Hello random and curious readers,
If you drop by here every now and then, I guess you’ll have noticed that there is no single post about fishing. So I can read the big question that is appearing in your minds… why having named this blog this way then? Well, let me try to answer this question.
I’ve always wanted this blog to be a place of Peace and Happiness, where any web traveller could rest a little before facing again the harsh stream of life. Therefore, I thought it would be logical to refer to my own references about these two notions. In my mind, fishing was the closest to both of them. Why, you ask?
I think the answer is quite obvious for Peace. Fishermen have always lived a peaceful life, in calm towns. They have to sit at a place for hours without doing anything but appreciating how great life is. No unwanted stuff, perhaps some annoying insect or rain, but hey, it is a fisherman’s life, so they get used to it. I guess one’s life cannot be more peaceful.
If these persons are not having peaceful lives…
Happiness is harder to explain though… I believe that living a fisherman’s life is one way to reach this state of mind. These persons have no stressful deadlines to follow, no long-term worries, no true life trouble… If they are patient enough, the only thing they have to do is to sit, calmly wait, and enjoy how pretty life is. And fate will decide if they will eat or not, but they don’t really care, since they can’t do anything about it… In the meantime, they just have to sit and remain contemplative facing Nature’s amazing beauty. And this is great if you take time to do this. Simply sitting down and watching the sunrise, or looking at curious insects, awesome plants or a simple tree full of little insect life… This is a part of Happiness too often neglected nowadays.
Besides, a fisherman is never simply waiting. He is waiting for something, would it be a fish or any other kind of catch. By doing this, he is already imagining how big his fish would be, or how well he would eat tonight… He’s already enjoying his catch without having caught even a single fish. And this is another part of Happiness : being able to enjoy things you don’t have yet, to imagine how happy you would be with these, because you are never as happy as you expected when you have them.
Last but not least, a fisherman has time, and therefore can use it to dream. These are a good way to enjoy your time, and imagination can be a good friend if you have time to kill. This is not Happiness, but it does play a role in it too… being able to colour your life, as I often say, is an important component of Happiness, because Life itself is harsh.
Thus, a fisherman would be, in my mind at least, a good incarnation of Happiness and Peace. Of course, this is idealized, but it’s enough to make a good title for my blog, right? I hope this have made you think a tad bit about your own life and Happiness… Are you really Happy?
Hello again, dear wanderers!
For today, I shall tell you about another forgotten video game treasure that left me a very good impression. I am aware that, of course, some people won’t agree with me about this, saying that this game’s problems are too obvious to be eluded… but after all, this is quite a subjective post, so it’s about some positive sides of a game that was forgotten for too long…
This game I will shortly introduce you is called “Umihara Kawase”. It was released first in 1994 on the SNES (Super Nintendo), and a sequel called “Umihara Kawase Syun” appeared on PlayStation some years later.
The story: a girl got lost in a strange world populated by giant fishes, seaweeds, lobsters and other overgrown, earth-trodding versions of various seafood species, and she has to find her way back home through several warping doors found all across the country. Don’t ask me how she arrived in this place, there isn’t any kind of introduction/explanation/plotline in the game, so everything is a blind guess from your humble servant.
Basically, it is an almost-classic platforming game, where you control this little girl. As soon as you start playing, you notice that she doesn’t have anything with her… but a mere fishing rod – that works exactly like a grappling hook. And here the game shows its whole interest. The whole gameplay revolves around your ability to control the girl’s movement as she hooks on to various surfaces. The range of possible moves is quite impressive, and as you chain levels you’ll quickly realize that the traditional “monkey-like swinging” move is just a little part of all the possible uses of a hook. You’ll have to do some “bungee jumping”, to cling to a moving platform to pass some places, to use your speed smartly to reach places that couldn’t be reached otherwise… All the levels are well designed, and the gameplay is really wonderful (I would even say she’s as reactive as Mario or Yoshi are in their SNES appearances). As for foes, you’ll have to fish them using your fishing rod (logical, eh?).
As for graphics… They are amazing, I think. However, I’m probably influenced by my fishing obsession. Yet, they make it easy for you to actually believe you’re in this strange world. Everything is well drawn and well animated, and the worlds are really colourful and pretty to look, although you’ll want to eat seafood and vegetable meals after a while (plenty of them everywhere). The music is cute, not as legendary as in a Starfox game, but it’s enough to make you dream.
Foes are all sort of fishes… A living dream for any fisherman! (Or is this All-Blue?)
Yeah! Finally caught a fish! I won’t be starving for today!
As for the game’s negative points… If you try it, you’ll notice soon enough : the game is HARD. Not hard as in “oh well, it’s okay, I’ll be stuck on this for a dozen times, and then I’ll make it!” or as in “I’ll have to level up to get stronger and pass this boss”, but hard as in “Oh my God, how the hell can you pass this part!?”. Okay, the easiest path can be humanly done, after having spent some time playing. But holy cows, the hardest path… It took me more than a hundred lives to finish it. And that was very lucky. Add to this that you only have 10 lives and scarce 1-ups through the whole game, and that you die after one single hit…
Finally, when you play the game… of course, you’ll get tired, because it’s really hard… And yeah, it’ll be annoying after some time, and you’d better not play the game all the time, or you’ll get mad… Still, it’s not a reason not to try it, since it will give you this dream-like feeling that you can only experience with such poetic opus, and the gameplay and the way it is exploited definitely worth the trip. Hope you’ll enjoy it (a bit, not too much)!
And if you still don’t want to try it… at least, view this amazing speedrun!