Cooking Mama 2: Dinner With FriendsDespite being based on a relatively simple and repetitive formula, Cooking Mama 2 is probably one of the best games out on the DS currently! The premise of the game is simple; whip up as many fabulous dishes as you can using a series of Culinary skills. The game itself is fun, light hearted and truly-addictive!
Cooking Mama 2 has 2 main modes; Cook With Mama and Let's cook. Cook with Mama is a great way to start off the game. It gives the player a step-by step guide how to create the recipe to perfection, and teaches all those skills you'll need to master: chopping, Mixing, Slicing, dicing and all the rest! The great thing about this mode is that for each stage of the recipe it will give you clear instructions and after you complete the task a rating of how well you've done. Creating the perfect dish will unlock more new recipes, and beating the clock will give you bonuses! This mode is great for practice before you enter Let's Cook mode.
Lets cook mode is a slightly more challenging mode. You follow a recipe stage by stage, but make a mistake and you have to start all over again! This mode is more challenging than the previous as there are no instructions, you have to memorise the skills you learnt previously to finish the product. The great thing about this mode is the characters. There are many new characters to be unlocked each with their own set of recipes. The characters make very little difference to the game play though it does add an element of variety, plus all the characters are done in the quirky and individual animation style that makes the game so charming.
Despite the fact there are only a set number of recipes in the game, it doesn't wear out its appeal easily- There are many features that prolong the games life span of enjoyment. Each meal gets a score out of 100 and in turn a medal! A perfect 100 gets you a gold model, while silver and bronze models are awarded for dishes that haven't quite reached perfect, but are still pretty darn good! Of course this gives players the chance to try each recipe again and again with the intention of getting that gold medal. Another enjoyable detail is the bonus system, which allows players to unlock seals for their food diary, decorations for the kitchen and accessories and new clothes for Mama! Unlocking these things is another incentive to try each recipe at least twice- the more you try, the more you unlock!
Overall, this game is greatly enjoyable and never seems to get old, there is so much to do. The appeal lies in the fact that its enjoyable for all ages, it's not to serious, but not to simple. The graphics, animation style, colour scheme, music and voice over in the game create a colourful, playful atmosphere and the game is certainly all of those things!