When Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido was announced at E3 2017, it seemed like a fun sort of puzzle game with competitive elements, character collection and a sushi theme. Now that it is available for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch, all of that is proven 100% true. But, we also get to see exactly the kind of impact sushi and sushi restaurants have had on the game. Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is absolutely a game that commits to the bit, with subtle nuances present throughout.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido’s battles are reminiscent of conveyor belt sushi establishments in so many pleasing ways. The obvious is the actual layout and gameplay. Sushi speeds by Musashi and their opponent on conveyor belts. Each one is on a different colored plate, which dictates which ones you can string together. The goal is to get create combos as long as possible within seven seconds, to get those plates stacked in front of you. You then want to hurl those stacks of plates, hopefully of the same color one after another an additional combo, to damage the enemy. The constant movement, with different kinds of sushi, recreates the restaurant feel.
So does the fact that the plates are all different colors, with more elaborate ones having higher damage values. This is in reference to these restaurants too. In such stores, the color of the plate can determine the cost of the sushi you are about to grab. I almost felt like this reference helped me be better when playing Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, as it called to mind some of my dining experiences at a local restaurant called Sushi Station. Having that background felt like it made me zero in on plates that were more valuable. Though, those do look more elaborate in general, which is a big help.
What someone will only notice after checking the menu is that each piece of sushi in these Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido battles is an accurate recreation of actual sushi. The dictionary Indieszero included shows that every piece on all plates looks like ones you can actually create or purchase. The descriptions in the Catalog tell exactly what you expect in every piece. Someone could look at this game as a primer to learn about this kind of food and use it to help determine what they might want to eat in an actual restaurant. It is both delightful and informative.
I also appreciated how the kinds of sushi available tied back into gameplay. The more of a certain kind of sushi you eat, the more likely Musashi is to develop a fondness for it. This allows you to set it as a favorite, which means you can take advantage of a special skill when that variety comes into play. With salmon, for example, you get an additional second to chain together plates if your health falls below 40% after eating it. Setting a favorite, then checking with your currently equipped sprites to make sure it is on their Standard and Jubilee menus, makes a big difference and gives you an incentive to recognize certain kinds of sushi.
There are all these little things that come together in Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido to add to its authenticity. The detail paid to the sushi is extraordinary. Plus, the Catalog and Favorite Sushi functions encourage you to pay attention to what is coming down the line. The layout in battles recreates the conveyor belt sushi establishment feel, especially with the colored plates. All of these details make the game feel fuller.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is available for the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch.