Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is a new Nintendo IP that is quirky, colourful and frantic. You play as Musashi an orphan boy or girl whose parents were lost in the bitter Sushi Struggles that devastated the land. The Republic won this battle and as a result have complete control of Sushi, no one outside of its ranks can eat the forbidden morsels.
The games premise is bleak and yet not too serious, your journey from orphan to Sushi Striker – one who is selected by the Sushi sprites, plays out in Anime scenes from the get go. Sushi Sprites are Pokemon style cute characters that grant you the power to battle it out by munching on Sushi and throwing the empty plates at your enemies.
Your quest is two fold – the first is to bring Sushi to all across the land and the second is to rescue the Sushi Striker that helped him which puts him in direct conflict with the evil Republic.
This story is cheesy and lighthearted but its done well and is helped by the excellent art style and voice acting along the way.
Sushi Striker at its core is a simple chain matching game with similarities to games like Candy Crush but at a much faster pace. The games main feature is its 200 strong levels, in each battle there are 3 lanes in alternating directions on your side of the battlefield and your opponent has the same setup on their side with a shared lane in between both players. On these lanes there are different coloured Sushi plates and your objective is to link chains of the same coloured plates together in the 7 seconds you have per chain.
Creating a chain stacks up the empty plates in front of you and flinging these plates at your opponent causes them damage with the first player whose life drops to down zero losing the battle.
My initial thoughts after a couple of levels was this is nuts but quite a fun, simple game but like all good addictive games the layers are added and before you know it its 3 in the morning and you’re slinging Sushi like a boss!
Different coloured plates do different amounts of damage and chaining combos leads to higher scores and quicker recharging of your Sprites special skill. As you get further you are able to assemble a squad of 3 Sushi Sprites each with different states that affect your health and each with a unique skill that can be used when charged affecting the flow of battle.
Combining a solid squad in order to be the best Sushi Striker possible also includes levelling up your individual Sushi by eating them and unlocking a unique trait. The number of details and layers is absurd for such a fast paced game and yet they all work and are added at a great pace.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido can be played using a Joycon or Pro Controller and I found the controls work very well for the most part, using the Joystick to create chains is accurate and the buttons to unleash your Sprite attacks easy to remember as well as fling plates. The only part of this scheme thats slightly fiddly is the initial selection of a plate can be a bit fiddly.
You can also play using the touchscreen and this certainly feels natural – linking chains with a swipe of your finger and pressing the skills on screen. That said over a longer play time the Switch can be a little unwieldy to hold with one hand. Either control scheme is good but neither is quite perfect, originally the game was intended just for the 3DS and it makes sense that you can play this with a Stylus on that platform and the factor is a bit smaller.
The campaign is set over 5 regions each with 30 odd main levels and some number of hidden levels as well. The difficulty ramps over time but I never felt the need to really grind out levels, as well as the main campaign there is also a puzzle mode which is fiendish – you have 10 seconds in which to figure out the right order to create chains clearing all colours in a set number of moves.
Multiplayer is here but interestingly unlocked at the beginning, local multiplayer pits you both against each other on a single screen which leaves the further player at a severe disadvantage. Online play offers the chance to play against others in an even battle – both teams are temporarily matched in level but there is not a whole lot here to keep you grinding online.
On loading up the game you are blasted with an epic theme song which is ridiculously sung about Sushi and the struggles in the game, it has no business being as good and catchy as it is! All in all there are 20 tracks for this game and the production value is excellent, similarly to #Breakforcist Battle the catchy tunes elevate the gameplay and get you into a rhythm.
Its not just the songs that are great, the dubbed voiceovers during cutscenes is really good and I felt like I was watching a fully fledged anime at these times. Outside of the clips some lines are spoken to keep the entertainment up which works rather well, in battle there are a few frantic sound effects for plate stacking and slinging but its the background track that gets you going.
Visuals & Performance
Along with the audio the Visuals during the intro are fantastic, its like watching an anime series aimed at youngsters but this doesn’t detract – its a style that works well for the game and is kept throughout, as you progress there are a number of these clips to sit back and enjoy.
Battles themselves take place in a very simple setting, nothing detracts the eye from lanes which is as is should be – after all its fast paced action requires concentration. Colours are used to maximum effect and everything pops out, the graphical detail is not particularly high but in my opinion it doesn’t need to be and this has an added bonus of strong performance – I experienced no slow down throughout my time with the game.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido oozes style character.
At £34.99 in the UK and $49.99 in the US this is expensive for this type of game. There are 200 levels in the campaign as well as multiplayer and a puzzle mode to keep you entertained. The story and style are excellent along with voice acting but its hard to justify the extra £10 in cost when compared to the 3DS version without any additional features.
A bit fiddly at times