Usually in games, food or drinks replenish health. Like that Elixir you downed in the midst of a boss battle? That counts as a beverage (...I think). Sometimes though, food takes on another purpose. In something like Cooking Mama, prepping food is the sole purpose of the game.
So this week we ask: what foods, meal, or drinks do you love most, and why? Is it an unrealistic food, or something that you could cook right in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments! You can find some of the USgamer team's own answers below.
Way back in 2006, Burger King reached out developer Blitz Games to create three games. The idea was that each game would feature the Burger King mascot in various genres. The three titles—Big Bumpin', Pocketbike Racer, and Sneak King—were sold as standalone games for Xbox or Xbox 360. It's the last one I want to talk about.
Sneak King is a stealth action game where you, as the Burger King, sneak around a town, giving burgers to people. Let me rephrase this: you play the Burger King stalking random citizens around town to give them burgers and almost none of them seem angry or really afraid about this. It is such an insane premise and yet Sneak King mostly pulls it off. There's a reason I own an actual copy of the game to this day.
Which brings us back to the question. My favorite food item in the game are these burgers, which are apparently so good that getting one automatically makes up for a guy in a king costume and mask popping up from behind a crate or bush. These are burgers that literally justify the existence and continued legal freedom of the Burger King in the odd town he lives in. They must be the best burgers ever.
Wall meat from Castlevania. Just good ol' wall meat. You can call it a "pork chop," you can call it a "turkey leg," but we all know what it really is: An ambiguous hunk of meat with a femur speared through it. Is it beast? Is it fowl? Is it kosher? Halal? Is it seasoned? Is it safe? Who cares. Sink your teeth into that slab, Simon Belmont. Rip and tear.
After talking to independent developer Tj Hughes about his experimental food-centric game Nour late last week, I've been thinking a whole lot about food in games. To answer this week's community question, I could list a bunch of obvious things: the Maxim Tomato from Kirby, the savory meals prepped (and stolen via recipes from local diners) by Ignis in Final Fantasy XV, Sonic the Hedghog's favorite food: chili dogs, and the delectable meals of Yakuza. My true answer might be a bit unexpected though.
Like everything else in The World Ends With You, the food always looked really good. Prowling around Shibuya, food became an integral part to the experience. Plus, what food characters actually liked was essential to their identities, much like reality. From ramen to burgers, food wasn't just a stat-booster. It reflected on the characters' personalities themselves. This is a common asset to many Japanese games, whether by way of food or just in giving gifts to other characters, but nonetheless, I believe The World Ends With You was the first game I personally experienced where engaging with the food felt just as cool as interacting with any other aspect of the game. Not just a stat boost, not just a health bump, but something embedded in my enjoyment of the game itself.
Hands down the only in-game food item that ever made me go, "huh, I wonder what that tastes like," is the Sinner's Sandwich from Deadly Premonition. Described by the protagonist of the game as a kind of self-inflicted punishment to atone for past sins, the Sinner's Sandwich is a Turkey sandwich topped with strawberry jam and cereal. It sounds terrible which—if the purpose of eating it is true—is the point of the sandwich I guess.
Either way it's my favorite video game food-stuff only because of how strange it sounds. Years later I still wonder what it might taste like, though I'll never make one myself since I hate strawberry jam. Although again, maybe that's even better for me if I want to atone for my sins through the sandwich's crucible?