Nintendo are known for their ventures into the wacky side of gaming. For example, have you ever thought about how weird Kirby is? Lovable pink game characters aside, Nintendo’s unique style of games shines in Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, a puzzle adventure game for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS.
Let’s start with the game’s story. Nintendo aren’t well known for having deep story-driven games, sure, titles like The Legend of Zelda and the Super Mario series have stories, but they take a back seat, leaving the actual gameplay to be the most important aspect. However, if any Nintendo game is going to get your attention through its, let it be Sushi Striker, mainly due to the hilariousness of the plot.
The game takes place in a world where sushi has been banned after “the sushi struggles.” Main character Musashi takes part in sushi battles to defeat the empire. It may not be an amazing story-driven game, but it’s pretty damn gripping. It even has an amazing anime-style theme song!
At first, the game can seem simplistic and boring. In fact, at the start, Sushi Striker seemed like another game that should have just been a mobile release. However, as the game progresses, it gets a lot more complex. There are different special moves, harder battles and even a pretty decent leveling system. The game becomes increasingly difficult, which came as a shock to me due to the usually low difficulty of Nintendo titles. It soon became clear to me that I would struggle to get a maximum three-star S-rank win for every level, but this only added to my experience. It wasn’t the gameplay that became more difficult, it was the opponents you fight. The actual mechanics, while dense, are incredibly simple.
The battles that make up the majority of the game consist of 7 conveyor belts filled with sushi (3 for each person and a shared belt in the middle) on different coloured plates that you have to match up with others so that you can eat them. This leaves empty plates to hurl at your enemies, and the first person to lose all their health, loses. The rest of the game is made up of surprisingly high production value cutscenes that look like they belong in a fully-fledged anime series. Of course, the Switch’s multiplayer capabilities are not missed out in Sushi Striker as the game contains both online and local multiplayer components that can be played by splitting the Joy-Cons. These modes work well and are fun to play as the game is such an easy one to quickly pick up and play. Perfect for a quick ten-minute play session. Although, this doesn’t mean that the main story mode is short. For a casual playthrough, the game will take around 11 hours to complete, but with a 100% playthrough with all stars and S-ranks, you will find yourself playing for much longer.
Sadly, for me, the simplicity of the game was its downfall. After a few hours of playing, the gameplay just felt too simple. So simple, it became tedious to play stage after stage in long periods, and because boredom set in, I convinced myself that I was basically playing a glorified PVP Candy Crush. Of course, the game is much more than that, but because of its lack of variety, that is how it sometimes feels. After a while, the weird and wonderful story just wasn’t enough to make me want to keep playing.
Overall, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is an excellent addition to the Nintendo Switch library of games and is priced just under the usual £45 of most major Nintendo titles. The game will probably divide players in the way of content, with some players thinking that it is great the way it is and some thinking it just isn’t varied enough. Multiplayer just adds to the fun experience that Sushi Striker presents, and the storyline is just crazy enough to work. At the very least, this game will be a hidden gem on the Nintendo Switch and is proof that first impressions don’t mean anything, as when this game was initially announced, it was massively overlooked.
Developer: Nintendo, indieszero
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 8th June 2018