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Posts with tag brain

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!

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.

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: 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.

Japanese hardware sales, May 14 - May 20: Satisfactory edition
Having issues with performance? Can't seem to keep those sales numbers up? Disappointed in your ability to satisfy Japanese schoolchildren? It's okay, Mr. Miyamoto. It's not you, it's just ... you know ... they've seen it all before. They want something new. They need something big, and yours just isn't big enough. But boy, do we have a product for you!

Trust us. With regular use comes a guaranteed increase in size, or your money back! Girls will flock to you, women will be putty in your hands! After all, we've seen the results firsthand. Yes, that's right, we've sunk quite a bit of our own money and time into this product, and we're just absolutely 100% positive you'll start seeing results within a few weeks. And hey, it's not your fault nature didn't give you a little more to work with! So go ahead and start Training Your Brain, Miyamoto-san, and give those women what they really want: your astronomically high IQ.

- DS Lite: 111,213 52,572 (32.10%)
- Wii: 52,193 351 (0.67%)
- PSP: 27,505 6,928 (20.12%)
- PS2: 10,881 467 (4.48%)
- PS3: 8,659 180 (2.04%)
- Xbox 360: 2,026 79 (3.75%)
- Game Boy Micro: 428 20 (4.90%)
- GBA SP: 330 13 (3.79%)
- Gamecube: 276 39 (12.38%)
- GBA: 33 15 (83.33%)
- DS Phat: 26 13 (33.33%)

[Source: Media Create]

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]

Brain Age for $14: a smart move

If you're not one of the approximately 12 million people training their brains in minutes a day, then you aren't truly participating in the DS cultural phenomenon. We won't put a value judgment on that decision-- some people just aren't interested in brain training, or non-traditional gaming, or math. But if you have yet to get into Brain Age for financial reasons, we may be able to help you.

Circuit City is offering the game this week for $13.99, which, as anyone who has played it will tell you, is less than $19.99. Also available: Zoo Tycoon and, uh, some unknown media for other devices.

Now is a great time to pick up Brain Age and see what all the fuss is about (it's about short, brain-teasing minigames!) It would make Satoru Iwata happy, and isn't that what it's really all about-- the smile on one absurdly rich man's face?

Iwata reminds Nintendo of America who's boss

(Hint: it's Iwata. Iwata is boss.) Nintendo just released their financial results briefing, which contains a transcript of a question-and-answer session with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Ever wondered what it would be like to work for Iwata? This quote should replace that wonder with terror: "When I received a report from the U.S. that they sold 1 million Pokémon Diamond & Pearl already, I asked them, 'why did you sell only 10,000 Brain Age last week, when Europe sold through 30,000?' This is a typical example of how I communicate with our people in the U.S."

Why would Iwata be so mean in the face of ostensibly great news? Because he's a huge jerk? Probably not. For one thing, Pokémon selling a million copies doesn't mean that anyone at Nintendo of America did anything particularly well. All they had to do was release it, making sure that the word "Pokémon" was clearly visible on the box.

But more importantly, Iwata isn't looking just to sell a bunch of games. He wants to expand the gaming market in the US like the DS has in Japan, and for that, Brain Age needs to get into non-gamers' hands. Then Nintendo can sell a bunch of games to them as well as to Nintendo fans. As Iwata notes in the report, 500,000 DS systems were sold in the US in March, which is a large number, but not as large as the 600,000 to 700,000 sold in Japan each month.

[Via NeoGAF]

DS Fanboy Favorites: JC's top five

All this week, the DS Fanboy staff is letting you in on a few of their favorite titles. Each day, a different member of the staff will present their personal top five DS games, along with a snapshot of their gaming paraphernalia and habits, in an effort to provide our readers with a little more information on the tastes and personalities of our writers.

I am absolutely the target market for a handheld system. I'm busy all the time, and I have weeks where the only times I really get to play games are when I can't possibly do anything else-- like when I'm on a plane, or waiting to pick my wife up from school. So I tend to carry my DS around waiting for opportune moments. Of course, with such concentrated play sessions, I want the most out of my game time. That's not to say that I want simplified games that I can always jump right into, but I need games that are basically going to be awesome every time I play them. I need games that are going to reaffirm my passion for gaming while I'm waiting for a bus.

(The picture doesn't have anything to do with the theme of my little essay. My cat Indiana Jones is just adorable.)

Continue reading DS Fanboy Favorites: JC's top five

Brain Age works, it really really works!

And with a scientific headline such as that, who's to argue, amirite?

But seriously, according to some Israeli scientists the brain-training exercises found in the game MindFit (very much like Brain Age), when compared against classic computer games such as Tetris, actually improve brain power more. Using a total of 121 volunteers over the age of 50, the study spanned over 3 months and, at the end, when each group was divided the scientists found that both groups had improved, but the group playing MindFit actually had better spatial short-term memory, spatial learning and focused attention.

[Thanks, Andrew!]

UK retailer celebrates Brain Awareness week with Brain Age deal

Did you know this week was Brain Awareness week? Neither did we, which might say something about the current state of our brain (see: mush). As part of this week's focus on the brain and the wonderful things it can do, UK retailer GAME is selling some bundles, along with a few games, at a discount to help you get the most out of that wrinkled little guy that rests snugly within your skull.

The deals offered include the pink and onyx DS Lites, bundled with Brain Training (Brain Age for us Americans) at a discounted price. Also up for grabs are Big Brain Academy, as well as Brain Training by itself, allowing those of you who already have a DS Lite (as you should) to still get in on the action.

DS Daily: New horizons

There have been a lot of familiar franchises on the DS, and we love them! But, and this is where a lot of the system's publicity comes from, there has also been an explosion of new genres and new experiences, as well as revivals of past trends. So, as hardcore gamers (the kind who read game blogs), has your gaming universe been expanded by the DS? Have you taken part in any completely new experiences? Played your first graphical text adventure? Minigame collection? Whatever Brain Age was?

Or maybe what you discovered on the DS is something popular that you just missed out on for some reason, like Final Fantasy or Castlevania. We want to hear about your experiences! We want to know how the DS has affected your gaming tastes! We want to know how you classify Brain Age!

A look at some unsung DS villains

Modojo's Ryan Morgan took a trip into the underworld of DS games, finding the meanest of the mean villains and delivering stern warnings about them. These aren't the everyday spiny, cloaked, "NOOOOOOO"-bellowing villains we know, the kind that telegraph their evilness to the world, but some more insidious cads who, while they look innocuous enough, will strike and attempt to force you to feed their twisted, evil obsessions.

The biggest offender? The color blue, who Nintendo seems to have collaborated with to render Brain Age players hoarse or even mute from repeated attempts at the Stroop test. Bluuuuuuuuuuuue!

Koreans encountering some problems with Brain Age

With news that Nintendo was going to directly stake a claim in the bolstering Korean games market, many in that market were happy to hear that the company with a knack for creating wonderful and original games would be arriving, saving them from horrible importing fees and lackluster customer service. Now that Nintendo has arrived and launched their DS Lite system, along with Brain Training, some are finding the same technical flaws that plagued the game in America and Japan have come to Korea.

At least, one reporter for the Korea Times has discovered such, claiming that both the voice recognition exercises, as well as the written ones, are failing to register the proper data. Hmm, sounds familiar, doesn't it?

See also:

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