Cooking With the DS : Traveling Pack for the Cooking Fan (2010 Edition)
DS Traveling Set (for the Cooking Fan) Traveling Bag
NOTE - First off any good traveling bag for your DS and all your games should have a shoulder strap on it. Something so you can directly carry said bag on your person. Bags without shoulder straps are easily forgotten or left behind by absent minded individuals so you should always make sure it's at hand, and hard to leave behind when you consistently travel with it (sticking it in your pocket is also another easy way to forget it... and add to the fact the amount of gear I'm going to recommend to you would not easily fit into your pocket anyway).
Right now two different types of bags are on my recommend list. Any Official Nintendo DS bag (with shoulder strap) These are rather large and bulky, but the trade off is that they can hold more stuff in turn (which is nice if you are considering packing two separate accessory holders for your DS and games).
Any good Portable Camera bag from the camera section of any well stocked supermarket (for instance the Snap Sights Portable Camera Bag, which I use). It's smaller than the Official DS bag, but it is easier to carry and fits under most large jackets or coats with less obvious bulk. Also, with space management, you can hold a the following accessories I'm about to recommend AND the recharge cords for your DS/cell phone and a few GBA games to boot (if you are owner of a DSLite and not a DSi).
Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 1 of 3. Click to enlarge
Three possible setups I have here for you to consider.1-Dreamgear.net DSLite/DSi pouch
Holds 3 DS games (6 if you double up) and the DS/DSi. Of course since this is a DSi item there is no slots for GBA games, you'll have to hold those in whatever traveling bag you use for the DS.
2-Dreamgear.net DSLite/DSi pouch AND the DSLite Duo Game Case
Adding the Duo Game Case doubles your game storage as you can carry in it 6 games (no doubling up I take it) and a stylus.
3-DSLite Nintendo XL Kit
This I'm looking to add on and review. It is supposed to be capable of carrying 12 DS games, the DS itself and 2 styluses! That's a ton of carry power in one item! Now that is a definite must have if I do say so myself!
Earphones - For those moments you are compelled for silence or just want to drown out the maddening throng of humanity about you... or you just really like the music of the game (I'm hoping the DSi is capable of storing actual music since I tried that with the DS and it's Games n' Music third party release... no such luck).Charging Stand - Probably best for recharing the DS while in your hotel so it's not just lying about on a table or cabinet top. Of course I'd never recharge the DS and then go out leaving it recharging, I'd not recharge it until I plan to stay put in the room while it's "feeding"... oh, none of the traveling bags I know have room for this item short of buying a second bag just for bulky accessories so you'd have to pack this away in your suitcase or carryon... or sew large pouches into your best traveling jacket/vest/coat to carry this in, though with the present age of fears of terrorist attack I'm wondering how that sort of technological set-up will be greeted by airport security.
Random Bits of Advice
Do You Need Styluses on the Trip? Well if you got either the DSLite XL or the DSLite Duo you can easily carry a spare stylus with you. Otherwise either of the two traveling bags have enough room to carry a couple of styluses with you if you feel you need backups (the Snap Sights bag has a little mini pouch on the flap which can hold styluses, and there's a ton of room in the Official DS bag for styluses to be put in).Should I change my screen protectors before a trip? If it looks like it's about time you should. Ideally you should probably change the protectors after so much time and wear to keep them fresh (which is something I need to do soon myself).
Take the car charger with you? Only if you plan to rent a car throughout the trip AND you're going to spend a great deal of time using said car going all over the place (again I'd only charge while in the car, never leaving the DS behind when leaving the car which is probably good on so many levels besides possible theft since it'd probably drain the car battery if left in the idle car and that can't be good), otherwise if you're going to stick to public transportation throughout then carrying a car charger is a pointless task since you'll never use it. Ditto if you are not using your rental car very much, it's nice to have but if you are not for long periods in the car then you're not going to get any use out of the charger.
Wrist strap or no wrist strap (aka the evils of the Lanyard)? Depends on you. Me? Well I don't use one, but I am beginning to feel (with all the reviews I write relating to the sturdiness of DS gear while on the road) I should be looking into one. I recommend getting one that is just right for you (large enough to fit around your wrist and snug just right without being too uncomfortable). If the wrist strap is too uncomfortable to wear then it's not the right one for you.
Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
Image 2 of 3. Click to enlarge
Now easier to fill out since a brand new batch of games came out end of 2009 and first quarter of 2010 (which is becoming the new Christmas of hot game releases it seems what is many good games coming out this first quarter like Mass Effect 2, and (on the cooking front) Fast Food Panic and Sushi Go Round).Game Choices (in alphabetical order)
One - Cake Mania trilogy
Now you can cart all three Cake Mania games (including the newly released Cake Mania 3) anywhere you go. The only downside to the games is that it's abit small on a DS screen so it's not the best to play if you're really worn out (and incapable of doing detailed operations like pointing at small voice bubbles or picking up and frosting small cakes, or discerning what three layers of cake you have to make and if it has a topping or not) Still if you're a fan of the series you'll enjoy these games.
Two - Cooking Mama trilogy
Another three gamer now that Coking Mama 3 : Shop n' Chop is out. Though I heard Shop n' Chop is supposed to be packing the recipes of the original and Dinner With Friends so if you're on a budget I suppose just getting Shop n' Chop is good enough for the collection. Still if you can find them on bargain bins and can afford it having the entire set might be just what the chef ordered.
Three - Diner Dash (original) and Flo on the Go
Now up to two games, you can have two experiences of the Diner Dash kind on your DS. Abit small of screen compared to the original PC, of course, but again if you are a fan of the original two games you might want to add this to your collection.
Four - Fast Food Panic
Just out the first week of January (if it isn't delayed), this little version of the soon to come Wii game (later in January short of any delays) looks like a rather interesting multitasker game (with you making the food and running the shop with your assistant, having said partner do things like clean up, deliver the orders and chase out the random mouse while you do the cooking, helping the assistant when called for).
Five - Iron Chef America : Supreme Cuisine
I actually haven't tried this one yet but since we don't have much picks I'm hoping I'm going to like this as much as I did the Wii counterpart. Review coming soon.
Six - Gourmet Chef
The innovative little cooking game that could. Nice work Ubisoft.
Seven - Happy Cooking
I only have word of mouth of associates to go with on this one, but so far I've been told good things about this one.
Eight - Imagine Master Chef
It's actually a pretty good game, and probably the only game of the Imagine series I don't mind admitting to liking (which is a rarity).
Nine - Sushi Go Round
I'm hoping this DS sushi game rates better than it's predecessor, Sushi Academy, though it's not going to be out until February 2010 so I'm still out concerning this game's judgement until I can review it later in the quarter. Stay tuned.
Ten - Wedding Dash
Same problem as Cake Mania and Diner Dash and so forth, the screen is abit small for a game originating from the PC... but still if you enjoyed the original you might want this one (part of the Dash series of games of which so far Diner Dash and this have made the journey from PC to DS).
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I heard good things about this one, so it might be a nice back up selection if you can find it. Not the easiest cooking game on the DS to locate.
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Two - Candace Kane's Candy Factory
Just started reviewing it as I write this up. My only problem with the DS version is that the candy seem to be really really small and hard to pick off with the stylus, so that might be the one downer that keeps this from becoming a mainstay of any well stocked DS collection... more on that once I review the DS version.
Yeah, I'm not even recommending Hell's Kitchen on the PC OR the Wii, why would I subject you to it on the DS! Not a fun game, not a fun game at all.
The Jamie Oliver cooking "game" on the DS
Yeah, that one, the one that tries to be part Cooking Mama and part Personal Trainer : Cooking and fails at both miserably. I swear if any other so called celebrity chefs put out more shovel ware like this I'm going to get really pissy at them! Honestly! Stop cluttering the DS with your evil games!!
The problem with this game isn't that it's a Cooking Mama clone (with sushi), it's that it's short (not enough recipes to really dig into) and has zero replay value (once you play through once there's no motivation short of just loving to make sushi to even want to try and play this game again). Maybe it might appeal to you, but I can't imagine how considering the shortcomings it has to overcome to even be the slightest bit appealing.
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