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Electronics Review

Land a Virtual Lunker Anywhere with Rapala Trophies for the PSP

Date: 1/3/08
Tackle type: Electronics (games)
Manufacturer: Rapala/Activision
Reviewer: Zander

Total Score: 6.8 - FAIR

Introduction: Few fishing tackle companies have a brand that is strong enough to inspire their own video game title, but Rapala has done exactly that, spawning games for the Sony PSP, Microsoft XBOX, and even the Nintendo Wii. We play Rapala Trophies on the PSP to see just how entertaining it is to land a virtual lunker on the go.


Rapala Trophies (Activision) PSP Game Specifications

Type Fishing Game
Platform Sony PSP
Genre Sports-Fishing
Publisher Activision
Release Date 9/2006
ESRB Content Rating (E) Everyone
Players 1
MSRP $29.99

I don't think many anglers would argue that there is no substitute for actually getting up at the crack of dawn and going fishing, but there are times when you can't go fishing, and there are many people that have some budding interest in the sport but haven't crossed over to the actual pastime itself. In these cases a video game like Rapala Trophies starts looking a whole lot more attractive. Anglers will want a game that closely mimics the sport, and provides as close a semblance as possible to the actual act of fishing. Gamers that are not serious anglers on the other hand are likely to be more attracted to a exciting and entertaining game in which to simply immerse themselves in.


Rapala Trophies for the PSP, a fishing game branded by Rapala and published by Activision


Rapala Trophies features over 500,000 acres of virtual land, all of which is patterned after real locations. The game also sports a large variety of fish that are programmed to act as life-like and real as possible. Trout, bass, pike, salmon, catfish, and more swim through rivers, lakes, and ponds, and will react to various baits you throw at them. In advertisements the publisher, Activision, also touts the addition of "Rapala's top-notch staff of fishing experts." This refers to the angler's guide that rides around with you as you fish and gives players hints and tips on how to catch different fish. They go on to say that the "tips dispensed by the staff are all tried and true, well-researched methods that fishermen have been relying on for years." In essence implying that you can learn actual fishing techniques from playing the game itself. If you think about it the game is a fishing simulator of sorts, and because it is made for the Sony PSP whether you are a gamer, a hard core angler, or both, you will be able to get your fishing fix just about anywhere.

Acting as your virtual fishing reel is the Sony PSP (when your not playing the fishing simulator you can surf the internet, though it really would be easier with a touch screen)


Hardware & Software: To play this game you will need a Sony PSP (PlayStation® Portable) which retails for $169.99 for the latest version. For our tests we used the classic version which offers the same graphical performance but with a slightly larger form factor and heavier overall weight. The latest PSP handheld system is 19% thinner and 33% lighter than the previous model, with twice the memory, now 64MB, which is designed to improve load times. For our tech savvy readers the unit's specifications include a dedicated PSP CPU running at up to 333MHz, and the 4.3" LCD screen sports a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, 480 x 272 pixel resolution, and 16.7 million colors for graphics.


The game comes with the UMD (Universal Media Disc) and detailed instructions


The game itself comes on a small proprietary disc which Sony calls a UMD (Universal Media Disc). Place this in the back of your PSP and your just about ready to go. The game does require you to save your game on Sony's proprietary Memory Stick Pro Duo, but odds are if you own a PSP you already have a card in your unit. Enough tech speak, let's get to playing!


Load the game in the back of the PSP and your ready to get to fishing


Game Overview: The premise behind Rapala Trophies is to catch fish in a variety of different modes. These are Free Fishing, Tournament, Arcade, and Time Trial modes. Let's explore each one briefly...


Free Fishing: Fish in any location and try out the gear that you have unlocked in tournament mode. Here is where you will practice your casting and get to know what gear is best for the various fish you will encounter throughout Tournament Mode.


Tournament: The real meat of the game rests here. You start out as a novice angler who is just starting your tackle collection. You advance through various tournaments by achieving both tournament goals and qualifiers. As you work your way up through competition to pro status you also unlock and build up your arsenal of Rapala branded lures.

The first thing you see is the game selection...


Arcade: Just have a few minutes to play? Arcade mode provides short bursts of game time in which you can jump into any moment of fishing. You are presented with a given challenge in a certain location within a fishing area, and are forced to complete that challenge to earn points. Completing these short challenges also unlocks tackle equipment that can be used in other modes.


Time Trial: Time Trial requires you to prove your skill, knowledge of fish, and fishing techniques within a given amount of time. The real challenge here is to use the right lure and find the right spot to catch a specified number of specific fish to catch to complete the trial. Completing these challenges also unlocks tackle equipment to be used throughout the game. 

Load up and you are welcomed with a cool intro movie


Next Section: So how does it actually "fish" like?









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