Games review: Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training


Dr. Kawashima & # 39; s brain training

NS, ★★ ✩✩✩

Do you remember brain training? Around the world in the mid-1990s, people screamed to show their mental age score as a glittering medal in the first place.

The most important of the games was the original Dr. Brain Training. Kawashima, a collection of quick-fire math, literacy and memory tests that was developed for the Nintendo DS Lite in 2005 in collaboration with Japanese neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima.

It came with the promise that playing for just a few minutes a day could increase creativity and concentration while banishing those dreaded "senior moments." It was one of the most successful games of its time (Nicole Kidman and Patrick Stewart were mega fans), with nearly 20 million copies worldwide. And all of this despite neuroscientists around the world who invalidate the claim of improving gray matter.

Now this faint remaster comes from the original. The biggest problem is that the game was great for its own era, but not so much now. Before smartphones, Candy Crush et al, Dr. Kawashima offered something unique and challenging – it was the gaming equivalent of doing the crossword on a Sunday and a catalyst for the sudoku craze of the new century. Nowadays, a self-help tool that fits in your pocket is no longer a novelty.

Things don't make sense as a game spectacle either. The gimmick of Brain Training is testing your & # 39; brain time & # 39; via three types of exercises, each focused on a different element of the brain: processing speed, self-control and memory. The lower the score, the healthier your brain, with the idea that playing more will increase your score.

The starting point depends on a rewarding experience, but remembering 25 songs in a grid feels annoying and irrelevant. The piano-based consideration is picky with the touch screen and new items such as photographic memory, where you have to remember a photo while learning a new one, is like something of The Krypton Factor (and not in a good way). The sudoku puzzles are just as enjoyable as 15 years ago, but some other exercises can stand the test of time.

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Despite the addition of some mini-games from the original's sequels, many new classic mini-games are missing for technical reasons – along with new quizzes created for this edition – and these issues also haunt the overall experience.

For some of the newer mini-games, for example, the IR sensor on the right-hand side requires Joy-Con (something the Switch Lite doesn't even have), but when used for hand gestures such as finger counting for rock, paper, scissors, the de reliability is so shabby that being tested for the speed of your reaction feels unfair.

Factor in a loss of voice recognition exercises due to the lack of a built-in microphone and everything feels light. Ultimately, this is a brain-draining, not training, experience.

The verdict

The one-time go-to game for mental improvement is badly outdated

Before the competition: also out this week

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Capcom & # 39; s beast-murder series has been a modern mega-hit and the icy 200-hour-plus expansion package easily justifies the asking price. Released last year on consoles, this week's desktop version comes with a hair-raising mix of new and terrifying monsters, a suggestive Hoarfrost Reach region and welcome mechanical upgrades. (PC)

Goodbye Deponia

Released at the end of last year, Goodbye Deponia and Deponia Doomsday are the third and fourth installments of the popular 2010 Deponia comedy adventure series. to boot. A blessing for gamers who love stories. (Dutch Railways)

AO Tennis 2

The second game in the Australian Open series has another way to catch up with the touch-feel classics Virtua Tennis and Top Spin 4. Yet a few solid aces are served here, with a narrative driven career mode for singles and doubles, a litany of customization options and high-quality gameplay upgrades. (PS4, XO, NS, PC)

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