Friday, April 12

Review: Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 [Nintendo Switch eShop]

The cooking/server game is one I haven’t revisited in quite some time so when I saw the opportunity to catch up with where the genre is with Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 I couldn’t resist. Having cut my teeth some time ago on the simple likes of Diner Dash and it’s ilk, as well as the newer likes of games like Overcooked, I’ve been around the virtual kitchen so I thought I had an idea of what to expect. Instead, I’m a bit blown away by the leaps and bounds that have been made in this space, and there’s just so much more content and complexity here now that it caught me a bit off guard at first.

You play the part of an up-and-coming cook (though you can also opt to play with a friend as well), determined to put together a successful five-star restaurant from the ground up. In order to do that you’re going to need to pay your dues, proving your culinary skills starting at the bottom of the literal food chain and slowly making your way up as you progress from flipping burgers to making far more ambitious fare. As you grind out success, moving further and further up the ladder, you’ll take on higher-quality establishments in a massive tower with 33 individual eateries, each with their own dishes you’ll need to learn to make.

The action can get pretty intense, especially when dealing with more elaborate dishes. There are roughly 3 types of major tasks you’ll need to concentrate on during your shifts serving customers. First, we’ll get the menial hygiene stuff out of the way. Toilets and dishes won’t wash themselves, and properly keeping up with the ice and dealing with various pests just come with the territory. Next you’ll have items you can either fully or at least partially prepare in advance, these you’ll either take care of at the beginning of your shift or even on the fly in the midst of chaos depending on what people are ordering. They can be a pain when you’re in a pinch but then again, knocking out 4 or more people in a row and getting them out of your line can be a godsend and gives you easy combo points. Last there are thing you’ll need to work through in real-time and these vary wildly in their complexity depending on the dish.

Where the game somewhat goes down two pretty different paths involves how you’re trying to play it. I won’t lie, in docked mode trying to get into a rhythm can be tough at first, and you need to develop a sort of muscle memory on tougher dishes. Each ingredient or topping will map first to a page, which you’ll need to tab through when making more diverse dishes, and then you’ll need to hold down either the left or right trigger and choose the proper face button for the ingredient you want. For instance, to make a sundae you’ll have a tab with ice creams, another with sauces and some toppings, and then another for things like whipped cream to finish it off. You’ll tie your fingers in knots the first time you need to make these sorts of things, trying to remember what is where and then picking the right buttons. In handheld mode the complexity doesn’t change, you’ll still need to look through the same ingredients, but being able to just touch the right ingredient and not have to think about and press the proper button, will save quite a lot of time and dumb mistakes. Either way, when you’ve got a line full of people antsy for their food the pressure can really be on, but when you put it all together and nail it that also makes it satisfying.

All in all if you’ve been a fan of food prep games of this type, or have been watching them from a distance, there’s quite a lot to love about CSD2. It has a truly staggering number of dishes representing all sorts of culinary tastes and visually the game makes them all look terrific. The time management aspect of the game is also handled well, with the pre-prep dishes providing both an opportunity for easily chaining successes and an opportunity to crash and burn if you don’t stay on top of them. If you generally stick to playing in docked mode I’ll warn you that it’s simply a tougher road, though it can be done, but playing both ways using the touchscreen made success far easier (though still a challenge) in my experience. If you love food and are looking for a tasty take on the restaurant biz Cook, Serve, Delicious 2 will definitely satisfy.

Score: 8

  • The game absolutely gets the food right, looking great and representing tastes all over the spectrum
  • Pre-prepped foods provide both an opportunity for success and failure so be sure to stay on top of them
  • Being able to design and customize your own restaurant, using the elements you’ll slowly unlock, can be satisfying

  • You may find that needing to tab through pages of ingredients get too cumbersome for your tastes, but that’s also a function of the diversity and complexity of dishes included in the game
  • If you plan to primarily play the game in docked mode, a fair warning, it’s more difficult that way than using the touchscreen

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