One of the greatest things about the original PS2 was with its huge install base publishers were able to take a chance on bringing over some truly quirky and unique titles that normally wouldn’t sell. One of my favorite lost treasures from this era was a game known as The Adventures of Cookies & Cream, an eccentric co-op title that really took advantage of the Dual-Shock controller. Now more than five years later FromSoftware’s innovative adventure game is making the leap from console to handheld with the release of Cookie & Cream for the Nintendo DS. While this new iteration doesn’t work quite as well as its console brethren there is still plenty of fun to be had.
For anyone who played the original game you will be familiar with the setup. Cookie & Cream doesn’t rely so much on platforming as it does solving the games distinctive puzzles. Much like the original PS2 game C&C uses the dual screens to display each character’s journey through the extremely linear stages. The top screen character is maneuvered by the D-pad, but all puzzles require some form of touch screen interactivity. Most of them consist of simply turning a wheel or tugging at a rope and for the most part they aren’t too complicated. What is challenging though is figuring out just how each action will effect the environment ahead.
There is also a sense of urgency during your play through as it is imperative that the top screen bunny keep moving at all times. Failure to comply with this rule will result in getting attacked by random enemies if you remain idle for too long. There is also a timer that keeps ticking away which will boost your score the faster you complete each scenario. Your first time through may feel like a challenge, but it’s the second and third jaunts that will really push your skills to the limit as you aim for the best score in each level.
While this may sound shallow it really is addictive to try and best your top scores. Some online leaderboards would have greatly increased this feature, but as it stands there is enough to keep you coming back for more. You can also unlock up to nine different mini-games by getting high scores in the single-player mode. For the most part these are a nice diversion even if some of them seem derivative at first.
The core game is certainly chock full of Japanese goodness and you will never get the sense that it was aimed at anyone over the age of ten. This is further attested by the fact that the game is about two bunnies in search of a lost moon. Granted the storyline is irrelevant and if you are accustomed to these types of games it won’t matter, but it will likely steer some gamers clear of this otherwise excellent title.
Outside of the solid single-player journey there are also several multi-player modes that will likely entertain even the most jaded of gamer. For starters we have a co-op mode that can be played locally as well as download play for a few select levels in case your friends are too cheap to dish out the dough. However the real draw here is the online WiFi multi-player battles for up to four players. Here you can duke it out with up to three other players in a series of mini-games for the title of Cookie & Cream master, sure it won’t score many points with the ladies, but it is damn fun. The sad part is that in our playtest there were absolutely no players looking for random matches online so unless you have a group of friends who all own this cartridge you may be out of luck.
Cookie & Cream is a terrific game that is only hindered by its appearance. The cute and fuzzy bunny motif will likely distance the game from most players at the local shop, but I assure you it makes you no less of a hardcore gamer to enjoy the finer delicacies from the Land of the Rising Sun. If you are a DS owner in search of something new and most importantly fun to play then look no further than FromSoftware’s surprisingly addictive Cookie & Cream for the Nintendo DS. Now if only we could get a PSP version of Vib Ribbon I would be set for life.