I've never had a game tell me I was finished with it.
Nintendo releases Brain Age and now everybody's gotta get in on the Brain Training Craze that even Nintendo backed away from after three Nintendo DS games and one Wii game. This game is Mega Brain Boost.
There are those that would claim that I shouldn't even be reviewing Mega Brain Boost. It is a "non-game" after all. Or is it still fashionable to label games as such? Please forgive me. I'm not up on the latest Internet classifications on what a game is or isn't. Anyway, here it is, Mega Brain Boost.
Yes, Mega Brain Boost. You know it's interesting that the title has the word "boost" in it. Notice a lot of the me-too games that popped up after brain age, like Mega Brain Boost and Sega' Brain Assist, the titles have the locus of power with the game. In other words, they will "assist" or "boost" you. Nintendo's titles have no such verbiage. The locus of power is with you. Like Brain Age asking how old is your brain or Big Brain Academy which implies that you would attend said academy. See the difference? Even the Japanese title, Brain Training, uses the gerund form of "train" in order to keep this locus with you.
Alright. I know. I'm beating around the bush. I should talk about the game. The reason I diverged was because I have a word quota on all my reviews that I must meet, and the game is incredibly small. I don't mean short, I mean small. There are only 15 training exercises, and I will list them all right here:
Remember Colors – You match a pattern with one that is briefly displayed.
Remember Numbers – You match a number with one that is briefly displayed.
Remember Circumstances – You match a group of images with some that are that are yada yada.
Remember Faces – You match a face with one that is... yes I know.
Remember Images – Several images are displayed in a sequence, and you have to remember that sequence.
Find a Match – Find a matching pair in images.
Shape Recognition – Find a matching pair in dot matrix images.
Match the Kanji Characters – Strangely match the letter of an entirely foreign language to one from a list of an entirely foreign alphabet.
Remember Sequence – Several images are displayed in an order, and you are asked what image appeared first, last, third, etc.
Moving Dots – Answer how many dots are on the screen.
Dots (yes, different) – Same as previous, except this time they aren't moving.
Colors – Select which answer shows the most numerous colored dots in an array of them.
Find the Goal – It's one of those pipe puzzle things. You know, where will the water come out? That sort of thing.
Total amount of Money – Money is displayed (including the Sacagawea Dollar!) and you have to say how much.
Addition – Add up all the numbers shown.
That's all of it. In addition, all of the quizzes are multiple choice. The thing with Brain Age is that you manually entered the answers. So if you knew it, you knew it, and if you didn't, you didn't. However, multiple choices lead to a random ¼ probability of getting the question right if you just stab the screen randomly.
And... well... that's it. That's the whole game. The funny thing about the game is that it will inform you when you are finished with it. The thing with Brain Age is that reaching a brain age of 20 is not necessarily the end of the game. The graph it shows implies that you must maintain said age. With Mega Brain Boost, every time you satisfactorily complete one of these brain exercises, it will tell you the percentage of your right brain that is "fully developed." And since I got 100% development on every exercise, if I am interpreting this correctly, I am 100% finished with the game and can walk away knowing my right brain is 100% developed and in no further need of any sort of "boost."
There really not much else to talk about. The graphics are simply still images and the only things that move are the professor's arms and some cherry blossom leaves. The soundtrack has only four or so tracks in it. It feels empty and lifeless.
As far as effectiveness in training goes ... I don't know. I wish it had a Brain Age kind of graph in order to see how far I've progressed. I hate to say it, but there is a strong possibility that I might be a little rustier after Mega Brain Boost than before.