Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Video game number two hundred and forty one: Food Network Cook or Be Cooked

Video game review number two hundred and forty one in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Food Network: Cook or be Cooked"

This is the second cooking game for the Wii that I've played in the last few days, and it's a lot better than the first one. First of all, the controls involve more than just the Wiimote (you also get to use the nunchuck) and there's a much better sense of "realism" as far as the cooking goes.

The game starts you out with some judges (I'm not sure if they're based on real Food network hosts or not) who give you verbal tips and judge your food after you're done cooking it. For some reason, they are transported from the TV to your in-game kitchen, and so they're really small. Every dish you cook for them looks gigantic by comparison.

Cooking in this game is made up of a lot more steps than the stupid Cook Wars game I played this weekend. The first meal I made (a simple breakfast of eggs and bacon) involved all the steps that making the real dish might. You crack the eggs, put the bacon in the pan, watch your temperatures, flip things...and try to synchronize it so it's all served hot.

When I was done with that, I made a lunch of quesadillas, salsa and guacamole. It was a 15 minute meal or something, but I made sure that everything came out at the same time. It's not quite as fun to chop in this game as it was in Cook Wars, but changing the oven temperature, shaking on spices and stirring all felt pretty natural.

My last meal was Sunday brunch, which I failed on pretty miserably. First of all, I took the bacon out of the oven right after putting it in there (by mistake) and for some stupid reason, there is no way to undo your mistake and put the stuff back in the oven. I went on with the rest of the meal and served it up anyway.

The judges said it sucked, and I got a message on the screen saying I had "been cooked". I suppose that's what's happen when you serve a food critic some raw bacon.

Overall Score: 6.5/10. While I think this is definitely better than Cook Wars, it's ulimately not something I'd ever play regularly. It was fun to try, but I'm definitely glad I rented it. It's much more like real cooking than Cook Wars, which makes one wonder: Why not just cook for real?

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