Friday, October 24, 2014

On the one hand, I'm glad I finally own a copy of one of Nippon Ichi's first PlayStation games, Cooking Fighter Hao

On the other, I wish I actually enjoyed playing this cooking-themed import.

Sadly, I doubt the latter is going to change anytime soon, as Cooking Fighter Hao has proven to be a monumentally tedious experience for me so far. It was fairly evident from the word go that would be the case, actually, as the game opens with may well be the world's most boring--and wordy--introductory cutscene.

After that, players are transported to a drab, gray arena and then tasked with battling a bunch of SNK rejects in an what can only be described as an Iron Chef-esque competition. Here, though, participants produce dishes by bashing the adorable (well, kind of) animals that scurry about each stage and then pressing the PlayStation controller's buttons or control pad in various ways once the cattle, chickens, crabs and such have been stunned into submission.

Although that may sound acceptable enough on paper (or, er, on blog), in reality it's anything but.

Add to this the fact that the aesthetics of Cooking Fighter Hao would have been considered middle of the road even if they'd appeared in an early Super Famicom release--although I personally quite like the sprites found in the battle scenes--and you've got yourself a rather disappointing PlayStation pick-up.

So why did I buy a copy of it? And why am I happy about it? My knee-jerk reaction is to say that the game was made by the folks at Nippon Ichi and, as such, it would be worth hunting down even if it literally were a piece of crap. After a bit of reflection, I'd add that, despite all of the criticism I've leveled at it so far, I still like Cooking Fighter Hao enough to own a copy of it--especially given the price I paid for this particular copy.

Plus, the game's packaging is pretty nice, as a quick glance at any of the photos strewn about this post should prove. I especially like its cover and disc art, by the way, although the manual sports some nice illustrations, too.

Have any of you experienced Cooking Fighter Hao in some form or fashion? If so, do you agree with my rather negative assessment of it, or have you enjoyed what you've played of it thus far?


Justin Difazzio said...

That sounds miserable! said...

Honestly, it kind of is! Which is too bad, as I really do like the sprites that are found in the battle scenes. That's not really enough to make up for the rest of it, though :|

Obscure Video Games said...

What a shame; it looks pretty cool in screenshots. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the first time I've ever seen you review an NIS game? said...

Yeah, one of the main reasons I still wanted to pick up a copy of this game, despite the fact that it's not much fun to play, is that I like how it looks in action. As for this being my first time mentioning an NIS game: hmmm, I don't know! It would surprise me if it were the first time I've done that, to be honest, as I definitely own other NIS games, but maybe I just haven't mentioned them here before?

Jade Harris said...

Aww, that's too bad.

What sort of awesome game pops into your imagination when you see the title Cooking Fighter? I'm envisioning something like the cooking in Trails in the Sky, beefed up, starring a Quina Quen type. said...

Oh, I'd love a cooking-themed RPG, Jade. And it could be either a turn-based RPG or an action RPG, if you ask me :)