Electronic Theatre Preview: It Talks! DS Cooking Navi

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Electronic Theatre ImageThe noble Pink NintendoDS Lite has been just been announced for Europe – coming October 27th, 2006 – and, along with it’s release in Japan came a new game It Talks! DS Cooking Navi (or Navigator) which is, rather than a Cooking Simulator game as it first appeared to be, an actual cook book for the NintendoDS.

From what we can decipher, you can check-up on recipes and actually follow the instructions given on-screen to create the dish in your own home. The title features severalElectronic Theatre Image different modes in which to select your dish, as well as including the original Chef! Game & Watch game. Within these modes you can plan your meal from selecting a certain ingredient according to what you have at home already, or you can take a look at the extensive cook book, which has over two-hundred recipes included, and check-out what takes your fancy by scrolling through the different categories. You can chose certain criteria which your meal must contain for example how many calories the meal has, how long it will take to cook or even how expensive the ingredients are. You can also input certain keywords to narrow your search down, and It Talks! DS Cooking Navi will tell you how to prepare a set meal for however many people you tell it.

Because of its voice-activated nature, if you have your hands full of ingredients you can simply say next and it will go on to the next page or backtrack to the previous page if you need to refresh your memory. It can also talk to you so don’t need to constantly look back at your NintendoDS.

It Talks! DS Cooking Navi catalogues what you have already cooked in a Memorial Calendar accessible from the Main Menu, allowing you to check details of the recipes, handy if you have a limited palette. You can also mark recipes as favourites, and comment on them for future reference.

You can even tell the It Talks! DS Cooking Navi if you have an allergy, and it will alert you in the Recipe Lists if your chosen allergen is among those ingredients. For the total cooking novice the game also includes an encyclopaedia with all common terminology used in cooking as well as items used (spatula, potato peeler, spoon etc.) and how to cut vegetables in various ways.

The advertisement which accompanies the game shows off the NintendoDS’ abilities superbly, from using the Touch Screen to pick which menu to use, to speaking into the Microphone to turn the pages of the recipe. The advert shows a man at home with his children – they are all hungry. Next we see the man cooking with his NintendoDS in front of him, he says “Okay” and the pages turn. Next, screenshots are shown indicating different Menu Screens. The family sit down to enjoy the meal created by their father and his NintendoDS. Right at the end they also show the new Noble Pink NintendoDS Lite, being released the same day.

When you consider the rise in men taking up cooking lessons, as they have more free time due to retirement, Electronic Theatre Imageliving in a dual income family and needing to lend a hand with the housework or simply as an enjoyable hobby it is maybe unsurprising to see the advert seemingly targeting men. However with the Pink NintendoDS Lite being released in conjunction with this Cooking Navigator it would suggest the opposite, especially as in the queues which formed for the arrival of the new pink NintendoDS Lite among the increased amount of women were many men who cited they were buying the new NintendoDS Lite as a gift.

This isn’t the first cooking game to be released in Japan , in march this year Taito released Cooking Mama which seems like the more lightweight of the two games. In this you must use the Touch Screen to cook food on the NintendoDS, yet doesn’t have that instructional edge to it. Cooking Mama could be called a game, more of a Cooking Simulator whereas It Talks! DS Cooking Navi is more as a piece of software or reference material. It Talks! DS Cooking Navi has no UK release date even suggested at current, but given the popularity of the Touch! Generations series in Europe, it may only be a matter of time.

 

 

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