I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to ask both Wired Productions and Japanese developer SIMS about their upcoming Vita-exclusive Let’s Fish: Hooked On. About a week ago I asked our readers to submit questions to be used in this Q&A, and the outcome was phenomenal.
Wired Productions was kind enough to send the final questions to SIMS, as well as answer some themselves. They also provided PSNStores with a few exclusive images. Please take a look at the gallery and enjoy the read.
Q: We understand that Let’s Fish! Hooked On is out in Japan, though many Vita owners in other territories may have not seen or heard about this game before. Can you tell us what we can expect from the Vita’s first fishing game?
Wired Productions: The game was released in Japan earlier in 2012 under the name, Let’s Try Bass Fishing FISH ON NEXT, and was really well received. The opportity to take such a good quality, fun game, to a global audience was really appealing for us. There isn’t anything like it on the PS Vita, it will be the first fishing game on the handheld device and we know there is a ready-made audience for great Japanese based games.
In terms of game play, expect to be hooked! Really, the game is lots of fun and combines fast arcade style game play with realistic fishing simulation. There is also a full story mode to play through, involving four unique characters, which is certainly new for fishing games. Players will experience new ways to enjoy fishing with the PS Vita’s touchscreen and rear touch pad; we think it will certainly appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers.
Q: Fishing games are usually not known for their stories. What made you decide to include stories for the four characters?
SIMS: The story occurs in World Tour Mode, where the player is taken through a story line involving the four characters of the game. Each has their own special skill and individual characteristics, which affect game play. We wanted to add more variety and give the game a point of differentiation in order to keep it interesting.
Q: Many readers, including myself, have noticed some similarities in the presentation of Let’s Fish! Hooked On to that of the Hot Shots Golf franchise. Is there any truth to this? Where did the inspiration for the game’s art come from?
SIMS: The game is definitely fun and accessible and has a fun visual style, from which you could draw comparisons with games such as Hot Shots Golf. We didn’t have the Hot Shots Golf franchise in mind when creating the visual style of Lets Fish! Hooked On, however. The publisher of the Japanese version of the game is a book publishing company called ASCII Media Works. They are great at publishing books and comics which focus on Japanese-anime style content. They took inspiration from this when developing the Let’s Fish! Hooked On style.
Q: Poyoyon Rock has created some very impressive character designs for past projects. How did he get attached to this project and how have his designs influenced Let’s Fish?
SIMS: Poyoyon Rock was very interested and intrigued to take his artwork to the new platform of PS Vita; Let’s Fish! Hooked On gave him a great opportunity to do so. He was keen to see that his characters would be well suited to the PS Vita, and having designed artworks for other games and fishing before, he felt an affinity with this game. We’re really excited to have his character designs in-game; they’ve definitely helped expand the market for the game, beyond a typical fishing game.
Q: Was there anything that surprised you about developing for Vita? What kind of challenges did the various talents developing Let’s Fish overcome? Are reports of slow down voiced by Japanese gamers being addressed in our version? (Thanks “Brian Thomas Orselli”)
SIMS: We are a very experienced team and have launched many fishing games, including SEGA Bass Fishing, Top Angler, Hooked! and Hooked Again!, so I wouldn’t say there were too many surprises. This was, however, the first time we have launched a fishing game featuring four fantastic looking anime characters; we definitely had the PS Vita audience in mind with that. Working with Poyoyon Rock on this project was new for us and the anime style influenced us when designing the UI to complement his character designs.In terms of slow down, we haven’t experienced that in the development of the localised version. We’re really pleased with the way the English voice over has gone.
Q: Will the NA and EU PlayStation Stores receive the same DLC as the Japanese version? Will there be Japanese voice overs, English voice overs, or both? (Thanks “rezenoch”)
Wired Productions: The game doesn’t currently support DLC outside of Japan. If we feel there is a good reason to offer DLC, post launch, we may look to introduce it. Voice overs will be in English.
Q: Wired Productions has announced that Let’s Fish! Hooked On is coming to Vita exclusively. What was the reason for the SIMS team to make this exclusively for Vita rather than on PSN with Move support?
SIMS: Let’s Fish! Hooked On’s game play is a perfect fit for the PS Vita, the game was made to take advantage of the Vita’s unique features. The pick-up-and-play arcade style is fun and exciting and tailor made to hand held gaming experiences. As there’s no other fishing game on this platform, we saw an opportunity to bring this fun fishing game to this new platform, and give gamers a little more variety in the process.
I must thank Emily Jones at Wired Productions for helping to orchestrate this international Q&A. This really was an amazing feat, with me in California, Wired in the UK, and SIMS in Japan. Thanks to the staff at SIMS for taking the time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions. Thank you to all our readers who submit questions for this post. We look forward to Let’s Fish: Hooked On hitting Vita in the near future.