Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 11/13/07 | Genre: Undefined
Majesco's release of Cooking Mama on the Nintendo DS took the world by surprise. This budget title not only completely blew away all sales expectations--but led to a version on the Nintendo Wii and now a sequel to the Nintendo DS. Unfortunately, just like heating up leftovers, the gameplay in Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends is a bit stale and just not as good as the original.
Like in the original Cooking Mama, the sequel contains a series of mini-games that result in you completing a dish. This involves you slicing, dicing, baking, boiling, and just about anything else you can think of. Cooking Mama 2 gives the players 80 all-new recipes to prepare and even tries to throw in a few elements. As you complete the game, you will meet new friends, cook for them, and gain access to new costumes for Mama and your friends.
As you complete each dish, you will be given a score. While it is possible to try and maximize your score on each recipe, I really don't see the point of trying to beat your high scores. There are just so many great games on the DS that it just isn't worth your time going back to redo recipes you already completed.
If you and up to three other friends are eager to have a cooking competition, Cooking Mama 2 attempts to satisfy this by allowing you to share the game out to up to three others to participate in several different tasks. However, there are no recipes in this mode. Being a casual fan of the Food Network, and watching shows like Iron Chef, wouldn't a multiplayer mode be a lot more fun if you were doing entire recipes and getting a score at the end? I really feel like there is a lot left to be done in the multiplayer mode of Cooking Mama. However, if the gameplay doesn't evolve anymore, do we really want a Cooking Mama 3?
In the end, Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends is more of the same. If you enjoyed the original Cooking Mama or have never played the original, Dinner with Friends is worth a look. However, for the rest of us, with no really captivating multiplayer features, this one is best left sitting on the shelf.