WHAT IS IT?
Rapala Pro Series on Playstation 4 (also available on Xbox One)
WHAT SETS IT APART?
What was once a crowded market of fishing games on major consoles is much more lean in 2017. Rapala Pro Series is one of the few fishing games that tries to capture fishing as a tournament angler. You'll travel to familiar locales such as Grand Lake and Lake Guntersville and upgrade your baits, line and boat as you compete. While not always looking for bass, you will get a chance to land some lunkers along the way.
HOW DO I USE IT?
Rapala Pro Series simulates life as a professional angler, working your way from smaller tournaments to the big time. It features Rapala tackle and Ranger boats as upgrades and does it's best to simulate different techniques out on the water.
This game checks some of the boxes of "Eltie Series simulator" but not all of them. It certainly tries to make you feel like you are making choices based on depth and underwater terrain, but sometimes those decisions do not feel impactful to what you catch. It rewards a "perfect cast" similarly to a golf game, but looking for contours, or underwater cover is not a factor. It's a fun game, but at times if you are a real bass head you'll wish you had a little more control over your bait or presentation.
That said, there is plenty of casual fun here and while catching a 6-pounder on your TV is no match for reality, it still feels pretty good. I caught the biggest smallmouth of my life playing this thing – now I need to head north to match it in reality.