Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine Review

Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine is a disgracefully bad attempt to capitalize on the popularity of <i>Iron Chef</i>.

In the Iron Chef America TV show, a kitchen hums with activity as two elite teams chop, blend, and boil to create delicious dishes in order to outdo each other and win culinary supremacy. In Iron Chef America: Supreme Cusine, an animatronic ghoul locks you alone in a kitchen filled with faulty appliances. Ingredients from dishes you vaguely remember choosing appear in front of you, and the ghoul orders you to perform a simple action, praising you afterward regardless of your performance. Your only other company is the disembodied head of Alton Brown, who spews forth a constant stream of interesting facts and goofball quips, presumably unable to stop because of the traumatic burn accidents he has clearly suffered. Eventually, you are freed from your prison and judged by a panel of ghouls who reveal the grim truth: You have been pitted against another ghoul in culinary minigame combat, and you, yourself, are a ghoul too. This is what it feels like to play Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine. That's a bit overdramatized, sure, but Supreme Cuisine is so lifeless, so lackluster, and so out-and-out lame that it's not far from the truth.

Cleaning actual shellfish would probably be more fun. And also, you’d have actual shellfish.

Your Iron Chef America career takes you through a tournament ladder, starting with one-star chefs and working up to actual Iron Chefs like Mario Batali, Cat Cora, and Masaharu Morimoto. The chairman and Alton Brown oversee every match, and all of these folks lend their voices to their characters. Alton Brown is the lone bright spot, as his commentary includes some genuinely interesting facts, but for the most part the voice acting can't distract you from the fact that the character avatars are pathethically ugly. Choppy "animation" and weak visual effects worsen the already terrible cutscenes, and overall the presentation fails miserably to convey any of the drama or excitement of Kitchen Stadium.

Once the chairman reveals the special ingredient and you select which of the nine possible dishes you want to prepare, it's off to the minigames. There are a handful of simple motions that cover actions like slicing, chopping, mixing, and grating. These controls work fine and these actions are easy to complete. Other actions, like tracing a pie crust or dipping chunks of meat, are annoyingly finicky but are still doable. Ironically, the hardest thing to do in Supreme Cuisine is boil liquid. Unlike when boiling in real life (turn knob, wait), you have to actively waggle the knob back and forth or your concoction will boil over. It's aggravating and stupid, but fortunately other tasks offer some comic relief. When you sprinkle or spread a topping, all you have to do is wave your cursor over the item to magically reveal the hidden topping image, just like you're scratching off a lottery ticket. Drawing silly or vulgar shapes on your lasagna may not make it taste better, but at least you'll get a chuckle.

As long as you complete these games reasonably quickly (which is usually very easy), there's no way for you to run out of time. At the end of a competition you'll plate your dishes, which consists of nothing more than grabbing an item from the top of your screen and snapping it into place on the plate. Once all the required items are plated, you can add garnishes freely and it won't affect your score (another opportunity for silliness). In fact, the only thing that does affect your score is how quickly you perform each minigame--something that is particularly baffling when you see that you are graded on originality, among other things. Beating all the Iron Chefs isn't tough, providing you can get the hang of boiling, and victory isn't very sweet. You can replay any task or recipe in the School mode, or hit up Quick Play to face off against another player or to team up with that player against two CPU chefs. But more of a bad game is still bad.

It takes a special game to make boiling water difficult.

And make no mistake, Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine is a bad game. Most of the time you just play dull, simple minigames and have no idea what you are preparing. Not only does it fail to capture any of the excitement or intensity of the television show, but it botches even the basic premise. Supreme Cuisine has no charm and no challenge, and it's not engaging in any way. There are far better cooking games available for the Wii, and even diehard Iron Chef America fans will be sickened by this rotten dish.

The Good
Alton Brown delivers interesting facts
The Bad
None of the appeal of the television show
Character avatars are ugly and poorly animated
Minigames are dull
Boiling liquid is hard
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Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine More Info

  • First Released
    • DS
    • Wii
    Battle for culinary supremacy by preparing a bevy of dishes simultaneously in this cooking contest game based on the popular TV show.
    Average User RatingOut of 66 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
    Black Lantern Studios
    Published by:
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor