Battle Chef Brigade is as glorious a concoction as its characters make to become part of the titular task force. Part Action RPG, part puzzle game, all charm, Trinket Studios’ release is a special blend of monster guts and magic that will make you smile from start to finish. This is our Battle Chef Brigade review, for the Nintendo Switch.
The game begins with the tale of Mina, a talented cook and combatant who runs away from home to follow her dream of joining the Battle Chef Brigade. An elite task force of soldiers who are also magical chefs, the BCB defends the kingdom and feeds it. Along the way, Mina runs into Thrash, a friend and lover of BBQ ribs, Kirin, a mysterious elf, and Ziggy – an even more enigmatic undead cook. The four grow their relationships as they compete in the Battle Chef Brigade competition.
BCB is a mostly linear experience, with the action and exploration taking place on a 2D map, a la Castlevania. There are side missions to extend the narrative, but overall Battle Chef Brigade’s story will run you just about 10 hours. It’s not an epic-length JRPG, but there’s no filler or grinding to be heard of. And when the main story is done, there’s more content in the challenges, and worldwide trials to show off your dishes.
Combat is the first stage of any Battle Chef competition and plays out in the Kitchen Arena – a side-scrolling place filled with different monsters which you kill to gain ingredients. It’s as silly, and as fun as it sounds. This is a puzzle game, but also an RPG, and also a side-scrolling beat-em-up. You’ll lean different combat skills, magic spells, and more in order to take down progressively more difficulty monsters. The harder they fall, the better they taste.
It’s worth noting that BCB is almost fully-voiced too by an exceptionally talented cast. So not only is the animation and art style of the highest quality, but the voice acting that comes with it makes the characters come to life even more. The judges of each competition have unique characters and voices too, making the whole thing a mix of Full Metal Alchemist and Iron Chef. It’s gloriously ridiculous and awesome.
If there’s any real knock against Battle Chef Brigade, it’s that it’s over too soon. I’m hoping and praying Trinket Studios gets a chance to not only expand the game but create sequels that go above and beyond their first effort. Much like Hand of Fate and its sequel, where the latter upped the ante tenfold.
Battle Chef Brigade won’t suck your life away like the recently released Skyrim, or the soon to be launched Xenoblade Chronicles 2, but it just might charm your pants off so much that you wish it did. It’s out now on Switch and Steam, and at $20 it’s well worth the price of admission.