Saturday, January 8, 2011
Yoshinoya Review (PS2)
Release Date: May 24th, 2004
System: Playstation 2
My Score: 7/10
http://www.success-corp.co.jp/software/ ... index.html
For those of you who have never eaten a beef bowl (gyudon) from Yoshinoya, your life is not complete. Yoshinoya's beef bowls induce orgasms of the taste buds. There are Yoshinoya locations in the United States (CA, AZ, NV, NY), as well as in other countries, but it seems the company saves the best recipe for their beef bowls for their home country, Japan. For some reason, it tastes different (better) across the Pacific.Of course, I am biased. I LOVE Yoshinoya beef bowls and I've met people who think they taste like rotten rat feces. Sukiya is too dry and Matsuya is too rubbery...Yoshinoya is just right.
Anyway, about the game. In the Mission Mode, you start off as a new employee trying to work your way up to store manager. The district manager comes in and gives you tips on how to play. In my experience with working in Japan, managers are not this pleasant. The guy treats you like a customer who pays with gold. After a short and helpful tutorial by the ass-kissing store manager you are off to make your customers happy. People come into the shop one after another and they order their food. All you have to do is hit the corresponding button that appears next to the customer. It sounds fairly simple, right? Well, it is when the customers are coming in at a steady rate. When you get a rush of customers you begin to panic as you have to serve everybody quickly. If you don't serve a customer in time the morale meter on the right side of the screen goes down and you lose points. Be sure to check the take-out counter as there is usually somebody there. Each customer you serve adds to the "chain" total. If you make a mistake, the chain total goes back to zero. You have a goal to serve a certain amount of meals, a certain number of chains, no misses, etc before the timer runs out. Before each stage you can choose morning or evening, morning more being more difficult of the two. You have to complete both morning and evening modes to get to the "boss".
One of the characters you can choose:
The first level is easy, you're working an "eki mae" (station front) location which tend to be smaller than other Yoshinoya locations. Then you move on to a financial district, neighborhood, and so on. After each level you have to fight a "boss". The bosses are Yoshinoya snobs who want the perfect beef bowl. In the "boss" fight, you have to serve the right amount of green tea, have the right balance of onions and sauce, and you have to put love into making it. Yes, your enthusiasm to make the perfect beef bowl for a beef bowl snob is measured. I wish there was a way you can spit or put boogers into the beef bowls when the bosses start bitching, but you have to kiss their ass and tell them to please wait a little longer. I didn't make that up, you have to do that if you take too long. There is an apology mini game within the boss fight. So Japanese. Beat all the levels and please the beef bowl snobs and you are on your way to being a store manager! Other modes in the game include "Free Mode" where you can replay levels you've already beaten to try and improve your score, a quiz mode where you're quizzed on Yoshinoya trivia.
One of the bosses,
The Verdict: 7/10
I am not really a fan of these kinds of games, but once they made a game based on my favorite fast food chain of all time I just had to buy it. I wasn't expecting much. As you get higher in level, the game becomes more frantic and challenging. It starts off very easy but the difficulty progresses rather quickly.The game doesn't waste a license, SUCCESS actually made a great game out of a food franchise...something of a rarity. There are other games based on Japanese restaurants (CoCo Ichibanya, Gyukaku, etc) but they aren't that great and they feel forced.
My only major complaint is the game is pretty repetitive. I know it's difficult to make a game like this non-repetitive, but there are other things they could have done. I think they didn't bother with more variety since whoever is playing this game is a huge fan of Yoshinoya and they probably don't care too much for extra game features because they'll be too busy salivating over the thought of "yoshigyu".
One thing about this game is you have to have an intermediate to advanced level of Japanese to fully enjoy it. Of course, loving Yoshinoya food is also mandatory. If you're a beginner of studying Japanese and feel a bit ambitious, go ahead and buy this game. One thing to look out for is the names of the playable characters and bosses. Their names are linguistic plays on Yoshinoya menu items.
No pirated or emulated reviews, My copy: