The Black Bass (NES) Playthrough – NintendoComplete
A playthrough of Hot-B’s 1989 fishing game for the NES, The Black Bass.
This video shows a day of the tournament played and won at each of the game’s four lakes:
0:35 Lake Amada, Class C
32:45 Lake Japan, Class B
1:25:03 Lake More, Class A
2:09:54 San Lake, Class A
Even though the tournament lasts for twelve days, winning each class always nets the same exact cutscene, and there is nothing at the end of the tournament besides a black screen that says the tournament is over, regardless of if you won or lost. I didn’t really think that showing all of that was necessary after winning each of the classes.
But yeah, The Blass Bass – this is one of the strangest of my childhood favorites right here. I’ve always hated fishing. It’s boring, it smells awful, I get hideously sea sick, and I feel bad for the fish. It’s not an activity that has ever appealed much to me.
But one of my friends in middle school had this cart. Apparently his dad was a fishing nut – I mean who else bought The Black Bass? Anyways, after trading games enough times and going through most of his library, I finally gave this one a shot. I had beaten most of his other games at that point, so it at least was something new and novel to me.
It took me about three seconds to become hopelessly addicted. It was so odd – it was the slowest, most drawn-out “action” I’d seen in an NES cart – but something about it was so compelling.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the barely functional graphics or the endless drone of a couple catchy musical loops playing in the background, either.
I’m not sure if it was figuring out the color and weight of the lures that did it, or if it was figuring out how to make the bait dance effectively to get the huge fish. It was damned fun, though. I spent forever combing each lake searching for the key message (“HERE IS NICE BASS POINT”), and far, far longer seeking out the elusive whale-sized bass in the A-class lakes, even when it meant that after 20 minutes of fighting and having the fish nearly in the boat, it would jump and somehow manage to unhook itself. I didn’t catch any Moby Dicks here, but I did receive the hilariously awkward (yet understated) message, “IT’S BIG!!” a few times. I believe my biggest catch in this video was somewhere around 18-19 lbs. The fish looks like Jurassic Park: The Bass when you’re fighting it. Maybe an adjective less generic than “big”, or at least one that was somewhat less filled with innuendo, would’ve better served there. It makes me laugh so hard every time. It just doesn’t get old.
The Black Bass is not a casual-friendly quick-play, but it is a fair representation of its sport. But as much as I hate real fishing, I really find The Black Bass to be super-engaging, even now. Most fishing games I won’t touch, but like Sega Bass Fishing, with The Black Bass, once I get into it, several hours disappear in a blink.
Maybe it’s better not to try to rationalize some things. If you want a novel NES experience, put your reservations on hold and just try it. You might love it. It’s well worth the $5 it’ll cost you at any flea market or thrift shop. If you hate it, well, it was only $5, right? No worse than if someone at Starbucks screwed up your coffee!
But then again, if when you reach the bottom of the cup you read the words “HERE IS NICE BASS POINT”…
Random question: did anyone else think that the box looked striking similar to Bases Loaded’s? Both had a white box, giant red lettering in very similar fonts, and paintings instead of photos?
No cheats were used during the recording of this video.
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