Saturday, August 21, 2010

Video game number two hundred and thirty nine: Cook Wars

Video game review number two hundred and thirty nine in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Cook Wars"

This game was to be the first in my three cooking game spree that I was going to call my "Cooking Wii-kend". Unfortunately for me, this was the only one I had time to play this "wii-kend", so it's sort of a spree of one.

After playing Cooking Mama on my Nintendo DS during a flight last month, I decided that I needed to give some of the other cooking games a try. I logged onto Gamefly and found everything I could regarding cooking, then picked the ones that sounded the most fun. This is the first of those games to arrive.

Cook Wars begins with an opening cinematic featuring a bunch of ethnic stereotypes cooking together in a kitchen. There's the Asian samurai guy, slicing up sushi, the generic Italian chef, who looks like every Disney cartoon chef you've ever seen, the Mexican cook (doing a Flamenco dance) and then there's a French guy, who reminds me of one of the guys from Ratatouille.

The playable characters include a Japanese guy (named Tokio), a blonde Barbie American girl named "Lil Sammy", "Gaston" the French chef, and an Italian girl in a chef's hat and a low cut shirt. Perfect outfit for cooking, I'll pick her.

The first dishes I saw were French, so I chose Ratatouille. After all, I've seen a movie about that, how hard could it be? You use your Wiimote to chop vegetables, smash tomatoes, season a pot, and then...voila, you are done....only, I never got to see the finished dish. Weird. I decided to try something American. Blueberry pancakes.

Although I only have "Cooking Mama" to compare it to, this game seems rather simplistic. First of all, I didn't make the batter, and there were no blueberries anywhere near these pancakes. I simply slid the butter around in the pan, poured the pancakes, and flipped them. That was it. The flipping was lame too, because you throw them up in the air, then you have to chase them around with the pan (and your throws are always terrible). Once again, I never saw my finished product.

I made some T-bone steak, and then I saw the option to choose pepperoni pizza. Awesome!
Then, they made me put mushrooms on it. NOT awesome! What good is a cooking game if the food you're making disgusts you?

Strangely enough, as I was playing this game in the morning, I got the urge to do some real cooking for breakfast. My wife woke up and I asked her if we had pancake mix. She said no, but that I could make them from scratch if I wanted I did.

Some notes on cooking actual pancakes vs. the pancakes in Cook Wars.

Making real pancakes was a lot more than three steps.
I only flipped each pancake once (not three times like in the game).
Never once did I flip the pancake, and then try to move the pan as far away from it as possible to try and make it a game of skill.
The one part of my real pancakes that were just like the game? No blueberries.

This game totally lies to our children.

Overall Score? 5/10. This wasn't very fun to play, but if you'd never played Cooking Mama before, I could see how it might be a bit of a novelty. I'm looking forward to trying the two other cooking games I currently have rented from Gamefly.

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