Nintendo eShop Spotlight is a continuing Sunday series in which My Nintendo News takes a look at eShop titles new and old, for both Wii U and 3DS.
While Carps and Dragons by Abylight appears at first glance to be a simple, boring fishing title featuring two old bluegrass-playing fogies, don’t be fooled, because once delved into, the game can be a massively addicting fish-catching bonanza. Formerly released on WiiWare with mixed results, the 3DS game takes full advantage of some of the unique features of Nintendo’s current handheld.
Perhaps most striking about Carps and Dragons is its lush graphical style. Water and foliage spring to life with the 3DS’s gorgeous 3D effect on full blast, whereas without it, some of those same landscapes can look dull and flat. This is a title that 3DS owners will want to play with 3D on. Some of the quirky Japanese-style animations are reminiscent of old classics like Legend of the Mystical Ninja, making the game a treat to watch.
The objective in this game is to race against the clock and catch as many different colored fish as possible, but the gameplay does not merely consist of casting a line and waiting for a bite. Instead, the two bluegrass-jamming protagonists jump around wildly, waving nets and dodging everything from ghosts to bombs to fire-breathing dragons. Levels (and there are plenty of them) become difficult and pleasantly surprising, as the player is constantly guessing what kind of environment his or her fisherman will wind up in next.
Another great bonus of the game is that multiplayer download play is an option, making the goal of fish-catching that much more frantic and enjoyable. Additionally, the game’s several musical tracks are both fun and heart-warming, instilling players with the motivation to progress to the next level when some of the gameplay becomes redundant.
And that may be the biggest flaw of Carps and Dragons. While there is a significant amount of skill and strategy necessary to reach later levels, the gameplay of this eShop title offers little variety, with jumping and net-swinging as the only two actions at the player’s disposal, and no real alternative objectives to complete other than quickly catching vast numbers of flying fish. Despite the drawback of redundancy that makes the game’s replay value questionable, Carps and Dragons is a successful game, and overall, a fun and charming diversion for gamers looking to escape for a while from the epic adventures and RPG quests that so frequently populate the 3DS.