Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido Review
When watching gameplay of Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, I was having a very difficult time getting excited. I’m a big fan of puzzle games, but on my mobile phone instead of consoles. It was for this reason that I actually chose to skip out on the demo of Sushi Striker and focus on other games and articles that need to be written. When the opportunity came up to take the retail version for a spin, I decided to leave my preconceived notions at the door, and enter the experience with an open mind. I’m so glad I did, as Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is one of the best puzzle titles I’ve ever played on a console!
The overall concept of the game is fairly simple: collect sushi plates from the moving conveyor belts in front of you, score combos and stack the plates, and fling those plates at your enemy to take them out. In concept, it’s fairly simple, and when you use the easy mode built into the game, it really can be an easier, more accessible experience. I chose not to go that route, and although there were a few learning curves, my 12 hour adventure through the title was over before I knew it.
Eating Sushi, Stacking Plates – Where Did It Begin?
The story behind Sushi Striker is just plain weird, but what else would you expect from a game that involves throwing sushi plates as baddies? When the game opens up, you realize there has been a bitter war, and the outcome of that war was for all sushi to be banned in the country. Protagonist Musashi’s parents were killed during the fighting, and as a Sushi Strike – the ability to make plates of sushi appear to throw at enemies – he is working to avenge them and restore sushi to the kingdom.
The further you dive into the story of Sushi Strikers, the more absurd the story gets, which is OK, as it fits in nicely with the wacky animations and fantastic story writing. Upon completion, the majority of people will look back on their experience thankful that they took the plunge. From top to bottom, the presentation and progression of Sushi Striker is phenomenal, and a driving force that will keep you playing level after level.
Puzzle Your Way to Victory
Plaything through each of the 150 or so levels in the game was exhilarating, and with lots of replay ability for each level, the 12 hours it took me to complete the campaign could have easily become over 20! There will be 4 conveyer belts of sushi passing before your eyes: 3 of these belts are exclusively for your use, and the 4th belt is shared between you and your opponent. Players will have 7 seconds to link together as many sushi plates of the same colour as possible, before flicking them at your enemy to inflict damage. The more plates you link together in your seven seconds, the taller your stake of plates will be, and ultimately, the more damage and points you will earn.
There are two primary goals when playing through the levels: defeating the enemy across the table, and scoring as many points as possible. For extended play, the game also offers up 3 objectives per level. They can range from linking so many plates of sushi together in one string, or perhaps scoring a certain amount of points. Whether you choose to do these objectives is entirely up to you. Personally, I’ve been working on them during my second play through, allowing my first to focus on gameplay mechanics and story progression.
We won’t spoil all the different gameplay mechanics that will be learned over the course of the campaign, but rest assured, more and more complex matching formulas present themselves to you as you progress, allowing you to play Sushi Striker with different strategies, for different situations. One of the more advanced and important features will be when Sushi Sprites are unlocked. Sushi Sprites look like collectible animals – 30 in total – but ultimately will play a big roll in dishing out extra damage, slowing down conveyer belts, and much more. They will even level up as you use them, unlocking higher level sushi for you to throw.
As you progress even further, items will be introduced that will flow by on the shared conveyor belt. Grabbing these is a great way to deal additional damage to your opponent, or even perhaps speed up the conveyor belts making it much more difficult for them to string together great combos! With so many new additions throughout the campaign, it really feels fresh around every corner.
The game isn’t just limited to the 150 or so levels in the campaign. There are local and online modes as well, which are fun but not something I will definitely be diving into too much. The local mode for one Nintendo Switch unit doesn’t work nearly as well as other modes, as the sushi types are limited and both players are required to use the same sprites. It is still fun, especially for younger players, but didn’t have the appeal of the main game for myself.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido was a fantastic experience that I’m glad I got to enjoy. While the gameplay videos were not enough to sell me on the experience, actually picking it up and playing through the campaign instantly changed my mind. While the game isn’t perfect – near the end of the campaign, the game does recycle old ideas and themes with little added to them – there is still something here that is very Nintendo, yet very different.
It won’t appeal to all audiences – understandably – but for those who love puzzle games on their phones, this is a must play on Nintendo Switch. While we wouldn’t recommend the controller controls – and therefore wouldn’t recommend playing on a TV – the touch screen controls are perfect, and easily picked up by anyone who has played mobile phone games in the past.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is available now via the Nintendo eShop for $64.99 CAD!