This review has been a very long time coming… One day not too long ago, I was scrolling through the eShop on my Switch when I happened upon a very interesting looking game with a really neat art style. That game was Battle Chef Brigade – Now I buy games very sparingly cause I don’t have a ton of money but I was determined to get this game because it just looked cool as hell.
So by the time I actually got it I had searched up what it really was – A hybrid between a cooking game, a hack, and slash, and a Match 3 type game… Definitely something that hasn’t been tried before! This had me incredibly hyped because I love me some Tetris, I love me some food, and I love me some hacking n’ slashing. What could go wrong? Battle Chef Brigade is a game that I feel like everyone will like. It has a charming set of characters and a really interesting world… But most of all the game has incredible gameplay, which I will go into shortly.
The story follows a young girl named Mina Han who works at her parents’ restaurant, but wishes to become a Battle Chef, an elite set of people who essentially fight monsters and cook food with them! It’s a dangerous life, however, and her parents wish for her to stay and work at the restaurant. So she does what every main character in these types of stories do, and runs away from home. She reaches the Battle Chef Brigade Tournament where chefs from all around the world come and compete to qualify and become a Battle Chef. That’s the basic gist of it. It’s not a mind-blowing story or anything but I really enjoyed the premise in it’s simplicity, but what made it for me were the unique characters. They all have their own quirks and personalities and some are given a lot more screentime than others, but that’s fine! All the characters have really cool designs and I couldn’t be happier with them.
Now let’s get to that amazing gameplay – You begin by essentially challenging a random dude right off the street and go, “Oi mate, I’ll make better food than your Nan and kick your ass while I’m at it” and they go, “Nuh-uh” and then the fight commences. It sounds utterly stupid, but somehow the developers over at Trinket Studios have made it work – You can have up to 3 judges which means 1-3 dishes to cook, which sounds really hectic… Because it is.
The match starts and you go out into the battlefield and hunt monsters. Each monster is confirmed to drop certain ingredients that have specific elements and patterns attached to them, where you can start being a lot more selective with once you start getting better at the game – The judges will want a dish based off of between one and three elements, as well as a certain monster that needs it’s ingredients included; you have to make those ingredients stand out the most in their dish if you want to win. You have a basic move list for when you’re fighting monsters. One combo, an air dive, a couple of magic based attacks like throwing knives and this weird tornado thing I admittedly never used; you’d think that with the combat mechanics being so sparse, this whole section of the game would be really boring but you’d be wrong bucko. The way the game feels when you attack an enemy and just how fast and free it feels makes me want to just keep hunting for a long, long while without even wanting to cook.
Once you gather your ingredients you go back to the kitchen and start cooking – Choose your ingredients for what element they hold and start playing a really simple but satisfying game of Match 3 where you can play around and customise how you compile your dish, and purchase pans, sauces and other things from the shop… And you do all of this while on a timer! You can easily see how this can be a really fast-paced and hectic experience, but it never once felt too hard or unfair. One thing I didn’t like though is the fact that if you keep losing a battle, the judges will more and more relaxed on your results until you eventually just win by doing practically nothing. I think they should always stay the difficulty level they’re on to encourage better play.
The game is really short which can be a huge detriment, because I really could sink hundreds of hours into this type of game, but it does have some challenge modes and even an extra character that you can play around with that certainly help with the longevity of the game. With all that being said, I can say that this game is easily one of my favourite titles on the Switch, and I feel you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if this isn’t in your library. Here’s hoping to some new content soon!
I give Battle Chef Brigade a: