GGUK managed to have a chat with Takeshi Nagashima about the new Cooking Mama 4 and where the series came from, before partying like only Mama can.
Today sees double Mama goodness in the UK, with the release of both Cooking Mama World: Outdoor Adventures on the DS and Mama’s first 3D outing in Cooking Mama 4 for 3DS. However, last week we had the chance to sit down with Takeshi Nagashima, Founder of Cooking Mama Limited, and talked about not just Cooking Mama 4, but also the origins of Mama.
GGUK: With not long before Cooking Mama 4 is out on the 3DS, what can we expect from Mama’s first 3D outing?
TN: I am not particularly talking about the sales sum or the marketing side of it, but I’m very confident that the kids will play and enjoy it. I’m very, very confident about it.
GGUK: How will the game make use of the unique 3Ds functions?
TN: At the outset in general it’s a 2D platform. We didn’t want to make it 3D throughout for the simple reason that we were concerned about the childrens eyes – it can be difficult for the eyes to look at something totally 3D and keep on doing that. So we wanted to make it more interesting or more exciting by making a hambuger pop up, or maybe a bread or something to pop up. So that’s what we did, sort of a surprise element while playing, rather than having it fully 3D througout.
GGUK: How many recipes will there be in Cooking Mama 4?
TN: There will be 60 recipes at the outset, but children can combine and do their own thing in the game. You take a japanese noodle and you take a hamburger and you make a hamburg noodle, that sort of thing. Or putting shortcake on a pizza, like tailor-made combinations. We believe the kids will like doing that, and they will be mixing and matching the ones they like together.
GGUK: Beyond the cooking, what else can the player do?
TN:They can enjoy activities outside of the cooking by helping Mama with washing the plates, dusting, that sort of thing.
GGUK: what was the original inspiration for Mama?
TN: I have two daughters. I have sons aswell, but the two daughters like to pretend to be the mother and I thought “oh, kids really like this, this is something that really interests them”. Obviously the kids used their toys, used plastic knives or whatever, and they cut the tomatoes and things like that. So I thought if I create a product that they can use on a handheld, that will be fun for them.
GGUK: What does the future hold for Mama?
TN: Mama will be a game that will impress the kids and kids will continue to enjoy.
GGUK: Will we ever see Mama appear on the Xbox360 or ps3?
TN: At the moment we are looking at the possiblity. It’s something that we need to discuss with Mama.
GGUK: Mama has been around for a while now and starred in a lot of games. Which Mama game is your personal favorite and why?
TN: I like all of the Mama games. We loved Cooking Mama 1 and we put a lot of effort into it and people were very happy with the outcome. Having said that, when we developed Cooking Mama 2, we always wanted to do better than Cooking Mama 1, and similarly when we developed Cooking Mama 3 , we wanted to do something better than Cooking Mama 2. So, having come through that channel, now we have come to Cooking Mama 4 and that’s the one we think is the most interesting one. We put a lot of effort and a lot of time in, and that’s something we really like ourselves. So Cooking Mama 4 is my favorite.
GGUK: If you could see Mama make a cameo appearance in another game, which game would it be?
TN: There is only one Mama, and that Mama wont move.
After all of the interviews were wrapped up, everyone made their way to the Hard Rock Cafe in London for an evening of singing, dancing and partying like Mama. Mama was on hand to give everyone a big hug and Cooking Mama 4 was set up for everyone to have a look at.
But Karaoke was the order of the evening and Takeshi Nagashima was certainly not shy in getting up on stage and belting out some tunes with the live band. I won’t say that he has a career in singing, but the effort that he put in is something even Mama would be proud of.
Something else that Mama would be proud of are the two Mama games that are available from today.
Cooking Mama 4 provides 3D visual rewards to the player on completion of tasks on the 3DS, and includes four-player simultaneous play via wireless. Players can indulge in more than 200 mini-games and even customize Mama’s outfit, accessories and kitchen appliances.
For those wishing to escape the kitchen, Cooking Mama World: Outdoor Adventures for the DS will see Mama, Papa, Ichigo and Ringo going camping. There are over 100 mini-games to try as you attempt to complete the family camping picture book.
“The Cooking Mama games are the jewel in the crown of our kids and family games line-up,” said Ralph-Pitt Stanley, General Manager UK & Export at 505 Games. “It’s incredibly exciting to be able to offer not one but two fresh takes on the Cooking Mama gameplay experience this holiday season, ensuring Mama fans get great choice and fun gameplay whatever their handheld of choice.”