Sushi Ben Review (PS5 / PSVR2)


Sushi Ben is a relaxing VR title with immaculate vibes. As a newcomer to the quaint fishing village of Kotobuki Town, you find yourself intertwined with the fate of a beloved, freshly shuttered sushi restaurant. Offering to help the massively overworked owner, you set out to restore supply chains for food, interacting with the many quirky residents all the while trying to prevent a realty company from buying up the entire town.

Gameplay is a collection of basic, surface-level mechanics: you have to fish, catch bugs, capture ghosts — the list goes on. Most are harmless fun — the table tennis segment is especially good — as long as you don’t run into any bugs. Collision detection on the bug net is all over the place, and the fishing rod has a whole host of problems, particularly when water is involved. While some of the gameplay moments are one-offs, you’ll retain a collection of tools to use throughout the surprisingly large world.

While the scale of the town is impressive — there are many nooks and little hidden details too — it’s also largely an empty world that artificially extends playing time by making you walk everywhere. There’s a certain lifeless quality to the Pokémon-esque environments when you’re not actively participating in quests.

Luckily, the presentation does help close this gap. The game is fully voiced in Japanese, and dialogue is presented like a visual novel, but with the added flair of cutaway panels like one would expect out of a manga. This works even better in VR as the panels are given an extra level of depth, almost as though they were a part of the world you find yourself inhabiting.

Ultimately, the game’s charming visage is enough to overcome some mechanical shortcomings and provide a game that’s equal parts relaxing, charming, and goofy.

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