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Cooking Mama 3: Shop & Chop Review

Mama... just killed a brand.

Cooking Mama was released three years ago. It offered 96 different recipes and saw you making meals by playing numerous different mini-games. It was fun. Cooking Mama 2 was released 18 months later. It offered 80 different recipes and saw you making meals by playing numerous different mini-games. It was fun too, even though it seemed a bit of a cash-in for being far too similar. Cooking Mama 3 has now been released another 18 months later. It offers 80 different recipes and sees you making meals by playing numerous different mini-games. It's not fun. At least, it's not if you've played the first two games.

Play the first Cooking Mama for a while then play this one and, other than the recipes changing, there's really not a lot of difference. The music is the same. Mama still stands watching you as the timer clock ticks round. The bell still dings when you're done and Mama will still either say "even better than Mama" if you did great or "don't worry, Mama will fix this" (as her eyes burst into flames) if you messed up. You still unlock recipes as you play and you still unlock different outfits for Mama too, allowing you to customise her and her surroundings.

Click to view larger image

Just Like Mama Used To Make

Most of the other new modes in the game are just old modes masquerading as something else. Let's Match sees you choosing two ingredients from a selection of six and combining them to make a new recipe. Sounds unique but it's just an excuse to add another 15 recipes to the main game because once you've chosen your two ingredients it's mini-game business as usual.

In fact, the only proper new addition is the Let's Shop mode, where you have to run around a supermarket collecting ingredients for Mama before time runs out. This ends up being infinitely frustrating because the supermarket is full of people who have a habit of running into you, and every time you hit someone you have to play a dull and lengthy mini-game before you can continue.

What's worse, the stylus controls are so bad in this section that you'll often tap the area you want to go to and the game will ignore you, causing you to stand still and have the character whose mini-game you just cleared bump into you, forcing you to play the mini-game all over again. Frustration has never been this blatant.

If Cooking Mama 3 were a steak, it'd be a medium-cooked one. It's satisfying enough, but it's certainly not rare and it's not exactly well done.

Comments

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  1. nintendo_guy Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 09:42

    It's getting worse, Mama!

  2. Zarnak Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 09:52

    Mama mia!

  3. Ratchet14 Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 09:57

    Cooking Mama has never appealed to me, but this is getting even worse, i have never had any plans to buy the games, but this makes 2 in one year (world Kitchen Wii). Im getting a strong smell of rushed cash cow, and the words 'milking it' come to mind. One of the worst, most boring brands seems to be getting even more boring, which is some kind of achievement, seeing as i thought that it could only get better, and in 5-6 years time it would be a great game on the DS (or whatever the Nintendo Handheld is at the time) I now see myself as wrong, and in 5-6 years time we will still be getting the same kind of trash. Only wth less 'Cooking' Mama, more 'Cleaning' Mama, with the same air of milking it and cash-in like Gardening Mama, which sounded equally as awfull, which was ridiculous, how hard can it be to make a a decent game like Gardening, or Cleaning, or even other lifestle things, while they may not be my favourite game, doesnt mean they have to be bead. Obviously they do, according to Mama's track record...

  4. sciqueen Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 10:17

    I thought the Cooking Mama games sounded like an interesting diversion from the usual genres of games, but this review has made me think otherwise! Would I be better off buying Cooking Mama 2? (That supermarket level sounds awful!)

  5. 00foxy1 Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 13:47

    It just tooooo easy!

    I played it in a car journey and h8ed every minute of it! The origonal is still the best by far!

    Don't even get me started on the shopping bit... :twisted:

  6. Random-Hero Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 15:54

    Cooking Mama needs some Milf appeal...

  7. sciqueen Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 16:48

    Lol, seriousgirlgamer, nobody will shoot you! Though I do find it funny that us two girls are interested in a game that makes us fit the female stereotype, lol.

  8. Boo95 Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 18:10

    Not sure how anyone can like the Cooking Mama games...I'm a girl and I hate them, but most other girls like them. :?
    I find the mini-games really annoying and I always get them wrong because of one tiny fault.
    They should quit making the cooking mama games while they can. 3 is enough. Gardening mama? Ridiculous. Cooking mama? Boring and a waste of time.
    I'm sticking to Zelda, Pokémon and Mario thanks! :wink:

  9. sciqueen Saturday 14th Nov 2009 at 22:57

    Aww, well, I'll save my money for New Super Mario Bros. Wii! But I want something different!

  10. Mr. Nintendo Sunday 15th Nov 2009 at 17:05

    I don't get it...
    You gave this game a low score because it's like the previous ones. But games like Pokemon get scores around 80%-90%...

  11. Giga Sunday 15th Nov 2009 at 19:22

    I don't get it...
    You gave this game a low score because it's like the previous ones. But games like Pokemon get scores around 80%-90%...

    RPG's don't get repettive as easily.

  12. Random-Hero Sunday 15th Nov 2009 at 20:04

    I don't get it...
    You gave this game a low score because it's like the previous ones. But games like Pokemon get scores around 80%-90%...

    RPG's don't get repettive as easily.

    Plus Cooking Mama does have Pedobear like eyes...

  13. sciqueen Sunday 15th Nov 2009 at 20:13

    I don't get it...
    You gave this game a low score because it's like the previous ones. But games like Pokemon get scores around 80%-90%...

    RPG's don't get repettive as easily.

    Pokemon games are getting boring now, though. Why do you think they're releasing Gold and Silver again? Because RSE and DPPt are dull!

  14. ChrisONM Sunday 15th Nov 2009 at 21:36

    I don't get it...
    You gave this game a low score because it's like the previous ones. But games like Pokemon get scores around 80%-90%...


    Games like Pokemon are infinitely more enjoyable though, and do have different storylines.

  15. Ratchet14 Tuesday 17th Nov 2009 at 20:17

    Aww, well, I'll save my money for New Super Mario Bros. Wii! But I want something different!


    well, im not going to start another anti-nintendo rant, but Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2 is the best game out this year, but anything is better than Cooking Mama (bar Carnival Games, Shadow the Hedgehog, generall crap games) however i thing onm overated NSMBWii, even though i wont know until 2010, as i have other games on ps3, and for something different, have you gave scribblenoughts on ds a try, or maybe deblob for wii, they are very different, or you could try okami, great, underrated game, why didnt anyone buy it? oh well, at least the ds sequel should make up for it, but please dont buy cooking mama or gardening mama, or future titles of the dire 'mama' series, they just look awful, and my dsi's broke, because of m+s at the winter olympics, so i wont be enjoying ds games for a long time, might just wait until dsi XL, anyway, hope that helped(a bit)

  16. Rabbid_girl Wednesday 18th Nov 2009 at 16:09

    I don't believe it but they've actually managed to make cooking mamma crapper. Tutt-tutt. Mamma, look at whatta you done-a! I wonder what nerdy gamers will be camping outside gamestation for this one. Please don't let this be you. Please. Please. :( .

  17. Gynjanynja Wednesday 18th Nov 2009 at 16:12

    Looks the most boring game ever. If you think about buying this, bang ur head on ur desk, ask for forgiveness and buy The World Ends With You instead.

  18. Rabbid_girl Wednesday 18th Nov 2009 at 16:24

    Aww, well, I'll save my money for New Super Mario Bros. Wii! But I want something different!

    Don't get this, seriously, just don't, you won't forgive yourself. Don't let Mamma brain-wash you! :|
    P.S: Gynjanynja, I salute you. Listen to this guy! Head my warning! Nooooooo!

  19. Ratchet14 Wednesday 18th Nov 2009 at 17:07

    In fact, i thing ive come to the conclusion that Mama games, aree dull. I mean, cooking does not work in a game, as MAMA demonstrates, and whats with the babyish mama, why not just call it cooking crap, and try get sales that way, and Rabbid_girl, i think she might just take your warning, just, but thanks, that hopefully is one less sales for 'mama', maybe another for a decent game?

  20. bart95 Saturday 21st Nov 2009 at 12:13

    played the demo from nintendo schannel, mama is scary and who the hell was throwing bones at me!?

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