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Cooking Mama 2 Review

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Developer: Office Create Publisher: Majesco
Release Date: November 13, 2007 Also On: Wii

Approaching the review of Cooking Mama 2 was more difficult than that of the first game. Cooking Mama was an original idea at the time; players would participate in mini-games to “cook” dishes. The cute art style attracted a lot of younger and female gamers to the Nintendo DS. Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With Friends will probably appeal to this same audience, but even those gamers might be tired of being in Mama’s kitchen by now; her food is getting stale and she’s not any more fun to work with than before.

There are a lot of new things to make, and I noticed an increase in the number of American dishes. I felt like most of them in Cooking Mama were Asian, and thus less familiar to myself and other American gamers who do not frequent the local Chinese buffet. The mini-games involved in preparing the dishes and getting through each individual step aren’t any more complex or clever than they were before, and a large number of them have been recycled from the first game. The few new ones, like the ability to use a blender, will really only be noticeable to people who played the first game. They don’t really spark any more excitement into the game, though.

At least Cooking Mama 2 offers a better incentive, other than avoiding the wrath of a furious Mama, to cook each dish properly. Unlockables like alternate costumes and kitchens are available to those who earn more points and gold medals for each dish. Sure, palette swaps of Mama’s apron and kitchen background might not be the most exciting secrets, but they give a clear indicator of how well a player is doing in the game and how much of the game is completed.

Cooking Mama 2 does not look much better than Cooking Mama. Mama, in fact, does not appear to be any different, and some of the mini-games look exactly the same as well. Uncooked food, as I mentioned in the Cooking Mama review, does not look particularly appealing. Again, realistic graphics are substituted for color and cuteness. The sizzling of the cooking food made me as hungry as thinking about preparing food, but eventually gamers will tire of hearing what sounds like a McDonald’s kitchen coming from their DS speakers.

There really is not much more to say about Cooking Mama 2; essentially it is just an update of last year’s game with new dishes and unlockable items. Single-card multiplayer is available for kids who want to cook with their friends or siblings, and the game only costs $20. Still, I’d have a tough time recommending it to anyone who had their fill with the first game.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.8
Written by Cliff Review Guide