I believed we had mentioned goodbye to Umihara Kawase. In any case, the final recreation within the sequence was initially generally known as Yumi’s Odd Odyssey within the west, nevertheless it was later re-released beneath its Japanese identify: Sayonara Umihara Kawase. That sounded fairly ultimate, but right here we’re, six years later, and a brand new recreation has been launched within the sequence.
Umihara Kawase Recent is the most recent recreation to star the titular swinging fisherman, Kawase. It’s a recent begin for the sequence, because the gameplay has been taken and shaken up. Relaxation assured that the identical bouncy elastic physics are nonetheless right here. Nevertheless, all the pieces wrapped round that basic core has been rejiggered into one thing new.
Umihara Kawase Recent! (Change)
Developer: Studio Saizensen
Launched/Releasing: July 9, 2019
For these uninitiated, the Umihara Kawase franchise is one thing of a distinct segment assortment of video games. Initially launched on the Tremendous Famicom, Umihara Kawase is a sequence of challenges centered round using a versatile fishing rod. The rod is used to climb partitions, swing throughout gaps, and generally fling your self to security. It’s form of like Spider-Man if he didn’t have spider-agility, or Rad Spencer if his bionic arm was made from rubber. You’re tasked with guiding Kawase from the start to the top of a course as rapidly as potential with out getting your self killed, which is simpler mentioned than executed. Though extraordinarily cute on the floor, the video games are brutally troublesome.
In addition they look and sound like price range video games, however appears to be like could be deceiving.
The actual appeal of the sequence comes from the excessive talent ceiling. I’d say it’s straightforward to be taught and troublesome to grasp, however the bouncy physics and unforgiving stage design makes it troublesome to be taught to start with. Nevertheless, in case you keep it up for lengthy sufficient, these physics turn out to be acquainted and you’ll pull off extra superior strategies.
After three titles, I started to really feel that the sequence had executed all it might with the central mechanic. Nevertheless, with Umihara Kawase Recent!, issues have been taken in a distinct course. Reasonably than being compelled by way of an more and more extra unforgiving gauntlet of ranges – crammed with branching pathways and a number of endings – you’re as an alternative dropped right into a cohesive, interconnected world. Don’t mistake it for a Metroid-style explore-’em-up. You’re as an alternative introduced with an ever-growing checklist of quests, to be tackled one by one.
The story follows the eponymous Umihara Kawase, now introduced as a touring chef, who finds herself in a city she acknowledges from her desires. She’s rapidly employed by a neighborhood restaurant and is usually despatched out on deliveries the place she meets the native residents. The story as an entire isn’t very particular, nevertheless it’s no less than succinct. Few cutscenes are longer than a couple of traces and Recent! doesn’t waste a lot time with exposition earlier than thrusting you onto your subsequent quest.
The city is a weird assortment of floating geometric shapes, just like the extent design of the earlier video games. Once in a while, the home of a resident is dropped on there. It really works; the terrain is straightforward to learn and ready-built to swing round in, nevertheless it positively appears to be like fairly spartan. Every of the areas inside the world really feel distinct, from the floating cluster of the citadel to the deep abysses of the caverns.
The lands are patrolled by enemies reminiscent of goldfish and loaches strolling upright on horny legs. You dispatch them by gorgeous them together with your rod after which loading them into your backpack. They function substances for dishes you can also make that may buff you, refill your starvation meter, and supply a little bit of well being.
It could generally really feel just like the interconnected world is wasted with the fairly restrictive quest system, nevertheless it is smart when the motion system is taken into consideration. It’s straightforward to really feel slowed down with swinging, particularly once you’re compelled to climb to a terrific peak and are beneath the fixed menace of falling and beginning once more. The search system ensures that you just’re not continually traipsing forwards and backwards between the identical locales, visiting the identical locations to attempt to discover the place to go or who to speak to subsequent. An inventory of quests does really feel impersonal, nevertheless it seems like a mandatory compromise. The sport additionally doesn’t cease you from leaving the crushed path, even rewarding the adventuresome spirit with hidden bosses and treasures.
Whereas Umihara Kawase Recent! seems like a extra laid-back and stress-free method to the gameplay, it does have its tense moments as you attempt to hook your approach round cliffs and keep away from spikes. The moment-death mechanic has been scaled again by way of using a well being bar, which you can refill by cooking and consuming meals. There are additionally no bottomless pits to fall into, although shedding your progress by falling again all the way down to earth can style simply as bitter. You’re additionally supplied with campsites the place you may respawn every time the hazards get the perfect of you.
If all these concessions to make issues easier rubs you the fallacious approach, you may all the time check out the video games time trial or problem modes. Each prohibit merchandise utilization and problem you in methods nearer to the basic titles. That doesn’t imply that quest mode is straightforward, by any means, it’s simply not as brutal as a few of the older titles may very well be. I nonetheless discovered myself cussing on the display screen, however I felt like progress got here simpler than it did within the different titles.
Extra care might have been taken to even out the issue, nonetheless. It tends to fluctuate wildly if the quests are tackled in a linear vogue. I believe the hunt I had probably the most bother with occurred someplace across the center of the sport, whereas even the previous few ranges I tackled with out a lot effort. Some quests in the direction of the top can nonetheless be accomplished in beneath 30 seconds, whereas others can take over 15 minutes. There’s no actual consistency.
The bosses are maybe the largest letdown, not that they’ve ever been actually stellar within the sequence. The boss encounters in earlier video games have been largely obtuse puzzles, generally simply requiring you to remain alive. Right here, bosses have precise well being gauges which might be drained by hooking your lure to them. Whereas it’s fascinating that the encounters nearer resemble precise fights now, it’s very easy to cheese your approach by way of them by buffing your self and scarfing pancakes every time your well being will get low.
The gameplay within the Umihara Kawase video games could also be a troublesome promote to some folks, because it requires finesse and familiarity fairly than twitch reflexes. Nevertheless, in case you’ve ever been within the sequence, or in case you’ve by no means heard of it in any respect, Umihara Kawase Recent! might be the perfect entry level. It makes concessions that create a gentler expertise and the inviting framework makes for a extra engrossing expertise. Higher but, it pulls it off with out sacrificing the addictive nature of the core swinging mechanics and the excessive talent ceiling they supply.
Umihara Kawase Recent! is definitely my favourite entry to date. I hope that the modifications to the framework and the added accessibility handle to hook some new followers. Possibly this actually is a recent begin for the sequence.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
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Umihara Kawase Recent! reviewed by Adzuken
Spectacular effort with a couple of noticeable issues holding it again. Will not astound everybody, however is value your time and money.
How we rating: The Destructoid opinions information