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17 minutes of direct-feed gameplay:
https://youtu.be/_F7ep6qUZUE
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Off-Topic / Re: What other games do you like / have you been playing?
« Last post by Whendaleksattack on February 20, 2020, 05:34:38 PM »
Alrighty, I'd thought I'd like to share some of the games I've been playing recently:

As I mentioned a few times in my other posts, I've been playing some Street Fighter games recently, especially the Alpha series. While I'm admittedly poor at playing SF (due to growing up with Smash Bros), I still enjoy playing online with other players through FightCade. However, I think the standout title in the SF series imo is Pocket Fighter/Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix (not to be confused with Puzzle Fighter). I don't know why, but I just dig the chibi art style of Puzzle Fighter mixed with regular SF gameplay, combined with the absolutely absurd storylines and special moves for each character. It's a game that I would recommend checking out, though it hasn't been rereleased in a while (since 2006 apparently).

I've also been playing some King Of Fighters 2002 recently, though like SF I'd probably not recommend it as it does take some time to get used to its controls and gameplay. I still love this game either way, though the final boss (Rugal) can definitely go fuck off.

As for more modern games, I haven't been playing many of those recently, probably due to my weird fascination with older video games. I'd like to probably pick up River City Girls one of these days for my PC, along with maybe the Ace Attorney Trilogy as well. In the meantime, I've been playing some Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and a bit of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy on my Switch. I also got Batman: The Telltale Series as a gift for Christmas from my relatives, but I've yet to try it out (mainly due to being busy for a few months). I'll definitely give it a try when I get the chance. 
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Other Umihara Kawase Discussion / Least Favorite Mechanics
« Last post by Princess Rescuer on February 18, 2020, 03:59:58 AM »
Obviously, the selling point of Umihara Kawase is the mechanics. However, the game seems to think the grapple alone makes it good. Less attention was given to other mechanics though. Here are a few things that keep Umihara Kawase games from classic status.

Too Many Lives (first two games)
The first two games don't just give you 3 (or 4) lives. They start you off with much more. When you get better at the games, they get tensionless due to how many lives you have to start with. Oftentimes, collecting more lives or being cautious isn't even remotely necessary for seasoned players.

Too Much Time (first two games)
You get multiple minutes to finish levels that take less than half a minute. Maybe if you were given 59 seconds instead of 5 minutes, it would be more intense. Instead, you get an incredibly lenient 5 minutes or more on most levels. It's similar to Sonic where you get 10 minutes per stage or PilotWings where you get a full HOUR which no player will ever need. This just feels like time limits were tacked on because video games need them. Speaking of which...

Weird and unnecessary High Scores (first two games)
High Scores in Umihara Kawase are even more meaningless than time limits. At least time limits affect gameplay. Not high scores though. Aside from the fact that getting high scores is boring, the number choices are so random. 88? 97? 112? What's wrong with 50, 100, and 200? And why is the default score 6158? Why not have it be 0?

Music that changes too often (all games)
You complete the fields so fast that the music changes. Field songs seem implemented at random and they could have all been bunched up together. The only places you'll hear the music in its entirety is bosses, and the bosses are terrible.

Success/failure counter (Sayonara)
I never liked this. You'll most likely always have more failures than successes. And a safety of success or risky failure aren't accounted for, making ambitious players look worse.

Having other characters be better than the main character (Sayonara and Fresh)
The series is called Umihara Kawase, not These Other People. Other characters have the same capabilities Umi has, and then some! There's almost never any reason to play as Umihara.

Hunger Meter (Fresh)
The Hunger Meter is the epitome of an annoying and useless mechanic. It's just bothersome, not challenging. You will likely never run out of food to restore it with, and you can always gather more and pause to eat it. It's just a tacked on "survival game" mechanic nobody asked for and the game would have been better without it.
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As seen on the official website: https://swninfo.success-corp.co.jp/general/umihara-bazooka/teaser/

Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!! will release on May 28th 2020 in Japan.

The game will cost ¥2800 excluding tax (¥3080 total). It is available physically and digitally.

Language Options: Japanese, English,
Chinese (Traditional and Simplified),
Korean
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Umihara Kawase Fresh! / Re: What are your opinions on Fresh?
« Last post by Gorillanator on February 13, 2020, 04:16:35 AM »
On a positive note, I did like the bosses. They will still kind of poorly designed, but it was funny watching Umi bounce around like a ball tied to a paddle. Also, Cotton's side quest had some nice music and a funny cut-scene at the end.
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Umihara Kawase Fresh! / Re: Umihara Kawase Fresh! is coming to Arcade
« Last post by KawaseFan on February 10, 2020, 11:52:41 AM »
Yeah, it seems a bit bizarre to me that they'd release an arcade version of Fresh.  I actually think something like the original Umihara Kawase or Shun wouldn't be bad in an arcade setting, and you could even have time attack rankings built in.

Hopefully it works out well, though; I'll have to keep an eye out for any impressions, since I'm pretty sure I won't be importing this one...
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Umihara Kawase Fresh! / Re: Umihara Kawase Fresh! is coming to Arcade
« Last post by Princess Rescuer on February 09, 2020, 09:36:15 PM »
I don't know if putting this in an arcade is a good idea. I would have put any other game (even Bazooka) in the arcade.
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Umihara Kawase Fresh! / Re: Umihara Kawase Fresh! is coming to Arcade
« Last post by Whendaleksattack on February 08, 2020, 11:56:26 PM »
Don’t know if it’s a digital distribution thingy or something, as my knowledge on arcade machines (especially Japanese ones) isn’t the greatest. Studio Saizensen’s latest stream shows off a couple of photos of the JAEPO demo, here’s a screenshot that got me curious though:



Yeah, I don’t think Fresh really needs 8 buttons to function. They probably just used the button layout as a placeholder for the actual button layout though, so I might be wrong. Just thought I’d bring this up.

Again, still relatively confused as to why Fresh is coming to the arcades virtually unchanged, instead of either BazooKa or even Blade Strangers (which I could be wrong on the latter as they did mention “Stranger Blades” on the stream, so I cant confirm though as I sadly don’t know Japanese), which is a decent missed opportunity imo. That might change in the future still, so I’ll have to see.
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Umihara Kawase Fresh! / Re: Umihara Kawase Fresh! is coming to Arcade
« Last post by Alc on February 08, 2020, 05:47:24 PM »
Is this part of an arcade digital distribution platform or something? I'm struggling to imagine how an obscure, poorly-received single-player platform game could make any inroads as an arcade cab. Japan's arcade scene is a world to itself, though, I suppose.
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Off-Topic / Super Famicom Pilotwings High Score Runs
« Last post by Princess Rescuer on February 06, 2020, 03:27:13 AM »
Hi, I am Princess Rescuer. I came up with the insane High Score challenge in Umihara Kawase, a challenge that doesn't really have any serious competition going on, given that high scores seem tacked onto Umihara as an afterthought. Although the High Score challenge never gained any traction, seeing a six-digit score that began with a 4 on that main menu sure was satisfying. A high score challenge in the Super Famicom classic, Pilotwings (my favorite Super Famicom game ever, at least as far as 1st/2nd party goes) is arguably even more artificial. You do rack up points in the game, but they are only for getting a passing grade. Worse yet, if you happen to score the required amount of points before completing all the tests, the Flight Area ends immediately. Even if you were to tack on an imaginary score, it doesn't help that you have to make sure to do well but not too well or else your session ends prematurely.

Basically, this is the kind of High Score I propose for Pilotwings: You do all 10 levels in a row (or all 5 levels if you're just doing the Expert Half or Normal Half). You are not allowed to Retry ever. You can fail individual tests (and optimal scoring strategy may even demand you do so) but if you come up short on points when all tests are over, the run's over. If you beat the final Helicopter mission, you can have an F next to your score which means you've finished the game. Obviously, this is the tiebreaker for tied scores.

High Score runs in Pilotwings are brutal. They're supposed to be. Pilotwings is normally a very short game with questionable replay value and the small, flat environments you can just fly over don't exactly lend themselves to a great deal of emergent gameplay. So devising a run involving getting all the Bonus Chances with one opportunity AND making sure you do the Skydiving last, which has a 1-in-3 chance of giving you the bonus area with the opportunity to score 70 points as opposed to just 50 or 60 is sure to make the game last.

The Nintendo Switch Online has renewed my interest in Pilotwings. I'm sure a PS4 re-release of all the Umihara Kawase games would renew my interest in those, too. Fun fact- the bonus chance you get is determined as soon as you pick the activity.

A good player should be able to get at least 2000 points. Brutal luck and no continues make Pilotwings a more interesting and intense game.

One more thing- I think more games should have High Scores taken seriously because unlike speedrunning, they're the only place where slower versions/older consoles have a fighting chance and may even provide an advantage. I think I might buy a PAL SNES just for this challenge.
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