There is an extremely niche PS1 game I bought through the Japanese PSN store on PS3 years ago called Yakinuki Bugyou in which you cook meats and vegetables for your customers. It was like Cooking Mama a decade before the franchise was even thought of. I was hoping Yakiniku Simulator might harness some of the power but alas this is an undercooked and underwhelming miss… so far.
The game takes place on a single screen with your cooking point in the centre of the screen. Using your mouse you can pick up meat and drop it onto the stove. After a couple of seconds it’ll crinkle, signalling the need to flip it over with a click of the mouse. A few seconds later it will turn brown and you’ll need to remove it from the stove to the dipping sauce (or bottom of the screen) to eat it and score points. Meat will explode if left too long, scoring zero points or if you eat it instead of tossing it away, you’ll lose points. Each game lasts about 2 minutes on the timer.
No other meats or veggies, no goals, no online or local leaderboards, no interaction… not even a proper menu. The entire thing feels like a Bishi Bashi Special mini game being sold separately for £1.69. I was totally bored after 10 minutes and Yakiniku Simulator walks an odd line between being repetitively boring and time pressured stressful whilst giving a satisfying meat sizzle. It just doesn’t come together properly. More frustratingly, the developer is saying multiplayer modes and more things are coming later but the game isn’t labelled as early access, its a full release… so should it have been released with such a bare bones approach now?
All in all, I’d avoid it for now and I’ll circle back for a future review if these things materialise. The 21 year old Yakinuki Bogyou is still massively superior in every way.
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