Cooking Mama 2: World Kitchen Wii Review
Like films and books, gaming can be quite the emotional hobby, feelings I’ve had when playing videogames consist of frustration, elation, wonder and even a hint of sadness. Cooking Mama 2: World Kitchen has made me feel something that I can never remember feeling whilst playing before, and that’s hungry.
The Cooking Mama series (see our review of the original DS game here) is, just as the name suggests, a cooking game of sorts, which is essentially a mini game compilation, something that the Wii certainly doesn’t have a shortage of, though Cooking Mama 2: World Kitchen brings more charm and uniqueness to the table than most.
The stylus of the DS is obviously replaced with the motion sensing of the Wii remote as your kitchen utensil. Having not played any other version, I can’t really say how the controls fare in comparison, but perhaps the most important fact, is that they’re largely responsive for all the chopping, stirring, spreading, grinding and mashing that the game requires of you. Some actions of which it has to be said, makes it another in a long line of Wii games that can be tiring to play.
In regards to solo play, Cook With Mama is the most substantial offering. This has you preparing recipes with the titular Mama by your side, usually through several stages that are represented by timed mini-games that are almost of the micro variety. If things happen to go a bit awry, Mama herself will this time often come to your rescue, by leaping into the air to catch some airborne food before her dog gulps it down for example, though she‘s not really helping at all as it’s all done through simple mini-games that you yourself must play. It’s all very charmingly funny cartoon humour that with the bright, comical and very Japanese visual style, sensibly puts fun ahead of mundane realism.
Once you’re finished preparing a recipe, you’ll be rated through a simple scale of 100% for your efforts by Mama. This gives the many recipes a great deal of replay value, above just simple fun as you try to master every one of them.
The more challenging Let’s Cook, leaves you on your own without the help of Mama and requires you to prepare dishes for any one of your eight friends, who, like Mama, will judge the finished results of your work.
Cooking Contest is the only mode that can be played in multiplayer (of course, you could always compete for a higher score against other players in the single player modes). It’s surprisingly flimsy in its multiplayer options, with just the one mode, that being co-op challenge, which tasks you with working together to knock together any of eight brisk recipes. It’s an odd omission to have no form of true competitive play whatsoever and even worse when you consider the lack of options in this area of the game.
But as much of a missed opportunity as this is, Cooking Mama 2: World Kitchen, whilst not anything amazing due to its slightly imperfect controls and disappointing multiplayer, is an enjoyable collection of mini-games, which puts to shame many similar games with its charm and proficiency.
Oh, and not forgetting its potential to make your stomach rumble!