It would have been fair to expect Hell’s Kitchen to be a Cooking Mama-style cook-‘em-up, but instead it focuses on all aspects of the restaurant. You’ll take orders, serve customers, cook food and placate CGI Chef Ramsay at every turn. Gordon begins each round just as he begins each day – incandescent with rage, ready to hurl (cuss-free) abuse at any lesser food-makers who dare to set foot in his kitchen. Successful service will lower his fury, but poor performance will turn him into a fuming monster who’ll demand you “stop ******* around, you ******* stupid ********.”
Actually, no he won’t. Gordon is a static 3D render who spouts reams of text and the occasional voice sample. He’s emblematic of the game’s uncompromisingly lousy presentation. Everything in the game looks bad, and the environments never change. It has the look and simplicity of a Flash game, but with a not-even-budget price tag. And yet it’s not terrible. Like classic coin-op Tapper, the game keeps you under such constant and unrelenting pressure that you’ll rarely get a chance to notice how crummy it looks and sounds. You’ll seat your customers with a click, take their order with another, switch to the kitchen, prepare their meal (ensuring each of the ingredients leaves the pan at the right time), switch to the dining room, serve their meal and move onto the next customer.
It’s simple fun, but fun that’s worthy of a decent score as a cheapo Wiiware game, not on a full-price disc. At that price, it can go **** **** and **** itself – as Gordon would say.
Oct 8, 2008