Preview: Cooking Mama: Cook Off (Nintendo Wii)

Publisher: Taito
Developer: Taito
Genre: Misc.
Release Date: 3-27-07

Nintendo has certainly evolved as a gaming company throughout the years. Their evolution has now led to an innovative style of gaming in both the handheld and console markets. One such example of this is the Cooking Mama series, which originated on the Nintendo DS. Using the touch screen and stylus you would slice, dice, cook, and bake you way to culinary success, and it was a nice hit for Nintendo that showcased the abilities of the DS. Now Nintendo has its star pony right in the thick of the console wars and once again they are going to try and win the crowds over with innovative gaming, instead of pure graphical horsepower. This is where our preview subject for today, Cooking Mama: Cook Off for the Wii comes in. The unique controls of the Wii, featuring the Wii Remote, make the concept of virtual cooking seem perfectly suited for one another. Nintendo has shown us some good things, and with Taito both publishing and developing Cooking Mama: Cook Off Wii owners should be intrigued.

To start with the premise of the game will be very similar to the Nintendo DS version. This means there will be a bevy of cooking instruments at your disposal like pots, frying pans, the basic utensils, and the more complicated items as well (you know, the ones who look at and wonder what the heck it is even forâ┚¬Â¦or maybe thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s just me). Then you will try your best too successfully, and accurately, make a recipe. The Wii remote should be very useful here, as early reports have it used in a ton of unique ways for just about everything. From grabbing cooking items for precise uses, to cracking eggs, and even in use for the presentation of your dishes when the meal is finished, the Wii remote does it all. Even the most mundane tasks like flipping foods are motion controlled through the remote. Early reports have the controls being a bit touchy when it comes to actually preparing the recipes, but hopefully when the final release of Cooking Mama: Cook Off comes, this will be addressed and we will have the same kind of precise controls weâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve seen in other Wii titles like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Wii Sports.

Cooking Mama: Cook Off boasts over 300 unique recipes for you to go through, so the replay factor should be very high when you consider all the possibilities out there in the culinary world for food creations. Also Cooking Mama: Cook Off will have a very apparent international theme to it with 10 unique countries having culinary dishes represented in the 300 aforementioned recipes. Being a college graduate with a degree in education this really caught my attention, because this is a great way for gamers of all ages to learn about international food culture, and to simply broaden their horizons a little bit in terms of what they know about the cuisine of other nations. In other words: There is more to food then what you usually eat.

In addition to the extensive list of recipes, there is a multi-player mode included on Cooking Mama: Cook Off. Competing against friends in Cooking Mama: Cook Off should be one of the best selling points to the game. Certainly everything takes on a more intense sense of urgency when actively trying to cook up a better version of the recipe, while also hoping for your friend to make a disastrous mistake while they try to achieve the same goal. This multi-player feature is especially interesting because a game like Cooking Mama: Cook Off really does appeal to a wider age group then most and with the Wiiâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s control style the opportunity is there to indoctrinate the non-traditional gamer into the Wiiâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s style of gaming.

Cooking Mama: Cook Off is slated for release on March 27th, 2007 according to several online retailers, so be sure to look for more coverage right here at Not a True Ending.