They wanted to call it Body and Brain Age, but they couldn't.
They weren't allowed to call it that. [Or Body and Brain Kinection. ~Ed. Nick] As much as the developers behind the Kinect-enabled brain training game wanted to included the recognizable "Age" branding, Nintendo wasn't about to let their big blue ocean demographic off of the Nintendo DS platform. It's bad enough that Dr. Kawashima jumped ship at all.
[image1]Despite the integral part he played in the Brain Age series on Nintendo DS, the guy goes where the money goes. Kawashima has now expanded his brain-buffing techniques to include Microsoft's Kinect device. I played the Brain Age games to death, but I'm not at all in love with Body and Brain Connection.
Despite the focus on the mind, Body and Brain Connection does more to work out the body. As if we weren't already exhausted from all the dancing and jumping around, this Kinect game wants us to do math while we're at it. When was the last time you practiced your multiplication tables? In fourth grade, I finished my mundane math test flawlessly within the required time three months into the school year. I haven't had to multiply anything important since.
Of course, such an apathetic approach to math in life means a lot of daily tasks suffer. I have a hard time with taxes, mileage, and how much I should be charging GR for reviews like this one. [Depends on how much blood you, um, donate. ~Ed. Nick]
Body and Brain Connection also messes up your Whack-A-Mole rhythm. In the past, you'd go to Chuck E. Cheese's and hit every damn rodent that popped out of those holes. Body and Brain Connection ruins the formula by including rodents you should not hit. I can't stand it when the game calls me stupid for following the pattern of training Whack-a-Mole games everywhere have gotten me stuck in over the years.
[image2]The mini-games in Body and Brain Connection don't deserve such a neatly organized review. The daily brain test results in a mess of minigames and trying to play more than one training game only furthers the impression that the game is a sloppy, cheap rip-off crafted hastily in an attempt to capitalize on the casuals the DS - and now the Kinect - brought into our gaming fold over its lifetime.
I hate calling that audience casuals too, because that label is contrived and lazy. But it's a fitting moniker for the gamer Namco is aiming at with this title. As crazy as it may sound, the newest players out there deserve more respect than this game has to offer. What they don't deserve is such a blatant rip-off of a game that I only used as a Sudoku platform.
Dr. Kawashima might escape your wrath by providing dry instructions and simple motivators before any given game. If only he were the only character you interacted with in Body and Brain Connection. Instead, Namco felt it was appropriate to have a small dancing light bulb laugh at you and make snide comments after a poor performance. If that little asshole wasn't a cartoon character, I'd shatter his brains like a fluorescent tube.
I almost feel like it was a crime to review this game myself. Such a terrible game needs to be served up to an up-and-coming writer so they can crank it out of the park. If the Kinect can't muster up a decent game and fast, it'll be hard for anyone to wash their mouths of the bad taste games like Body and Brain Connection leave behind.