Pawarumi – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade Action
Developer: Manufacture 43
Publisher: Manufacture 43
Available on: Switch, PC, MAC
Tested on: Switch

Pawarumi – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Great Gameplay, Great Soundtrack, Great level design
Bad: No Voice Acting
User Score
8.0
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (4 votes cast)

Pawarumi is a brand-new shoot ‘em up from Manufacture 43 and can possibly fill the void everyone has since the shmup glory days. The game might even satisfy the Ikaruga fans out there, because yes, it’s that good. It’s colorful, accompanied by an amazing soundtrack that fits the game like a glove and offers you a challenge that is rarely seen among most games these days.

Story

You play the role of a woman named Axo, who is in search of revenge for the atrocities that were committed against her people due to the extent of the machination that perpetrated against them. She flies through the galaxy on her own, with her ship, on a one-woman revenge mission for the sake of everyone she loved.

There are three layers to this game’s story, which in turn can be experienced through changing the difficulty. This way the game gets a ton of replay value, not only to get better but also unlocking the full story and getting the satisfaction of beating this game.

The story is presented to you through beautiful slides with amazing art that explain what is going on through text at the bottom of the screen. This sadly is all there is to the story since there is no sound, or voice acting. Just the text at the bottom and the associated soundtrack.

Graphics

This game simply looks stunning, besides the fact that your attacks are basically color based. The level design is very diverse and it all looks stunning. The enemies all have their own distinct shape and color which makes them easy to recognize in this fast-paced game.

Thanks to the game being on rails and not being able to change the camera angle, Manufacture 43 can take you on a very stylish transition into the next level, with the camera going completely around your ship and even more.

Sound

The sound design in this game is simply amazing. The satisfaction of your gun firing, the enemy ships exploding everywhere and the neat little boost your ship makes during the transition, really bringing the whole game together into one amazing experience.

The soundtrack takes the cake though, from the synth sounds to the awesome guitar riffs in-between, not only does it fit this game immensely well but it adds to the experience you get playing this game. Good luck trying to get the battle themes out of your head.

Gameplay

Pawarumi is a very traditional “Shoot ‘em up” or shorter, Shmup. Basically, you have to shoot the enemies coming from the side of the screen opposite of where you are, and not get hit by any projectiles or bullets. While this is easy to explain, in practicality it is completely different.

The learning curve in Pawarumi is pretty steep and this can be good and bad at the same time. A lot of people long for a challenge, but at the same time, it can throw some people off from purchasing this game. You are presented with three different difficulty levels, easy, normal and hard. Whatever you do, just start on easy and learn the ropes of this game. When you reach the game-over screen, and you will reach it a lot, there’s a little message saying: “Try again, you can do it!”

It uses a system that is very much like rock, paper, and scissors, which means that one element you use will have one advantage and one disadvantage. But this iteration takes that mechanic and adds a twist to it. Enemies are still easily defeated by their designated weak element, if you beat them with the element that they are more resistant to, you will charge your super. These types of attacks are then called charge attacks. Along with charge attacks, you can also recharge your shield, which in turn are called boost attacks. Finally, you have crush attacks and these are just you hitting the enemy with the sole purpose of killing them. These do not charge anything or add a boost to your shield.

Whenever you reach a certain level, you unlock said level in the training area, where you can hone your skills in hopes of beating the real deal. Besides the training area, there’s the tutorial, which is heavily recommended and then, of course, the arcade mode where you play through the stages in hopes of beating the story. Beating it should take you about an hour as the game isn’t that long, but actually reaching the end will require you to put in quite some time.

A nice little feature is that everything you do earns you points and multipliers, this will add to your total score before you reach the end of the game or a game over. This score is then added to the global leader boards where you can compete for the top spot.

Conclusion

Pawarumi is a great game for both hardcore shoot ‘em up fans, as well as people who just want to play it casually. While yes, the difficulty is challenging, even on easy, casual fans can also enjoy the experience and reach the end of the story with relative ease. It can be picked up and played for sessions of 20 minutes or 2 hours. The graphics look stunning with amazing transitions and the soundtrack is brilliant. If you are looking for a good shmup that can fill that Ikaruga void, this is a great placeholder.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (4 votes cast)
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Pawarumi - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
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