Joystiq impressions: Personal Trainer: Cooking

Out already in Europe and Japan, Personal Trainer: Cooking launches in North America on November 24. Like other upcoming Personal Trainer titles (Math! Walking!), Cooking is more tutor than game. After sampling its recipes, we developed a taste for the concept. The cookbook of 245 dishes gives step-by-step instructions, meeting chefs with a range of skill levels.

We browsed through recipes by nationality, ingredients used, keywords, and a full list. This versatility earns Personal Trainer: Cooking a point over typical cookbooks. If you're out of something, you can tap the name of an ingredient to add it to the built-in shopping list. Then you can face the scorn of jocks everywhere while using the DS in a grocery store.

Back safely at home, recipes include spoken instructions for each step. And if your hands are full, the DS responds to a few voice commands to repeat, pause, or move forward or back. These methods also beat a typical cookbook, although we're most interested in the deeper instructions and video that accompany some steps. For example, we watched a video about cleaning a rainbow trout and sealing dumplings, which were clearer than written instructions.

While you could probably get Personal Trainer: Cooking for your cooking mama, it might better serve to expand your Doritos-eating horizons. We'll check it out again in our own kitchens next month, but we're not bringing it to the grocery store.