Nintendo DS Lite A Cool Device

Yes, I’m still planning on that web site redesign I haven’t done yet.

In the meantime, here’s my opinion on the Nintendo DS Lite I recently bought.

I got one of those brown colored Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass editions of the Nintendo DS Lite. Haven’t played that game yet, but I have played some of the other games I bought. Until I bought my DS, I had no idea how many DS games there were. Probably might even be more DS games than there are Sony PlayStation Portable games. And Game Boy Advance games work with the DS, too, which increases the available games some more.

One game I played was Brain Age. I thought it was pretty cool. It even helps demonstrate some of the features of the DS I didn’t know about. Like the DS has a microphone, so games like Brain Age can try to do voice recognition. Doesn’t really work too well though. With Brain Age, I ended up having to use the cheat code so that I can select which tests get used to determine my “Brain Age.” That test had trouble understanding me when I said the word “blue.” So with that test in there, it was guaranteed I would end up with a Brain Age in the 70s. With a different test as a substitute, I can get Brain Age scores near my real age. Heck, with some test combinations I can even get the best possible score, which is a Brain Age of 20.

Oh, and Brain Age also uses the DS’s Clock/Calendar feature. So it keeps track of how often you play the game and if you don’t play every day, it admonishes you for skipping days. It even tells you how many days since the last time you played.

One last thing about the game is that Brain Age uses the touch screen as an input editor so you can answer the questions on the other screen. So the game also tries handwriting recognition. Doesn’t work too well for me either. I have to write the number “4″ in a funny way so it will recognize it as a “4″ and not as some other number.

Another brain type game I have is Big Brain Academy. I think it’s older than Brain Age and it uses a different scoring system. It test memory, concentration, calculation, and other related skills. The weekly magazine U.S. News & World Report published an article a few months ago about these games that claim to improve your brain. In there they mention a senior citizen who can get a score of 1100 in Big Brain Academy. However, I would be lucky if I get a score of 600. So I guess my brain must have shrunk to the size of a pea.

One final game I’ll mention is Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. It’s supposedly the official game of this year’s Beijing Summer Olympic Games. I think this game is the best Olympics related game since the old 1984 (or was it 1988?) game that Epyx made for the Commodore 64. There’s a couple dozen events at least and it uses the touch screen in interesting ways so that you can do those running, jumping, and swimming events. In a couple events in the game I’ve even managed to achieve “World” or “Olympic” records. Too bad I can’t do that well in real life.

So in summary, I like my Nintendo DS Lite and the games Brain Age, Big Brain Academy, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. I rate the system and each of the games a 4 out of 5.

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