Official Nintendo Magazine

Log in to access exclusive Nintendo content, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join for free

Cooking Mama: World Kitchen Review

Have 505 overcooked their best-selling franchise?

Celebrity chefs have been all over our televisions recently. Heston Blumenthal has taken over Little Chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has taken on Tesco and Greg Wallace can be seen complaining that the dinners he is being served on Masterchef aren't wet enough. Yet, if there is one cook we perhaps didn't need to see back on our screens, it's Cooking Mama.

As enjoyable as virtual cooking was first time around, you have to wonder if the world really needs a Cooking Mama sequel. She kickstarted culinary gaming with her first outing on the DS and her success has inspired others to try their hand at bringing gastronomy to Nintendo platforms. Later this year she'll be stepping out into the garden on the DS but she's still in the kitchen on the Wii and apart from a visual overhaul and some pointless mini-games she has very little new to offer.

Click to view larger image
Of course, when the first game arrived on Wii it was still fresh and gamers were still being enticed by exciting new ways to use the Remote. In Cooking Mama you used the controller to slice onions, grate cheese and stir as Mama helped you cook lots of different dishes from all around the world. Like Trauma Center, it's one of those games that works a bit better on the DS as you actually touch the ingredients which feels far more involving than wafting your controller in the air to peel a parsnip. Still, it was quite enjoyable for those who hadn't played the handheld game.

Mama's Makeover

For World Kitchen, Mama has been given a new 3D makeover which means that the ingredients and characters are no longer flat. It looks nice enough but naturally it doesn't make any difference to the gameplay as you still wave the Remote around in the air to cook different dishes. As in previous games, each stage is broken down into mini-games so you'll be flicking the Remote to shut oven doors, twisting it to pull heads off prawns, wafting it to fan rice and moving it from side to side to make burgers.

It's when you form patties that you'll experience another new element - a mini-game within a mini-game! If you don't flick the Remote fast enough to chuck balls of meat between your hands, you'll drop a patty and the dog who is lurking in the background with a chef's hat on will try and eat the burger before it hits the floor. If you shake the Remote fast enough, Mama will beat him to it and catch the burger. This would be okay if it wasn't so easy to catch the burger. You would have thought it would get progressively harder to punish you each time you drop some meat but sadly that's not the case.

Click to view larger image
Cooking with Mama isn't exactly tricky but it gets tougher when you challenge another player or character to a cook off. Then it becomes a test of Remote skills and stamina as you attempt to chop, stir and cook faster than your opponent. It's hard work on the arms and is almost as exhausting as running the 100m in Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games.

Unfortunately it also highlights some of the problems with the controls. Admittedly they are better than the first Cooking Mama but cracking an egg is still trickier than it should be and some motions aren't spot on, which is annoying when you're trying to beat Mama in a cook off. The element of competition in this mode makes Cooking Mama more enjoyable but while you can play co-op with a friend, inexplicably there is no versus mode on offer.

However, the over-riding feeling is of a series that's gone a bit stale. World Kitchen isn't terrible but it is an unnecessary sequel that offers too few new thrills. It might be time for Mama to hang up her apron.

Comments

17 comments so far...
Add a comment

  1. starfox1994 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 14:50

    Woo first comment!

    To be completely honest though, the SMB games didn't really offer anything new to the series. SMB3, while a good game, doesn't offer very much over the first 2 games. And it got 96%. Just saying.


    (gets out flame-repellant shield)

  2. Ryu5 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 16:08

    wow, this is suprising i thought that this would be great like there other games.

  3. hakan_fuker Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 16:44

    hello ONM!
    i love the cooky mother, i get her game for DS!
    It very fun!
    i especial like turkey recipie- it like my mamma's...
    she dead now. It bring back the godd memrees!

    Thank you for reading!

  4. starfox1994 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 16:48

    Huh.
    Is that guy really foreign or just pretending? It just seemed really fake...
    Whatever.

  5. mcs31 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 16:53

    (That guy was defenatliy a fake)

  6. Flash7 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 17:59

    To be completely honest though, the SMB games didn't really offer anything new to the series. SMB3, while a good game, doesn't offer very much over the first 2 games. And it got 96%. Just saying.


    It deserved 96%. You do realise it was completely different to the second game, and added loads to the first - saving, power suits, a world map, a massive variety of levels...the list goes on.

  7. DBZFan355 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 18:18

    Although Im a little embarrassed about it, I find Mama's games more addictive than Pringles.

  8. starfox1994 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 18:46

    To be completely honest though, the SMB games didn't really offer anything new to the series. SMB3, while a good game, doesn't offer very much over the first 2 games. And it got 96%. Just saying.


    It deserved 96%. You do realise it was completely different to the second game, and added loads to the first - saving, power suits, a world map, a massive variety of levels...the list goes on.


    If the list goes on, why didn't your post do the same? :wink:

  9. GuyWhoLikesBlue2 Friday 6th Feb 2009 at 20:39

    Despite never playing the game (exept the DS demo on the Nintendo channel :) ) I understand that this game is quite a big hit. However, I wonder how far they can take this series. This the 2nd/3rd game (?), as well as Gardening Mama also being confirmed. What's next? Washing the Dishes Mama? Ironing Mama? Serial Killer Mama?

    What I'm trying to say is that I can't see this franchise lasting forever...

  10. Zio144 Saturday 7th Feb 2009 at 11:00

    Despite never playing the game (exept the DS demo on the Nintendo channel :) ) I understand that this game is quite a big hit. However, I wonder how far they can take this series. This the 2nd/3rd game (?), as well as Gardening Mama also being confirmed. What's next? Washing the Dishes Mama? Ironing Mama? Serial Killer Mama?

    What I'm trying to say is that I can't see this franchise lasting forever...

    Serial Killer Mama would be amazing!

  11. Zio144 Saturday 7th Feb 2009 at 11:00

    Despite never playing the game (exept the DS demo on the Nintendo channel :) ) I understand that this game is quite a big hit. However, I wonder how far they can take this series. This the 2nd/3rd game (?), as well as Gardening Mama also being confirmed. What's next? Washing the Dishes Mama? Ironing Mama? Serial Killer Mama?

    What I'm trying to say is that I can't see this franchise lasting forever...

    Serial Killer Mama would be amazing!

  12. Onna76_NL Saturday 7th Feb 2009 at 15:11

    More shovelware? Hurray :shock:

  13. Onna76_NL Saturday 7th Feb 2009 at 15:13

    Despite never playing the game (exept the DS demo on the Nintendo channel :) ) I understand that this game is quite a big hit. However, I wonder how far they can take this series. This the 2nd/3rd game (?), as well as Gardening Mama also being confirmed. What's next? Washing the Dishes Mama? Ironing Mama? Serial Killer Mama?

    What I'm trying to say is that I can't see this franchise lasting forever...

    ROTFL, serial killer mama?? Next mature, core game confirmed for the Wii, mama's gonna take you out with her kitchen-knife :lol:

  14. fynn66 Sunday 8th Feb 2009 at 10:27

    omg onm i thought this would do really well

  15. Flash7 Sunday 8th Feb 2009 at 16:53

    If the list goes on, why didn't your post do the same?


    Because I couldn't be bothered to type any more! :D
    If you want more examples of innovation it offered, there's also (along with the ones I mentioed before)flying, new enemies, and the Koopalings!

  16. Ou3nDaN Tuesday 10th Feb 2009 at 00:44

    Ive never really liked cooking Mama. Im all for quirky games but cooking mama is just a minigame cllection with a cooking theme to it...

  17. Super_Sonic96 Saturday 14th Feb 2009 at 14:44

    I liked the original cooking Mama on the wii and DS, it was a nice change from what I normally do with a knife on most games.But as you said it's boring now.
    But hey, at least the series has ended now! What..say that again...Gardening mama?...umm,yay?

Register or log in to commment
Add a comment
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is the owner of certain copyright which subsists and trade marks and other intellectual property rights in certain content, characters, artwork, logos, scripts and representations used in this publication. All rights are expressly recognised and they are used by Future Publishing Limited under licence © 2006 Nintendo Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. "Nintendo", "International Nintendo Licensed Product" "Nintendo DS", "Nintendo DS Lite", "Nintendo DSi", "Nintendo 3DS", "Nintendo DSi XL", "Nintendo 3DS XL", "Wii" and "Wii U" and the associated logos are the trademarks of Nintendo Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.