My Favorite Fishing in Video Games Where Fishing is Not Core Game Play
A really awesome surprise for me is always to boot up a game that is full of action and suspense to be introduced to a fishing side activity. I have toiled away at fishing in games for hundreds of hours at least. It has gotten so bad in some instances that my friends have asked me why I haven’t just taken the plunge into real fishing. It’s definitely because that is a lot of work and in real life I don’t catch a fish every 30 seconds. They have also wondered why I don’t just play a fishing simulator like Planet Fishing (Shout out to Planet Fishing that’s a great game). And that’s where I have to think for a while. Fishing while you have better things to do like save the world is very special. You aren’t fishing because it’s the objective of the game or because that’s why you are there, you are fishing because it’s fun and maybe you need a break to swing a fishing rod instead of a sword. And then you can stop, and get back to fighting or whatever the rest of the game entails. Below are games that have fishing in them for mostly no reason at all. I have shamelessly spent way to long with my bait in these waters and absolutely loved every second of it and I hope that you (the reader) can find a lot of relaxation in these waters as well.
Since the very first Pokemon game there has been fishing. You get the old rod from some guy and then you are free to fish up as many goldfishes that you want hoping that one of them will grow up to be a 21 foot tall dragon. Pokemon has combined their fishing with their main game play and makes you at least start a battle with the fish you drag onto shore. Now fishing in Pokemon is pretty subpar mainly because a single Pokemon game hasn’t really been known to have more than a handful of Pokemon that you can fish for. Also if you are looking for a strong water type Pokemon you could do a lot better than fishing for it. Typically a Pokemon player will fish about 5-10 times total. And although fishing for Pokemon isn’t all that great it has been in every game for over 20 years and that is pretty impressive. It’s a small detail that makes the world of Pokemon feel like a real world of wild creatures.
Sonic Adventure DX
In Sonic Adventure DX you are given the choice to play as a lot of different characters, one of which is named Big the Cat. Most of the characters are combat characters that rely on speed and attacks to get through levels, some even wielding rocket launchers and extremely oversized hammers. However when you start the story of Big the Cat you are thrown in a completely opposite direction. Big the Cat is a giant purple cat who lives in the jungle with his best friend Froggy. Froggy accidentally swallows one of the most powerful objects in the Sonic universe and Big the Cat must chase him all over the world trying to fish him out of where he is hiding so that he can eject the Chaos Emerald out of him and they can return to their life in the jungle. The fishing mechanics in this game actually are really good and this is probably because Sega had just put out a series of mildly successful Bass fishing games before releasing this game. Either way its absolutely hilarious that Big the Cat gets to defeat Chaos 6 right before Super Sonic has his showdown with Chaos Perfect.
Final Fantasy XV
In Final Fantasy XV you play as Noctis and his favorite hobby is fishing. When I first played this game I sped through it and never fished once and reached the end of the game never indulging Noctis in his hobby. When I replayed Final Fantasy XV I fished for 50 hours and then ejected the disc from my console. The fishing in Final Fantasy XV is surprisingly deep with a lot of the vendors supporting what you could call a fishing road trip. In the game it is extremely dangerous to be out at night so I would plan day trips to lakes to maximize the amount of fishing I would get to do. I would prepare days in advance to make sure I could afford the trip and that I had enough supplies to both protect myself at the lake and have enough supplies to last the whole day. Final Fantasy XV really is a game about getting really distracted and fishing is probably its best distraction. My days on the lake were the perfect balance of peaceful and rewarding, this game offers an awesome reward of well planned trips and a good haul of fish.
Final Fantasy XIV Online
Final Fantasy XIV is the only game I have ever played where the fishing played exactly like its combat. When you are fighting enemies in a dungeon in FFXIV you are constantly adding buffs, landing hits, using consumables, and managing resource bars. When you are fishing in FFXIV you are constantly adding buffs, landing hits, using consumables, and managing resource bars. Note you are doing so at a much more leisurely and less life threatening pace but you are still doing it. I never maxed out the fisher class but I got it into the expansion content which was a really long and relaxing experience. Yet another Final Fantasy title where the real meat of the game is in getting distracted. When you fish you also sell on a player market that fluctuates based on market price just like real fish. You get the relaxing fishing side of the game and also an aggressive economic number crunching side as well. I spent way too long with a real pen and paper deciding how much I should sell for on any particular day and bossing around my two cat girl employees.The MMO aspect of the game adds so much to what you would expect to be a very solitary experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Have you ever gone fishing for hours to receive an empty bottle? That is exactly what kick started my addiction to fishing in Twilight Princess. An empty bottle in Twilight Princess means another way to heal yourself, another way to add oil to a lantern, another way to carry useless water around. The only way to get the 4th bottle in the game is to go to a dedicated fishing spot and fish until you pulled it out of the pond. The actual fishing is pretty weird, it involves motion controls which I still am not entirely sure what they do or how to properly use them but it is really fun to hold the pole in gyroscope and set the lure in the water waiting for fish to come get a nibble. Although the physics with the water make it difficult to see if you have actually gotten a bite or not it still is enjoyable the other 85% of the time it works.
So this one is at the top of every other “fishing in games” list and there is a big reason for that. It’s really good. I think in my first Stardew Valley farm I gave up farming entirely and fished all day every day and stopped to buy food to replenish my energy and go back at it. I really didn’t care about getting rich or making enough money to expand the farm or get to know everyone I actually spent about 50 hours just fishing. The fishing takes some skill and a pretty keen eye but the random jerks of the fish and the rhythm of the game play are so fun to try to master. It’s a part of Stardew Valley that I felt like I was continuously improving on as time went on and it was really fun. I mean I don’t recommend it because you’ll end up moderately poor but it was really fun.
Fantasy Life offers you 12 potential jobs, you could be a brilliant blacksmith or a devious potions maker, a lumberjack or a knight, a hunter or a seamstress. However your inner dad is calling and you decide you want to play through a fantasy RPG as a fisherman, hell yeah. the story is relatively short so you can quickly unlock a lot of locales to fish at and there is a manageable economy system that lets you deal in fish in advantageous ways. You can even pick up cooking on the side and make fancy dinners and sell the fish for higher you can do that as well. Fantasy Life is like a clever mix between Animal Crossing and Final Fantasy XIV and it kind of succeeds and falls short of it. The fishing also takes a good amount of skill and rhythmic approach to master so it doesn’t get boring almost at all until you have cleared the game.
Maple Story 2
Maple Story 2 is one of the most expressive and cutest games that I have ever played. And the fishing is no different, its all about style. The fishing in Maple Story 2 is monotonous and can get old but you do it for the chibi clout. Because much like the rest of the game you can look however you want and do whatever you want and sometimes you just feel like kicking back and throwing lure in the water at the beach. I never got super into the fishing in this game but it won me over with its adorable design and stylish atmosphere.
Animal Crossing Series
Of course I had to include the most popular game right now. Animal Crossing has become something of a connection between people when we can’t leave the house. A thing we all have in common on social media and with our friends. My first experience with Animal Crossing really starts with New Horizons and I was completely blown away. The fishing isn’t super complex or difficult but the range of what you can pull out of the water and what you can do with it is absolutely breathtaking. For a game about cartoon people living with humanoid cartoon animals the fish looking photo realistic. And the museum where they can be kept is stunning. The museum looks like it was designed to capture the feel of being in a museum and matches the design of all the great real life aquariums and observatories. Although it is a bit frustrating when your rod breaks it is easy enough to make one (or worst case buy one) to get your bait back in the water.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Tell me I’m wrong, you can’t. Isabelle getting added to Smash brought a very powerful fishing move that isn’t practical all the time but is really funny. Wouldn’t recommend this game if you are looking to relax and fish but I do recommend hooking your friend with a fish hook and send them flying off screen if you had to.
I have a very special role in Minecraft when I join a friends server. A role that I assign to myself. While everyone is off getting awesome swords, spelunking for diamonds, and exploring the infinite landscape, I build a small wooden shack and I set up a farm with an irrigation canal and start fishing. A steady supply of food is necessary and while I’m hanging out with my friends in a server I’m happy to be the one to provide it. The fishing in this game is probably the slowest of all the ones on this list but is the most useful. just throwing the fish in the oven creates food that can help keep you and your companions alive for a long time. I think I definitely have my limits with Minecraft fishing and I couldn’t do it for hours on end it is rewarding to set up shop and find a nice place to settle down for a few hours to fish.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
This is the only Tactical RPG in this post. Fire Emblem: Three Houses has sections between combat where you can go and talk to your students and do other activities. We aren’t here to discuss other activities though we are here for the fishing. The fishing allows you to catch fish for some reason that I’m sure is good but never intrigued me enough to learn. All I know about the fishing in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is that it’s fun. I started to bust through combat just so that I could get back to fishing. The funniest part about this one is that the fish has a health bar. Pressing the A button at the exact moment finds a way to become easier and still find ways to mess you up. Either way, I’m not that interested in tactical RPGs but I heard there was fishing in this game so I had to play it and it was worth it.
Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
In Jak & Daxter, Daxter gets turned into a small animal by dark eco while exploring a dangerous island off the shore of his home with his best friend Jak. To get back to the island to investigate, the pair have to borrow a boat owned by a fisherman who is troubled by an invasive species of poisonous eel that is ruining his haul. He asks Jak to catch fish for him without catching any eels. This fishing mini game can only be done once but it is going to either be something you think is very unique or a huge waste of time. All I’ll say is that the sound that the fish makes when it goes into the net is absolutely a reward in itself it is so satisfying. But anyways, more intense than some other options here but get it done so you can get back to absorbing eco powers and jumping on stuff.
Shovel Knight is a 2D action platformer but you can also fish. And you fish for the best kind of fish, money. You can get some other stuff too like health pickups and magic replenishers but we know what you want. You see that little glint and you pop out the fishing rod and pull out those money bags. If you are devoted enough you can even get a surprise from the Troupple King (long live his highness) if you fish out the right stuff. I don’t even know if I fished all that much when I played Shovel Knight but it’s hilarious that you can.
I did not play a lot of NieR and that’s because I was fishing. I don’t know why all I did was fish but you throw your little robot in the pond and you lean on a magical stool so honestly it was good enough for me.
If you know then you know. In hind sight there really wasn’t a whole lot to do in Club Penguin but this mini game really messed me up. You basically get to move up and down, catching fish and avoiding trash and other hazards. Basically trying to do this and catch as much fish as possible to avoid having to ask your parents for real money to pay for snacks to feed a virtual ball of fluff with eyeballs. I don’t really remember how challenging it really was but I remember getting decently high scores to about like 100 fish per round so I guess it was pretty easy if I could do that at age 10.
Rune Factory 4
I’m gonna be very honest about this one and say that the fishing in Rune Factory 4 is basically just Animal Crossing fishing but more anime. The fish react to the pole the same, the fish almost look the same, and the buttons to respond are the same. What makes this one special is where you can take it. You can fish in the little moat in town, in the lake, in a dungeon full of monsters, in a lake that is eternally the season fall, anywhere. You are constricted by the boundaries of Stardew Valley and that is how much energy you have and how much time you have in the day. It’s still fun to fish but I wish that they had used their fun fantasy setting to give the ability to fish up some cool made up fish instead of strictly things that exist in real life.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Ok, diving, fishing, same thing. Diving in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is just fishing with your whole body. It works a lot in the same way as Pokemon where you fish up monsters to fight and get the rewards from them. It is a completely optional activity however if you decide to undertake the grind of scavenging in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 then you will never hurt for money ever again. It makes my wonder why Rex stopped being a salvager to do odd jobs because this was PROFITABLE. The main incentive is that there are spots that spawn a certain enemy that drop cores. Cores are like gacha or loot boxes that contain new anime girl partners that deal huge damage in fights. They even have their own side quests and story lines. I spent maybe 30 hours grinding before giving up on this game and while it does become tiresome I really enjoyed the random rewards of possibly getting a new companion or a really cool weapon.
It’s been tossed around that every great RPG has fishing in it. I won’t argue that point but a lot of great RPGs certainly do have fishing in them. Everyone needs a break sometimes and fishing is the perfect activity to remind us to stop and take that break. Even games can get long and without these distractions it might be so much harder to complete these harrowing tasks. Don’t forget to take breaks and just enjoy the sound of the water every once in a while because there’s no rush playing video games.
Kingdom Hearts: Sora fishing with his bare hands on Destiny Island
Persona 4: Weird aqueduct fishing
Persona 5: Marina fishing life
Sea of Thieves: A pirates life for me
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The sequence of events in the dream I just woke up from:
I helped an old man find the ocean so he could fish, which was accessible through a shopping mall.
He fished up a car-sized blue fish with a big goofy nose and I showed him how cell phones can take photos.
I continued to hang out at what was both a mall and the ocean, watching people do mall stuff while knee-deep in seawater among more of the big nose fish.
As it got dark, horses showed up walking around on their hind legs.
My only reaction was to try and make a tumblr post with a picture of them that said “seahorses lol”
Two horses started boxing eachother like kangaroos and the fight brought them up on the wooden mall floor fishing pier shore.
A lady appeared from Fish & Wildlife to help one of the two horses express its ingrown tail and the dream ended as she pulled foot after foot of blonde horse tail out of the horse’s gross looking back.
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