"Too Many Cooks"
The fourth mainline title in the Umihara Kawase series, Fresh! continues the escapade of the titular traveling chef who stumbles into unique worlds. For those unaware, Umihara Kawase features a succession of games known for their interesting take on 2D platforming, where you guide Kawase through labyrinth-like platform sets that are inaccessible through standard means. However, there's something that she has that proves to be very useful: a fishing lure with an extremely durable line! With this handy tool, you can have her latch onto various walls and ceilings, using it to swing across huge gaps, propel up a ledge, and even attack mutated sea life such as koi fish with feet. But the true challenge comes from the line itself, as you must carefully manage its sensitive swinging physics. Making one small mistake can result in falling to your death!
That platform tradition continues here, but along with it comes a slew of modifications and additions that drastically change the general flow from the games that came before. The most surprising change is the setting itself; whereas the first three games mostly took place within abstract, warped renditions of Japanese urban structures, this sequel places the returning protagonist into what looks like a standard fantasy setting. Here you'll encounter grassy platforms as far as the eye can see, cottage-style houses, a castle, and a community of anthropomorphic animals you'll converse with. "Talking?" Yes, Fresh! actually presents an in-game plot, a very basic one, where Kawase has brief text dialogue chats with others, before and after carrying out a task within each stage.
Community review by dementedhut (December 14, 2022)
Never thought I would end up writing two Blackjack reviews for the site, but here we are...
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