A raw-kin’ adventure of a lifetime!
Nintendo is constantly trying to think of new and fresh ideas for their games, whether they be something cool like Splatoon or as wacky as ARMS. While possibly on an empty stomach, the idea of combining sushi and action/puzzle games was created, thus giving birth to Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido. This game was co-developed by indieszero for both the Nintendo Switch and 3DS and brings a fresh new twist to the genre by offering numerous hours of fun and challenge, blending the unique style with RPG and strategy elements.
The story opens up in a world where fish don’t exist, but the world’s sushi is created with the help of magical creatures known as sushi sprites. However, the evil Empire began to hunt the sushi sprites as a means of controlling the world’s sushi supply, while the Republic fought the Empire in order to allow sushi to be consumed by everyone in the world. Eventually, their fighting broke out into a war known as the Sushi Struggles. After numerous long-fought battles, the Republic lost the war and the Empire forbade the consumption and discussion of sushi within their borders. You play as a boy or girl (player’s choice) named Musashi who lost his/her parents in the Sushi Struggles. One day while searching for food, he encounters a sushi striker named Franklin and his sushi sprite named Ara-o, who dream of spreading the joy of sushi to everyone in the world. Musashi agrees to help Franklin, but before they can go, Franklin is captured by the Empire’s soldiers. Looking for a way to free Franklin from the Empire’s clutches, he teams up with a sushi sprite named Jinrai. The duo then set forth on their quest to free Franklin and spread the joy of sushi across the land.
The controls are slick and smooth on 3DS, using the top screen for the enemies and the bottom screen for your sushi. Using the stylus and touch screen provide some slick and highly responsive controls that made it easy to make large chains of plates in a short amount of time.
Another neat aspect are the various sushi sprites you can collect. Each sprite has their own unique ability that gives the player an advantage such as healing with Sweets Paradise or making the lanes move incredibly fast with Runaway Lanes. The amazing thing about this is that no sprite is useless. In games similar to this like Pokemon and Yokai Watch, there are always gaps in strength between each of the creatures, but here, the only gap is found in the player skill and health. This allows anyone to choose whoever they like and to build a team they feel the most comfortable with. The method of befriending the sprites rang some bells similar to Yokai Watch as through chance, a sprite could decide to join your team. However they improved this method by making it so that if you are about to befriend a sprite you have already, rather than giving you a repeat, they give an experience and skill boost to the current one you have. This makes leveling up the sprites much easier leaving them ready for when their turn in the spotlight arrives.
The dialogue and personality here are all fantastic and fill each and every character no matter how minor with enormous amounts of personality. One instance of this is have every character has some degree of voice acting to them, which is not only spectacular, but also fits the characters to a T. Their own unique personalities allowed me to fall in love with even some of the most minor characters and root for their success.
The art style is amazing as well giving each of the enemies, protagonists, sushi sprites and the sushi itself a very simple, yet detailed look to them. This is especially apparent in the sushi catalog and the animated cutscenes. Each of the dishes that you consume in battle are recorded in the catalog shown in a stunning a 3D rendering that makes them seem quite realistic, even making me hungry just looking at them. The cutscenes have also been beautifully animated and having some hilarious and shocking moments that make them all memorable.
The game has a multiplayer mode in which you can compete in local battles or in online battles with people you’ve shared your friend code with or with random challengers. There are two types of battles that are able to be done, a standard battle where you fight with just your sprites and skills alone, or a chaotic battle in which capsules are thrown into the mix and can turn the tide of any battle. (Note: the local and online battles are unlocked after you’ve made some progress in the story.)
Sushi Striker overall is solidly made and had me addicted to its simple yet challenging battles. It’s a game that allows anyone to play in whatever manner they choose. This is definitely one game that I would recommend to anyone looking for a fun and fresh adventure… just try not to play on an empty stomach.