Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!

Available on: Switch, PS4 and PC – Version Played: Switch – Physical Versions for Switch and PS4 available from Strictly Limited

As I’ve mentioned in recent reviews, local multiplayer arena games seem to be undergoing quite a renaissance recently. Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! is another to add to the list, with a sizable cast of appealingly kawaii characters and some unusual mechanics to add to the proceedings.

There’s a decent single player campaign here too, with 40 stages to work through. The aforementioned unusual mechanics can take a little getting used to – you need to get used to catching most of the very peculiar enemies (such as fish with legs) with your fishing rod, then turning them into a ‘bazooka’ projectile and firing them at other enemies in order to create combos and increase your score. Some enemies can’t be hooked and can only be destroyed with bazooka projectiles – and still more can only be dispatched with jumps. That’s before we get to the bosses too!

Though there’s a bit of a learning curve with the mechanics, once you get used to the light physics-based action it can be really satisfying. It’s great fun against other players too; though the mechanics don’t give it quite the same pick up and play immediacy that other arena battlers do, it means that it has a bit more depth and does reward skilled play. With 40 stages, 22 characters – each with a different special move – and both local and online co-op, it’s a great option for gamers looking for a slightly more skill-based arena battling experience.

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