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Analysis of Itadaki Smash on Nintendo Switch, a Spanish sushi-flavored beat ’em up

the basque studio Main Loop Games He has poured into Itadaki Smash his admiration for the beat’em up genre of his life, his passion for Japanese popular culture… and also for food.

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In this game, which emulates with 3D graphics the formula of Streets of Rage or Double Dragonwe literally fight against pieces of sushi, onigiri, mochis, spring onions or bowls of noodles, which have been transformed into demons by a mafia that wants a monopoly on food in the city of “San Daigo”.

Itadaki Smash was produced as part of the PlayStation Talents, and it came out in May 2021 on PS4 and Steam (we already told you about it back then). Today lands the version for the Nintendo hybrid console, published by Selecta Play, and in this review of Itadaki Smash on Nintendo Switch We tell you if it has whetted our appetite.

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VIDEO

Itadaki Smash – Trailer

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A four course menu

Itadaki Smash has two main game modes. Normal is to play the story, made up of 18 levels, without time limits and with continue infinities. If you lose all your lives, you will have to start the level from the beginning, but they are so short levels that you will not have any problem.

It is a very accessible way for everyone can enjoy the game and progress through the storyto see all the stages (which are unlocked in another mode), fight all four bosses, and learn all the special abilities.

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The other way is Arcadian. It’s the same story, but with only one coin, no continuationsfor those who want to live a more authentic arcade experience and gradually improve their score.

No matter where you walk in, you’ll be met with an old-fashioned side-scrolling beat ’em up, without much interest in innovating the formula. Quick attack, heavy attack, grabs, jump attacks, combos, some special powers with a power bar, and Endless waves of enemies to pummel. I wish it had more combos or enemy types, but it is what it is.

The content offer is completed with an arena mode, which is perhaps the most attractive to continue playing once you finish the story, looking to improve your score. In six scenarios (the alleys of San Daigo, an arcade, a dojo or a park) you fight against waves of enemies.

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It is also the best way to try the four different characterswith different attributes of speed, strength and range, as well as different attacks, since during the story you cannot change characters: Katsu, Naru, Tako and Mayo.

Itadaki Smash

Lastly, the vs mode. It allows two players to choose one of four fighters and battle it out on a special map, a moving truck.

Good option to extend the life of the game with some competitive, although it is a game that probably do not attract you much longer after passing you his story (which you can do in less than two hours in Normal mode).

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A very light meal

The best of Itadaki Smash (by the way, a pun on the expression itadakimasua “what’s good” in Japanese) is the artistic section, how original and fun the enemies “picolabis” are and also the characters, inspired by Japanese yokai.

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The gameplay, however, is too simple: there are hardly any combo attacksno character progression system, enemies repeat throughout the game and they do not have much intelligence or variety of attacks. You also don’t do anything but go forward and hit, and the levels feel overstretched, despite how short the game is.

Itadaki Smash

Compared to recent games like Streets of Rage 4, Tennage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder’s Revenge or Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Itadaki Smash doesn’t bring anything different, beyond its nod to the culinary world.

More than a reinterpretation of the genre, it is a very unambitious tribute (including touches of humor and nods to Street Fighter), which limits its appeal to new players. In other words, if you haven’t played a beat’em up before, this one will entertain you, but it won’t make you a fan.

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Obviously, Itadaki Smash is a more humble gameand makes up for how limited it is playable with the originality of its story and characters.

On this basis, there is nothing serious to object to technically: the game is beautiful and has a lot of visual personality (something that is very difficult to achieve), although it is true that in a game with these characteristics, side scrolling, 2D graphics or pixel art will always look better than 3D polygons made with Unity.

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Itadaki Smash

Lastly, we do regret a blunder of this version of Switch: Not being able to play with the Joy-Con horizontally. While you can play all modes with two players, each must have either a Pro controller or a pair of Joy-Cons. We have tried in several ways and there was no way.

Nintendo Switch was invented so that, at any time, you can place the console-tablet on the table, detach the two Joy-Cons and have a few games with a friend, each one with a Joy-Con, particularly in games as direct as this one . For some reason, they have decided not to make it possible, although hopefully they will fix it in a patch.

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Itadaki Smash, a humble but tasty snack

We really like the world that Main Loop Games has created (the ramen-crab is already one of my favorite designs ever for a final boss), but although playable it is correct, it lacks ingredients to leave us truly satisfied.

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And that cannot be played with the Joy-Con horizontally It’s something that should be fixed with a patch, because this kind of game cries out to be played at any time in multiplayer, in tabletop mode and each with a Joy-Con.

If you like the beat ’em up genre, you want remember the times throwing pesetas in the arcades, and/or you are passionate about Japanese foodYou’ll like Itadaki Smash, as long as you go in with realistic expectations: this isn’t Dotemu, but a much more humble game, but with the potential to be something really good.

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