By Spencer . February 8, 2007 . 11:59pm
One of the new features in Cooking Mama: Cook Off is that you can go into cooking duels. It’s not complicated like Iron Chef, it’s a race to see who can complete the task first without making mistakes. You can face off against a friend in a two player battles or practice your skills against the computer. Cooking Mama: Cook Off has a real emphasis on being international. Instead of having just Mama there is are chefs from around the world. Also this is on the back of the manual where Mama teaches players how to say phrases in different languages. Cool huh?
The video past the break shows off a cooking duel and introduces the international chefs that Mama faces off against.
One of the problems with the battles that isn’t exactly expressed in the video is when you make a mistake in one round you’ve pretty much lost the battle. The point system is very unforgiving, you get a 100 points and a going chef’s hat coin for completing a task correctly plus a time bonus. If you make some mistakes you get a silver chefs hat coin and fifty points. Worse is when you completely mess up, which earns you zero points and no time bonus. Since you only get one point for each remaining second on the clock, it is near impossible make a comeback without another player making a mistake.
There are a couple basic motions players need to use in Cooking Mama: Cook Off and here is how you do them.
Dragging and dropping items where you use the remote as a pointer. When you need to put veggies in a pan or dumplings in soup this is how you do it.
Cutting has players slide the remote back and forth. Chopping is a variation of that where you move the remote back and forth quickly. You have to chop on point so you can’t cheat by shaking the remote.
Dicing and grating has players shake the remote as fast as they can. When you’re grating the grate gets stopped up every twenty seconds or so. To clear it up you have to stop shaking the remote horizontally and shake it vertically.
Rolling food in flour has players move the remote left and right in bigger motions that grating.
The remote also functions as a spoon or whisk, but when you need to do this you have to hold the remote with the eye pointing to the ground.
Kneading is a mini game where you follow instructions on screen on how you should move the remote.
The remote is held like a rolling pin when you need to flatten dough out.
When you need to open a can you hold the remote vertically and then hit it up and down right before you open the can you have to press A otherwise the lid falls into the can.
There are some really clever uses of the remote like when you make bowtie pasta. To pinch the dough and make the bow you press the A and B buttons at the same time which acts as a pinch. While I’m enjoying playing Cooking Mama: Cook Off I can see why some people might call it “gimmicky” or not like the game all together. It is easy and you don’t even need to put much effort in it to cook a recipe. Also you’re going to do the same motions over and over, where the only main differences are the ingredients and the order you do them in. On the plus side there are plenty of recipes to unlock, which will keep players busy for awhile. In many ways Cooking Mama: Cook Off is a casual game that can attract gamers and non gamers alike. While you might not play Cooking Mama: Cook Off in marathon sessions it’s a game that you can pop in for half an hour, enjoy it and then move on to another game or cooking dinner.