Review: Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What To Eat

DS Review

"Cooking Guide has an altogether relaxing vibe to it. Take that Gordon Ramsey!"

Ask the general public to be able to cook a quality, decent meal and chances are you'll be looked at like you're from Mars. In today's busy lifestyle climate it can be hard to find the time to sit down, take your time and not only learn to cook a meal but cook it correctly.

Couple this with the buying of individual ingredients and the idea that it may go horribly wrong, resulting in the loss of limbs or health, and it's a wonder people cook at all. There is so much choice. Choosing what to eat is half of the battle - whilst the other half comes as you not only attempt to fill your tummy but try to remain knowledgeable about your own health.

"Can't Decide What to Eat" is a fitting subtitle then. Here at N-Europe we don't mind a takeaway more than once a week. You pick up the phone and it's done. But with the advent of both Wii Fit and Cooking Guide we can't help but think Nintendo are trying their utmost to change our habits of old. We didn't mind using a steering wheel in Mario Kart or a motion-sensing board. But changing our eating and exercising habits? Talk about pushy!

Like Eastern food? Cooking Guide has you covered.

Mind you, it's not all bad. Start up Cooking Guide and a dapper chef audibly greets you and sets you on your way. The title is nicely presented with swish menus and lovely photos of food. Speech and video tutorials are also in vast supply, making this one of the largest DS cards around (which keeps the price a tad higher than most Touch! Generation titles.)

There are 245 dishes to try your hand at, and plenty of countries are represented - with some having over twenty recipes to their name. We pointed our stylus straight to the map and hit Italy - we were then presented with a slick selection of pasta dishes. Nice! From Sushi to good old British toffee pudding, Cooking Guide definitely has your back covered.

In fact, there are so many dishes that the title provides some neat search features. Select the ingredients tab and you can narrow your search down to what you have laying around the house. A nice feature for sure and one which definitely streamlines the cooking experience. Vegetarian, fish and cooked meat dishes are also grouped and so those with individual tastes can easily find their preferred meal. Even if you don't have the ingredients at home a handy mark on an item will put it into a shopping basket area - handy for those trips to the supermarket. Additionally, mark down how many people you would like to cook for and the amounts are automatically changed. Useful for those who don't know how many eggs it takes to make pancakes for 100 screaming children!

Now you can be American too!

Thankfully (and most importantly) getting into the actual cooking is a painless affair with the helping hand of the British chef guiding you at all times. With speech being so prevalent, the chef character talks you through each process (slicing the cheese like so) and never becomes off-putting. The title's knowledge comes from the Tsuji Academy; one of the best cooking institutions in Japan so what you get on screen is 100% professional. During the cooking segments the DS is used cleverly as the bottom screen holds three main panels for forwards/backwards and repeat. These phrases can also be spoken into the DS too so messy hands won't clog up your touch screen. This streamlined approach works brilliantly and makes the cooking experience an enjoyable, laid back affair. Coupled with the soothing "elevator" music, Cooking Guide has an altogether relaxing vibe to it. Take that Gordon Ramsey!

We've cooked up a few dishes using Cooking Guide and they've all come up tasting of roses (well... you get the point) and so we really do have to recommend it. Utterly surprising and enjoyable from the off, if you feel like taking your culinary skills that little bit further with a personal coach who really does help, you could do a lot worse than purchase Cooking Guide.

Our full scores breakdown lies below...

N-Europe Final Verdict

Sizzling just below perfection yet leaving a pleasant taste in the mouth, Cooking Guide is a unexpectedly novel idea pulled off successfully. Just don't come crying when you've mastered your favourite dishes and never use it again.

  • Gameplay1
  • Playability4
  • Visuals3
  • Audio3
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



A Cooking Guide that works!
Classy presentation with lots of speech/video
Brings the DS one step closer to taking over your life


A little on the pricey side
Limited UK dishes
Lasts as long as you want it to

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