We see just how talented we are in the virtual kitchen, armed with a Wii Remote and Nunchuk.
For food lovers, the Food Network is the place to be if you're looking for some new recipes to try, restaurant recommendations, or just reasons to stare and drool at food that you don't have access to. Developer Red Fly has paired up with the popular network to create Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked to let Wii owners experiment in the kitchen without the dangers of cutting themselves or burning the house down. Food Network personalities Susie Fogelson and Mory Thomas accompany you in your pristine cooking zone to give you tips and fascinating info about the ingredients that you're working with. We got a chance to play with an updated preview build of the game and came away hungry and ready to go eat.
The last time we checked out the game was at Namco Bandai's press event earlier in the year, where we were able to make some steak and potatoes. Now we have access to more than 30 different recipes, ranging from traditional bacon and eggs to Chinese take-in. Unlike previous cooking games, this game doesn't consist of just one repetitive motion after another. These recipes have many layers to them, and you need to manage your time wisely so that each portion of your meal ends up on the plate at roughly the same time (you can fast forward time with the Z button), because you'll be graded on their temperature and how well you followed each step.
The recipe for each part of the meal is located at the top left corner, and you have to click on the icon before moving to the next step. You're given a rough estimate on how long each portion of the recipe will take, so you can gauge your time and decide what you want to do first. Pro tip: Start with the one that takes the longest. For example, when we were making quesadillas, it was crucial that we started with the tortillas because each takes a few minutes to cook on each side, but while they were cooking, we could quickly swing around to our cutting table to make the salsa and guacamole. What's nice about a virtual kitchen is that everything is laid out for you, and you don't have to put in too much effort to wash and cut your vegetables (which is arguably the most time consuming part of real cooking).
Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, you follow the instructions that appear in the lower right corner. For chopping, you'll hold the remote sideways and make chopping motions, and to turn your item, you flick the nunchuk. Your speed is also being judged, so be quick if you don't want Susie making snide remarks about your cooking abilities. Adding salt and other spices involves shaking the remote downward, but not too aggressively, because you're always trying to stay within the green zone in the meter. When you're stirring, you have to follow the green bar that floats across the screen as you stir so that you don't overdo it or fail to stir it enough. Sometimes rhythm games will show up, in our case while we were trying to assemble a sandwich. Ingredients will tumble down the screen on the right side and left side, and you must shake the remote and nunchuk when the ingredient touches the box at the bottom of the screen. Other than that, most of the motions are more or less applicable to what you're doing in the kitchen.
When you're done and everything is automatically plated, Susie and Mory will taste your delicious creation and give you a bronze, silver, or gold medal depending on your performance. If you want some company, there's a cooperative mode in the main menu under Hot Potato, where you can work with up to three other chefs by passing the controllers to earn medals and acquire new recipes. There's also a split-screen Cook-Off mode in which you can compete with a friend to see who is ready to be the top chef.
Before jumping into a recipe, you can look at the steps and all the ingredients. It would be nice if there were actual measurements so that you could try the recipes in real life. You don't have to deal with how many spoonfuls of sugar you need in a recipe on the Wii, but sometimes it would be nice to know. What is great is that as you're madly multitasking and going through all the steps, Mory and Susie chime in with some helpful trivia in relation to what you're working with at the moment. Some of these facts you may already know, but those who don't watch the Food Network religiously might find this information useful. They also introduce each recipe with a scripted opening, which makes the game feel like a cooking show at times.
The clean and simple presentation of the kitchen works well with this game. It's nice to work in a space that is not cluttered or distracting. The overall package is very basic, however, with simple menus with pictures of the recipes that you can try. More importantly, though, the food does look tasty, even though you know you're looking at artwork and it's not an actual photo of a juicy burger. As you're working away furiously in the kitchen, there is some unobtrusive music to keep your mind off the stress, but we noticed that while following some of the more demanding recipes, we weren't really listening to what was playing, nor did we pay much attention to our judges' comments.
Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked is the closest we've seen to a realistic cooking game, and from what we've played, it is also the most intensive cooking experience we've had too. All the recipes have been Food Network approved, so with a little imagination and some experimentation, you could also mimic these recipes in your own kitchen. Look for the game when it is released for the Wii on November 3.
everything is floating in the 2nd screen great lighting there, but i guess the people playing this probably thing a polygon is a pokemon and a pixel is something you clean your teeth with
I'm very surprised at the positive reception a game like this gets on Gamespot, and the negative reception that any criticism of it gets. Thumbs up for everyone who pointed out that this game is, in all probability, garbage.
most people who would enjoy this game don't browse forums or bother to comment on gaming website articles. believe it or not, every game is not meant to appeal to every audience, and there is a huge variety of audiences. most of you wouldn't play this game, i wouldn't play this game, and lots of others wouldn't. but many people WILL play this game, because it's appealing to them. i don't care about this game, but then again i don't casually game--and just because someone plays games casually doesn't make them less of a demographic to make games for. games like these will always be made whether the "hardcore" audience likes it or not. and looking at all the bank Nintendo is making, they're obviously doing something right--for someone.
The DS's Personal Trainer cooking beats the crap out of this game. At least with that one I get to eat afterwords.
i hope nintendo would cut the crap wih this nonsense games.... I have a wii but most of the games in the platform are like this... The game that i really anticipate is Resident Evil Darkside Chronicles and the upcoming Metroid games... Yeah I admit this is innovative and interactive but, come on nintendo this is too much!
Cook or BE Cooked? You don't see that many passing references to cannibalism in Wii games. I support this attempt to appeal to the hardcore market.
It could be an alright game depending on how they come through with it. If it is just going to be shovelware, no thanks....but it could be decent if there is a wide range of techniques and skills to get down. Essentially, I hope they do not make it so that a 5 year old could get "gold medals" every time.
Games like this are what make people take the Wii for granted. Sure one or 2 cooking games are fine, but when every cooking show, channel, or whatever gets a game then it's gone overboard.
Finally, a reason to buy a Wii. I always thought to myself, wouldn't it be great to virtually prepare and cook food...it just reeks of fun. BONUS, no messy clean up! PASS
I have had some roommates over the years that could have used this game. I don't know if you will actually be able to cook any better after playing but it couldn't have hurt their lack of skills.
whats good about the game is that the recipes can be used in real life. The game seems like a way to teach you how to cook and that is fun and useful. Its a great learning experience in the kitchen when learning a new recipe without wasting a bunch of food. Once you have a hand on it then you can actually try it will less errors since you seen how it was done on this game.
its a quite known that "hardcore gamer" wii owners are upset for the overdose of casual games on the system... but then the comments about "this game shouldn´t be on the front news" are a quite invalid, because their sales say otherwise. in other words, even my grandmother brought a wii for wii fit.
I have an idea, it's called Wii Cook...in our own damn kitchen, geez this is not only lame, but these types of games are worn out.
Its games like this that give the wii bad reputation... i mean.. wii fishing, wii fit, wii sports, now we got "wii cooking"? Seriously whats next? wii wheelbarrow? I think wii owners should feel insulted by this =/