Fishing.
I’ve never seen a Dreamcast in person – I was a Nintendo kid – but looking at the screenshots and gameplay of Sega Bass Fishing fills me with the same sense of shapeless nostalgia as all that ’90s Sega “Blue Sky” stuff – the vibes are impeccable, from the early water reflections to the designs of the Dreamcast Hunters too! The message that pops up in play. But don’t just take my word for it.
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In Gamespot’s original April 28, 2000 review of Sega Bass Fishing on the Dreamcast, James Mielke wrote, “As an inclusive title for everyone who might own a Dreamcast, Sega Bass Fishing is a non-threatening, slightly challenging little game that should keep fishing fans more than happy with its laid-back lakeside offerings.”
In IGN’s 2008, 6/10 review of the Wii port of Sega Bass Fishing, Mark Bozon wrote that “No matter how you look at it, Sega Bass Fishing simply comes up short.” Wait, that’s not good. IGN credits Cavia’s original development company NieR and Drakengard for porting Sega Bass Fishing to the Wii, although MobyGames only lists one Cavia employee, producer Ryuichi Makino, in the game’s credits. Did IGN’s 2008 review, 6/10 for Sega Bass Fishing linger on the mind of young(?) Yoko Taro, who inspired the sense of hurt and injustice in his later NieR series masterpieces? Who can say for sure.