Ace Angler: Fighting Spirits is a fishing video game based on the popular arcade game in the SEA region called Ace Angler. This is the second game of the series, with the first named “Ace Angler” and both of them are available on Nintendo Switch.
The game gives you the chance to experience what real fishing feels like, with the satisfaction of catching a huge one after all the struggling is just out of this world. Aside from just fishing, the game also offers tons of modes and mini-games for just about anyone to enjoy.
Welcome To The Marine Theme Park
In Ace Angler Fighting Spirits, you have a total of 5 game modes to choose from. These are Ace Angler+, Legend of the Poisoned Sea, Shark Fever, Ace Angler Party and Online Ultimate Angler Competition.
The game has a creative way on how you access the game modes. When you are in the game, you will be in this one huge marine theme park with its center being your lobby. The 5 game modes are all presented in the form of buildings that you can interact with to start playing.
What is lovely is that the game modes have a “Press to start” screen when you enter their respective buildings that just gives off arcade vibes, paying homage to the origins of Ace Angler as an arcade game.
Would you like to Fish?
With the different game modes it has, we’ll be summarizing the core gameplay into three parts to make it less lengthy.
First, we have what we dubbed, the medal mode. As the name suggests, this mode is all about using and earning medals. For reference, the medal is the gold coin on the top right of the screen on the image below.
The two game modes that use these medals are Ace Angler+ and Shark Fever. Ace Angler+ plays out like the arcade version does and is a non-stop fishing mode. You use the medals to get fishing rods to start fishing and you earn medals as you catch fishes.
Shark Fever is a virtual Coin Pusher Arcade Machine. What it does is you insert the medals to push down the medals that are already in the machine. Honestly, I may have the worst luck when it comes to these kinds of games. The medals I gained are way less than the ones I used to push them down.
Moving on, we have the Story mode, which is the Legend of the Poisoned Sea game mode. Not much to say about the story other than it is about the story of the polluting sea.
Lastly, we have the Party Mode, the Ace Angler Party, and it’s just a bunch of mini-games where you can play either as a single player or up to a maximum of 4 players.
The fishing in this game, if I may be blunt, is very tiring. They are staying true to the fishing experience and I would not have wanted it any other way. But boy is it very tiring.
Having prior experience with fishing is sure to give you an edge in this game. I have been coming up with many different ways to make fishing in this game much less taxing and none works. They do offer tips to help you with fishing but I might have been doing it wrong since that too, does little to help.
So, I did what I always do with games I have no knowledge of, brute forcing through it by rapidly pressing the buttons to reel the fish in everytime a fish is hooked. It does not work all the time and it tires me but I had a blast nonetheless.
It’s Time to Party with Multiplayer
Let’s talk about the party mode. Earlier I mentioned how the game mode can be played with up to 4 players. It’s also available for a single player mode where AIs will fill in the slots so I don’t have to look for friends and family to play with.
Ace Angler Party has three different modes for you to play with. The Battle mode, Minigame mode and Tour mode. Battle mode is all about fishing as you compete with other players, whereas Minigame mode has all these different games connected to marine life.
For example, in Minigame mode you can enjoy a relaxing game of goldfish scooping, play an action-packed game of water Beyblade or in an anxiety-inducing obstacle dodging game with a shark chasing you.
They even have the classic Namco Gator Panic Arcade in it.
The Tour mode lets you partake in competitions with random minigames for the players to compete in and the highest scoring player wins.
If I have to name one favourite mini game out of all they could offer, it would be the “Fishing Gindako’s Takoyaki”. It’s basically fishing but instead of fish, you reel in Takoyakis made by Gindako. That game is both mouth-watering and hilarious, especially seeing all those Takoyaki getting stunned.
Marine Knowledge is Deep
This game isn’t just all fun and games as they also mix in educational materials relating to fishes and oceans in it. Take the story mode for example. It centers around sea pollution and conversations between the characters gives you an insight on what those entails. They even add in trivias about the fishes you encounter from their length to the properties of their body.
As you scramble around the main lobby, you can talk with your marine friends in the theme park and they’ll pose you questions about marine life. Answer them correctly, you’ll get rewarded with medals. Don’t worry about picking the wrong answers since you’ll get to try it until you get the right answer down.
In Tour mode, there’s also a mini-game that will require you to catch fish based on the names that popped up on the board. Players that know the game can easily nab the point while players that don’t get to know how the fish looks. It’s an amazing concept that revolves around knowledge.
Rather than giving out knowledge about marine life right out of the textbook with their complicated terms, Ace Angler Fighting Spirits did it in a way that is both simple and fun, which is just awesome.
The Controls to Reel in the Fishes
The game can be played in two types of controls. We have Dual-Handed and Single-Handed.
For Dual-Handed controls, you can either play with the Joy-cons docked to the Switch or undocked. While they are docked, you’ll be mostly using the buttons to catch the first whereas undocking it would require you to use motion controls, giving you the real fishing rod experience.
Single-Handed gives you the option to use their custom Rod Controller. Assuming you do not own it, the controls play out just like Dual-Handed but instead uses only one Joy-con.
To put in comparison, the Rod Controller gives you the best fishing experience for obvious reasons with the motion controls coming in second. Fishing using the buttons would be the hardest since you’ll be button spamming most of the time.
If I had to nitpick one thing about the controls, it’s the option to swap between the different types of controls. Rather than just popping up the setting mid-game to swap, you’d have to go all the way to the main lobby and change all sorts of settings just to swap control types.
The Fishes are Huge
Kaiju fans rejoice because Ace Angler Fighting Spirits is just teeming with monstrous fishes with oversized bodies and mutated aesthetics.
These fishes are mostly SSR rarity fishes but luckily you can obtain them through the gacha mechanic which you can access through the lobby. Yes, there is gacha and you’ll need to use medals or tickets, which you obtain from achievements, and the fishes you get will start to appear in your aquarium.
Honestly, I could just spend the whole day lounging at the aquarium looking at those huge monstrous fishes in the game while I go about my daily chores in real life.
Fishing, even if it is a game, is still very exhausting. Nevertheless, you’ll never be tired of the satisfaction that you feel when you nab those fish. The game even has a variety of mini-games for everyone to enjoy if you want a break from all that fishing.
The huge marine theme park that they have as the lobby is really a refreshing take compared to all other games with just texts and buttons to navigate through the menu. I can just walk around in the lobby for some gameplay rather than having to enter a game mode to start one.
Overall, I had a blast with Ace Angler Fighting Spirits and I’m starting to enjoy a little bit of fishing. Will I be doing some real-life fishing? Who knows.
|The game is so much both in fishing and the mini-games||Switching between the controls takes too much effort|
|The Theme Park Feels Refreshing||Fishing can be way too tiring especially for the tougher ones|
|The Monstrous Fishes are Amazing|