Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Manual Stimulation: Kitchen Panic (GameBoy)

After perusing this recent post and this one, too, you couldn't help but wonder if Kitchen Panic's instruction manual could possibly compare to its packaging, could you?

Hey, I understand. I wondered the same thing myself after I first came across this obscure-ish, Japan-only GameBoy title.

So, what's the verdict? Have a look and tell me yourself.

The front and back covers (above) of Kitchen Panic's manual may be my favorite part of the whole she-bang thanks to the fact that its designers made them ape the look of the original GameBoy hardware.

Next up is the game's backstory, which of course I don't understand. I am pretty fond of the rather touching illustration of its protagonist embracing a woman I presume to be his mother.

A description of Kitchen Panic's controls. Not very visually stimulating, I agree, but this kind of thing was pretty par for the course back then so I'll give the folks responsible this booklet a pass.

Oh, hey, a screenshot of the game's title screen. I'm not sure what else is detailed on that particular page, though, I'm sorry to say. I believe the right-hand page, on the other hand, covers Kitchen Panic's "rules."

OK, you've got to admit the art on the right-hand page above is pretty adorable. Each of those illustrations are recreated in the game's intro, by the way.

These pages (above) describe the rewards players receive when they push three panels--which are dropped by vanquished insects--into one another during a particular stage.

Items! These basically enhance the protagonist's abilities--or at least that's been my experience with them so far. Anyway, I like how the manual's designers decided to use the actual sprites here rather than illustrated depictions.

I'm pretty sure the characters at the top of page eight translate to "Bonus Game." Anyway, more sprites--my favorite of which, of course, is the slice of cake that appears to be topped with a strawberry. (I really like the, uh, frog hat one, too.)

These character portraits are pretty well done, too, don't you think? I especially like the insect ones myself.

Unfortunately, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what information the pages below are supposed to share with readers, although I think the one on the left briefly describes each of Kitchen Panic's five stages?

Hopefully someone with a far, far better grasp of Japanese will chime in and correct me if I'm wrong--and also point out the gist of the right-hand page's contents.

So, what do you think? Does Kitchen Panic's manual favorably or unfavorably compare to its vibrant box art?

See also: my 'Great Gaymathon' review of Kitchen Panic, plus previous 'Manual Stimulation' posts


Walter Beast said...

By the way, I find the design of the back of the box for Yoshi's New Island to be pretty neat. Its back of the box art as well as a semi-instruction manual. But I do miss instruction manuals these days. Especially since is all gone "electronic". :P
Thanks for posting up this scan! Keep posting more!

thegaygamer.com said...

Hmmm, I don't remember thinking anything in particular about the back of Yoshi's New Island's packaging, to tell you the truth. Are you talking about the NA version or the EU version? Regardless, I'll have to go check it out in a minute.

Also, isn't the "manual" that's included with Yoshi's New Island just a folded up piece of paper with black and white text on it? I don't remember any images or illustrations at all.

As for missing instruction manuals: you know what? Although I miss manuals from the Famicom/NES era all the way through the PS1 era, that's about it. Manuals have been getting more wordy and less creative for a while now--to the point where most DS, GBA and PS2 manuals, even, are pretty unappealing to me :(

Anyway, I'm glad you like these posts and I definitely plan on keeping them up. In fact, I have a bunch of really cool ones that are just waiting to be scanned and published!

Walter Beast said...

Its basically "Yoshi's back! You can Swallow enemies and make eggs! Smash blocks!" It does it subtle, but tells you how to play the whole game in a glance.
And no, unfortunately all that white pieces of paper you see in 3DS cases are just the safety manuals/electronic instructions. Few 3DS games have come with ACTUAL manuals. All are mostly accessed through the Home Screen electronically. VITA games don't even come with instruction manuals! Almost end of an era!
I think some of my favorite instruction booklet art would have to be We Love Katamari and Wario Ware: Mega Microgames (with stickers!).
There are some other nicely composed ones on GBA and DS. Few and far between....

thegaygamer.com said...

So, are you saying you like the in-game manual included w/ Yoshi's New Island? Or are you saying something else entirely? Sorry if I'm being dense.

Anyway, yep, you're definitely right that few 3DS games come with any sort of actual, printed manual these days--and the manuals that are included with these games aren't very interesting.

I'll have to check out the We Love Katamari manual, as I know I have that game. Don't have Wario Ware: MM, though. That's the GC version, right? May have to pick that up someday...

Walter Beast said...

Hahha, I'm just saying I like the back of the box for Yoshi's New Island, and found it clever that they designed to be a "1-2-3-step" Instructions on how to play the game.
Oh dude, We Love Katamari manual is some of the best artwork I've seen in a manual ever. US version too!
And the first WarioWare for GBA. IT game with stickers that you can place throughout the manual as a little mini game. The one for Gamecube, Mega Party Games, has a great book in the JPN version. Comes with poo stickers to place in a little board-game-like foldout.
Check out these site. Has some nice, PDF scans of manuals (Dragon Warrior and Katamari!)

michaelstearns said...

It's certainly got all the charm an old manual really needs, if not much extravagance!

The final pages are stage descriptions and the usual run of safety warnings (don't remove the cart while the console is on, etc). By the way, if it were not obvious I feel compelled to inform you that the bald old man shown in the manual is definitely God.

thegaygamer.com said...

I agree, Michael! It's hardly the most fabulous GB manual, but it's still pretty nice :)

Thanks for helping with the last few pages, by the way. Oh, and letting me know the bald guy is God! I kind of thought that may be the case, but of course I didn't know.

thegaygamer.com said...

OK, I get it. Yes, that was a nice enough touch. As for the We Love Katamari manual, I'll check out that site you linked to shortly. Thanks for the link :)

Walter Beast said...

Random article I just found about Nintendo changing the instruction manual format... Which, in a way, as led me to buy most of my 3DS games digitally. And makes it easier to switch games, of course. ;)

thegaygamer.com said...

I'm still buying most of my 3DS games physically, Walter, although I will buy some digitally that I want to have always available. I'd go more heavily digital if Nintendo had a real account system in place, but since they don't...

Walter Beast said...

Yeah, Animal Crossing and some other RPGS (Fire Emblem/SMTIV) are a total must-buy digital for me. Long games that I know I will invest a lot of time in and don't want to constantly take out the cart to play another games. Especially Animal Crossing. That game should came permanently installed onto every 3DS to curse anyone who starts it! Hahaha