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Joystiq presents

DS Fanboy Review: Brain Age 2

When we first received our package from Nintendo containing Brain Age 2, we were anxious to see how this game would distinguish itself from the original. Then, we realized we were insane and that Brain Age 2 would probably be the exact same thing as the first title, only with boxart of a different color.

We were right.

But, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Nintendo's non-game game is designed to present the user with quick bursts of puzzles, aimed at the ultimate goal of making you a mentally fit human being. More so than when you went into the title. Does it really do that? Well, we're sure we'd need a lab of resources much too large for our damp dungeon of an office.

The first screen the game will present to you.

So, upon booting up the game, you're presented with the option of jumping into Quick Play, Daily Training or Sudoku. Sudoku is unchanged, so there's no need to touch on that. Quick Play allows you to jump into any of your unlocked challenges for a quick bit of fun. Finally, there's the meat and potatoes of the title: Daily Training.

Daily Training begins by asking you to confirm some of your settings, then it jumps into testing your Brain Age. The first test is an audio challenge, asking you to yell out "rock," "paper" or "scissors" to either win or lose against the CPU. Here we encountered our first issue with the game: it can't recognize "scissors" with any kind of consistency. It's the blue fiasco all over again.

Get ready to see this screen many, many times.

That aside, once the game failed to recognize my speech, it resorted to another task and asked me to solve some simple math problems. After completing the initial challenge, I was rewarded a Brain Age of ...

Ouch. It has been awhile since I played the first game.

The game has some chuckle-worthy moments, if you have the humor of a child (we do!).

After your initial test, the Daily Training follows the same formula as the first title. Each day, you can do one, or all, of your available challenges. Upon stamping yourself complete for the day, the floating head of Dr. Kawashima might award you with a new challenge. From there, you can review your previous successes via the Graph section. It's exactly the same as the first title.

So, if more brain training is what you're looking for, then Brain Age 2 is the title for you. As far as furthering the franchise, it doesn't do much to push the boundaries, instead satisfying for more of the same. Given its price and purpose, though, Brain Age 2 does what you'd expect and want it to.

Final Score: 8/10

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