Update Three Hundred and Sixty-One: 14 January 2020
I won this a couple of weeks ago from a Playing Appreciated giveaway, so played it I did! And it… was lovely!!
Combining sidescrolling combat with colormatching puzzling and wrapped in a loving, heartfelt adoration of cooking, Battle Chef Brigade is a special game that does just about everything it sets its mind to very well! The game loop is fun and fulfilling without being overwhelming, there’s a good sense of progression, and the art is BEAUTIFUL. Every frame looks like a still from an anime, and the painterly backgrounds serve as the perfect, er, backdrop for the appealing character designs to pop.
As the game progresses and more aspects of the game get layered in, I was constantly impressed by how each mechanic was translated from real-life cooking aspects - preparing ingredients, slow cooking, chopping, flavoring - into engaging, interesting game mechanics to keep an eye on. I found myself looking forward to the head-to-head cooking challenges. I don’t watch much television anymore, but when I do, it’s almost exclusively cooking competition shows (I know!) and Battle Chef Brigade takes clear inspiration from them, with Iron Chef as a principle contributor, down to the handsome MC overseeing the shows, a long, overwrought explanation of each ingredient, and a catch phrase that sets off the competition.
It’s just a fun game, you guys! It’s well made and well loved and I enjoyed playing it. I’d recommend it to just about anyone - it’s not hard to muddle your way through if you’re a weenie baby like me, and there’s a lot of options to go hardcore if that’s what you so choose.
The only place where this game kind of falls down is in the last two chapters, or chapter 5 in particular. Chapter 5 has you playing a completely different person, and takes place in between Chapter 3 and 4. Chapter 4 ends on a very high note that is ready to rocket you into the finale, so having Chapter 5 take place when and how it does is a little… very… momentum-killing. Chapter 5 was good and interesting, just out of place. A little bit more massaging of the story and of the pacing would have been great, but the game works overall as it is.
Next up: I started playing this almost immediately after the New Year, so now I can make it official! It’s just as good as I remember. I sure do love -
See you soon!