Cooking Mama (DS) Rating: NNN
One of the more interesting games to hit North American shores from Japan this year is Majesco's Cooking Mama, where you are trying to be "Just as good as Mama!" in the kitchen. While you'll never truly apply any of the skills you learn in-game to your kitchen countertop, the casual pick-up-and-play aspect contributes to making this a great portable game title, while for instance, waiting for your meal.
So, as you might imagine, the point of this game is to cook. Chopping vegetables, breading shrimp and tenderizing your meat; the stylus utilization in this game is at once different and familiar. A rapid tapping simulates chopping, while a quick circular motion on the screen imitates the stirring of a pot. Your skill at completing the tasks given to you is rated with bronze, silver and gold medals. Failure is met with Mama, her eyes burning, (with real flames), with shame. But don't worry, she'll fix it for you so at least you can continue on to the next step of the recipe.
Trials and freestyle cooking round the game out, adding to its length, but eespite several dozen recipes and variants, this cute game isn't very long or complex. However, it still makes me want to eat something every time I play and I still hunger to taste the upcoming version on the Wii. Maybe they'll add some real recipes to try out next time.