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My Nintendo DS has provided me with some decent games and one of those which has turned out to be more difficult then I first thought was the Sushi Academy.
This is a game which is very similar to Cooking Mama for all those people who know this game. The idea is simple you need to make and prepare Sushi dishes and do them to the highest quality.
You are given help throughout if you wish and you can definitely have plenty of fun witht his game. You begin with a short but very important 8 step tutorial. This will guide you into how to prepare for meals and read instructions correctly.
Once these short but helpful tutorial hints have gone your then in charge of preparing and making the Sushi meals. You begin with 3 dishes and you can either practice first or jump straight in. I was foolish enough to believe the game would be very easy and jumped straight in and faded big time.
I had to make this first Sushi dish named Tekkamaki and it was done in 6 steps so you had to begin with chopping up some Maki and then spreading the rice around and rolling it up. You do step by step instructions and each instruction you need to do with accuracy. If the game asks you to cut an item up into 5 identical pieces you have to do your best to do that.
Your not rewarded with points but more expressions. You get comments from a cooking legend on the game such as 'Perfect' and 'Very Good' or the worst comment you can receive is 'Failed'. You aim to get perfect in all the instructions to get a gold medal.
If you receive lower overall marks you get a silver or bronze medal. Every time you complete a recipe you unlock a new challenge to uptake and complete. They get more complicated overall and you will find new ways of getting top scores. I have counted 36 overall recipes you need to cook and get to a gold medal standard.
You will need to cut up items, spread out rice and be very accurate with timing and cutting preparations.
Other features on the game include you taking part in exams which you can do after completing 6 meals and they begin with novice to expert and you have a information centre. There is basically a history of Sushi which might be helpful for some people.
You do not have things all go your way though. You use ingredients all the time such as rice and vegetables and if you run out from using them in other recipes you need to pop to the kitchen and cut up more of them. You need to do this quite often.
So this is the game and to be honest the speed is fantastic. Every movement I did worked fine and was quick. I found that when it came to the speed of the timer on each screen you could see glimpses of slow speed but it never happened often.
Graphics are animated at times and it can be fun to play because the end results in terms of the pictures they present to you of your final piece of work does look pretty good. I found the game overall very good and not that easy to complete as I would have hoped.
In my view the game offers plenty to do and with new recipes which might take people's fancy. I paid just £3 for this at a car boot sale and I need to admit I have never seen this in retail stores before either.
I love eating sushi and have had a go at making sushi in real life... although I'm not very good, I thought I'd try this game, only to be left disappointed!
The game has the following game play modes:
This is the main area of play, which consists of 36 different Sushi dishes that are gradually unlocked as you pass each dish. Dishes include sushi rolls to more complex dishes, and upon choosing the one you wish to make, you can either practise or go straight into the real thing.
If you've ever played Cooking Mama, the game play will be very familiar as the cooking methods are pretty much the same. Spread the rice on the seaweed, roll the sushi and pick your filling all done in a matter of strokes.
Whilst for sushi lovers this may be a great game, it just doesn't have enough dishes to last very long, and once you've done them all once or twice, there just isn't much replay value whatsoever.
There is a lot of information here regarding the origins of sushi and sushi in the west... For those interested, I'm sure this will make a very interesting and educational read. Frankly, I just want to get on and make sushi!
Other modes include Exam (you are tested on your skills in sushi-making aka. Free play), Kitchen (customise the kitchen which is very limited) and options (self explanatory!).
The controls are rather slow in this game compared to cooking mama, and the only thing hindering this from being a great game. It just seems to be less responsive and fluid. The stylus is the main method of control and I know there's nothing wrong with my DS, so it must be the game's mechanics that seems too slow for my liking.
The game is pretty easy to progress, the dishes unlock quickly and the game is over just as. I just found it too easy to play, and the novelty wears off too quickly for it to be worthwhile.
Graphics are a slight step down from Cooking Mama... the animations are not cute- they try to also be realistic but fails to be either... which makes it weak.
The game can be purchased for under £20, but I wouldn't get it for anything more than £10!
Sushi Academy provides a specialist game for Sushi-Lovers but the lack of dishes and the slow response to strokes using the stylus makes this game barely playable. It is interesting to start with but the novelty wears off and the lack of replay value makes this game really not worth getting. Stick to Cooking Mama I say!