This weighed on me starting its sequel, Another Fisherman’s Tale, worried I’d miss a story beat or reference that would alter my understanding of the new installment. While I wasn’t as emotionally connected to the characters from the jump as someone who played the original game might’ve been, I was pleased to have a full experience that I can truly say I loved by the end of the game.
Another Fisherman’s Tale Review (PS VR2) – All Tales Have A Lesson To Learn, Even Extraordinary Ones
On the One Hand, Some Puzzles Were Surprisingly Difficult. On the Other Hand, The Solutions Were Simple
The main portion of Another Fisherman’s Tale takes place in living models created by the main character’s father, the original game’s main character. You are a puppet with detachable hands, legs, and sometimes even your head.
This allows players to gain different viewpoints, from placing their head far off their body or using their hands like Thing from The Addams Family to grab items out of reach.
This mechanic took some time to grasp, no pun intended. Moving your fetched hand requires you to rotate your corresponding hand in the direction you want and pull the trigger to go. It took me some time to get used to moving small distances at a time, stopping, turning to a new facing, then pulling the trigger again.
However, toward the end of my play, I was becoming so confident in my ability that I could run around corners and behind walls that were out of sight.
Along with new vantage points from removing your head and having your hand run around like a crazed spider, other puzzles are solved by replacing your hands and legs. Claws and hooks to cut ropes and climb walls like Spider-Man, to fish tails to replace your legs to swim through deep water.
These abilities are combined to create solutions to puzzles and combat. While combat is light, it is still present and can often be solved by the same means that a locked door or an unreachable area, by replacing your hands with something more useful.
A Model Life
Something that I appreciated a great deal was how different the real-life and model levels were. In between each level, you are pulled back to the real world, where your daughter is packing up your stuff in the basement. This prompts her to rummage through old play sets to remember her late father.
While the art style stayed the same between both stages, you always knew what plane you were on by the style. The models presented the world as if you were part of an elaborate I-SPY book. Ropes, thumbtacks, and coins are all the same size as you, very similar to It Takes Two if you’re familiar with that.
Meanwhile, in the real world, you’re presented with a world very similar to our own. Granted, this distinction doesn’t add anything to gameplay mechanics as it does to immersion. The game makes a hard line between the two worlds that lets players believe the fantastic story being told to them and the emotional journey the main character goes through.
The Best Stories Are Fish Tales
From the very start, I knew this story was going to have heart and be emotional, even having not played the original game. Once you hear Bob’s daughter interact with the tale he is telling her, you can feel the love and care the team at Vertigo injected into the game.
As you progress, you realize not all is as light-hearted as it seems. The first level is presented as a bedtime story Bob is telling his very young daughter. However, as soon as you enter the real world and experience the interaction between Nina, Bob’s daughter, and her mom, you realize how somber the game is.
Bob has passed, and Nina is tasked with cleaning out her father’s old models from the basement. As she does, she reminisces about the stories he would tell. From daring fights with a crab to Bob’s search for Libertaria.
As I shook off the memories of Uncharted 4 and Drake’s journey with his brother to find the same fabled Pirate city, I became lost in this journey of a daughter learning that her Dad may not have been the hero she thought he was. You witness her love for her Dad being challenged by new revelations about him turning into anger and doubt.
You are with Nina as she tries to forgive her late father and accept him as a person. Learning that while our actions may be selfish, the love remains.
Another Fisherman’s Tale is now available on PS5 and PS VR2.
Review code kindly provided by the publisher.