Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends (DS)
Before you even start sharpening your knives, let me make one thing clear this is a review for a game called "Cooking Mama 2"- so if you didn't like the first "Cooking Mama", it's safe to say you ain't gonna like the taste of this one.
That's right my hungry friends Majesco has stepped back into the digital kitchen and whipped up "Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends" to satisfy gamers with heftier appetites, (I’ll try to get through this review with as few food puns as I possibly can stand-but no promises!)
I consider it more of an upgrade than an actual sequel.Sure you do everything from scratch in Mama's kitchen, but unfortunately you've done it all before.
This game is not much different from the original recipe, you'll once again be cutting, grilling, and kneading your way throughout the game. You will be put through the paces scaling fish, opening sea urchins and shucking oysters. All with the touch of your stylus, without getting your hands covered in sea scum (that is, scum from the sea.) However, this time around they did throw in some new garnishes and side dishes to help fill you up. There are 4 new game modes included this time around:
Cook with Mama- basic recipe making mode; if you make mistakes Mama will help you complete the recipe so you can continue on without having to start all over again from scratch.
Let’s Cook-here you’re on your own without Mama’s help. Now it’s just you, the food and your nine hard-to-please friends who will try out your creations and judge you based on how they taste. Mistakes made during preparation will affect the final taste so be careful in the kitchen.
Cooking Contest-mulitplayer which lets you cook off against your friends (up to 3)on their DS with only one game card using wireless download play. This is a nice touch, as I’m betting you’ll be the only one of your friends to pony up and actually go out and buy this game!
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Change Design-customize your kitchen décor or spruce up the background with designs you can earn through gameplay. You can even change Mama's outfits and accessories. I could have lived without this stage to be quite honest with you, but I'm sure younger players will like it. Personally, I don't really care if the kitchen has pink counter-tops as opposed to purple. This feature seems slightly weird and unnecessary to me, but I won't bash it because it doesn't really add to or take away from the overall game at all, you can easily ignore it if you wish.
Even if you enjoyed the first "Cooking Mama", you may be skeptical about the release of seconds (as I was.) As much fun as I had with the first game, I played it through, got mostly silver and some gold medals on all my creations, and then quickly traded the game in. While I enjoyed it, I didn't feel it had much replay value.So I was curious to see if they added more spice to the formula.
And in the end I would have to say that even though more content was added to this game, it's nothing to get fired up about. It's more or less the same game with cute,colorful and um...pink graphics, and shiny, happy theme but eventually, you're going to get over it.
EndNote: For those of you who might be wondering if any of these recipes could be emulated in the real world, IGN's Craig Harris says “It might give you the idea of how particular meals are prepared, but it’s doubtful that you can apply any skills learned in Cooking Mama to real world cooking.” Hmm, I decided to prove him wrong. So just for fun I decided to try out one of the recipes. It's good to set goals for yourself. Helps the ol' self esteem. So raiding ingredients from my own mama’s kitchen for a little experiment, I set out to make Japanese style potato salad. It seemed easy enough on the DS, it sounded yummy and it seemed like a safe bet - a familiar American dish wih just the right amount of Japanese to sound impressive (if this actually turns out to be good.) It’s on!
First thing I remember from the game, Mama had ordered me to peel five carrots in 30 seconds..umm (in reality, it took me just a little longer than that, just a little!) Next, she wanted me to chop them into crescent wedges.Check! Then boil them with some potatoes, a process that Mama broke down into seven idiot-proof steps. I cheat in places (where Mama asks me to peel a potato while hot, I burn my hand and drop it; so I just use tongs. Genius!). Next, Mama walks me through some specific cutting instructions (potatoes into wedges, diagonally sliced cucumbers into thin circles.)
A lot of transferring Cooking Mama’s recipe into reality was pretty standard guesswork, like deciding how long to cook the potatoes and carrots (FYI- it takes slightly longer than the 15 seconds in the game!)
So how did it all turn out? Well,to be honest with you I didn't really try out the recipe. That was just some creative writing;but if I had made it, I'm sure it would have tasted the way a chilled potato salad should taste- simply yummy and delicious. Thanks Mama!Get "Cooking Mama 2- Dinner With Friends Here