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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Wii
PUBLISHER:
Majesco
DEVELOPER:
OfficeCreate
GENRE: Simulation
PLAYERS:   1-2
RELEASE DATE:
March 20, 2007


IN THE SERIES
Gardening Mama

Cooking Mama

Cooking Mama: World Kitchen

Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends

Cooking Mama

 Written by David Taylor  on January 31, 2007

First Impressions: Not even the Swedish Chef was this insane.


In this first wave of Wii titles, there exists a fair number of sequels and ?Wii-makes,? to some of the Nintendo DS's most innovative games. This makes a great deal of sense when one considers that the stylus, the major input device for most of these DS titles, works similarly to the Wii-mote. As a result, these games retain their compelling, interactive nature when translated to Nintendo's next-gen console. Following in the tradition of Trauma Center: Second Opinion and other DS-to-Wii translations, publisher Majesco is releasing Cooking Mama: Cook Off, the sequel to the quirky DS title later this year on the Wii.

Cooking Mama: Cook Off's game design is similar to the DS original. The player takes the role of a chef whose job naturally is to prepare a series of meals. This is achieved through completing several mini-games using the Wii-mote. Each step of the meal's preparation is one of these mini-games. These range from activities such as stirring soup, mashing potatoes and chopping vegetables. To further promote interaction, the Wii-mote corresponds with the movements required to complete the task at hand. For example, you need to make an actual chopping motion to cut up a potato, or a spinning movement to operate the meat grinder (I can't wait for Nintendo to release their Jeffrey Dahmer bio-game).

Each of these mini-games are timed, and the faster and more accurately the player performs while cooking, the more points he or she is awarded. The game features 300 ingredients and 55 recipes to put together in order to achieve the best meal possible. Through all this is ?Mama? herself, a sort of anime-inspired Martha Stewart (minus the prison sentence) who serves both as a guide and judge of your performances.

The game adds a number of new features to the series. Most notably are the colorful enhanced graphics that, while cartoony, also display an extremely life-like portrayal of the food being prepared. Cooking Mama: Cook Off also possesses a new competitive mode where the player must compete against chefs from around the world in order to create a specific international dish. Think of it as Iron Chef with a higher entertainment value. These chefs include individuals and foods from countries such as Spain, Italy and England. In this sense the game possesses a degree of educational value in the culinary arts. Players can also take this form of play into a two-player competitive mode where whoever completes the given recipe the fastest wins.

Final Thoughts
With its frantic mini-games and unique style, Cooking Mama: Cook Off clearly reflects Nintendo's focus on purely fun, casual gaming. Those players looking to fulfill their mini-game hunger after digesting Rayman Raving Rabbids or Wario Ware will surely find their appetite satiated with Cooking Mama: Cook Off. Look for a release sometime in the second quarter of this year.


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