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I have always been a fan of strategy games and this was how I came to find the Cooking Mama series for the DS. I believe I was purchasing a 'Cake Mania' game and saw this game advert as 'one I might like' so I decided to purchase it and spent £14.99 on this game from Amazon. The price is currently £19.99 but there are frequent special offers on Amazon with prices changing regularly so it's worth keeping your eyes peeled if you want to purchase this game.
The purpose of Cooking Mama is to prepare recipes and depending on how well you do you will earn medals. This will help you to unlock new items as you work through the recipes such as new recipes. The kind of recipes you have to cook vary greatly from starters to desserts and everything in between. You can practice making the meals if you want to or you can just jump straight in to cooking them, that's what I usually do as I'm impatient. You should probably practice before you make the recipes if you've not played this game before, however, if you have played it before most of the moves are the same. You can unlock characters and items as you progress through the game and this means that you can choose who you want to play as which adds something a little extra to the game.
There is quite a lot that you have to do in order to prepare your recipes, whether it's blowing food, watching temperatures, frying things or cutting things just so there is plenty to do. Some of the recipes are quite tricky and some are simple but then it does depend on what your skills are while playing with the DS. Obviously as time goes on you will unlock more and more recipes which will give the game more variety and help you to be able to practice more and more of the kitchen preparations.
There are lots of different features to this game, as well as cooking there is a shopping feature that you have to go around the supermarket avoiding certain people and collecting up items. I found that this was quite boring and just ended up annoying me as the other people in the supermarket just got in my way and really wound me up! You have a certain amount of lives (four I believe) but these soon run out for me and I just end up getting frustrated and this is a portion of this game that I don't want to play anymore.
I have found this game is quite hit and miss for me. The graphics are a little jumpy in places and the gameplay doesn't have very good continuation. For example I'll be making a recipe and badly burn something, when I see the finished dish at the end it will rate me 60 or 70 out of 100, give me a medal or whatever and then show a picture. When it shows a picture of the finished dish it will not reflect the fact that I've burnt it yet it showed me one of the ingredients of the dish black before. This could do with some work really so it's actually more realistic and the saved pictures of finished recipes should reflect the actual 'cooking' that I did.
The gameplay is nothing special, it does continue the series, just not well. The graphics have nothing extra to offer since the second game and some of the recipes are a little similar also. I have found that there is a good mixture of difficulties but some of the features of this game just aren't fun or interesting to me at all. Maybe that's because I'm a little bit older now than when I first loved this sort of game. I don't believe I'd buy another game in this series as this third game has been a bit of a let down. If you are in the market for an easy cooking game then this might be worth a go for you and it may even give you a little encouragement and inspiration in your own kitchen. I'm not very impressed with this game, the main gameplay, the cooking, isn't too bad at all with a variety of recipes, however, it's just an overall disappointing game and won't I'll be putting on eBay as soon as possible!
Playing games on the Nintendo DS can be real fun but recently I have found games which offer plenty to do but offer little in terms of the game play, graphics and what you are actually meant to be doing.
With Cooking Mama 3 I found myself having a similar situation. Your aim is to cook products and do them correctly without a single flaw and achieve the gold medal status. You unlock new items as you progress and you get to have more things to do as well.
If people have played one of the previous versions of this game they will understand the format but you are given recipes for food products. In this game they might be things ranging from marshmellows and biscuits to main meals.
You get to practice how to do the meals first which is a big help regardless of what others might say. You start to practice all aspects of the cooking area. You might need to cook some apples for the toffee apples and you might be confused how to do this move without the practice feature.
You have to try and work out the best ways of practising which is difficult at times. You are told you need to perhaps turn the apples which you do but you never get told that you have to keep an eye on temperatures and other problems as well. Without practice the game is virtually impossible to complete.
So you have done some practice challenges and next you are onto the cooking part of the game which is obviously the main point. You get to cook the products but in this version everything seems more hands on.
You get to cut items in certain ways, you have to make moves in the fridge to place items and you have many new recipes. The idea is the better you do on each meal the more you unlock and that cannot be a bad thing because extra items help increase the menu and gives you more to do.
After playing a few hours I managed a few meals with top scores but it was difficult and the reason was down to the game play which shall be explained later on.
----- Features -----
You have new features on this game as well you have got yourself a shopping exercise where you need to move around a supermarket to collect some items on the list and these items are left out for you to collect. However, things are not always that easy and other shoppers are going to be in your way.
You bump into those shoppers and it is a problem because you have four lives and if you manage to save those lives and keep your items you want you get a score. You score the higher the more items again you unlock. The shopping area is by choice and your not going to fail if you do not take part.
You might want to take part in a challenge against yourself and friends. You might have to chop some chocolate or crack some eggs and the person who has the most wins and this is a good idea for people who want to compete against there friends and it could be real fun. I played against a friend and lost but they had more experience fortunately for them.
You might want to select a set character to perform as. You begin with David and Mama who you can select but when you begin taking the game on and winning the extra items you unlock new characters which means you have more to do and plenty to choose from.
---- Graphics and Game Speed -----
I mention this are a part of the game because this is a problem for me. You have a game which is going to be fast because it needs to be but it does not reflect this when you are playing. You begin by practising which is slow at best but when it comes to cooking the main part of the game you have plenty of problems.
The game goes slow at times when you are performing moves and you end up losing out because of this or you might end up going to fast and costing yourself more prizes so the game play is a little bit of mystery to me as to why it can be to fast or to slow at moments when you wish it would control itself.
The graphics is a similar situations because you have moments when the meals are finished where the item looks fantastic yet on the main menus when you need to select what you are going to do next the items look terrible and are hard to identify and if it wasn't for the information above them you would have no idea what they were exactly.
----- Final Verdict -----
I admit there is plenty to do on this game which is fantastic for people who want to continue purchasing the Cooking Mama collection but to me this game might have more features compared to other versions but offers worse results.
The game play is the worst I have seen in the series and the graphics could be so much better and these are two big reasons why people want to purchase a game. If the graphics are not the best you hope the game play is better and vice versa.
I appreciate how many recipes there is to do and how you have a reason to play which is to unlock new items but the game needs more in terms of reasons to play and this is not enough.
This game for me is aimed at younger children with the animated faces of characters and how the game format is done. This game I saw priced at £11 recently and for me that perhaps reasonable but I would not recommend this as a purchase but more a rental opportunity.
My parents bought the Cooking Mama 3 ds game for my 5 year old son recently and he absolutely loves it! I have to admit I have found it pretty addictive too !
The game follows on from Cooking Mama 1 and 2 which we do not actually have, but I have played on Cooking Mama 1 before and I found it very basic and simple, the graphics were not great either - Cooking Mama 3 is a huge step up from that!
The game costs £23.99 on Amazon and in my opinion it is worth every penny.
As well as just the normal cooking features you can complete challenges such as seeing how many potatoes you can peel or cans you can open in a given time. You can also have more than 1 player so the whole family can play.
The main character can be customized with clothes, glasses, hats etc... and you can earn new items for it as you work through the recipes.
You can practice the recipes before you go on to make it for real, and each time you complete a recipe you will get either bronze silver or gold - if you get less than gold it is always possible to go back and try again until you reach gold.
You start with only a few recipes but as you work through them you unlock new ones, our game has about 25 recipes on it so far and there are actually around 80 altogether so this is not a game which will be over quickly.
If you have Gardening Mama you can use the items you grow there in your Cooking Mama 3 kitchen, we do not have it yet but we are definitely going to get it soon.
There are many different tasks you must complete to cook the food some examples are - washing, peeling, adding herbs, rolling, grilling, I could go on and I am sure there are many things we are yet to discover.
This game is recommended for ages 3+ which I think is a little unrealistic, I find some of the tasks very difficult and we are not that far into the game yet so I imagine it could be pretty frustrating for a 3 year old.
This is definitely one of my favourite games ever and the kids really love it.
I give 4 out of 5 stars because the graphics are great and there is loads to do, but it can be quite difficult for younger kids.
I recently bought Cooking Mama 3 for my daughter's 8th birthday and she loves it. She loves cooking anyway and so this game captured her attention straight away.
The concept is that you are offered various dishes to cook, some known and others quite unusual as the game originates from the Far East. This adds to the appeal as it makes the game more interesting. You may be preparing a Korean fry-up for example.
You can either start cooking straight away which my daughter prefers to do, or start with the shopping challenge where you get the ingredients Cooking Mama asks you to get. Various obstacles are put in your way to hinder you from completing the task within the set time limit.
Once you start preparing the food you use the stylus to follow the instructions given to you to cook the meal, whether it's deep frying, sieving ingredients, chopping, stiring or even just making room in a fridge or cupboard to put away the ingredients.
You can either pass or fail the task and the cute cooking mama character will pop up to let you know how youve done.
The game has the added bonus of linking with the Gardening Mama DS game where if you have that game, you can use the produce you've grown for Cooking Mama 3 recipes. I think this is a great idea as it can encourage children to take more of an interest in the concept of growing your own veg as well as cooking.
The other bonus is that you can also have cooking contests with other DS users.
I would recommend this game if you think your child will enjoy a DS game centred around cooking.