Ads are gone. We're using Patreon to raise funds so we can grow. Please pledge support today!
Google+   Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | DS | PS3 | PS4 | PSP | VITA | WII | WIIU | X360 | XB1 | All
Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine (Wii) artwork

Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine (Wii) review


"Curse you, Bobby Flay! No disrespect to the other illustrious Iron Chefs of America. Mario Batali is a preeminent expert on authentic Italian cuisine. Cat Cora's distinctive style originates from her Greek and Southern roots. Masuharu Morimoto is a master of all things Japanese, having held his position of Iron Chef in that country's version of the show as well. And Michael Symon, well, he's too new to be sorely missed. But Chef Flay appears first in this pantheon of culinary greatness. H..."



Curse you, Bobby Flay! No disrespect to the other illustrious Iron Chefs of America. Mario Batali is a preeminent expert on authentic Italian cuisine. Cat Cora's distinctive style originates from her Greek and Southern roots. Masuharu Morimoto is a master of all things Japanese, having held his position of Iron Chef in that country's version of the show as well. And Michael Symon, well, he's too new to be sorely missed. But Chef Flay appears first in this pantheon of culinary greatness. He's participated in the most battles of anyone through the opening seasons of the show. So his absence in Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine is particularly hard to swallow.

In honor of Bobby's disappearing act, I hoped the first secret ingredient would be chicken. I should've known The Chairman wouldn't choose such a mundane food. Instead, he reveals zucchini, and the first step of battle is selecting a menu. There are up to nine preset dishes, but you pick a maximum of six to prepare. Unfortunately, there's too much crossover between the fifteen possible featured ingredients; apparently lasagna is tasty when filled with boar, bell peppers, or lobster. Once the plan is set, you charge into the kitchen to chop, slice, boil, fry, grind, pour, carve, mix, dip, saute, grill, and grate. And chop. And chop. And chop. Many of the dishes start with the same preparatory steps, so you'll inevitably perform the same operation several turns in a row. Each technique uses a particular Wiimote movement: pointing, tracing, swiping, or rotation. They're meant to be completed in a matter of seconds, but a sequence of vigorous shaking (like chopping requires), can leave you a little fatigued.

Here are the problems with the setup. The show is symphony of organized chaos. Competitors have one hour to plate dishes that must include a specified ingredient. The game, though, is too organized. It interleaves the steps of your menu in a preset order, and then presents each one as a discrete element. Moreover, the clock never comes into play. No matter how many dishes you prepare, there's always one minute remaining as the final plate goes down. I want to struggle with time management. I want to feel like I'm trying to do a dozen things at once. It needs that frenetic energy.

And I shouldn't be able to serve three different varieties of soup and receive high marks. Yet the judges don't take texture and contrast into account. Instead, the panel of three is there solely for entertainment value. They only comment on two dishes, and will always insult the first, even if it earns perfect marks later. Most of the rotating guests are caricatures of stereotypical Hollywood types. The one permanent fixture has an attitude modeled after real-life judge Jeffrey Steingarten, an acerbic food critic, and that reveals the intention to present an extremely negative tone.

Of course, including the spirit of that curmudgeon is just part of presenting the total Iron Chef America experience. The single-player career mode is actually a ladder tournament, where you guide an unknown challenger (you can choose male or female) to the top of the heap. The lower rungs are populated by fictional chefs with comical appearances; naturally, the French guy sports a villainous moustache. It culminates in battles with Cora, Matsumoto, and Batali (complete with shorts and orange clogs). It's The Chairman, though, who shines. The game doesn't have fancy animation; in fact, the characters' lips don't even move with the voiceovers. Instead, it uses stop-motion, dramatic stills and a stirring score, and those play the The Chairman's strengths: his exaggerated inflection and theatrical timing. Alton Brown has a large presence as host, too. He's constantly chattering away with interesting tidbits of information during your routine responsibilities.

It's not enough. Yes, I understand the developers' motive. They put in the necessary effort to make a product that will meet sales projections. I just wish it were a better game. There are plenty of cooking simulations out there that provide a generic experience. Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine has a specific, successful formula at its disposal, so it should reign over all the others. Instead, it's just as rote and robotic. It needs to elicit input from the player to build somewhat unique dishes, rather than just letting them select the final garnish (which doesn't matter anyway). While it captures the overall appearance of the show, it ignores the most important parts of the recipe, and the final product suffers for it.

Rating: 4/10

woodhouse's avatar
Community review by woodhouse (February 15, 2009)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by woodhouse
Naruto Shippuden: Shinobi Rumble (DS) artwork
Naruto Shippuden: Shinobi Rumble (DS)

In practice, Shinobi Rumble doesn't deliver superior single-player combat. The fighting mechanics are technically simple, the computer's strategies are equally unsophisticated, and the story mode is simple shorthand. If you're going at this solo, the game will occupy a few hours and then be forgotten forever.
Heartwork (PC) artwork
Heartwork (PC)

He could still end up in a compromising position with a cold steel barrel up his butt. I consider it fitting payback for his other transgressions. Heartwork considers it the ultimate orgasm.
Madden NFL 11 (Wii) artwork
Madden NFL 11 (Wii)

All of these choices reinforce your self-image, plus they present more challenges than simply winning games and piling up stats. There are many ways in which the Wii version of Madden can't ever compete with its HD counterparts, but these changes to Franchise Mode define it as a desirable parallel.

Feedback

If you enjoyed this Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

board icon
zippdementia posted February 15, 2009:

A nice scatheing review, Woodhouse. However, I have some criticism of your writing style. It's a general criticism that spans many of your reviews, though I'll highlight this one.

It has to do with your paragraph structure. Many times your paragraphs introduce a point and then change up stances so many times it's like watching a karate master go through his exercises.

Case in point:

"Curse you, Bobby Flay! No disrespect to the other illustrious Iron Chefs of America. Mario Batali is a preeminent expert on authentic Italian cuisine. Cat Cora's distinctive style originates from her Greek and Southern roots. Masuharu Morimoto is a master of all things Japanese, having held his position of Iron Chef in that country's version of the show as well. And Michael Symon, well, he's too new to be sorely missed. But Chef Flay appears first in this pantheon of culinary greatness. He's participated in the most battles of anyone through the opening seasons of the show. So his absence in Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine is particularly hard to swallow."

Note how you start off by cursing Bobby Flay? That leads the reader to assume that Bobby is going to be the villain of the paragraph. But in fact, you end up by bemoaning his absence from the game. I had to read this paragraph a couple times before I understood that you were cursing his absence, not him personally.

Another thing here. You mention three chefs that ARE in the game, than follow with "And Michael Symon, well, he's too new to be sorely missed." Wait, what? Weren't you just talking about chefs that were IN the game? Now you've switched very suddenly to mentioning a chef that's not in the game?

See how it can get confusing to read?

Another, lesser one:

"Of course, including the spirit of that curmudgeon is just part of presenting the total Iron Chef America experience. The single-player career mode is actually a ladder tournament, where you guide an unknown challenger (you can choose male or female) to the top of the heap. The lower rungs are populated by fictional chefs with comical appearances; naturally, the French guy sports a villainous moustache. It culminates in battles with Cora, Matsumoto, and Batali (complete with shorts and orange clogs). It's The Chairman, though, who shines."

You jump without any warning from talking about the gameplay to talking about graphics. You're lacking transitions, and it makes it hard to take your reviews seriously sometimes, despite the fact that you have genuinely good points to make. Fix up your style a bit, and you could be a top-notch reviewer in no time.

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

Info | Help | Privacy Policy | Contact | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2014 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.