Great fun but sometimes frustrating
Sizzling off the Nintendo DS burner, Mama is back for second helpings with Cooking Mama: Cook-Off for the Wii. What can easily be called an import-with-modification, this kitchen simulation emulates the DS version almost identically and although several key distinctions can be made between the two titles, it's a safe wager that if you enjoyed the portable Mama, you'll love her just the same when grounded to Nintendo's new console.
The premise of the game is ridiculously simple which no doubt enhances the title's adorable flair as well as minimizes its already insignificant learning curve. Mama (a ridiculously excitable Japanese woman) has once again decided to open her cheery country-style kitchen to gamers who, under her unblinking supervision, will cook, slice, and dice their way through fifty-five international entrees and desserts.
Each of the missions is further deconstructed into several objectives, all of which can be successfully completed through simple motion-driven minigames. Say, for instance, a gamer chooses to melt and mold chocolate truffles. After confirming his or her selection, a screen will appear detailing the numerous step-by-step activities one must perform in order to properly prepare the cocoa-crunchies. Once briefed, the first minigame will begin with a simple 3-2-1 on-screen countdown. An unwrapped chocolate bar appears on a digital cutting board and the gamer is instructed to flick the Wiimote up and down rapidly to "dice" the dessert. Once chopped, the chocolate must then be boiled, an activity which requires the gamer to monitor oven settings and be vigilant against charring the mixture. After each minigame, a results screen appears, chronicling one's numerous successes or failures. From this evidence Mama renders her verdict which is relayed through a series of annoying, mispronounced "Engrish" phrases (`Better than Mama!,' `No Good!,' `That's Okay. Keep Going!'). Upon accepting her analysis, the instructions screen reappears and another minigame launches.
The title features three primary `game modes' - `Let's Cook,' `Friends and Food of the World,' and `Friends and Food.' In highlighting the first option, Mama's recipe book bursts open, thereby enabling the gamer to access a myriad of single-player entrée-selections, all of which can be independently prepared. `Friends and Food of the World' offers a competitive user-versus-computer challenge during which an exotic e-pal races you to prepare a specialty entrée from his or her own unique nation. The human contestant must not only cook quickly but accurately as both time and precision determine your final score. Lastly, "Friends and Food" allows two human chefs-in-training to compete against one another in a food preparation dual; utilizing a split-screen configuration, both players are given the same tasks to complete but, as expected, their performances can vary greatly.
As for its performance and execution, Cooking Mama: Cook Off provides gamers with a light-hearted, atypical experience, no more, no less. This isn't a game which enthralls its user at the onset and demands his or her undivided attention. You won't have to cancel your social obligations with the excuse that you've "just gotta create those virtual creampuffs." In the same breath, don't underestimate this title to be a useless throw-away deserving of dust collection; Cooking Mama can be a delight, in so long as one keeps his or her expectations in check. This game won't signif
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
After playing this game you can cook almost anything...
I like the game because you can cook almost anything and there is absolutely no mess to clean up afterwards. I bought the game originally for myself, but my grandkids from age 5 upwards really enjoy it also. For the real little ones that cannot read yet, I just explain to them what they will be doing and then show them with the tv remote what motions to make and sometimes they even beat me at the game! It really makes them feel proud of the dishes they've created and they want to continue cooking.
Right now it is the first game they want to play when they walk in the door, and I now have 18 games to choose from. My 74 year old mom got one for her Wii after playing mine.
The graphics are not excellent, but it is not a game I bought for the graphics.
Sometimes the remote is a little tricky or sticky?, but reposition yourself with the sensor bar, and keep going.
And yes, you can get through the recipe and unlock the next one without excelling, but I have enjoyed replaying the recipe just to get a better score to show myself that I can master it. In the same token, that is why it is also a great game for the younger kids, (or uncoordinated people) who cannot wield the remote just right: the cooking mama will help you move onto the next step. Therefore they are not "stuck" in the recipe and never able to move on to other recipes.
With 250 recipes and desserts using over 300 different ingredients from 10 different nations, along with the ability to play by yourself to hone your skills and earn bronze, silver or gold medals and unlock new recipes for use in the other modes, or challenge a friend in the two player mode, or to play against a computer controlled friend from around the world, this makes an excellent game for anyone who enjoys cooking and not cleaning up the mess afterwards. And it makes you feel like you can go into your own kitchen and whip up any recipe in any cookbook.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Cooking Mama:Cook Off Wii
The game arrived today, and my husband even played it with me. Sometimes my oldest son would watch and tell us how to hold the remote correctly when we goofed up. By doing the same dish twice, it became a lot easier. I found this game fun and will play it often. While I could win over my husband most of the time, my son smoked me. When we got our other son to play against his brother, we enjoyed to see how intense they became. They could get a lot higher scores then us because they moved the Wii remotes quicker.
I tried to make popcorn, but I didn't shake the pan enough and burned the popcorn. It took me 2 different tries to get the eggs to break open and go into the bowl. I forgot to hit the button, and they kept hitting the side of the bowl.
One dish had the ink of a octopus in it. You get all of these foreign dishes to make, along with American dishes.
The best part, no clean up and maybe someday, I might really try to make some of this food.
Don't be afraid to buy this game if you see it for under $20. There are many dishes to unlock and a lot of fun to play.
Fun Game! Well worth the price.
I originally purchased this game because I was told by a friend it’s a great tool to teach young children to cook. I have since learned that this is not really true, some aspects of the game are accurate but the game really ranks high in entertainment, but low in education. But hey, let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater! Although the game did not meet my expectations as a learning tool, it far exceeded them in entertainment value. My wife and I have spent a few hours playing it and we rarely click on video games. She is more of a Wii Fit, and Outdoor Adventure type of player, where I am Mario Kart and Boom Blox kind of guy. Where the game is slightly too advanced for my 5 year old, at least initially, ( at the time of writing I have owned the game one week, and played it with him maybe a combined total of about one and one half hours.) we still have fun doing the parts of the game he can do. The only reason why I did not give it and excellent rating is not so much the game itself, as it is the interface. All tasks are timed, and the game uses the wireless pointer most of the time. (The same pointer you use on the Wii menu) There is a reoccurring problem with the Wii pointer, Nintendo is aware of it they have a “fix” posted on their website. Occasionally the pointer stops responding, Nintendo’s fix is to tap the remote, nose down, in the palm of your hand. This works, you get the pointer back, but often too late to complete mama’s appointed task. All you have to do is one mistake to go from a gold medal dish, to a silver medal and it’s frustrating when you have to repeat a task because of hardware failure. With that being said, it’s still a fun game, especially for the price. I bought it on e-bay for $19.00 used, (this will give you an idea of the resale value) but it is available new at most retailers for around $25.00 to $35.00 , not bad since most games for the Wii come in at $50.00 range which I would have gladly paid after playing this game.
A title that mild in taste
Wow, you spend all the day cleaning and cooking the kitchen and now you got to do it in a video game. When I first read things about this game for the Wii, I was pretty skeptical. I really didn't know what to expect, the pictures and videos just do it justice. I bought this game and I loved it, the game is pretty fun learning all the ways certain cultures cook their food. The multi-player is the key though to this game. When me and my partner play it, or friends come over we all compete who can do better and cook better. The game is pretty fun, to an extent.
The things that I didn't like about this game was that the controls sometime don't render your actions well, an example is kneading the dough, or taking the yolk out of the egg. I thought it was just me, but my friends had the same problem, the control sensitivity and reaction time should be better. Another issue i had with the game is a bug, when your adding seasoning to the meats or food, sometimes they don't blink and it doesn't advance you further even when the time is almost up, its like it forgot to blink lol.
Onto the visual quality of the game. I know the Wii is more capable of more than what Cooking Mama can output. I have the component cables and still the visuals are less par. Yes its cute, and does the job but they could have made the game a bit more realistic looking, and polished. The anti-aliasing is horrible and jagged lines are everywhere. It could have been better.
All in all, this game is cute, does what it suppose to, most of the time minus the bugs and control problems, but it is fun, alot of fun with other people and a good buy. Cant wait till the sequel comes.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.