Poll

Which is your favourite?

Umihara Kawase
4 (40%)
Umihara Kawase Shun
4 (40%)
Sayonara Umihara Kawase / Yumi's Odd Odyssey
2 (20%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Author Topic: Which is your favourite game in the series?  (Read 3019 times)

Offline KawaseFan

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Which is your favourite game in the series?
« on: November 02, 2014, 11:44:29 AM »
Which one do you enjoy the most?

Optional: Rank them!  For me it's close, they're all great, but I'd have to go Shun > Sayonara > original.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 08:13:00 PM by KawaseFan »

Offline Nana

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 01:59:01 AM »
Personally I think I'd have to go Shun > Original > Sayonara. Shun is basically perfect.

As for 1 and 3, while 3 I believe has better level design, the original just plays smoother, has better music, and is overall more charming and relaxing to me. Not to mention I much prefer the sprite graphics, higher framerate, and SNES controller.

Offline badlose

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 02:27:51 AM »
Original > Sayonara = Shun

I prefer the original's line physics, and I don't see the need for polygons for platforms. It's weird when you're on the side of a stage hooking onto a polygon platform, and you can't even see the lure.

I think Shun probably has the coolest (and most difficult) stages though.

Offline mfgreth

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 01:15:53 AM »
The original based purely on the fact the physics feel the best to me.

Sayonara comes next because I actually like the different characters/abilities.

Shun comes third for me even though it's probably objectively the best one.

Offline Princess Rescuer

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 05:42:06 PM »
The Original is my favorite game of all time, and the 2015 remake is just about perfect. It's controls and polish are unmatched by most 16-bit games. It's level design is memorable and endlessly replay able. You have to do a lot of waiting for tadpoles, the crab, and Field 28, but the rest of the game more than outweighs that. A masterpiece that deserves a place on the plat former pantheon among Mario, Sonic, Mega Man, Contra, Castlevania, etc.

Sayonara is the most play tested and polished game of the three, as well as the one that got many into the series, thanks to its accessibility features. It also had a soundtrack that was varied and generally listenable for most people, as opposed to the repetitive and video gamey songs from previous games.

Shun is my least favorite. I would have preferred having it with the other two in Chirari, but its dis inclusion doesn't hurt that game for me at all, really. Shun has a lot of fields that either feel like hub filler, or romhacky levels that didn't quite finish play testing (Field 42) Add to that the most caution-inducing physics that illicit several practice swings out of you, and my least favorite soundtrack. Also, it switched the focus from action to puzzle solving. Not a bad game at all, but not up to the same lofty standards as the other two.

Offline Princess Rescuer

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 09:55:20 PM »
Really, they're all consistently solid games. Great examples of how to make a classic (Original) a sequel (Shun) and a modernization (Sayonara). And I'm happy to be a fan in the current era of Umihara- it's a better time than ever to be one, with this website, the proliferation of the games on DS, Vita, and PC, and the popularity and availability of them being at an all-time high. It's interesting that this over two decade old series has just now hit its stride- by now, most series would (and have) gone through several identity crises, gotten bigger than they know how to handle, experimented with 3D and cutscenes and other things that have varying degrees of working, and generally seen its goodwill bleed and evaporate away. Umihara's still the same high quality series it's been since 1994, and a handful of bad versions (DS Original, PSP Shun, 3DS Sayonara) have done little to derail the series or keep it from generally getting even better. The best versions of them are the most recent ones.

Oh, and controversial opinion here, one reason the Original gets the edge of having a little more replay value than the other two is due to the random re-spawning enemies. They're random, but fair, as being near an enemy when it's about to spawn will actually cause it not to spawn. It forces you to think fast and move fast.

Offline Alc

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 06:54:05 PM »
a handful of bad versions (DS Original, PSP Shun, 3DS Sayonara)
The PSP game is garbage, but what's wrong with the other two? I know 3DS Sayonara was 30FPS so it's obviously not the best version now, but the DS version was well-received.

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Oh, and controversial opinion here, one reason the Original gets the edge of having a little more replay value than the other two is due to the random re-spawning enemies. They're random, but fair, as being near an enemy when it's about to spawn will actually cause it not to spawn. It forces you to think fast and move fast.
Yeah, that's a pretty controversial opinion! I think the random spawning enemies are something you get used to, but they're just terrible game design really - they might cause you to think and move fast, but they're anything but fair, and they're really off-putting to newcomers.

Offline Princess Rescuer

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 10:26:03 PM »
Looks like I've got some explaining to do.

The DS version of the Original isn't a bad version. It's just a suboptimal one. The soundtrack received an inexplicably awful remastering in order to make it more "current". Bosses don't increase in speed (unlike the SFC and Vita versions) making them take even longer. The DS's smaller screen limits your field of view, which is why the "scroll" option exists. There's also no training mode, on the same cartridge as a game that had a training mode that kept track of separate exits. Shun Kanzenban also had the same soundtrack as the PS1 versions, proper screen scrolling, a minimap on the bottom screen, a remixed "DS" mode, and even a continue option, which has never been included in any other installment. Those are cool features, why couldn't the Original have those? You can clearly tell it was added as an afterthought. Even the SFC version has its own share of issues, such as not being able to turn music off, those two-second loading times between fields, and the lack of a training mode. Long story short, Chirari rectifies those issues. I still don't know why the DS and Vita versions switch the Taki and Keiryu field music though.

Now that we've got the hard one out of the way, we can move on to the easy one. Fine, Sayonara on the 3DS was pretty cool in 2013 and 2014. It did popularize the series a little more and it was cool to have a new installment after a decade and a half. After the 2015 version though? It's an unplayably obsolete relic. If games didn't have release years on the title screen, I would have guessed that the 3DS version was some kind of downgraded port made by a B-team to capitalize on the greater popularity of the 3DS compared to the Vita. Where to begin with this one? The framerate is choppy, the graphics look creepily ugly, the bosses don't quite feel as playtested as they do in the 2015 version, restarting a field causes the music to start again, using the D-Pad (not level with face buttons) and the Circle Pad are both pains in the brain, and it also has the boring version of the flying Puffer Fish boss in Field 34, which was altered to become one of my favorite fields in the 2015 version. In addition to that, some blockades and enemies are missing, reducing the challenge level somewhat. Levels often feel empty. Also, the physics don't feel intuitive or accurate. The 2015 version was only made two years later, and it makes the 3DS version feel like a game from at least two console generations ago.

The problems just come down to the new versions being way better than the old versions. If I were to recommend starter games for newcomers, I'd say stick to Chirari and Kanzenban (only for Shun). They're currently the cheapest and most polished and updated versions of each game, and they're for affordable and region-free systems as well (popular but past-its-time DS and the bombed, low-demand Vita/Vita TV), at least until a Trilogy disc/cartridge comes out. (which I hope happens someday. PLEASE!)

And to answer your question of why I like the respawning enemies, well let me put it this way. I am a HUGE fan of Umihara Kawase. I play the games A LOT. I have done HUNDREDS of start-to-credits runs. I am a bigger fan of Umihara than most gamers are of Mario/Minecraft/whatever's popular now. And the respawning enemies make the game a lot more fresh and a lot less robotic for me. I hope that answers your question.

Offline Alc

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2016, 02:55:59 PM »
The DS version of the Original isn't a bad version. It's just a suboptimal one. The soundtrack received an inexplicably awful remastering in order to make it more "current". Bosses don't increase in speed (unlike the SFC and Vita versions) making them take even longer. The DS's smaller screen limits your field of view, which is why the "scroll" option exists. There's also no training mode, on the same cartridge as a game that had a training mode that kept track of separate exits. Shun Kanzenban also had the same soundtrack as the PS1 versions, proper screen scrolling, a minimap on the bottom screen, a remixed "DS" mode, and even a continue option, which has never been included in any other installment. Those are cool features, why couldn't the Original have those? You can clearly tell it was added as an afterthought. Even the SFC version has its own share of issues, such as not being able to turn music off, those two-second loading times between fields, and the lack of a training mode. Long story short, Chirari rectifies those issues. I still don't know why the DS and Vita versions switch the Taki and Keiryu field music though.
Fair enough. Seem like minor gripes, though - I wouldn't lump that in with the abomination that was UKS PSP.

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Also, the physics don't feel intuitive or accurate.
I've not played the 3DS version but I'd be amazed if the physics engine was changed (it seems the same in the videos I've seen). No disagreement on the rest, although you seem to like the aesthetics of Sayonara a lot more than I do. I think it's fucking ugly, all versions (even PC with Durante's resolution fix), the player character animations and the level art feel almost like placeholder "programmer art". I don't care - it's still a great game, no matter how it looks, and I appreciate it was made by a handful of people so I'm happy to scale back my expectations - but fundamentally I don't think it's a good-looking game at any resolution. That's just my take, though, each to their own.

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And to answer your question of why I like the respawning enemies, well let me put it this way. I am a HUGE fan of Umihara Kawase. I play the games A LOT. I have done HUNDREDS of start-to-credits runs. I am a bigger fan of Umihara than most gamers are of Mario/Minecraft/whatever's popular now. And the respawning enemies make the game a lot more fresh and a lot less robotic for me. I hope that answers your question.
That makes sense, and yeah spawning enemies don't bother me any more, but they drove me nuts when I first started playing (especially on levels with a high spawn rate). It just felt like a mechanic that was tossed in to make things arbitrarily harder, and that's the kind of thing that drives new players away.

Offline Princess Rescuer

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 03:47:57 PM »
I guess the reason I like Sayonara's visuals is because of how smooth they look in motion.

We seem to disagree on a lot of things. Do you like my posts, or do I bother you?

Offline Princess Rescuer

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2016, 04:28:19 PM »
Here's why I like the reaspawning enemies: they only spawn when you dawdle. Without them, the levels are very simplistic and easy. The series' main challenge is the mechanics, not the levels. It brilliantly turns the "easy to play, hard to master" motto on its head. Instead of easing you in, it is initially difficult, then becomes a breeze. Once you get over the wall of difficulty, you're hooked, and can't go back to normal platform ing.

Offline Alc

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2016, 05:08:28 AM »
We seem to disagree on a lot of things. Do you like my posts, or do I bother you?
Absolutely not! It's great that people to have different opinions and preferences; homogeneity in such matters is rarely a good thing, and I'll take any chance to discuss these games, even if we disagree on design choices or whatever. My apologies if I've come across as negative or combative - it certainly wasn't intentional.

Here's why I like the reaspawning enemies: they only spawn when you dawdle.
They have a nasty habit of spawning where you're about to land. Again, you learn spawn points and how to deal with them, but I still think the game would be better (and possibly more popular) with fixed enemy locations.

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Without them, the levels are very simplistic and easy.
Maybe this is the crux of the issue. I'm not interested in catching fish. I just want to swing around and enjoy the the rope physics, and the damn fish just get in the way, the spawning ones especially. Different strokes for different folks.

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The series' main challenge is the mechanics, not the levels. It brilliantly turns the "easy to play, hard to master" motto on its head. Instead of easing you in, it is initially difficult, then becomes a breeze. Once you get over the wall of difficulty, you're hooked, and can't go back to normal platforming.
I think its greatest merit (and definitely the key to my addiction with it) is the insanely high skill ceiling. You're absolutely right about "getting over the hump" and and hitting that skill level where things that seemed impossible feel trivial, but that's not the end of it - if I was still playing daily like I used to, I'd still be getting noticeably better at manoeuvring. That's a rare trait. In most games you can pick up character movement relatively quickly, but learning deft movement control in Umihara Kawase is essentially the core of the game, and it grants it a longevity that is mostly limited to the determination of the player.

Offline Princess Rescuer

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2016, 04:35:19 PM »
I like that the Original delivers on "perpetual dissatisfaction" at least in the Super Famicom version. When learning that game, every single Game Over sent you back to the beginning. That means you could only hope to get back to the field you died on, hopefully with all of your lives, and get that many chances to practice. In 1994, Umihara stuck to it's old-school guns when most game developers were deciding that everybody's a winner. In fact, it didn't even have any passwords or even continue codes. The part where the perpetual dissatisfaction comes in is that you can never truly be done with the game- each victory is short-lived and can't be kept, keeping you hungry for more. This would be somewhat corrected in the 2015 version (which I prefer, for the record) but I can't help but feel that learning the game before that one came out was more of a journey. It required me to stick with it, even though I wasn't making tangible progress. Hard as it may be to believe now, I once thought I could never get into it shortly after I bought it.

Offline rainwarrior

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Re: Which is your favourite game in the series?
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2016, 04:42:17 PM »
Now that I've unlocked everything in Sayonara, and I've seen a substantial amount of the other two games I feel I can weigh in on this one.


Sayonara is my favourite by far. Its physics feel the most polished to me. I like the practice first / survival later mindset. Because I could explore branches as I liked, I always had new things to try. I didn't have to repeat early levels a thousand times to get another crack at the harder ones. It's also the least random; every level seems fair to me. Getting some optimal things might rely on random/chaotic things, but there's always a safe and predictable way through, I think. I like that it has extra characters (featuring alternate soundtracks from previous games), but especially checkpoints help with training. I don't think these games have great bosses, but Sayonara's are the most fun. The crab boss concept in particular I think is marvellous; I love the idea of dropping persimmons on it.

Shun is my least favourite for being on the opposite side of the same reasons. Not being able to expand/explore the map outside of survival mode makes trying new fields a tedious task. It's made worse because it's got a kind of arcade/sadistic streak. There's a lot of randomness, aside from random spawns, things like the flying squid bosses can be extremely unpredictable (I still don't have a good coping strategy for them). Some tasks, while not random, are inherently chaotic, so they're just as good as random. For example: traversing a conveyor ceiling against its flow, and then having a pinpoint accuracy task at the end of that traversal- there's just no way to consistently swing to the same spot. Add time limits to this, and also that the hard levels are buried long into the run, and it's just not very fun trying to unlock new fields that way. I'm still enjoying it, but I feel that it's working against me in this way.

Umihara Kawase is somewhere in the middle. The hard levels aren't as sadistic as Shun's, and it seems less chaotic in general. It has the best music of the series, and I'm not sure if I like its art or Sayonara's best (kind of a tie). The bosses are tedious, but I'd gladly take them over Shun's shorter but randomly behaving bosses. I really miss a dedicated button for diagonal throws, too, like the other two games have. It also needs an in-game map, but it's easy enough to print one out.


I think the bottom line is that the most fun I have is getting to new stages, and only Sayonara really supports that goal. It's the best one to learn on. Shun has the most challenge. Even though I like Sayonara the best, I'd still rather move on and play new fields in the other games than replay "better" fields in Sayonara. ;)


Fairness/non-chaotic: Sayonara, Umihara, Shun
Bosses: Sayonara, Umihara/Shun (tie: boring vs chaotic)
Challenge: Shun, Sayonara, Umihara
Music: Umihara, Sayonara*, Shun (* Sayonara has Umihara and Shun's music in it too.)
Art: Umihara/Ayonara, Shun
« Last Edit: July 23, 2016, 04:49:19 PM by rainwarrior »