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Umihara Kawase Shun
  opened by paleface at 02:50:02 09/01/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Platformer; loc=JPN]
Unusually subtle platformer in which you play a girl with a fishing rod, navigating your way through levels filled with floating platforms and, of course, giant walking fish. You can hook your line on walls the ceilings (or fish, of course) and then use it like a grappling hook to swing from platform to platform. The cool thing is that the line acts in a very elastic manner as you swing around and reel yourself up and down, so you'll be bouncing and jouncing like a hooked minnow.
The control at first feels very stiff because you run slowly, jump lowly, and can only cast in specific directions--however, once you learn how to use the jump and the rod, you can really start whizzing around pretty good, getting into all sorts of unexpected places--it also helps that your girl can pull herself up over low ledges. She animates quite well and looks very cute indeed, and makes for an unusual image against surreal 3D (but laid out as if in a 2D platformer) platforms with abstract designs on them and the aforementioned giant fish.
You're timed to reach the end of each stage and you can save replays to your memory card to watch them again (I don't know if the line-swinging is *that* fascinating that I'd want to watch it back over and over) but I don't see an option to save your progress through the levels, and you have limited lives. So this may get pretty frustrating later on, but I don't really know because I still have to figure out how to get past the giant jumping/walking fish on level nine.
The music is very downtempo, almost not even there, and in fact everything is quite unobtrusive--even when you die, the girl just quietly slumps to the ground. An odd and oddly beautiful little game, I just hope I'll be able to stick it out.

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