Nintendo has decided to roll back the years by bringing its thirty year old Game & Watch series back to life on the DSiWare service. However, rather than bundle a few of the games together, the company has been following the route it has taken with several other portable download releases, in that each separate title is hitting the service for a mere 200 Points. Whilst Judge let the side down considerably, Mario's Cement Factory proved to be slightly more fun. However, what about the third in the current batch, Game & Watch: Chef? Cubed3's Adam Riley takes it for a spin.
Nintendo has ensured that this is as faithful to the original Game & Watch release as possible, meaning there is no real use for the lower screen, and nothing for your trusty stylus to do, since everything is purely button-based. There is even a mode where you can simply look at a digital clock in the top-left of the upper screen whilst an automated run of gameplay carries on in front of your very eyes. On the audio side there is the same single piece of menu music, whilst visually there is more going on than in Judge, and is on a par with Mario's Cement Factory, yet the pale green and black LCD appearance not only looks poor as graphically updated versions have appeared in compilation packages in the past.
The action itself involves moving the character that we now know as Mr. Game & Watch to the left or right. Up to four pieces of food will be tossed into the air and your aim is to position the chef in the right spot for him to then flip it back into the air. For the Game A mode, there are three ingredients floating around, whilst Game B ups the ante to include an extra piece for those up to the challenge. If a piece of food reaches the floor, a mouse will snatch it away and a Mistake Icon will light up, of which only three can be received before seeing the 'Game Over' sign. Thankfully, the slate is wiped clean once 200 and 500 Points are reached, in order to give players a fighting chance at recording the highest possible score total (9999, although the counter resets once 999 is passed).
The process of moving left and right rapidly, trying to gauge which ingredient will fall quickest each time everything has been flipped into the air once more is actually quite enjoyable for a few minutes at a time. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough variety included to maintain interest levels for much longer, with there being no particular reason to want to beat your high score. Even the inclusion of a cat on the left-side of the screen, which pokes one ingredient to mess up your tempo, will not be enough to keep you glued to Game & Watc: Chef. It would be wiser to spend your 200 Points elsewhere...
Moving left and right is all there is to it, with players relying on their reactions to prevent a 'Game Over' occurrence.
More detail than featured in some of the other Game & Watch releases, but still woefully bland in today's world.
There is only the one tune used for the menu screen, and that grows old very fast indeed.
There is no real incentive to beat your high score, and the gameplay becomes rather mundane after a short time.
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Sadly, despite having legendary status at the time of release, Nintendo's Game & Watch titles on DSiWare so far have all been let-downs, and Game & Watch: Chef is not the one to buck the trend. Keep your 200 Nintendo Points for something else.
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Fans of this will be pleased to know that I've been playing Game & Watch: Vermin tonight...and it's exactly the same as this, except the character automatically hits what look like moles, rather than flipping food.
Expect another enthusiastic review soon
Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
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