Review: Sayonara Umihara Kawase (3DS)

Platformer
3.6

Bad

In this review we decided to do things a little differently. Jarred wanted to know more about the game I was reviewing so he decided to interview me for more information. Check it out.

Jarred: Hi Kyle, I hear you have been playing a new game, what’s it called?

Kyle: Hi Jarred, yeah, it’s called Sayonara Umihara Kawase, but it’s also known as Yumi’s Odd Odyssey.

Jarred Milner: Wow, that’s quite a mouthful. What’s it about?

Kyle: It is, isn’t it! I’m not entirely sure what the story is about as there’s not much of a story to begin with. What I can say is that you play a woman called Kawase who finds herself in a very bizarre world that she needs to escape from. I’m not sure how she got there or why she’s there in the first place, so I kind of see it like a Japanese Alice in Wonderland.

Jarred: Sounds like the story is a little confusing?

Kyle: That would depend if there’s a story to begin with. There is a profile menu which gives you little bit of background detail about some of the characters. There are three characters in total. The first is Kawase, the second is Emiko, a childhood friend Kawase’s. The last playable character is Kawase’s time-travelling progeny, Noko. Other than the short profiles for each character, there’s very little context or story in the game. It just is what it is…

SUK 4

Jarred: All sounds very vague and a little unappealing to be honest. So obviously it’s a Japanese developed game, is that right?

Kyle: Yes, it is a Japanese game and despite its vagueness and lack of appeal, it’s actually part of series of games.

Jarred: So Japanese… can we expect big boobs and perfect hair?

Kyle: Hahaha, not really, unless you look at the profiles, and even then they’re not exactly titillating (Ed – *cough*). There aren’t any video clips or highly detailed characters in this game. It’s a fairly low-budget game, and you can definitely see that in the game’s visuals.

Jarred: So we have Umihara and her friends, in a story that almost doesn’t exist, no big boobs or perfect hair… hmmmm. So the positives must lie elsewhere. Tell me about the gameplay? It’s a first person shooter right?

Kyle: *Snort* Uhm, no. Nothing that interesting. It’s actually a platformer game, but unlike so many of them, this game is frustratingly difficult. There’s a fair amount of running, jumping and climbing involved but what you’ll really be doing, 90% of the time, is swinging from platform to platform with the help of a fishing lure.

SUK2

Jarred: Hold on hold on, is this a 2D platformer or 3D?

Kyle: It’s a 2D platformer that you can play with the 3D mode on.

Jarred: Oh I see. Sorry, I am still trying to comprehend a Japanese developed game that doesn’t focus on perfect hair…

So we have a 2D platformer that relies far too heavily on swinging {And not even the fun kind of swinging amirite?}.

Kyle: Yes, but it’s also the main mechanic, or “element,” of the game.

Like I said before, the fishing lure is a big part of the game and it’s pretty much the only way to get through all the stages. The lure comes with a kind of elastic string. Throwing the lure at other platforms and climbing the string, allows you to reach unreachable areas. But the tricky part is to swing from platform to platform, using the lure. It’s sounds simple, but it’s the hardest part of the game and takes quite a long time to master.

The swinging effect works by releasing and contracting the elasticity of the string, but if you don’t time it correctly you won’t swing properly, or at all. Considering that this is the main form of movement in the game, you’d expect it to be efficient and less frustrating. And that’s not only the cause of frustration. Sometimes, when you get the swing and momentum right, you’ll screw up with the release of the lure. This causes you to miss the platform and fall to your death, or hit an enemy and die.

Jarred: Sounds alluring *giggles*.

That’s pretty cool though. Tough platformers are always a good thing, reminds me of the old days.

Okay, so what else is there to it? Cool enemies and boss battles perhaps?

Kyle: I wouldn’t call the enemies “cool”, rather “fishy.” The main enemies in the game are fish with legs. There are also giant legged fish and other marine animals for bosses. They don’t really pose much of a threat though as you can deal with them pretty easily. The only drawback is if you touch them, you die.

SUH 1

Jarred: Fish with legs… that’s not creepy at all. I kind of like the one touch equals death idea, makes it more challenging. But then what kind of attacks does your character have to take on the fish with legs?

Kyle: You just throw the lure at the enemy. It stuns them for a bit. Running up to them while they’re still stunned kills them.

Jarred: Wow, such an elaborate method. That’s a bit disappointing.

Jarred: So far it sounds like a pretty average game. Any saving graces like great visuals, sound track or amazing level design perhaps?

Kyle: Not really. The graphics are average at best and the stages look really odd – you’ll see giant pencils in one level and giant fruit in another, that kind of thing. The sound track is terrible and reminds me of old elevator music and the jingles you hear when you’re put on hold. To make matters worse, many of the tracks are on repeat and played over and over.

Jarred: Oh dear, it sounds like one real odd oddysey. Any redeeming features?

Kyle: Other than the euphoric feeling of finally reaching the end door of the stage, nope.

Jarred: Ouch, it doesn’t appear as though you had too much fun playing this game Kyle. Would you recommend it to others? Perhaps a specific target market?

Kyle: Honestly? Not at all. I don’t think it’s a game for the average gamer and I certainly don’t see many advanced level gamers enjoying it either. The draconian difficulty of this game is far too frustrating. To give you an idea, I’ve never played a game that made my thumbs ache as much as this game. I realised that it’s so frustrating that I kept pressing the buttons too hard. I’ve also rage quit more times than any other game I’ve played. Here’s another example, I failed the fifth stage of this game 26 times before getting it right. I failed another stage around 40 times before getting it right. I honestly can’t see anyone enjoying this game, but since it’s part of a series, there are clearly fans backing it up.

Jarred: Sounds like you are no good at Platformers *runs*

Kyle: *Death stare*

Jarred: *comes back*

Jarred: Well thanks for the info Kyle, it certainly seems like a game that most won’t really want to play, but you never know with gamers. Some might love it.

Jarred: Anything else gamers should know about it before we sign off?

Kyle: You’ll have more fun playing Dark Souls.

Good

  • :)

Bad

  • Unbelievably Difficult | Mastering the Fishing Lure | Lack of a Story

Summary

Something fishy going on here...
3.6

Bad

Gameplay - 4
Visuals - 3
Audio - 3
Gratification - 4
Value for money - 4

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