Review – Slice, Dice & Rice

While I really love fighting games, I’m the first to admit they’re not exactly varied. With the exception of the Smash games and their clones, nearly all fighting games resort around picking up a character and depleting your opponent’s health bar either on a 2D or a 3D arena. The formula is about to change, though. Published by Arc System Works, a company that knows a lot when it comes to fighting games, Slice, Dice & Rice is a brand new take on this very stale genre.


Those action figures are probably sold in Japanese Hot Topics.

While Slice, Dice & Rice is still a tradition weapons-based 2D fighting game, the main difference here is that there are no health bars. You read it right. In order to kill your foes, you need to hit them once. That’s it, one hit kills everyone. In order to make this rule set work, some adjustments to the gameplay have been made. For starters, you need to win four out of seven rounds in order to win the fight. That alone wasn’t enough, so the entire combat system has been slowed down to quase-Dark Souls levels of speed, stamina, and animations. Your characters move slowly and attack at a slow pace, meaning you have to carefully plan when to draw against your opponent. You can also guard yourself, as well as use your own sword attack as a shield of sorts.

To sum it up, Slice, Dice & Rice is not only a fighting game, but a strategy game. You need to carefully plan when to attack in order not to get hit. In a way, this can be considered a bloody version of fencing. The only thing I really didn’t like regarding the gameplay was the decision of programming every confirming action in the game with the B button instead of the A button. You have no idea how confusing this gets.


You got a bigger spear but I got da skillz.

Technically-speaking, this is far from a bad game in terms of visuals or sound, but it’s also not very spectacular. Slice, Dice & Rice features a very unique and “edgy” art style, but the graphics are dragged down by a somewhat insipid color pallet, trying to emulate the feel of a mature graphic novel. They are also dragged down by a somewhat unreliable framerate. The soundtrack reminded me a lot of one specific game: Mortal Kombat 4 for the Nintendo 64. I doubt the similarities were intentional, but not only were the tunes similarly somber and macabre, but the menu sound effects were pretty much identical.

While the game itself is good and all, there is a major flaw: content. Slice, Dice & Rice is a fun package, but it’s also a package that doesn’t come with a lot in it. There are very few fighters and just a handful of modes. If you’re a solo player, you’ll complete the game in a matter of hours. In order to make this game worth your purchase, you absolutely need a friend to play local multiplayer with. The online mode, as of now, isn’t exactly massively populated so having someone physically next to you is a much safer bet.


The sound of relief.

I really enjoyed the Slice, Dice & Rice‘s gameplay and overall content, but there wasn’t a lot inside the game itself for me to enjoy it for extended periods of time. If you’re interested in it, be sure to have a friend for local multiplyer in order to make your purchase worth your while. If anything, this was a decent foundation for a potentially even better sequel with more modes and fighters.


Graphics: 7.0

While the art style is excellent and the animations are pretty good, the game suffers from framerate issues and a somewhat bland color pallet.

Gameplay: 8.0

It features an interesting take on the fighting genre with much slower fighting mechanics, but much faster overall fights. The controls are good, but the decision to map B as the confirm button is sacrilegious.

Sound: 6.5

While there were some excellent hints of old-school Mortal Kombat in the soundtrack, it didn’t stand out that much. The sound effects were decent.

Fun Factor: 6.5

What’s included in this package is actually pretty fun and unique. Too bad there’s not much inside this package to begin with.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Reviewed on Switch.
Slice, Dice & Rice is available now on PC, PS4 and Switch.
A copy of Slice, Dice & Rice was provided by the publisher.