Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat?
Can't Decide What to Eat?
Box art for the PAL version.
Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat?, known in North America as Personal Trainer: Cooking and in Japan as Sekai no Gohan: Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi (世界のごはん しゃべる！DSお料理ナビ?) (literal translation: Meals of the World: Speak! DS Cooking Navi), is a digital cookbook for the Nintendo DS. The original, Japanese-language edition was released in Japan on December 4, 2008, in Europe in English on June 20, 2008, in Australia on July 3, 2008, and in North America on November 24, 2008. Cooking Guide is part of both Nintendo's Touch! Generations brand and a cooking tutorial software series started from a Japan-only title, Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi. In North America, it is also part of the Personal Trainer series.
Cooking Guide is an "interactive cooking aid" that gives step by step instructions on how to cook from a range of 245 dishes. The user is guided through the preparation and cooking process via audio narration and instructional video clips, and the user can use the Nintendo DS's voice recognition to proceed through each cooking step. Users can also choose recipes based on how many calories they have, or what ingredients the user currently has at hand, among other options. Cooking Guide also keeps in memory what dishes the player has already made. The application also allows users to take notes and compile a shopping list, and features functions such as a cooking timer and a quantity calculator. As a bonus, the Game & Watch game Chef can also be played after the user unlocks it by using the timer during preparation of a recipe like in one of its predecessors Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi. They guide the users in either English, French, Italian, German or Spanish.
Released in Japan in 2006, Cooking Guide was originally shown to the US during Nintendo's Media Briefing at the Hollywood Kodak Theater at E3 2008. It was later shown at the Nintendo US Press Conference Live Blog in San Francisco in October 2008. After selling 600,000 units total in North America and Europe during its first two days of sales, Nintendo announced on April 27, 2009 that the game would be packaged with the latest color to be added to the DS Lite's hardware rainbow which is green. The Green-colored version of the DS lite was released on May 3, 2009.
The game was generally well-received, receiving an 81% from Metacritic. Official Nintendo Magazine felt Cooking Guide's features makes it "actually better than your average recipe book" and praised both the ease of use of the software and the range of recipes it offers, but felt that the European retail price it was being sold at was too steep. They gave it 80%. Pocketgamer felt that while practiced cooks will have little use for it, on the whole it was more useful than other Touch! Generations titles such as Brain Training. IGN gave Personal Trainer: Cooking a 9/10, praising its accessibility, user interface and features such as the instructional audio narration. It was awarded Best Use of Sound by IGN in their 2008 video game awards.
Cooking Guide received an Excellence Prize for Entertainment at the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival. Supermarket chain Asda has claimed that Cooking Guide has sold over 10,000 copies in the first hour of release alone, and has also positively affected the sales of products used in the application's recipes. The North American version was the 13th best-selling game and third best-selling Nintendo DS game of December 2008 in the United States.
Five sequels to the original Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi were developed and released by two companies. From Nintendo are Kenkou Ouen Recipe 1000: DS Kondate Zenshuu (健康応援レシピ1000 DS献立全集 lit. "Health Boost Recipe 1000: DS Complete Menu"?) and for the first time released worldwide, Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat? in Europe, Personal Trainer: Cooking in North America and in Japan as Sekai no Gohan Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi (世界のごはん しゃべる！DSお料理ナビ?). Nintendo also released the 2010 US sequel America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking, based on the PBS program, America's Test Kitchen after Cook's Illustrated magazine helped the publisher to write the game. From Koei are Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi: Marugoto Teikoku Hotel (しゃべる!DSお料理ナビ まるごと帝国ホテル It Talks! DS Cooking Navigator: The Marugoto Empire Hotel?) and Kantan! Tanoshii! Okashi Navi DS (かんたん!たのしい!お菓子ナビDS Simple! Fun! Pastry Navigator DS?).
A musical remix based on this Nintendo DS title was used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, where it was heard in the Kirby Final Smash update. This was only heard on the Japanese version of the official website; however, the song was added to all versions of Super Smash Bros. Brawl as one of the songs for the PictoChat stage.
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