Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: Battle Chef Brigade

Games honorable enough to mention awards

I have very definite tastes when it comes to pop culture. I like or dislike something almost immediately, and it’s very rare when I change my mind. I’m not saying this is a good or bad thing, but I know it’s part of my personality. In fact, if I have a predisposition not to like something (such as Pulp Fiction or Titanic), there’s no hope of changing my mind. I saw both of them knowing full well that I would hate them, and I did. Oh, how I hated them.

Anyhoo, when I play a game, I can usually tell within five minutes whether I’ll like it or not*. Sometimes, if I think I may be unnecessarily harsh, I’ll give it more time, but it’s very rare when I change my mind. As a related side note, I like my beverages either burning hot or ice cold. I like to literally burn my tongue when I drink tea, for example. I don’t know why, but I do. It’s the same way with popular culture. When I consume a piece of it, I either love it or hate it. It’s very rare when I finish, say a novel and am meh about it. With video games, I will play up to an hour and then quit if it doesn’t grab me. Or, I won’t even start one that I know I will hate such as Collar Duty.**

This year, there are two games I played that while I wasn’t grabbed by them or thought they were the most amazing games I’d ever played, they had something there that made me like them more than not, but for very different reasons. I can’t say they were among the top games I played in the past year, but they are definitely worth a mention.

The game that should be grateful that they were not sued by Iron Chef

Battle Chef Brigade

I was drawn to this game, developed by Trinket Studios and published by Adult Swim Games, for a very silly reason–the protagonist was an Asian woman named Mina Han. I mean, how could I not want to play her given that she was me in cartoon form! Not really as she’s in her early twenties, slim, with short hair, and loves to sleep, but the name, gender, and Asian part were enough for me to buy it. It didn’t hurt that it was a mashup of a monster hunting game (lite)/fighting game (lite) and a cooking sim/Match-3 and more.

The graphics are a mixed bag. The characters look hand-drawn, and the game is bright and colorful, but some of the environments and monsters are not as pleasing to the eye. Each character is distinct, and the story is fun if not silly. The basic gist is that Mina is a simple country girl who works for the family restaurant. Part of that is killing monsters in the backyard for their parts as ingredients in the family recipes. There is a something called the Battle Chef Brigade competition in which all the best fighting chefs in the world gather to compete against each other. Through some trickery, Mina makes it into the competition.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this game up until the point where you start having to do different dishes for different judges. All of the gameplay is frenetic which is in sharp contrast to the leisurely pace of the rest of the game. The ramp up is too much for me and my aged reflexes, however, and I had to give up the game before I finished it. I will add that the turn towards the paranormal didn’t jibe with the rest of the game, either. I would have been fine with the game sticking to the competition and not throwing in that vampires (or vampire-like creatures, can’t quite remember) were infecting the monsters.

Continue Reading

A Quick Look: Battle Chef Brigade

got my game face on.

I have a problem that I really get into a game, and then I kind of flounder around looking for a new one once I’m done. I finished Night in the Woods a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t found a game to replace it. I went back to Cook Serve Delicious! 2!! because there is going to be a big free expansion in a few months that include something called The Barista Update. It’s going to focus on drinks, which is exciting because the drinks are pretty easy right now. I don’t mind because pop was a bitch in the first game, but I’m all for more Cook Serve Delicious!2!! I’m trying not to be as much of a perfectionist this time, but it’s hard. I still automatically restart when I make a mistake (it’s ingrained after two games), and I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it. I did it on my first playthrough because there’s an achievement for 200 gold medals (getting a perfect day in one of the Chef for Hire restaurants).

Anyway, Ian told me about a game called Battle Chef Brigade, and I was immediately intrigued. It’s a cross between Iron Chef and Monster Hunter (lite), and the main character is named Mina. I mean, how could I not get it, right? Since I’m cheap, however, I waited for it to go on sale, and now it’s sitting pretty in my Steam account. It’s labeled a brawler and a puzzle game, and I have it in my indie eclectic category. It’s made by Trinket Studios after a successful Kickstarter than netted them nearly triple the amount they asked for, and it was published by Adult Swim.

I only watched the trailer before I bought it, and I started it with trepidation. Why? Because it’s hard to tell what I will and won’t like. Things that should be right up my alley aren’t, and things that I’m skeptical of sometimes hit the spot. An example of the former–Overcooked. I had heard glowing praise of it, and it looked like something I would adore. I hated it. Straight up hated it. Maybe it’s better with local co-op, but I can’t be stuffed to find out. I uninstalled rather quickly and never looked back.

I started Battle Chef Brigade with some trepidation, and I was immediately charmed by it. Not only is the character’s name Mina, her last name is Han. She’s a simple country gal working in her parents’ small restaurant, but dreaming of being a Battle Chef Brigade competitor.  Through some machinations, she makes it to the competition (of course! Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a game) and registers. One of the amusing conceits is that she oversleeps all the time, which is something I cannot relate to. Anyway, the tutorials are brief, and I think the game would benefit from expanding them a bit. Look, yes, I play Souls games in which the tutorials are, “Here. Play the game. Go away”, but that doesn’t mean I’m against tutorials in general. During the combat parts of the game, there are certain moves you can do, and they are not as intuitive at all.

At least they weren’t for me when I was trying keyboard/mouse. I prefer k/m to controller, but I’ve used controller much more for the past several games I’ve played. Anyway, k/m is not intuitive at all for this game. The first problem is because I use Dvorak instead of Qwerty. This game does not support Dvorak, so I had to switch my keyboard back to Qwerty before playing. That’s not the problem. The problem is that when the prompts came up in the tutorial, it’s in Qwerty, and it doesn’t register with my brain. It doesn’t help if it’s in Dvorak, though, because I touch-type, so I don’t necessarily know where the letters are on the keyboard. There are two kinds of attacks–physical and magical. And there are combos. I don’t play fighting games, and I hate combo-based combat, so it’s basically comes down to button-mashing for me. There’s no place to check what the combos actually are (at least not that I can find. Maybe in the practice kitchen? I can’t remember), and I usually just hit the animal/plant until it dies.

Continue Reading