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Order Up! is the first restaurant simulation for the Wii experience, you start in the kitchen of a greasy pit called the Burger Face and work your way up to the Ritz Chez Haute, a French Service restaurant that is considered the best culinary establishment on the tourist island of Port Abello.
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The good parts
Order Up! is a short take on play time, but otherwise is an enjoyable and fun, yet quirky look at interactive-cooking entertainment for the masses that implements a responsive control scheme that works beautifully, and puts the fun and entertainment back in the virtual kitchen.
Good balance between cooking, running a restaurant, and small mini-adventures that add spice and entertainment variety to the experience by letting you get out of the kitchen to try other things. The game design allows you to improve your virtual cooking skills until you move up to different types of restaurants, all with different dishes you need to learn to make, before you can move up to the five star establishments or own your own restaurant.
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The bad parts
The developers would have improved the entertainment value measurably by adding more restaurants to try; I can think of many types that they could add from around the world that would have given this game extreme entertainment value. A multicultural island with all types of restaurants from every country in the world would be a neat concept to play and would have made this game even better.
A two player or more mode is a necessity for games being developed today, but unfortunately Order Up! doesn't come with the ability for you and your friends to compete in the competitive restaurant business, which would have been a really fun way to entertain and even learn some of the skills necessary to run a business.
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The game graphics
The unusual, yet charming and entertaining, visual presentation of Order Up! is easy on the eyes and provides enough definition that it's easy to tell the differences between the dishes and to work with the in-game menus and screens, of which there are a few. About equal in looks to a good PS2 title, which was adequate for a game like this, the colors are vibrant and pale shades of a limited, yet beautiful palette.
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Sounds in the game
Order Up! has kind of cartoonish, yet ample sound effects of cooking, slicing and dicing food that will make you smile as you cook, yet are good enough to allow you to use as audible hints to help you in your job.
An upbeat, yet reserved sound track of light and airy tunes will keep you tapping your feet at work, which always makes a hard day in the kitchen easier.
The character voice acting is one of the funnier parts as you learn to interact and provide service to customers who can often be quite demanding.
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Order Up! begins with you jumping out of a plane and parachuting into a garbage dumpster on the tropical resort island of Port Abello. Pulling yourself out of the garbage you stroll into a local grease pit called the Burger Face and take the job as short order cook. You will work your way through each day, earning tips you can use to upgrade the restaurant, hire more help, buy better and more recipes to help increase profits, or purchase spices for preparing special dishes. Once you start getting noticed by the food critics you earn stars you can use on your way to the top of Port Abello's culinary industry.
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Order Up! is a short affair, it took me about six hours to play through the game, and I was having fun trying everything, sometimes again and again. The only other entertainment available, other than hard difficulty, is the ability to enter the Fortified Chef Competition, which plays out somewhat like Iron Chef. Hard difficulty did allow for an increase in entertainment and challenge, as it's a lot harder to work without the visual and audible clues the game provides to make your job easier.
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The bottom line
In the final analysis Order Up! is fun, engaging, and challenging enough to keep you occupied and satisfied for five or six hours, but lacks the depth and modes to provide more than a light, yet delicious dish, with space left over for dessert. The very well balanced game that gets better as you improve your skills, Order Up! deserves a hearty well done for the chef, and I for one am looking forward to see the entertainment-recipe Supervillain Studios and Zoo come up with next.