Review: Yakiniku Bugyou

Chances are you never heard of Yakiniku Bugyou. It’s a cooking based puzzle game, which until now, was only available in Japan. It recently made its way to the PlayStation Store in North America thanks to MonkeyPaw Games. While it may seem like a cooking game would be boring, Yakiniku Bugyou is surprisingly a lot of fun.

The gameplay is quite simple. You take the role of a chef that must cook for a variety of hungry customers. Each customer has their own food preferences and it’s up to you to serve them the correct meals under a strict time limit. If you feed them the wrong type of food or undercook/overcook their meat they’ll let you know and make funny faces. Serve them correctly and they’ll be extremely pleased. If the customer exclaims “oishii!” with a huge smile of their face then you know you’re playing the game correctly.

Each customer has a meter that represents their level of satisfaction. If the meter reaches zero at any point it’s game over. In order to move on to the next stage all of your customers need to be at least 50% satisfied. If not, you’ll have to replay the stage all over again. It can get really intense trying to serve all of your customers since their preferences are constantly changing. This game requires you to always pay attention and be as swift and efficient as possible.

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Even though this game is completely in Japanese the language barrier isn’t too much of a problem. Everything you need to know can be understood by just looking at the character portraits. Plus, cooking isn’t exactly a foreign concept either. All you need to do is place the items on a grill and make sure it’s cooked properly by flipping it over. If you find yourself having trouble, you could always read the instructions provided by MonkeyPaw Games on their website.

Sometimes you might not know what your customer’s exact cooking preference is but as long as you don’t serve them raw meat or ridiculously burnt food you’ll be fine. Knowing which type of food they want is much easier to understand since there’s a portrait of it next to each customer. If it’s green that means that’s what you should serve them. If it’s red then you know that you shouldn’t give them that type of food.

After awhile you’ll start learning techniques that speed up the process of cooking. For instance, meat cooks faster when it’s in the middle of the grill. It’s also good to know that you can place up to twelve items on the grill. If you feed someone multiple items in a row you’ll do a combo and gain more points. Since each food item you cook is randomly generated this isn’t always easy to do.

There aren’t too many modes to play. Aside from the story mode with multiple difficulty levels to choose from there’s also an endless mode and support for two player grilling duels.

Pros

  • Intense cooking action!
  • Addictive gameplay.
  • Easy to understand without needing to read any text.

Cons

  • You won’t understand any of the text unless you know Japanese.
  • There’s not much depth once you know what to do.

Yakiniku Bugyou is now available to purchase in the PSone imports section of the PlayStation Store for $5.99. It might not be the most compelling PSone Classic available on the PSN but it’s certainly a unique game that’s worth checking out. Since this isn’t a story based game you’re not missing out on much if you don’t understand Japanese. If anything, this could help improve your reading skills if you’re trying to learn the language. The gameplay is also simple enough to grasp after about five minutes, yet its addictive nature will keep you playing for hours. You won’t find another game like this on the PSN.

Score: 7/10

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5 Comments

  1. I wish Europe would get these games so I don’t have to purchase it through my mate in America :(

  2. This has got to be in the running for GOTY surely!

    • A new Bishi Bashi for consoles as potential? whats Konami wasting money on?

  3. Its a bit like the mini-games from Bishi Bashi

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