REVIEW: Sushi-Go-Round (DS)
I love sushi. I can, do, and will eat me the hell out of some spicy tuna rolls if given the chance. When I say “I’m thinking sushi” I literally mean “I’m thinking sushi”, not “I’m thinking mediocre shitty games” like what describes this title. Sushi Go Round is literally almost enough of a reason to convince me never to eat my delicious raw fish ever again solely because of what a monotonous and tiresome ordeal this game really is. Five minutes is about all it took for me to grow to hate this game but for the sake of this article I forced myself to sit through much more of it and honestly I regret doing so; if I could rewind time I’d go spend my hour doing something more productive like watching Regular Show and writing love letters to Mordecai in my secret diary… but I digress.
At least I have an M3i Zero for my DS and I didn’t pay for my copy of this game so somehow I feel strangely vindicated for my suffering and that the joke isn’t on me but on the developers instead. Sushi Go Round was created by Miniclip, a company whose main products are animation programs and layoffs.
Sushi Go Round is one of those games where you have all the thrills of running a restaurant without any of the pay. I don’t really understand what the appeal is for shit like this and games like Papa’s Pizzeria but why the fuck would anybody want to have all of the pressure of a depressing wage slave job in a video game? I mean seriously, the only kinds of people who could possibly enjoy this trash are stuck-up white collar douchebags who were born rich and want to experience blue collar life without having to touch a greasy McDonald’s job application. Fuck this game, its genre, and everything it stands for. Games based solely upon taking food orders from a bunch of idiot customers are a retarded idea and the only thing that could save any game in this genre is the ability to scream obscenities into the DS microphone or an option to piss into the tub of special sauce; half the “fun” of living out real life in a video game is being able to break the law without getting caught. This is why people love Grand Theft Auto.
In Grand Theft Auto if you find yourself upset at the moron in the golf cart guess what? You can light that dickhead’s car on fire with a Molotov cocktail and shoot him in the crotch. Can you do that in Sushi Go Round? No. You can’t even spit in his riceball. There’s no way to “lose” at this game by getting fired for bringing guns into the restaurant and shooting everyone in the face. The best thing you can do is make a bunch of trash sushi and throw your DS at the wall. Alternatively you can just not play this piece of shit.
Look at that screenshot. There’s fucking three of the same retard sitting at the table. If there weren’t two different female characters sitting there you’d think that your customers were divided solely between genders with only one character for each set of genitals. There’s no variety in this game, the same guy will show up multiple times with both his twin brother and his clone and his twin brother’s clone to order the same exact shit from you time and time again. There are Atari 2600 games that have more character variety than this game. There are more people in a bag of fucking Scrabble tiles than there are customers in this game.
For some ridiculous reason Miniclip decided to ground their sushi simulator in some sort of plot. Normally you might assume you’re playing as an authentic sushi chef training hard to become a sushi master whose restaurant is suspiciously full of clueless white people but if you’re thinking that’s the objective then you’re gravely wrong. The entire story of this game is summarized in about six comic panels: your non-descript generic protagonist falls in love with a random stranger and decides to try and impress the girl of his immediate dreams. How does he hope to do this? He decides right then and there to open a sushi restaurant to woo her and then randomly bumps into a real “sushi master” who offers to teach him the art of raw fish. Men can do some pretty stupid things when they think with their cocks like standing outside of a window with a boom box or writing a sappy love song. Things you can do when you have a boner, basically. “Opening a sushi restaurant” isn’t one of those things; in fact the mere thought of tallying up overhead and operating costs for a real restaurant is enough to kill my erection for at least two days. Submitting your credit card information to a shady porn site is an “oh shit” moment that you can weasel your way out of but the second you use your dick to sign your name on a property lease you’re totally boned.
I hate this game. Seriously.
Okay fine, I’ve made fun of the plot and wrote a paragraph-long boner joke but what’s the gameplay like? It’s sub-par at best. A customer will come to your table and you hand him a menu (his clone will show up immediately thereafter just to screw with you). He then makes an order and a goofy ass smile appears on his face while you drag a bunch of sushi ingredients onto a bamboo rolling mat. If you don’t fuck it up then the sushi will be dispensed via the sushi-go-round and his face will start morphing and pulsing. I think that means he’s eating it but I’m more inclined to believe that an alien is about to rip out of his throat and start impregnating everybody and fertilize all the fish eggs on the preparation table. It certainly would make for a more interesting gaming experience than what this schlock offers; I’ve gotten more kicks out of lighting cat turd snake “fireworks” than I did from playing this game.
That’s all you do when it comes to Sushi Go Round. People show up, you put a bunch of crap on a bamboo roller, lather rinse repeat. All you have to do is drag your stylus about three centimeters on your touchscreen to create sushi but somehow the programmers fucked up the “tap” detection of the bamboo roller. Once you place your ingredients on the roller you tap it to make sushi. Thanks to the “drag” function required to place things on the mat the game constantly reads your stylus leaving the screen as a tap and ends up rolling a bunch of trash sushi resembling feces on a plate that idly coast around your sushi-go-round while your hungry customers start making weird and off-putting groaning sounds. There literally is nothing required of you to play this game, people with one hand can play this, but the controls are still somehow screwed up. It’s like they seriously just did not give a fuck when they created this game.
Sushi Go Round lacks a lot of features. The original version of the game (on Miniclip.com) is just a Flash-based timewaster since that’s basically what their entire online gaming market is all about. These kinds of games normally don’t fare too well when you port them to consoles because gamers have expectations when a game involves more than just an Internet connection but then again I’m sitting here talking about quality control for games on the Nintendo DS so anything I’m saying right now is just a load of shit since most of the good DS games are all first-party titles and everything else is Ubisoft’s Imagine series or Sushi Go Round.
There are a few different game modes to choose from but they’re all painfully predictable things like Endless Mode which is about as self-explanatory as you can get. Sushi Go Round makes no effort to be creative at all, it’s just a poorly repackaged recreation of an equally as boring Flash game and honestly the entire production just feels like something that was released so the publisher could pad its portfolio with another client’s license. There’s not even a continue option for when you get fed up and quit the game; if you lose you get your ass kicked all the way back to the first level where all you do is make riceballs for 15 minutes until the timer runs out.
If you have a DSi you can get around some of the game’s hideous visuals by using a feature that lets you take pictures of your friends and family, action figures, fursuits, or silicone animal toys and replace the game’s downsy customers with your own creations since there’s nothing quite as charming as serving fish of dubious quality to people you love and care about (or posters of anime characters that you touch yourself to when your mom and dad aren’t home).
The Japanese have a name for games like this. It’s called kuso.
The game doesn’t ask much of you. All you have to do is drag a bunch of icons around or tap on something when it appears. There’s no platforming, no strategy, no adventure. The game only requires you to sit there and make sushi and yet this was still somehow screwed up with botched controls. All you have to do is drag something — not even in a straight line — and place it on a mat, but thanks to the game’s shitty touchscreen detection the game ends up wasting all of your ingredients by constantly misinterpreting your input as the command to roll sushi. This isn’t fucking rocket science here, this is a matter of testing your fucking game of which only one person was responsible for in the “quality assurance department”, what a goddamn joke.
I didn’t say much about the audio for this game mostly because there’s not much to say. Sushi Go Round has three audio tracks: a menu track, a restaurant track, and a little jingle that plays when you beat a level. There’s hardly any sound effects in the game and the music just loops endlessly while you play. Needless to say it’s about as uninspired as the rest of the game and has the execution and quality of someone learning how to play the piano with a keyboard from the 1980’s with just a hint of Japanese flair. I feel like I can’t make any jokes about the music because there’s nothing to joke about. It’s just a big hole in the video game experience, a hole that the developers could have filled with something — anything — that didn’t suck as bad as this game as a whole.
Despite the fact that every single customer looks like he has a few extra chromosomes the rest of the game’s visuals, mostly just the sushi, look fairly decent. The food looks alright, the fonts are Japanese-y enough to be passable, but really the bonus points for this category come directly from the DSi support that lets you circumvent the staggering amount of “not giving a damn”-quality work packed into the game’s customer characters. It seriously looks like they took a bunch of renders from a 3D modeling sample pack and threw them into their game; they look that out of place. The game’s premise is already stupid enough but when you throw in a bunch of characters that look about as retarded as Atari Jaguar launch titles you’re entering into a whole new realm of horseshit previously unexplored.
Opening a sushi restaurant just to impress some stupid bimbo is about the most offensive thing you can do to insult a traditional and cultural staple of Japanese art and cuisine. Sushi Go Round is about as Japanese as a white kid dressing up as Inuyasha and trying to climb trees by jumping straight up in the air. It’s about as Japanese as an ethnic Asian restaurant in the middle of Mexico. It’s about as Japanese as that song “Turning Japanese”. There’s more culture represented in a twelve cent bag of Ramen noodles than there is in this shitty game. I’ve played pirated Venezuelan Famicom games that are better symbols of Asian culture than Sushi Go Round.
It’s a load of shit, that’s basically what I am trying to get at here. There are people out there who have no idea of what Japan is who can do a better job of explaining Japanese culture to you than what this game represents.
This game is the steamiest turd you can imagine covered in rice and rolled in seaweed paper. I’m not even going to justify its existence with an elaboration of that opinion.