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The PC version's out now and my first impression is that it is incredibly average.  I hesitate to say that it is bad, because I have not encountered any technical issues so far (disclaimer: I have not played online), and the game seems to be good enough at what it does.  It's just that "what it does" isn't really that interesting to me.

I know we've all been saying it, or hinting at it, but I do really hope they go back to classic Umihara Kawase design after this. ~60 tightly polished levels, multiple exits, randomly spawning enemies hand-placed enemies, a few bosses that can be quickly dispatched or otherwise skipped if you're competent enough. It's a simple enough formula, they've got the engine for it, and even their 3D art is looking accomplished by now. I didn't really want to play any more of this game after the demo, though, which is just sad.

I couldn't agree more.

I'm really curious what Studio Saizensen's plan is.  Fresh and BaZooKa are clearly meant to be offshoots of the main series, and as noted Kiyoshi Sakai has not been involved in either game.  I'm not sure if that means there's issues between the two, or if there's something far larger in the works and in the meanwhile Saizensen is simply trying to expand the brand by trying new things.  I like the idea of testing out new waters, but I don't think either game really commits in the direction it needs to.  Part of that seems to come down to budget, and the other part possibly from experience or overall direction.  Either way, they just don't hit the mark.  They don't scratch the itch.

[...]

Umihara Kawase works best as it simply is.  It doesn't need to be graphically intense, or have a branching metanarrative with deep character interaction.  Just simply putting us in a level and figuring out how to go from point A to B the fastest is all it took.  I'm curious what all of this means, and more importantly where it's all going.  Because there's got to be some plan in the works for a return to form.  Or at least I'd imagine.

I certainly hope you're right.

I'm willing to write off BaZooKa as a spinoff game that isn't trying to follow the usual formula.  Fresh, though, I felt was more or less intended to be a new 'main' game that was trying to expand on the traditional series gameplay using a larger, more open setting.  I think we can all agree at this point that the changes in Fresh didn't really work, and the only conclusion I can draw as to why it didn't work is whether there were, as you mentioned, budget issues that affected the direction they wanted to take.  I understand that, and I want to make clear that I respect any decision to change gameplay elements in order to keep things interesting, but any such change has to work, and it has to work within the budget they have.  If it's not going to work, then they're better off doing what Alc said and returning to the usual formula from the first three games.

The BaZooKa collector's edition honestly looks pretty awesome, but I have no desire for it at this point.
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So the PC version's out now on Steam, and I can't really recommend it.  Besides the current lack of English language option (which we knew about), the game is still surprisingly expensive, even with a 20% launch discount, for a year-old Switch game that it's clear has had minimal effort put into the port.  All of the button prompts appear to have been left unchanged from the Switch version; e.g., if your PC controller uses an Xbox layout like mine does, then all references to A actually mean B and vice versa, and the 'goal' of a stage would actually be activated with Y, rather than the X that the game displays.

I can't recommend the PC version unless it gets a serious, permanent discount (hopefully this happens when the game is updated to support English) or at least a 50% off sale, and has the button displays fixed.
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Other Umihara Kawase Discussion / Re: Japanese Video Game Obscurities book
« Last post by Alc on Today at 03:27:46 AM »
Yeah, a lot of these really niche books on Amazon these days make you appreciate that editors are also necessary there too. Especially the digital only/print on demand ones.

There is interesting content in that documentary but you'll have to travel through breakfast and his bag breaking and then lunch being a bowl of Udon etc etc. It's his film and he can do what he wants, but it struck me as a bit self-indulgent to include that footage - more like a diary. I guess it's for the completionists out there since in some of those moments he's having dinner with the developers or whatever.

Whatever I may think of his editing decisions, I'll admit he must be remarkably tenacious to manage to get interviews out of all these senior figures in the Japanese development scene, especially as a foreigner. I know he speaks Japanese, but even so, it must have taken an incredible amount of time, research, and effort (and maybe money?) to open some of these doors. Good on him.
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I've always been a fan of purchasing rare collector's materials for things I enjoy, and I also resell on the side should I lose interest in a series or if my collection gets far too large.  So I don't necessarily mind, and especially since I had planned on buying the Japanese version I figured I'd go with this.  It was like buying the LE version of Summon Night 5 from Gaijinworks.  The game is.. not good, but that set is incredible.

I'm really curious what Studio Saizensen's plan is.  Fresh and BaZooKa are clearly meant to be offshoots of the main series, and as noted Kiyoshi Sakai has not been involved in either game.  I'm not sure if that means there's issues between the two, or if there's something far larger in the works and in the meanwhile Saizensen is simply trying to expand the brand by trying new things.  I like the idea of testing out new waters, but I don't think either game really commits in the direction it needs to.  Part of that seems to come down to budget, and the other part possibly from experience or overall direction.  Either way, they just don't hit the mark.  They don't scratch the itch.

Sometimes a product just works fine as it is.  When Eidos tried to revive the Thief series, they really missed the mark on what made the series so much fun to play.  Instead, they went for an entirely different direction and the audience just didn't care for it.  Hitman : Absolution was a gorgeous game and a far greater desire to make the Hitman games more story based, and it was met with a slightly similar reaction until they went back to the same formula they used in Hitman : Blood Money.  Combined with what they learned in Absolution, the result was a really great game (Hitman 2016). 

Umihara Kawase works best as it simply is.  It doesn't need to be graphically intense, or have a branching metanarrative with deep character interaction.  Just simply putting us in a level and figuring out how to go from point A to B the fastest is all it took.  I'm curious what all of this means, and more importantly where it's all going.  Because there's got to be some plan in the works for a return to form.  Or at least I'd imagine.
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Almost bought the special edition (I am a sucker for VGM CDs in particular), then caught myself; I didn't care much for the demo, so why buy the SE? The poster art is nice enough for what it is, though it wouldn't go up in my house. Where do you guys land on this stuff? Models and posters and trinkets? Personally I try and keep the gaming paraphernalia down to a minimum, or else things start getting out of hand... I allow myself the odd coffee mug, got a Spelunky mug, Pac-man, a Dopefish (old id Software in-joke) and a Roland TB-303 retro synth mug (not strictly game related but very influential among certain popular game composers, cough-YuzoKoshiro-cough). Got lots and lots of VGM CDs/vinyl, though (and even a few tapes), so I guess I break my own rules.

I know we've all been saying it, or hinting at it, but I do really hope they go back to classic Umihara Kawase design after this. ~60 tightly polished levels, multiple exits, randomly spawning enemies hand-placed enemies, a few bosses that can be quickly dispatched or otherwise skipped if you're competent enough. It's a simple enough formula, they've got the engine for it, and even their 3D art is looking accomplished by now. I didn't really want to play any more of this game after the demo, though, which is just sad.
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I do appreciate how challenging Shun is; it%u2019s not afraid to be insanely hard.
Well, you've got successive extra "challenge" fields, remember - some added in Second Edition, some added in Kanzenban. If you tracked down a copy of the original Shun you'd find the difficulty curve somewhat more manageable ;)

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Overrall, I like Shun for the challenge, Umihara Kawase for the funnest physics and vibe, and Sayonara for being the fairest in overall difficulty and the numerous quality of life changes it has there (numbers on the doors, progressing through level select, a limited but good enough checkpoint system, etc).
I think that's spot on.

Push comes to shove, I'd say the original is my favourite, warts and all.

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Love this series, and if anyone has any tips for the aforementioned levels, please let me know!
A slightly rude observation here, but on YouTube there's a channel called UmiharaKawaseRuns (or something similar) which demonstrate how to get to exits. A lot of the harder ones they get through with dangerous luck or just unnecessary techniques. Don't limit yourself to techniques seen on YouTube, I guess is my point. Not wishing to cast shade on that youtuber, they did a lot of work back in the day.
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>I did catch part of the four-hour documentary to go with "The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers"; it was woefully unfocussed and rather desperately in need of an editor, which put me off a bit. I'll have to have a look if you say they're that good, though, I had been meaning to check them out anyway.

I'll have to check that out.  The books themselves read like it was a collection of interviews as oppose to an overall narrative, so you mind find some similarities.  I had picked up the Kindle version for 1 and 2, and noticed a few typos and some other mistakes.  but I found the meat and potatoes, the interviews, to be quite insightful.  I was more so looking at it as an informative piece, and in that aspect it was quite satisfying.  So your mileage might vary.
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We've got one heck of an update on some additional releases.

There'll be a regular, Steelbook, and a Collector's Edition release for the Switch and the PS4.  Once again it looks like Strictly Limited, who handled the Sayonara Umihara Kawase++ release, will be involved.  I thought they did an outstanding job on that, so I'm excited to see how the BaZooKa one will be. 

I hadn't planned on paying this much for the game, but these sets very much make them a great collector's item.  Keep in mind that these sets are going to be limited, and they're already available for pre-order now.  It's quite a bit of money to drop on this game, but they certainly packed quite a bit of material in this set.  Even though it'll most likely change, I also love the cover artwork.  The idea of Umihara Kawase actually using a bazooka is delightfully absurd.

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So I’m able to get through F27 relatively consistently now and I’ve made a lot of progress on Shun. For F27, I think the trick is is to plant your lure on the right edge of the blue block, get a good swing going (lure length almost touching the spikes as you swing. Then I press right when kawase goes right, and left when she goes left, and on the second time after I hold left, I immediately follow up with pressing up to reel out a little bit when I’m at the highest point of the left swing I think), then backswing (reel in) at the apex of the swing to do the long jump over the spikes. I’m kinda sliding my thumb over the d-pad while I’m doing this, sliding from left, to up for a second, then down and let go of the lure button for the backswing. Took me like 500 deaths I believe to be able to get this down consistently.

https://imgur.com/a/70QNypx

I’ve had trouble on F56 for a bit (that last part with the disappearing and reappearing stones is goddamn hard, but everything else before that I’ve got good enough with practice), but I finally beat that too. Then it took me awhile to get good enough to do that entire route without losing more than one continue so I could continue to F57, and now I’m stuck. I’ve died about 327 times on this level and have only been able to get past the 6 bottom columns, never even made it to the top portion. This is probably the hardest level for me yet, and I’ve pretty much hit a wall here, as the only things I need to do now are beat F57 path, F42 path, F49 path, and unlock 4 achievements (beat F0 in <10 sec, reach and beat all fields, collect all backpacks). This is hard b/c F57, F42, and F49 are ridiculously hard to get past, these remind me of Mario-Maker levels.

So I might put the game down for a bit and get back into it sometime in the future, but I’m pretty proud anyways for the progress I’ve made so far in this game. I do appreciate how challenging Shun is; it’s not afraid to be insanely hard. Overrall, I like Shun for the challenge, Umihara Kawase for the funnest physics and vibe, and Sayonara for being the fairest in overall difficulty and the numerous quality of life changes it has there (numbers on the doors, progressing through level select, a limited but good enough checkpoint system, etc). Love this series, and if anyone has any tips for the aforementioned levels, please let me know!
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Off-Topic / Re: Super Mario Kart Pro Tips
« Last post by Princess Rescuer on May 18, 2020, 02:01:31 PM »
When controlled by the computer, opponents have special items that only they can use. Depending on which character you pick, there is not just one rival, but an entire order of racers pre-determined by the game unless you mess it up. There are only four specific weight classes, and two characters each. In the heavy weight class, Bowser has to deal with both Mario and Luigi, who both have stars, but Donkey Kong Jr. has to deal with Toad, Nokonoko, and Bowser, who are much less annoying.
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