Review: Eat Beat Dead Spike-san (Switch)

Do you ever wish you could just eat and eat all day without having to worry about anything else in your life? Eat Beat Dead Spike-san fulfills that gluttonous dream. But, this dinner could use a few more courses.

Based on the BlazBlue series of fighting games, Eat Beat stars Dead Spike-san, the shadowy special attack of the BlazBlue poster boy, Ragna the Bloodedge. Dead Spike-san wants to help Ragna win more battles, so he drags Ragna along the ground, eating everything in sight to the beat of various rockin’ BlazBlue songs.

Simple controls occupy the simple story. The left and right shoulder buttons and triggers hit the left and right notes that scroll from the right side of the screen in an arc. Hold notes and rapid-fire notes follow in tandem. Touch screen controls are also available; there are L and R buttons on the lower left and right corners of the screen. The triggerable “overdrive” feature boosts the stage score for a couple of measures, with automatic and manual trigger options available. 

Graphically, the game is cute, if cheap-looking, with pastel colors and super-deformed characters filling the screen. Dead Spike-san gets to eat lots of different food throughout each stage, with each foodstuff enticingly floating above each note. Though basic, the menus are bright and easy to navigate, complete with helpful loading screen tips and fun flavor text. The backgrounds scroll along with Dead Spike-san by default, but there is an option to turn the scroll off.

The game has a fair amount of content. There are twenty songs, all taken from the BlazBlue series; there are easy and normal difficulties for each song to start, with hard modes unlockable after clearing a stage on normal difficulty. Aside from clearing each song on each difficulty, there are also fourteen challenges to clear, though they mainly center on basic criteria such as achieving a certain combo count or high level grades on each song. Other BlazBlue characters and their familiars can replace Dead Spike-san and Ragna; this does not change the base gameplay.

The rhythm gameplay itself is very basic and reminiscent of the Taiko No Tatsujin series. The inputs feel touchy, and stages occasionally feel off-beat, requiring offset adjustment in the options menu. The sync problems exacerbate the challenge of the harder, more rhythmically dynamic songs. It isn’t difficult for experienced music game players to achieve A and S ranks on the hardest difficulty.

* Review copy provided by the development team or publisher

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