From the well-crafted title screen to the gorgeous backdrops and the cute lead character, you can tell that Eduardo the Samurai Toaster was a labor of love for Semnat Studios. It is a game meant to remind us of all of those times we sat in front of our Sega Genesis playing Gunstar Heroes, or those days when we pumped quarter after quarter into an arcade cabinet with Metal Slug in it; visually, the game has the same cartoony vibe to it that helped make those classics distinctive, as well as screens overrun with nameless foes sent to destroy you. The problem with Eduardo is that once you play for a little bit, you’re going to want to put down this tribute and head back to the real thing.
Publisher: Semnat Studios
Developer: Semnat Studios
June 15, 2009
Eduardo plays like any other run-and-gun side-scroller, with your basic power-ups (a shotgun blast, a rapid fire gun, a homing cannon, etc.) but the difference is that rather than firing bullets, your rounds are pastries. You use these pastries to take out other pastries, as well as carrots throwing spears at you, or flying fruit that drop fuzzy, exploding pits on your head, and”¦that’s about it. Before you are even one-third of the way through the game’s 13 stages, you will have seen the entirety of your opposition.
Eduardo lacks actual boss fights, instead ending every level with a battle against more pastries, peaches and carrots than you faced on the previous few screens. The final fight of the game is a lot like the first major skirmish, except there is just more to deal with. This hurts your sense of accomplishment upon completing a stage, something already lacking given that the game simply boots up the next in a line of similar levels without a hint of story, progress or reasons given as to why our ponytail sporting kitchen appliance is on the attack.
What little game there is plays well, as the controls are very tight. If you own a Classic Controller, you will want to use that rather than the NES-style Wii Remote, as the fatter D-pad makes for easier eight-direction shooting. Eduardo moves fluidly, automatically unleashing his melee attack”"a swipe with his power cord”"when enemies are within range. You can also grab enemies and throw them, as in the aforementioned Gunstar Heroes. You can block incoming attacks while taking out large groups of enemies simply by jumping around and timing your shots, thrown enemies and melee attacks, which is the most satisfying aspect of gameplay.
You have a choice of four difficulty levels, and can also adjust how many lives you start with. This last part is somewhat meaningless, as the penalty for running out of lives is a trip back to the beginning of your current stage. There are no continues, and you can begin a game from any level once you have reached it. Truth be told, due to the sameness of it all, there isn’t much variance in the levels outside of which splendid background you enjoyed looking at while you fired off Pop Tarts from your head.
When you do finish, there are few reasons to go back and replay the game. You could crank the difficulty to 11 and invite up to three friends over to see if you can survive, but there is one major component missing from Eduardo that hinders the replay value of both the single and multiplayer campaigns: scores. There are no scores in this run-and-gun title, which is an odd decision given the genre. People do not play these games for story (though Metal Slug comes off like Shakespeare when compared to Eduardo’s nonexistent tale) so not giving them something as obvious as a scoreboard to work with is just strange. Gamers would be more inclined to go back and replay the game if they had some gauge of how well they did, and it would also be a great way to earn bragging rights amongst friends, making the multiplayer that much more enjoyable. Online leaderboards are a must for this genre, especially on a service that already has games with them, but Eduardo doesn’t even have local ones to browse.
Blast Factor: It is a shame that Eduardo the Samurai Toaster is not a great game, because Semnat Studios has a lot of talent on display in the audio and visual departments, and they also made it control as well as any of its predecessors in the genre. While those things on the periphery are in place, the core game itself is lacking. At just $8, it is not painful to your wallet, but you would be better served with the established classics in the field that are available for the same price on the same system.
Eduardo the Samurai Toaster is available exclusively on WiiWare for 800 Nintendo Points