NS Review – Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido (Switch)

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido review

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, is the latest colour matching, fast paced addictive, tactical, action-puzzle game from Nintendo, where you must engage in duels by stacking plates of sushi and hurling them at each other. Yep, you read that right – this latest super unique spin on colour matching revolves around sushi, spirits, plates, battles and a whacky story that brings all that together.

The game opens straight into a loud, crazy animated music video, complete with English subtitles. There was no way I was keeping up with those lyrics though. I was immediately reminded of Warioware in the presentation and animation style; it’s got quite a distinctive look and feel that also reminded me of the original Pokémon cartoons, and specifically team Rocket. You know what I mean. Described by Nintendo as Bold, Bright and distinctive, the art style certainly does complement the gameplay and the unique flavor of the game. It’s a fun, humorous concept that feels original and not something I have seen before.

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido review

The field of gameplay sees your character placed one side of a series of automatic sushi conveyor belts, facing opposite the competitor of each particular battle. Using the touch screen or control sticks and buttons (more on that later) you must match plates of sushi and rack up tall stacks of plates by connecting as many same-coloured plates within 7 seconds as you can. Said plates are then flung at your opponent with a view to taking them out, whilst building combos results in more and more plates stacking up, which results in stronger attacks. The more you can clear, the higher your score and the faster you can beat your opponent.

It doesn’t end there though, as the more you play through you more realize the shear number of special moves, options and attacks that are at your disposal. After only a few matches ‘Sushi sprites’ joins you in your adventure, bringing with them a selection of skills that can be activated during a battle when a metre is full from eating sushi. Such skills include the ability to change the colour of all plates to be the same so all plates can be linked, an electro zap attack or sweets which replenish your own energy level. Some skills make it easier for you to rack up high scores, some make you stronger, but all help you beat the competition faster.

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido review

Later, after being given the option to choose which sushi you would like to be marked as your favourite, from a wide selection, of each of which have different abilities, you are given even more powers, activated by eating enough of the same sushi. Salmon, for example, gives you an extra second to link plates. In addition, after the first couple of chapters of the story, you’re introduced to capsules that start appearing on the lanes within matches too, which ALSO grant powers. These are locked with a number displayed and can be opened when linked to chain of the corresponding number of plates.

It’s a complicated game, with loads to learn and lots to master. I certainly enjoyed my time with it, coming back and discovering more about not only the story, but also about the new features introduced stage by stage as they were.

One thing I feel I must bring attention to is the controls for this game. Initially, at least, even with the range of options available, I didn’t think the game was made with the Switch in mind. After trying out various options of touchscreen and controllers I didn’t really know the best way to play. I felt like the game was designed with stylus play in mind, something, which could, of course, be the case, considering the simultaneous release of the game on 3DS. Sliding your finger over the touch screen, limiting your vision of the game screen, made it hard to play. I do now feel that I’ve found the optimum way to play – handheld using the attached joy-cons. Whilst I didn’t feel fully in control at first, I’m now convinced that I know what I’m doing and able to convincingly beat each level. I’d be interested to see what other players discover and which control methods are preferred.

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido review

This is a cracking little game, with an addictive, ‘one more go’ play style that I didn’t want to put down. With an intriguing, yet not particularly necessary story that threads through, structuring stages into chapters as it does so, it features plenty of variety, loads of options and plenty of fun, Nintendo polish and character. Boasting a ‘lengthy single-player’ story mode, packed with more than 200 stages, there is plenty of depth and replayability in what may initially, and albeit incorrectly, seem quite a basic puzzle title. Local and online multiplayer modes add to the fun too. Not quite a classic then, but, freshly developed by Nintendo themselves, it’s definitely one to try. Get hold of the free demo and see what you think first, but I’m sure you’ll be hooked as much as I was.

Thanks to Nintendo UK for supplying the download code for this one.

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