Umihara Kawase BaZooka is a single-screen multiplayer arcade puzzle-platformer spin-off with a large roster of familiar and niche moe characters to choose from! Each has their own special move, including homing missiles, double dashes and the ability to throw a plate of food! To traverse the environments and to defeat enemies, players will use the iconic Umihara Kawase fishing rod and the new special BaZooka move! With forty screens to overcome in single-player Challenge Mode, which will last about four hours and multiplayer options, both local and online, Umihara Kawase BaZooka is available to buy on PS4, Switch and for around twenty-five quid.

Whenever I play a game, I try to think about the intentions of the developers. I try to picture the people behind the scenes, working late nights, hoping to produce something good. They’re trying to make a living, they want to make people happy, they’re looking forward to getting the job done to the best of their ability. They have lives beyond this game; they have personal struggles, financial concerns and family problems. All of these things will weigh on them throughout the process but they will try to compartmentalise these external issues because, ultimately, they would like to make a good game.

These people have artistic ambitions; they conceive ideas, emotions and experiences that they want to share with the world. When they are gone, we will remember them partly through their work and on some level, it will define who they are as people to those who don’t know them well. For their friends and families, this will rarely be the case. They will be instead defined by the kindnesses they show throughout their life – their courage and honesty, their sense of humour, intelligence, compassion, as well as their foibles, their pet peeves and unsavoury qualities. They will be remembered for the stories they shared together.

“Do you remember when we fought off those Triads with a fire extinguisher?” Beyond a minority of truly exceptional cases, the work doesn’t really matter. People are just generally out there trying to do their best so there’s no reason to be a prick about it.

It’s really hard to develop a game. Many are pretty unplayable until very late in the day and, to be honest, the overwhelming majority never rise too much higher than ‘bog standard fayre’ even after considerable playtesting and QA. There’s a fuckload of games made and released around the world every day and most of them are shite. Many of the most beloved games of this generation failed to engage a large portion of the player base, for whatever reasons of preference, partisanship, or one of many subconscious variables beyond the developers’ control, and they often have hundreds of millions spent on them with massive teams working round the clock.

Anyway, no matter the intentions, the initial creative spark and working practices and so on, sometimes a game just turns out to be pretty shit. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. Where cinema can be rescued or ruined in the edit, making a game involves so many independently moving parts that the vagaries of the butterfly effect can make or break even the most carefully managed project.

If I had a spare twenty-five quid and a few hours to spend with a mate one evening, I wouldn’t get Umihara Kawase BaZooka. I’d get a few bottles of Schneider Weisse Aventinus Doppelbock. It doesn’t look like much when you pour it, a kind of rusty, muddy foamy concoction. Your mate will likely afford himself a wry smile and think “fuck’s sake, what’s he brought round now…?” but he’ll be gripped by the first gulp.

You get these amazing aromas of like roasted raisins and freshly baked banana bread and then when you swallow there’s a heady combination of plums, liquorice, malt, Christmas spices, fruit cake, cloves and tangy banana. It’s rich and quite boozy but you wouldn’t really get that because the wheat beer essence gives it almost a light and fluffy texture through all of the warming, heavier doppelbock flavours. It’s exceptionally good, one for the ages. Two bottles of that each just having a chat with your mate is a fucking great way to spend that time and money, I’d say.

If you don’t drink, and fair play to you, all the best with it, then I would also separately recommend Terrence Malick’s The New World on Blu Ray for the money. The newer 4K Criterion transfer is absolutely staggering and the extended edit will last you a good few hours. It may not be one to watch with your mate or even your significant other, mind you. It’s something to luxuriate in by yourself. I’d just get my headphones on, personally, and pull the chair right up to the telly.

Let the cosmic majesty of the Earth and the heart-breaking tale of man’s corruptive force envelop you for the time it would take to complete Challenge Mode on Umihara Kawase BaZooka. The new 4K transfer of The New World is currently only available on Region A Blu Ray so unless you’ve got a multi-region player, you’re out of luck. However, to leave you with a piece of absolutely wonderful news, the UK release has been announced for December 14th. It would be a vastly better way to spend your time and money than on this game. All the best.

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