Sayonara Umihara Kawase (PS Vita)
April 24, 2014
Umihara Kawase is a series of platform games starring a nineteen-year-old Japanese school girl, Kawase Umihara. The series was developed as an independent collaboration between developer Kiyoshi Sakai, illustrator Toshinobu Kondo, and several others. It was published by TNN, “Think about Needs of Notice for Human beings.” Developers AGATSUMA Entertainment recently launched the game with the name “Sayonara Umihara Kawase.”
Sayonara in English basically means “Goodbye”, so did the developers think of ending the series right here? Not sure about that but the real translation stands as “Umi’s Odd Odyessy.”
Yosh! So the game’s a puzzle game. While travelling, “Kawase-san,” Umihara’s nickname, is a travelling sushi-chef who gets lost in a world which belongs to strange creatures. So to help her escape this world, you will need to use her bouncing wire and navigate her through obstacles. This storyline has a very vague nature to it, leaving out many details.
This storyline has a very vague nature to it, leaving out many details.
Moving on, you are going to encounter giant mutated fish and ball spitting eels during your travels. You can stun them by throwing the Lure at them. While being stunned, you can drag and drop them in the pond or you can move forward towards them, touch and defeat them. The Lure looks like it was inspired by a famous character or sorts. Remember the rope of the wicked character ‘Scorpion” from Mortal Kombat? Scorpion also uses his rope to stun and drag his enemies towards him. Whatever it may be, the working physics of the rope is what makes it unique. You will need to do some experiments to really be more adept with the rope.
As you travel across the various stages, the ultimate aim will be to go through a door which will allow you to proceed to unlocking the next stage. To get to these doors, you can use the lure and grapple it at the surface aside, above or below you so that Kawase-san can perform various actions like swinging, dangling, pulling up and so forth. So for the most part, you will need to use a lot of the grapple theory at almost stages at appropriate surfaces to get yourself from point A to point B.
There are icy floors as well where the lure can’t get hooked. You have to aim at other surfaces to reach the point you want to.
You can traverse through the game as one of the four playable characters, (i) As Kawase-san the main character of the series, (ii) Kawase-chan, who is a younger version of Kawase-san during elementary school, (iii) Emiko-chan, Kawase-chan’s elementary friend and (iv) Yokoyama Nokko, an inspector of time and space and a descendant of Kawase. The game also has new pathways and hidden doors. You also get the option of playing in survival mode. However, this mode is playable after finishing one of the endings in the main mode
The respawn mechanic is a bit of a problem. One accidental hit/touch from an enemy will kill you. Also if Kawase-san dives into the pool, she dies and the game has to be restarted from the beginning. You cannot save in between levels as you progress in game so all this makes it a little bit frustrating. You can however select between the earlier completed stages. All in all there are sixty stages to be completed. The controls are also not that complex either. You can move around with the directional keys, the jump and the lure key are the only action keys.
Sayonara Umihara Kawase is a 2D game so the pixels are not that encouraging. The music also doesn’t quite help much. Many levels in the game feature branching paths, allowing you to follow an entirely different set of levels. It is quite an ”okay” game since the gameplay and progression have not really changed or developed since the release of the last original game. For an Otaku the game might be cute but boring especially with the dull graphics. It’s still a fun way to hack your day away solving puzzles with Kawase-san!
Sayonara Umihara Kawase was realeased on April 24 in 2014.
-Offers nothing new