Fishing Spirits

Screenshot: Fishing Spirits

There’s a Japanese arcade game called Fishing Spirits that in 2019 was ported to the Switch, then released in the West as Ace Angler. It now has a sequel, and it is not your average fishing game.

Do not think of, say, Sega Bass Fishing here. This is not intended as an accurate representation of the sport/pastime of fishing. Instead, what you need to do here is imagine that Capcom’s Monster Hunter series took over management of the Animal Crossing aquarium.

釣りスピリッツ 釣って遊べる水族館 [Nintendo Direct mini ソフトメーカーラインナップ 2022.6.28]

That’s the debut trailer for Fishing Spirits: Fish & Play Aquarium, a new game that was announced in today’s Japanese edition of the Nintendo Direct presentation. It wasn’t mentioned in the Western presentation, so maybe the game is only destined for Japan, but then given Ace Angler’s release who knows.

It sure looks like something. Sometimes you’re just chilling, fishing for what appear to be reasonable normal fishes. Other times you’re…yanking adult Great White sharks out of the water? And fighting giant squid? And racing for your very lives against an enormous man-eater in what appears to be a cartoonish bloodsport?

Then there’s minigames, and aquarium stuff (you can keep fish you’ve caught to inspect them later), and that whole Animal Crossing-style avatar thing that’s linked to a story mode, and some gacha machine elements, and look I’m not sure what else is lurking inside this code but the giant ice-encrusted whale looks very cool.

I’ll say this now, I have never played a game in this series, and I don’t know if anyone else here has either; I searched our archives and couldn’t find a single mention of either the arcade or Switch versions ever being mentioned on the site. But I very much want to play this, so here’s hoping it gets a Western release at some point in the future.



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