Saving the world just by eating sushi? Finally, a hero I can relate to.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is an action puzzle RPG available now from Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems and Nintendo Switch. This game is fun in its purest form. Everything about it is a good time—from the characters, to the cheeky cutscenes, to the gameplay itself.
In the story, the evil Empire has taken over the world—and ALL of the sushi with it. Even though I’m not a huge sushi fan myself (don’t judge me), many of the story’s characters don’t even know what sushi tastes like, which even to me sounds absolutely absurd. You play an orphan named Musashi who lost his or her (you can choose) parents in the Sushi Wars, and is on a path to become a Sushi Striker and free the seized fish for everyone to enjoy again. You proudly don your father’s jacket, which just happens to be a Sushi Striker jacket! Could you possibly be destined for more? Cuuuuuurious…
Being a Sushi Striker means you have a lot on your plate—literally—including challenging members of the Empire and other villainous characters who stand in your way on your journey with sushi battles. Each battle consists of two opponents, who have access to three conveyor belts of constantly changing sushi, along with a seventh shared belt in the middle. You’re essentially connecting the moving plates of the same color, eating the sushi, and then hurling the plates back at your opponents to deplete their HP. The sushi to stomachache ratio is surprisingly low here.
As we now know, sushi is scarce, so you’ll be meeting new divine beings called Sushi Sprites along the way to supply the fish and help you engage in these battles and attach new badges onto your handy jacket. If one of these sprites offers you a piece of its sushi and you eat it, then they’ll join your team and you’ll be able to battle with them. You can equip up to three of these adorable creatures in battle.
Each Sushi Sprite has its own special skill that will help you dominate each battle, for example turning all of your plates the same color for a certain time, or dealing more damage as you throw the plates back to your opponent. As you progress and gain more experience points, Musashi’s and their levels will increase as well—and many will evolve into more powerful forms.
The game has an impressive amount of story in between each sushi strikin’ encounter, which makes the whole experience more enjoyable overall. The cutscenes look like a joyful Saturday morning cartoon. And with more than 150 stages to complete, that’s a lot of content.
The game is kind of like a mix between Yo-Kai Watch and Bejeweled. Players will need some serious strategy to complete the fast-paced levels, but there’s also fun characters on your path to sushi domination. While connecting plates of the same color will deal some damage, paying attention to the exact sushi on the plate will help you decrease your opponent’s HP even more. Sometimes this can get hard depending on your opponents’ Sushi Sprites and whatever skills they have, such as the conveyor belt moving at double speed, or only being able to decrease HP if you have at least eight plates stacked.
If you’re like me and are obsessed with completing all levels in its entirety no matter what the game, then you’re in for a real treat with Sushi Striker—unless you’re somehow nailing every single level on the first try, in which case I don’t believe you. Each level grades you with three stars, depending on three different tasks you must complete within the level, and a badge that ranges from D to A—and S being the highest. You’re going to love repeating levels until you get all three stars and that coveted S badge. The satisfaction of getting it is u n r e a l, and I constantly find myself caught between trying to progress with the story and wanting to have each level perfect before I progress. Sorry, the only C train I’m riding is on the New York City subway system.
The game offers a bunch of different features outside of the storyline, including an arena that you can battle locally. On the Nintendo 3DS, two people with the systems can play each other, or for the Nintendo Switch, each player can use a single Joy-Con to compete on the same screen.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido is a clever and whimsical game mixed with the perfect amount of strategy. I leave you with inspiration from the hilarious intro video and theme song, and something I’ve probably said every time I’m hungry: “The world is my plate—I’m ready to eat!”