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Posts with tag Brain Age

DS releases for the week of July 16th



We hate to break it to you -- but if you're in the U.S., there are no new DS games this week. And here we were all coasting on a post-E3 high, too, stuffed with news and excitement. Sigh. Guess we'll just have to ogle the releases around the world, then. Collect your oglin' glasses and hit the jump!

Continue reading DS releases for the week of July 16th

DS Daily: Brain Training Training


With Brain Age 2 on the way, we thought we'd start helping everyone limber up mentally, in the most meta way we could think of. Let's come up with new Brain Age challenges! They may increase bloodflow to the prefrontal cortex, or they may not-- we have no idea! We'll get you started with some examples:
  • You have two minutes to write as many jokes as you can about Dr. Kawashima's mama!
  • Calculate Nintendo's profits based on a given number of Brain Age sales!
  • How well can you remember the lyrics to Kris Kross's Sprite jingle?

E307: Brain Age 2 is looking better all the time


It looks like the second round of Brain Age will have a lot more to offer, and that's without even considering the unlockable Dr. Mario! We've updated our gallery with new screenshots that include images from a change-making game (a very helpful skill to practice) and a pretty dubious drawing of New York that's still better than anything we could manage (but somehow reminds us of Pictochat ... ). And don't forget to check out the trailer after the jump!

Gallery: Brain Age 2

Continue reading E307: Brain Age 2 is looking better all the time

DS Daily: Machismo


Ever lie about what you're playing? Say, for instance, you're playing Pokemon, which is widely regarded among the non-gaming population (and certain contingents of the gaming population) as for babies, and you, as a non-baby, are asked what's in your DS by a friend.

Do you say something distinctly un-baby-like, like Brain Age or the tough-sounding Tank Beat? Or do you stay true to yourself and happily announce that you're training your new Wurmple? Are there other situations in which you consider lying? If, for example, you are playing Brain Age and you're accosted by a gamer friend who hasn't joined the non-game revolution? Or if some bloggers survey their audience and you're playing something that you don't think is appropriately cool?

Train your brain in public


Imagine an alternate universe in which arcades not only exist, but are still stocked with new games. Now imagine that one of the biggest and most impressive-looking units in the place is a brain training game. As you may have guessed, it's not an alternate universe! You know, because the coverage on this site is limited to just the one universe.

Minna de Kitaeru Zenno Training is an arcade brain training game released in late 2006 by Bandai Namco, created under the supervision of the smartest disembodied head we know, Dr. Ryuta Kawashima. Much like Brain Age, it uses a touch screen to present simple mathematical and logical tasks. But unlike Brain Age, Zenno Training is on a huge screen in the middle of a game center.

It's quite amazing how popular brain training has become! We wonder if Bandai Namco expects people to go back to the arcade every day for training. That would be so diabolical!

Conjecture Countdown: 8 days to go



Even with a diminished E3, there's no controlling the wave of rumors that hit the Internet every year before the show. Why fight it? From now until E3 hits, we'll be posting one piece of wild speculation every day. Some may be patently ridiculous, and others just might turn out to be true. Even some of the ridiculous ones might turn out to be true! Rest assured, everything will be totally made-up and unfounded. Except, of course, when we speak about all the ass Reggie is going to kick. That part? Totally true.

Rumor: The third Train Your Brain installment, Brain Age: With a Vengeance, will be announced for a late 2007 release. To keep the non-game series fresh, this third episode will come packed with popular gimmicks like customizable outfits, alternate endings, and a new, sinister villain -- Dark Dr. Kawashima!

Nicole Kidman enjoys Nintendo products*

Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman has joined the ranks of the brain-trained. The star of Practical Magic, Batman Forever, and Days of Thunder has agreed to become the official face of More Brain Training (well, the other official face) in a series of print and television advertisements to be shown across Europe.

"I love the concept that Nintendo is reaching out to new audiences with their self improvement products like Brain Training," Kidman said. "Most importantly, I've quickly found that training my brain is a great way to keep my mind young." Maybe now Nintendo and Brain Age will finally be able to achieve some success.

*For money.

Non-Game Boy: Serious games before they were cool


Since the release of Brain Age in Japan, Nintendo has turned their attention toward casual, nontraditional fare for adult audiences. Much of it, like Brain Age, is casual game material with a slight educational slant, but other successful DS releases, like Cooking Navi and Eigo Zuke, are not games at all, but rather educational aids and tools designed to use the DS's unique interface. They're all doing massive business, which makes it difficult to laugh at them no matter how silly they are.

But Nintendo was not the first company to attempt to sell application software on a gaming system, however. That distinction probably falls on BASIC Programming for the Atari 2600. Nintendo wasn't even the first company to sell application software on a Nintendo handheld. In fact, Game Boy non-games appeared in 1991. They didn't change the face of gaming. But they make for an interesting historical footnote now, and isn't that better than selling millions of copies? It is for us!

Continue reading Non-Game Boy: Serious games before they were cool

Brain Age 2 boxart is BLUUUUUUUUUE

We don't necessarily make a post about the box design for every new game, but we pretty much had to for Brain Age 2, for the following reasons:
  1. It's a huge game
  2. We are too weak to resist the obvious joke (see title)
  3. hahahaha bluuuuuuuue
We don't know if it's possible to be as excited about the return of Brain Age as the Japanese public continues to be, but we eagerly await the return of our teacher, friend and constant source of Photoshop inspiration, Dr. Ryuta Kawashima's Disembodied Polygonal Head.

[Via GoNintendo]

Toys R Us summer toys list contains up to one video game


Toys R Us has put out their list of the top 24 hottest toys for this summer, and, surprisingly, there is only one video game on the list-- and even that one's kind of a non-game, according to some people's definitions. Nintendo's brain-teasin' hit Brain Age represents the entirety of our hobby in Toys R Us's summer marketing campaign, despite being a game about math problems, and despite being over a year old. Technically, they also advertise the Leapster, but ... don't worry about the Leapster..

Are we seeing early signs of a Japan-style Brain Age phenomenon? Should we start hoarding DS Lites?
[Via Game|Life]

DS Daily: Dr. Kawashima or BLUUUUUUUUUUUUE?


In this corner, we have the one, the only, the talking, taunting head of DOCTORRRRRRRRRRR KAWASHIIIIIIIIIIMA! And in the blue corner, it's the reigning heavyweight champion of the world ... your complete inability to speak your own native language! READY? FIGHT!

Which one presents more of a challenge -- the mocking Dr. Kawashima, or those tricky phonetics?

DS Daily: Did it work?


So we've all had a while to mess with Brain Age. We've Stroop tested and memorized lists of words and been yelled at by a floating head. Did it work? Do you feel smarter ... more aggressive ... like you could take on the world?

Or can you at least do division a little more quickly? That's pretty good too.

Non-games selling non-poorly in Japan

It's no secret that Japan has got Brain Age on the brain. Brain Age and its sequel, which was just now (kind of) announced for the US, have broken all kinds of sales records and been pretty much the sole motivator for the insane success of the DS.

But what is less well-known is that, in addition to driving the creation of a ton of copycat software, training fever is pervasive enough to drive sales of that stuff. In other words, Brain Age has created a market for non-games, just like Nintendo hoped it would.

Gpara compiled a list of 95 DS non-games ordered by Media Create sales numbers, and NeoGAFfer Jonnyram has translated the first ten. These things don't cost much to make, and they are bringing in stacks of money. That's Economics Training at work. Or it would be if that existed. Give it a couple of weeks.
  1. Brain Age 2: 4,266,000
  2. Brain Age: 3,403,000
  3. Eigo Zuke (English Training): 1,937,000
  4. Big Brain Academy 1,519,000
  5. General Knowledge Training/Common Sense Training:1,381,000
  6. Cooking Navi: 815,000
  7. Kanji Test: 523,000
  8. Tokoton Kanji Brain: 406, 000
  9. IQ Suppli DS: 219,000
[Via NeoGAF]

DS Daily: Does YOUR brain need more training?



From the look of an AP photo from the Nintendo Media Summit, the US is going to be getting a little more face time with Dr. Kawashima after all. We're sure no one is surprised. We find this whole thing rather alarming, honestly. Didn't we get trained? Did our training fail, or is it just that we have more brain than the first game could handle?

All jokes aside, are you going to go in for round two?

Reggie extols the wonders of the DS

Just in case you didn't know, the DS owns the Japanese market. At today's Nintendo Media Summit, Reggie Fils-Aime dropped a major bomb: so far in 2007, half of all games sold in Japan have been for the DS. Yes, that was half. It may be time to move beyond the "it prints money" joke. We're not sure that really communicates this level of success. Also, the numbers of people over the age of 30 who are buying the DS are up -- if you look at DS adopters over 35, the statistics are huge: the numbers are up 212%.

Looking at that, it's easy to guess why we're seeing more and more of what we jokingly refer to as "non-games" rolling out for the DS. A lot of these new gamers aren't as interested in traditional fare, and as the market expands, the type of games has to expand as well. Satoru Iwata had good reason to come down hard on NoA for not getting the U.S. market on the Brain Age train; everywhere else, the game continues to walk off shelves at alarming rates.

Reggie said they're seeing "significant market change" in the U.S., and we can only hope that means that, as the gaming market expands, so will gaming advertising. It's time DS commercials broke out of their Saturday morning slots and started marketing to the new gaming class: adults who like shooting zombies just as much as they like studying languages.

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