Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!(Switch eShop) Review
The original Cook Serve Delicious showed up many years ago now, and the best way to play it was on a tablet using the touch controls. Then Cook Serve Delicious 2 came out on the PC, and since then it has been a long agonising wait for the chance for the game to be ported over to the Switch (and other consoles). Thankfully that day has come. Cook Serve Delicious 2 is bringing intense cooking/food management to the Switch and not a moment too soon.
As the Chef you’re responsible for everything that goes on in your humble restaurant. Preparing the food, cleaning equipment, essentially keeping the place running and that’s not even talking about rush hours. At first, it can feel overwhelming, it takes a bit of time to adjust to all the button combinations as well as learning the more familiar duties. The tutorials will help fill you in and you can practice making any dish on the menu if you want to master it.
CSD2 is all about managing chaos – managing different food stations, often multiple food stations at the same time. Instead of always having to cook each meal hot dog or burger individually, you can prepare several servings and keep them in a holding station to save on a lot of waiting. The holding stations are key for keeping important ingredients ready to go, but you can also whip up some snacks as well to help increase a customers patience.
The main two modes within CSD2 are Chef for Hire mode and the Classic CSD mode. As a Chef for Hire, you’ll find yourself cooking in many different restaurants within the tower that offer a wide variety of menus that you likely wouldn’t encounter in the CSD mode without forking out a lot of Chedder to add them to your menu. Each unlockable day also provides a good variety of different food items, so no day should feel too similar to another even in the same restaurant. When you start a new day you’ll ultimately be judged on how many successful orders you filled. This is simple as Gold, Silver and Bronze, the better you get the more you level up your Chef and what they have access to.
The Cook Serve Delicious mode is a return to the original games structure. Of course the original game didn’t come out on the Switch, so fortunately the game will give you all the information you need. The main difference is that you choose the menu. You have to pick the menu going into any day. You’ll also be fine tuning this menu to ensure the offerings aren’t repeated too much in a row. You can make your offerings as basic or as complicated as you want, maintaining ‘buzz’ to bring more customers in. Keeping the menu changing keeps it from getting stale for yourself too.
Levelling up your Chef happens from across both Classic and Chef for Hire modes. There’s the medals from Chef for Hire and the bonus daily/weekly achievements that helps go towards your overall Chef level/Restaurant Stars. As you level up you’ll also unlock furniture, furnishings and knick knacks to display in your own designed store in the CSD mode. There’s a lot to unlock, as well as the occasional meal to add to your menu. You also earn money, which you use to upgrade your equipment and to purchase meals in CSD mode.
Both modes come with several settings to make it as tense or relaxed as you want it. In Chef for Hire you have the option of Classic or Zen. If you’re struggling to keep your head above water it can make all the difference to practice and get to know the different menu items, then before you know it it’ll be second nature. The CSD mode also allows you to choose settings that are similar to the original game which includes ‘buzz’ and menu options becoming stale. There’s also the new Standard which allows you to keep whatever’s on the daily menu without issues, or you can choose Zen or a Tense mode that will keep building constant buzz.
When getting your hands on CSD 2, you’ll find very quickly that you’ll be up against a lot of different button combos to make even the most simple of meals. For example Cereal – you hit Y to bring up the order, then you have to hold down R to bring up the cereal options as you press the button for the correct cereal in the order. Then you need to hit A to move the menu to the next page so you can add milk and any additional foods. I would recommend checking out a video of the game in action to get the best idea of a typical day working in the tower.
If the button controls are still not clicking with you, there is the option of touch controls. It’s not obvious that they’re an option but if you start a day with touching the icons it will stay on touch controls. This wasn’t as ideal as I hoped because the icons aren’t always that easy to hit. Although they can be a good substitute if you’re finding it too tricky to get around some of the trigger+button presses. It’s a shame that the touch screen controls don’t work on the menus, but ultimately it’s an option that can help take some of the edge off the intense menu memorisation and muscle memory.
In the world of CSD there doesn’t seem to be such thing as too many cooks, and for CSD2 there is a two player mode. There isn’t much to say about it, it works and works well. It’s easy to set up and having the extra help can make everything all the more manageable. Even when not focusing on the medals, it can just be fun to manage the restaurant with a friend.
CSD 2 isn’t a graphical powerhouse and nor is it the sort of game that needs it. It has a hand-drawn style that suits the game very well. More importantly, they manage to make the food look great enough there’s been too many occasions I’ve been jealous of some of that delicious-looking food I’m making. There’s always a lot going on, and the visuals do well at making the ingredient options clear so you can see what they are (outside of the really obscure foods). While everything is going on, there is also what I would call pretty close to elevator or hold music. It’s inoffensive music that wouldn’t be out of place in a food court or restaurant like this. As a rush hour builds up, the music builds up with it and adds to the tension as you’re struggling to keep the perfect order chain going. It suits the situation and helps tell you what’s happening without needing to look.
Cook Serve Delicious 2 is the kind of food management game the Switch could do with more of. It’s also a game perfectly suited for the Switch’s portability over the other versions. While there are other popular cooking games like Overcooked, it is very different from CSD2. CSD2 is the raging fire, containing a plethora of dishes including previous free DLC updates that increased the size of the menu even more. To see and make everything you could be playing this game for over 30 hours and that’s being generous. Your restaurant won’t run itself after all. This kind of cooking/management game won’t be for everyone, but for those who enjoy them will find it hard to let go. Cook Serve Delicious 2 is the Entree, the Main and the Dessert, and the best home for it is on the Switch.
Rating: 4 out of 5
- A great restaurant simulator
- Easy to get caught up in
- Lots of variety
- Different options including more relaxed difficulty
- Overwhelming at times
- Control prompts can get confusing