Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sushi Go-Round Review (Wii)

Sushi Go-Round is one of the latest games coming from the SouthPeak developing group for the Nintendo Wii and DS, and is based off of the popular web-game of the same name. Following the trend of Japanese Anime, the web game had American Animeish characters along with a sushi theme. Because when you think anime, you think sushi.

Now, when I got the game, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had not played the online game and am not really a big fan of American drawn anime characters. But the gameplay surprised me and I quickly ignored the character designs and I was quickly drawn to the challenge.

The Object is to serve the customers of your sushi bar as quickly as possible. And instead of taking years to learn how to make sushi correctly, the game assumes you know these skills already. In fact, it appears that yuor sushi bar is the only place for miles around as people flood into the place as soon as one of your customers vacates their seat.

As soon as you serve the customers sit down, the game starts. You have to serve them a menu and, a few moments later, a small image bubble will appear over their heads requesting some of your mighty-fine sushi. Memorization is the key here and is imperitive to being good at the game as there are several kinds of sushi to prepare and serve. But, if you do forget a recipie, there is a sushi guide at hand to tell you the quantities of each ingredient to make something. But, you will loose time shuld you need to look at the book, so make sure you know how to make what.

Part of the challenge comes from the sushi being served on a conveyor belt. See, even though you make someone their particular sushi, a customer who decides to order more from you may request the same kind of food, and will snag that piece before the first customer can get it... making them a bit impatient.

Also, you run out of some ingredients fast and when you're busy you can't afford that. So you need to call in to make sure you are re-stocked quickly. You can get a rush re-stocking, but that costs you money and you lose some of your profits. But when you need nori wraps (dried seaweed) you need them now.

And, should one of your customers begin to become a tad impatient, you can always satiate their palates with one of the two sake bottles you are given at the beginning of the game. You only get so many at the beginning of each round, so use them sparingly.

There are plenty of new gameplay modes that have been added for the Wii version that will bring existing fans running to this version with Time-Attack, Puzzle, Endless Day, and Forbidden Modes. These are all a plus and, while there could have been more content, possibly even a sushi making tutorial to learn how to make REAL sushi, these are good bonuses to the game and fill it out a bit more than I personally was expecting.

All-in-all, the game is fun and creative. It's no wonder why they got a port ot the big-time consoles. The DS version is just a better version all around of this online game and comes with several extras and additions including the ability to use the DSi camera. The Wii game, however, is not not without its flaws as this kind of game really wasn't meant to be on a powerful console as the Wii.

The music is repetitive and annoying after a while. Now, even though they were trying to keep the feel of the online game, not creating more music for the Wii port was really a mistake. I found myself turning off the sound and even the sound effects within a few levels of the game. Perhaps getting some J-Pop music in there would have helped the game and might have warranted a soundtrack release. I mean the online game did have over 60 million downloads. Fans of the game would certainly pop out a few extra bucks for some good music.

The character designs are certainly a boost from the simplistic sprites from the webgame, but these look more like flash images and, while that isn't always bad, they do not look that great. When you make a game for any system you should really try to exploit the power of that system. If you don't feel that you can, then it should go to the portable hand-held. But, in their defense, the character images are not terrible and do have quirky actions to make them interesting to watch sometimes.

So yes, the best console to own this game on would be the Nintendo DS as it fits the idea of a portable game that can be accessed quickly and then put away on the fly. That's the whole point of this title anyways, and this game was made for that. Putting it on the Wii is a bit of overkill and doesn't feel... correct. It feels more like a shovelware title for the Wii than anything else, which is a shame.

But please don't let that keep you from buying the game for your portable console. It's a good and addictive game and drew me in right away, and I think that with a few tweaks it could have been a viable title for the Wii if they had taken a chance and strayed from the online game in a few aspects. And this is also not to say that people who were fans of the online game will not like it. In fact, I think they will really get a kick out of this version.

Was I entertained? Yes. A great deal, as a matter of fact. However, I just think that the game was a bit slap-dashed together and really could have used a bit more noodling-over before thrown into the market. The market changes so quickly that I can understand the desire to strike while the iron is hot, but for online games, the iron stays warm for quite some time. The evidence is there with PopCap games, and Sushi Go-Round really is no exception.


mexicanwaluigi said...

I saw a few kids in school playing a similar version of this game only it was a hotdog stand instead of sushi bar. I guess its fine for casual gamers that don't play a lot of games but it can get boring fast.

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