umihara kawase demo

I’ve always wanted to get into the Umihara Kawase series for its interesting lure mechanics, but for a beginner like me, it’s tough to get the right way of playing past your head and into muscle memory. A few weeks ago, Umihara Kawase Fresh’s demo recently dropped on the Japanese eShop, and I got to try out the series for the first time ever.

 

And of course, I was bad.

 

 

Things just weren’t really flowing well for me. It was a combination of how jerky the fishing line was compared to how I’d first imagined it, and I was always missing ledges just by a bit. Thankfully, Umihara Kawase Fresh is a game where you’re encouraged to take your time to get better and use more advanced techniques… if you feel like it.

 

Just like its title suggests, Umihara Kawase Fresh shakes things up, with the biggest feature being the Sky World, a world of floating platforms where Kawase decides to take up residence at for a while. “Stages” in this world are more Point A to Point B rather than actual levels, which means you’ll be seeing a lot of the same scenery early on.

 

In terms of gameplay, that means there are multiple ways to get around this time, and the game lets you take advantage of this too. When you go about each mission, there are arrows (yellow for main path, green if you’re off track) that show you the general way to proceed. Smarter players, however, will be able to make their way to the goal while forging their own paths, such as swinging their way up floating dandelions to reach a higher area.

 

As a beginner, obviously I decided to stick to the recommended path. There were a few times where I’d fall down and have to redo certain segments, I also found a certain joy in finding paths not meant to be traveled – closer paths I found only because I got hit by an enemy, for example.

 

 

The first 11 missions in the demo offer up various objectives, including collecting ingredients, and reaching certain areas with NPCs. During the start of each mission, new moves are taught to the player via a tutorial video, and while that was nice for a newcomer, it didn’t really talk about the general aspects, like what to focus on in terms of platforming feel.

 

Eventually, I had to hit up longtime Siliconera writer James on Twitter, where he gave one simple but important tip: I was focusing too much on the left and right swinging, when in reality the extending and shortening of the fishing line was the key. With a bit of practice, I managed to do some of the missions I had a bit more trouble with and at least complete then.

 

Although I wasn’t able to do the pendulum swing in one motion up to the ledge, the game allowed me to do the ledge in two steps, by getting onto the left side first. But that’s the beauty of Umihara Kawase Fresh – I don’t feel pressured to make it in a do-or-die situation while still figuring out the feel of the game. And as you have to make it through these areas multiple times, you feel incentivized to get better and learn these new techniques to help you get around even more efficiently.

 

Umihara Kawase Fresh! releases for Nintendo Switch on April 25, 2019. A demo is available with English support on the Japanese eShop.

Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!

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