Ace Angler: Fishing Spirits is a simulation game published by BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment. This game has a lot to do and can keep you entertained for a while. However, the novelty does wear off after some time.

This title doesn’t feature a typical main menu where you choose which mode you want to play. Instead, you’re at a theme park named Marine Medal Mania. Your character can freely walk around, pick up medals, and talk to NPCs. Each attraction is a different game mode.

One mode is Ace Angler+, which is pure fishing. Out of everything else you can do in Ace Angler: Fishing Spirits, this was my favorite part of the game. It was relaxing and engaging enough for me not to get bored. Simply cast your line (by inserting medals à la an arcade game) and reel in the fish. When you catch fish, you earn more medals to keep playing. As long as you have medals, you can fish for as long as you want to. There are over 250 types of fish, too. They’re classified into Regular, Super, Rainbow, Gold, Mega, and Monster categories. Different types of rods will help you catch them all if that’s your goal. 

I had trouble casting my bobber and reeling in fish. The game has a lack of direction when it comes to controls and gameplay. Ace Angler: Fishing Spirits is the sequel to Ace Angler, which was released in 2019. If you’ve played the previous game, maybe you’ll have an easier time figuring out the controls.

You can play the game in handheld mode or docked. I prefer to play handheld whenever possible, but I played this title docked most of the time. It was easier to see everything on the bigger screen. Also, you can play with or without motion controls. I’m one of the few who enjoy motion controls, so that’s how I played most of the time. Luckily, whether docked or handheld, the controls were smooth.

Another attraction of the theme park is Legend of the Poisoned Seas, which is the story mode. This mode isn’t anything to get too excited about. The story is simple, and the quests you complete are fishing. Also, there’s Shark Fever, which is another mode where you can earn medals without fishing. It’s similar to an amusement park game where you throw medals to knock the other medals off their pedestal. Finally, there’s a mini-game mode with 12 games to choose from. Unfortunately, none of these were memorable. After playing through them once, I was ready to go back to regular fishing and collecting sea creatures.

Ace Angler: Fishing Spirits allows local co-op and online play. I wasn’t home much to play locally with my sisters, so I tried to test out the online play. Sadly, I never got the chance to experience it because no one else was online when I was. However, if I had fun fishing alone, I’m sure I would have had more fun with the mini-games and the rest of the game with a friend.

Overall, Ace Angler: Fishing Spirits is a good time. I enjoy collectathons, so fishing was my favorite part of the game. I didn’t care too much for the rest of the modes, so it got dull after fishing for a while. I don’t know if I’ll ever return to the game, but it was fun while it lasted.