Author Topic: Nicalis is publishing western release of Umihara Kawase Fresh! Coming July 9  (Read 370 times)

Offline sol-alpha

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Announcement Link: https://twitter.com/nicalis/status/1105892833045561350?s=19

Further details from Gematsu:
https://gematsu.com/2019/03/umihara-kawase-fresh-delayed-to-july-9-in-the-west

Release date, physical version for North America only outside Japan, $40:
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Although previously planned for a simultaneous western and Japanese release on April 25, Umihara Kawase Fresh! will now launch for Switch on July 9 both physically and digitally in North America, and digitally and Europe under the publishing arm of Nicalis. It will cost $39.99.

Game description:
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About

When a young traveling chef named Kawase arrives in the frontier town of Kingness, she finds it to be a perfect real-life replica of a town that she used to dream of as a child. Intrigued, she takes a job as a delivery person and occasional chef for a local restaurant. Through exploration and conversations with the locals, Kawase gradually learns the history of the town, the mysterious castle that floats above it, the dangerous cavern that lurks below it and the unspeakable demons who have terrorized its residents.

In Umihara Kawase Fresh!, Kawase carries a fishing lure with “rubber-band action.” The lure can be used as a grappling hook to swing from platforms, as a winch to raise or lower herself while suspended, as a bungee cord to slingshot herself in any direction and as a weapon to stun or defeat enemies. The lure can also capture enemies and items in the environment, pulling them in to be stored in the infinite space of Kawase’s seemingly magical backpack.

Key Features

- Large, explorable town expands in all directions as the story unfolds and you gain access to new areas.
- More than 75 unique quests, each replayable in Time Attack mode, plus unlockable Challenge quests.
- Collect dozens of unique ingredients and use them to prepare many different recipes, resulting in consumable items that can grant temporary power-ups.
- A whole town filled with charming, human-like animal characters, many of whom provide information, directions, advice, items, recipes and additional quests to undertake.
- More than 50 unique enemies, some of which can be captured and used as ingredients in special recipes, plus boss characters.
- Purchase ingredients from the Shop, or visit the Library to read about the items you’ve found and the enemies you’ve faced.
- Unlockable alternate playable characters.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:57:47 PM by sol-alpha »

Offline sol-alpha

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Personally, I would have preferred any publisher but Nicalis. Their handling of releasing games outside of North America is awful. I don't care that I can import the game from the US since Switch is region-free. The point is that since the Switch launched, there have been two publishers that have been awful at releasing Switch games physically worldwide, Capcom and Nicalis. Both of them have had multiple games not release physically in Europe and that cuts out potential sales since there is a lot more exposure in having your game on a shelf now since the Switch has many many more games on the eShop than in retail stores.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:39:42 PM by sol-alpha »

Offline CyanideBlizzard

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This is one of those situations that is just incredibly strange overall.  On one end, the fact that this will be given a proper release outside of Japan is exciting.  Further, at a reduced price tag than what will be sold in Japan means there's a higher probability that more hands will be on this title than any previous Umihara Kawase title.  That's really, really exciting.

The other, is since the Japanese release will also be in English, and be out several months prior, it makes for a hard justification to wait.  Even at a cheaper price, fans or people interested will just import the game.  Especially, as you mentioned sol-alpha, with Nicalis' mixed reputation for handling properties.  A digital only in EU also makes it even more likely anyone in Europe or Australia will just import the Japanese title, which means the overall sales will be rather divided. 

With the original release including English struck me as a move to encourage more people to import it, or for Studio Saizensen to possibly do something with it themselves.  However, this drastically changes things.  Not sure if they were approached later, or if this was the plan all along.  Very curious, to say the least.

Offline sol-alpha

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New information:

The Success Twitter account points out that the western release of Umihara Kawase Fresh! handled by Nicalis will not have Japanese language options.
https://twitter.com/success_g3/status/1105998869119131649?s=19

Remember that the official site for Umihara Kawase Fresh! from Success mentions the Japanese version of the game that Success is publishing will have Japanese, English and Chinese language options: https://swninfo.success-corp.co.jp/switch/umihara-fresh/index.html

Offline KawaseFan

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I'm not really surprised that Nicalis has picked up the publishing rights for the western release of Fresh, since they had worked with Studio Saizensen with Blade Strangers.  It's great that it will at least get a physical release in North America, and yeah, I wasn't really expecting a physical release in Europe/AU/NZ, regardless.  The delay is pretty disappointing, though; all I can say is I'm glad I was going to import it anyway.

The other, is since the Japanese release will also be in English, and be out several months prior, it makes for a hard justification to wait.  Even at a cheaper price, fans or people interested will just import the game.  Especially, as you mentioned sol-alpha, with Nicalis' mixed reputation for handling properties.  A digital only in EU also makes it even more likely anyone in Europe or Australia will just import the Japanese title, which means the overall sales will be rather divided. 

With the original release including English struck me as a move to encourage more people to import it, or for Studio Saizensen to possibly do something with it themselves.  However, this drastically changes things.  Not sure if they were approached later, or if this was the plan all along.  Very curious, to say the least.

Yeah, it's kind of bizarre.  The only actively interested English-speaking fans I can really see holding off for the western release (unless Nicalis do a special edition?) are those who specifically want to support their local release.

Offline sol-alpha

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What I'd definitely like to know is why did Success/Studio Saizensen let Nicalis have publishing duties for Europe?

If this was previous entries in the franchise then it doesn't matter because the other Umihara Kawase games have very little text.

But this new game is going to have a story with dialogue so it actually helps getting it translated to EFIGS in Europe. For example, NISA who releases games like Disgaea 5 Complete on Switch have made it a priority that their games have French language options because Japanese game sales in France skew much higher compared to other European countries. So with Nicalis handling publishing duties for Europe which gives only an eShop release and only English for language options kills whatever potential it had to sell in Europe.

Is it because Success wouldn't have enough money to fund localisation for other languages? Then yes, it's understandable. However, if you just focus on France like NISA does and only add in French? Then it will be much more beneficial to the sales you make than if you decided to cut costs and not localise it.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2019, 04:58:49 AM by sol-alpha »

Offline Princess Rescuer

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so is there no demo outside of the japanese eshop?

Offline sol-alpha

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So in case no one has noticed.

Umihara Kawase Fresh! released on July 9th in North America under the publishing of Nicalis. They've released a physical version of the game but, there is no digital release of Umihara Kawase Fresh! on the eShop outside Japan.

There is confirmation from gaming journalists that Nicalis's PR said that Umihara Kawase Fresh! would be available digitally on the eShop in the US on launch day back when it was first announced. But it seems that gaming journalists assumed Europe would get an eShop  release.

Now it's been 2-3 days since the game launched in the US and there is no eShop version of Umihara Kawase Fresh! outside Japan. This is hilarious and expected of Nicalis. This is why I didn't want Studio Saizensen working with Nicalis because they are an awful publisher that leeches off other people's works, they are like Harmony Gold.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 01:55:47 PM by sol-alpha »

Offline KawaseFan

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Regarding the as-yet lack of eShop release in North America: I'll give them the benefit of the doubt there, and suggest that release has just been missed somehow and will appear before too long (hopefully).

Funny you posted this now, though -- I was just checking the Australian eShop to see if it had been released.  Then I checked the Australian Classification and PEGI websites to see if it'd been classified for release in Aus/Europe (spoilers: nope).  Pretty disappointing from Nicalis.