Cooking, Singing and Making the Dogs Howl

Last night I spent a bit of time trying out Cooking Mama – Cook Off on the Wii. I loved the DS version and was really looking forward to playing it on the Wii.

As usual, we rented from Gamefly. Their “keep it” feature is very convenient. Their used prices are reasonable, so it works out very well. We spend a lot less money on video games overall, even considering the rental fees. We get to try more games and we only buy ones we actually like.

I like games that I can spend whatever amount of time I have available playing, and then I can leave and do something else. Needing to play another hour to get to the next save point, or leave a game on pause hoping that the cat didn’t screw something up is not to my taste. I like the quirky games. I like the thinking outside the video game box games. I like them in theory even when I don’t like them in play. I want to support them so that some other developer can interest a publisher in some offbeat, not a sure thing that I absolutely will love.

I still like this game, but I don’t like it as much as the DS version, so far. Most of this is do to my own SPAZ FACTOR. Hand eye coordination is not one of my strong points. This game, like Trauma Center is simply easier for me to cope with in small gestures with the stylus on the touch screen that waving my hand around. Maybe I am too lazy for the Wii? Anyhow, after approximately 45 seconds of Cook Off, I was feeling like, in my hands, it was mainly a recipe for carpal tunnel syndrome. That is certainly not going to stop us from buying it (we already did) and I am still going to play it. However if I stop posting, perhaps it will be because I can no longer type due to a Wii injury.

Along with the new recipes and new interface, you can now play against other people. After approximately 45 seconds of competitive Cook Off against the husband I wanted to smack him over the head with the remote. I refrained. Barely.

Next I spent some time checking out Karaoke Revolution Country. I have not made a firm decision yet, but I think this might well have the distinction of being the first KR title that I do not purchase.

I started out using a new microphone purchased by a friend after one of her kids broke ours while they were borrowing it. My first song choice was The Gambler, because it is a one note (easiest level) song I know it and it is typically easier to cope if you have some familiarity with the words and melody. I totally sucked and attempting to hit the green was making my throat hurt like hell. I can often sing male vocalist rock songs just fine in the game, but looking back, I’ve had trouble with country before, the few times country showed up on the other games. Now KR is not about singing well, it is about using your voice as the controller. I do not have particularly good vocal range and with the lower male voices I don’t tend to do well. I can’t sing high enough to hit the correct pitch in higher octave and I can’t sing low enough without straining my voice. Either direction I go, it is completely painful for myself, and everybody withing earshot. It makes the dogs angry too.

Next I tried Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys. I also know the words to this, although I wish to insert “Chipmunks” after Cowboys and make other alterations as well, thanks to Alvin, Simon, Theodore and Dave. Same problem as before, except much much worse.

I switched to a two note song that was at least by a female vocalist. 9 to 5. That went better. However at this point my voice was completely raspy. For my final song attempt I went with How Do I Live which is a three note song, but again, at least by a female vocalist. That was also okay, but I was exhausted and not have any fun at all.

I also tried the mini-games. This is the first KR with mini-games. I sucked at them in ways that are difficult to describe.

In those 4 songs, I opened up some new outfits and other random crap, but no extra songs. Looking through the songs that are visible, there just are not very many I have any familiarity with. I have not decided for certain not to buy it. I’ll let the kid mess with it first. She is much better at her vocal control than I am, but she is going to have even less knowledge of what the songs are.

We’ll decide by Monday whether or not to send it back, unless the dogs have done themselves a favor and eaten the disc.

What else goes well with tequila?
I am not a social caterpillar.

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