Undeniably novel, it won’t be a game for everyone but for the right audience it may be fun
I walked into Kamiwaza with no expectations or previous knowledge so I’ll admit that it got off to a pretty rocky start for me. There’s no doubt it’s of a previous generation (or two, or three) in its somewhat janky look and sometimes squirrely overall feel, but it does also have an odd charm just for being thoroughly different. In principle this is a stealth game of sorts, but what gets really weird is that once you’ve established how to be stealthy and carefully sneak around people the game does a 180 and says, “Just kidding, you can totally also just time your dive properly to be in someone’s field of vision and get away with it”. Even more odd is a combo bonus system where stealing things while you’re diving out of view further rewards your being honestly pretty reckless and going for it. I suppose I don’t mind the contradictions and oddity of it, but that also left me feeling uncertain what I really was trying to do half the time. Am I trying to just steal everything, should I be focusing only on specific stuff, why am I wailing away on some objects to steal them, and how does sometimes what looks like my character breakdancing past guards somehow work to evade detection? I suppose if you just jump in with both feet and embrace the absurdity of it all it can be some fun, but for everyone else I’d say to steer clear.
Justin Nation, Score: