Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!
Top Critic Average
Is Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! fun to play? Sure, a little. It's inoffensive, but it never grabbed us. Even though it's a short game, we never felt that burning desire to get to the end that is typically present in other titles. There are many characters, but none of them was really interesting. Cute, yeah. But not enough to mitigate the central problem that this isn't an interesting game. We're not sure why this is the direction the series has gone in, but could it go back to the lovingly-crafted, intricate rope courses, please? Far be it for us to call for a regression, but sometimes going back to the well is a good idea.
Umihara Kawase Bazooka! is a niche title in a niche genre featuring a niche franchise. As arcade-style single-screen action-platformers go, this is a good one with a unique gameplay so fans of that sort of thing should go for it if they can swallow the steep launch price. Anyone else though, including fans of said franchise may have reason enough to be on the fence as this is definitely way different from the rest of the series. This is a rather unique game that will appeal most to score chasers and not the core speedrunning fanbase of the series, although one could imagine speedrunning this all the same of course. There is a demo available but, at time of writing, only on the Japanese eShop for some reason. Players still on the fence with a Japanese eShop account may check it out and decide for themselves.
A fun arcade-like party game in the Umihara Kawase series, the fishing rod and lure are back, but crazy knockback animations and underwhelming boss battles make the game drag in parts.
If you enjoy classic single-screen arcade games and want to play one with a few friends then you'll dig Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!
There are some opportunities for local multiplayer score-chasing, thanks to multiple modes, characters, and online leaderboards, but the core action is insufficient to keep players hooked.
Umihara Bazooka is an incredibly fun multiplayer game, one that I couldn’t help but have mountains of laughs produced while my friend was over! The multiplayer focused modes are sparse in number, but they’re very solid and get the job done exceptionally well, and I really wish that the online community was more active so that I could recommend the online too, since if it’s even half as fun as the local experience, multiplayer fans are in for an exceptional party brawler with a fun mechanic.
Umihara Kawase BaZooka! feels like the type of game that can be enjoyed leisurely rather than something to spend long periods of time on.
All in all, Umihara Kawase BaZooka! being built from Fresh!’s charming revolutionary base is a tale of two halves. Developer Success inverting the Umihara Kawase formula post-Fresh! for a second time wasn’t asked for. Yet the creative team aimed for popular untested franchise waters. Understanding BaZooka!’s real hook is the spiritual to the Umihara Kawase core series Challenge Mode for 1-4 players when buying the game. The less refined Battle Royale half, er, not so much. Look, I’m just ecstatic two Umihara Kawase games are on the mainstream console Nintendo Switch when I feared the series would sink into the depths of obscurity!