Ace Angler

Ace Angler

Better known in Japan as "Tsuri Spirits", Ace Angler is a video medal game where multiple players utilize realistic rod & reel controllers to catch numerous types of fish on a large single playfield. It later received a console port for the Switch.

Overview

Tsuri Spirits (translated to "Fishing Spirits") is a top-down over-the-top fishing video medal game developed by MOSS and released by Namco Bandai for arcades (using PS2-based Namco System 147 hardware) in Japan on November 2012. It later received an update (switching it to PC-based Namco System ES1 hardware), with an overseas non-medal release as Ace Angler.

A flat-surface arcade game, Tsuri Spirits has up to six players stationed around a large playfield (made up of two 42" HD screens connected together) as they use their points (medals in the Japanese version) to catch fish of varying sizes and strengths, with larger, more monstrous fish giving back additional points/medals (if they manage to catch it).

Players are given access to a realistic fishing rod & reel controller with force feedback and gyro sensors, and must use them in a proper fashion in order to catch more-difficult creatures. In addition, players have access to more powerful in-game fishing rods (which require more points/medals to cast) and can use the special electric shock ability to weaken creatures (with additional points/medals).

It later received a home port by Racjin for the Nintendo Switch in Japan on July 25, 2019, published by Bandai Namco as Tsuri Spirits: Nintendo Switch Version. This version is unique for its use of dual Joy-Con gyro sensors to replicate the fishing rod & reel controller (with a special controller attachment later released on July 21, 2020). In addition to its arcade-style "Medal Mode" (which can be played in two-player simultaneous and four-player alternating multiplayer, and has a progression system for "upgrading" arcade machines with medals), the game includes a single-player "Adventure Mode" where players travel the seas of the world with the Kappa Brothers and upgrade their gear. It is one of the few Switch games that received a complete localization (as Ace Angler: Fishing Simulation Game - Nintendo Switch Version) without actually being sold overseas (requiring the Japanese version to play).

Special Versions

The game received three special versions, released in a limited amount of locations:

Large-Scale Flat-Surface

The first large-scale amusement version, known as Tsuri Adventure, was released in July 2015 for the Huis Ten Bosch theme park (in Sasebo, Nagasaki). It was later re-purposed for the Nagashima Spa Land amusement park (in Kuwana, Mie) on December 2018 as Nagashima Tsuri Spirits.

It uses a gigantic projected display (11.5m x 6.5m) and allows 24 players to play at once, with a wall-mounted display for showing key events. This version does not play as a medal game, instead having all players on equal footing as they try to catch the most (and biggest) fish within the time limit.

Large-Scale Upright

The second large-scale amusement version, known as Navaju no Baku Tsuri Spirits, was released in December 2015 for the Namja Town amusement center in Tokyo's eastern Ikebukuro district. It was later re-purposed in other Namco-affiliated locations in July 2016 as Chou Tsuri Spirits.

Rather than the game played down on a flat surface, Baku Tsuri Spirits is played upright on a large ultra-wide projected display (9.5m x 2.7m) and has all 12 players side-by-side.

Similar to Tsuri Adventure, the game does not play as a medal game, instead having all players on equal footing as they try to catch the most (and biggest) fish within the time limit.

The original version, as the name implies, features the center's mascot calico cat Najavu.

Fishing Spirits

A premium version of the game, known as Fishing Spirits, was released in June 2016 for Japanese Round1 locations. This version features a larger 2x2 monitor display and supports 12 players.