Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! – Review
Follow Genre: Platformer, Party
Developer: Studio Saizensen, Success
Publisher: Success, United Games Entertainment GmbH
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! – Review

Site Score
5.8
Good: Charming visuals, Big cast of characters
Bad: Bit unclear what the point is, Wonky controls at times
User Score
3.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Don’t worry if you have never heard of the Umihara Kawase series, which is apparently already a fairly old one, because we haven’t either. Nonetheless, this series came into existence in 1994 and is apparently still going strong, with the latest release, Umihara Kawase Fresh! Being released in 2019. This time we take a look at Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!, the latest iteration in the series, which revolves around tiny arena-based levels in which you have to dispose of very strange-looking creatures, be it alone or with friends. Of course, friends can turn into rivals quickly as well, making this a fairly competitive game.

Story

There is absolutely no story value to be found in this newest Umihara Kawase release. The game pretty much allows you to choose between different modes in a single-player or multiplayer format. You boot up the game, you pick any mode, and you play. We do feel a bit sorry that the overall oddness of the game does not really have a certain ‘frame’ to make things a bit more clear or logical.

Graphics

BaZooKa! looks very attractive and adorable with its massive cast of characters to choose from, each with different color setups when you actually make your pick. The game has a sort of Flash-like look from the early 2000 browser games, but everything looks really smooth and colorful and manages to draw you in. The arenas are also quite diverse and have different things going on in the backdrop, which makes the game a bit more alive. Enemy models get repeated quite often, but there’s still a reasonable diversity, making sure you can come up with different tactics to beat each different type of enemy.

Sound

The sound design is fairly okay. You will not get blown away by the game’s soundtrack or sound effects, but the backdrop doesn’t feel cheap either. You can basically say that the musical representation of the game suffices and does the job it sets out to do. There’s nothing special to be found here, but it’s just decent.

Gameplay

Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! calls itself a platformer, but it’s a fairly action-packed one, where you have to dispose of many enemies in each level. You can opt to play the game where you basically kill enemies in a wave-based format each stage, or you can play with friends, be it cooperatively, or against them. The latter can be quite literal, where you just work on damaging your fellow players. There’s a bit of content to pick from, but it basically boils down to the same things, namely kill all baddies, kill all baddies with friends, kill more baddies than your friends, or downright kill your friends.

The concept of the game is quite simple, no matter which mode you pick or if you play with friends or alone. You will always just have to use your harpoon-like weapon that draws in enemies, which then turns them into ammo for your bazooka. You can then fire that gobbled up enemy onto other enemies to deal damage. You will have to avoid your own bullets though, as they will also hit you if not careful. It’s basically a case of constantly wiping the arena of enemies, or disposing of your enemies and so on.

The controls can be somewhat awkward, especially when it comes to the actual platforming segments. It’s quite hard to properly make your way across different ledges, or to climb back to higher ground, if you find yourself at the bottom of a stage. Practice makes perfect, but the game still feels a bit off in terms of controls. The same can be said when it comes to firing your bazooka, which you can only fire in the four main directions, and not like you would be able to do in a twin-stick shooter.

Conclusion

Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! is a fairly entertaining bite-sized action plaformer. While the game has a certain charm when played in single-player mode, it truly shines when played with friends, be it because everyone is struggling with the controls, the randomness of the battles, or to actually progress through the different stages of the game. We do believe that the asking price for this game is way too steep, even if it’s already a fairly old series that has a certain fanbase. We recommend looking into this one if you have other people wanting to play it with you, or when it’s heavily discounted.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! - Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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