Author Topic: Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! Western PC launch on May 28, published by Success  (Read 593 times)

Offline sol-alpha

  • Member
  • Posts: 175


Couldn't fit this in the other title.

Success is publishing the Steam release in the west and will release earlier compared to the western launch of the console counterparts on May 28th.

Source: https://www.gematsu.com/2020/05/umihara-kawase-bazooka-coming-west-on-may-28-for-pc-july-for-ps4-and-switch

Steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1271620/Umihara_Kawase_BaZooKa/




Offline CyanideBlizzard

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
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.

« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 05:26:01 AM by CyanideBlizzard »

Offline Alc

  • Member
  • Posts: 183
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.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 11:12:20 PM by Alc »

Offline CyanideBlizzard

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
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.

Offline KawaseFan

  • Member
  • Posts: 418
    • KawaseFan.net
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.

Offline Alc

  • Member
  • Posts: 183
Grim reading there, KawaseFan.

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.
There's a third option which is that Sayonara really was Sakai's way of saying his goodbyes to the series. I can imagine that after 20 years of working almost exclusively on one very specific type of game, your enthusiasm for making another in the same mould might be diminished. So perhaps now we might hope instead that someone else who properly understands the core appeal of the games will be given the mantle.

Also, Sakai's Twitter account has been quite active and he is playing a lot of games! So perhaps this is a "sabbatical" of sorts, with a view to coming back rejuvenated. Let's hope so.

Offline CyanideBlizzard

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
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 initially thought that, but given Sakai's lack of involvement I've become more curious on that.  I've said it feels like an attempt to give the series more mainstream appeal, and while I'm not sure that's the case there was definitely a desire to incorporate more diverse mechanics to grab other eyes.  Though I suppose it's also likely that Saizensen considers all entries to be main entries so perhaps that just comes down to the personal, haha.

There's a third option which is that Sayonara really was Sakai's way of saying his goodbyes to the series. I can imagine that after 20 years of working almost exclusively on one very specific type of game, your enthusiasm for making another in the same mould might be diminished. So perhaps now we might hope instead that someone else who properly understands the core appeal of the games will be given the mantle.

Also, Sakai's Twitter account has been quite active and he is playing a lot of games! So perhaps this is a "sabbatical" of sorts, with a view to coming back rejuvenated. Let's hope so.

I was actually thinking about this after I had typed the message.  It's highly possible that's what the sayonara part was for in Sayonara Umihara Kawase.  Either permanent, or temporary, and Studio Saizensen is simply exploring other potential directions in the series.  Which, I think a lot of us can agree on, we certainly don't mind them showing passion and interest in continuing the name of the series.

Really glad that Sakai has been so active on Twitter, and more importantly enjoying quite a few games too.  It's quite possible that this could be a sabbatical of sorts as well.  There's an endless amount of possibilities that lay before us, but no matter where they go we'll certainly follow that road and see what they've got planned next.

Offline sol-alpha

  • Member
  • Posts: 175

I was actually thinking about this after I had typed the message.  It's highly possible that's what the sayonara part was for in Sayonara Umihara Kawase.  Either permanent, or temporary, and Studio Saizensen is simply exploring other potential directions in the series.  Which, I think a lot of us can agree on, we certainly don't mind them showing passion and interest in continuing the name of the series.

Really glad that Sakai has been so active on Twitter, and more importantly enjoying quite a few games too.  It's quite possible that this could be a sabbatical of sorts as well.  There's an endless amount of possibilities that lay before us, but no matter where they go we'll certainly follow that road and see what they've got planned next.

You can go and look at one of his past interviews which may explain things after he made Sayonara Umihara Kawase:
https://www.usgamer.net/articles/indie-before-it-was-cool-the-umihara-kawase-story

Kiyoshi Sakai said:
Quote
"I’m not sure if there’s a future for the series," he muses. "I feel like I’d be okay either way, if it went on or if it has to end here. I don’t have any regrets about the series. I’ve done everything I wanted to do with it. At this point, I don’t feel like, 'Oh, I have to make another game to accomplish this or that.'"