To me Nintendo has always been ahead of the curve in the gaming industry. Not necessarily on technology front, but rather their ability to think outside the box and release platforms or titles that revolutionizes the entire industry. For example, a game like last year’s Brain Age is one that I would have never guessed to be a success, but its simplistic nature has really brought it overnight success. With this success comes future titles that then subsequently have more pressure to perform. Today we are checking out the first "brain" game for the Nintendo Wii in Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree. Does this game give you a good brain workout? Read our full review to find out!
In general if you have played Brain Age, you already have a good idea of what to expect from Big Brain Academy on the Nintendo Wii. This was really the big question going into the experience on how the title would be able to use the technology of the Wii to test your brain, considering the previous Brain titles were so heavily focused on the touch sensitive screen. So does Nintendo have even more tricks up their sleeves?
Some may be wondering why this game isn’t called Brain Age and the reasoning behind that is Nintendo has two different sectors in their Brain game franchise, the more hardcore and intense game is Brain Age, and the more open to everyone, fun witted game is the Big Brain Academy. Both however having the same goal of working out your brain to create a more well-rounded and active brain. At the beginning of the game you have the ability to choose your Mii and enroll them into the academy. You then have a few options, which include Practice, Test and of course multiplayer.
In general I found myself constantly going back to test myself, finding little reason to practice, I spent very little time with that. In the testing stage of the game you are given several different categories (memorization, identification, etc) and with these stages you have a bunch of different mini games you will need to complete, just like in Brain Age. For the most part, the games are not as challenging as those found in Brain Age, but I definitely felt the burn during the workout. At the end of the testing session, the game will tell you where you excelled and where you struggled, along with a grade. The grades seem extremely similar to what we saw with the Ages in Brain Age, as reaching the optimal level is not only on intelligence but quickness as well.
For those who have enjoyed the Brain Age games in the past, you’ll feel right at home in Wii Degree. This is the type of game that could literally come in and out of your system on a daily basis, as it is constantly challenging you with harder and harder problems that continue to push this franchise to become a part of many gamers’ daily lives. However does it really improve upon what is already out there? And that is where I feel Wii Degree has come up a bit short. The game itself isn’t much further advanced then any of the other Brain titles of the past.
It has been a long time coming for some multiplayer modes, however the Wii Degree doesn’t offer that much in terms of multiplayer, and only one of these modes actually takes two remotes. Most of the time you will only be using one remote, and the experience just never amounts to much. In general I found myself wanting more from this side of the game, as the potential is actually tremendous. In fact online play would be quite the experience in this game, and it is a shame Nintendo didn’t think of expanding their online realm with Wii Degree.
In the end however, the gameplay for Wii Degree was really on par with the rest of the series. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have much in terms of new content and excitement. To me Nintendo knows that there is a market on the Wii for this game, and I think as a first installment the game manages to work really well. Now if they continue the franchise, which I am sure they will get better multiplayer support. The offline single player is fantastic, but it need to be expanded because it can work amazing on both levels.
Big Brain Academy Wii Degree is a game that goes with the Wii look that we have come to see in a lot of previous Nintendo, which uses the Mii characters. The big problem I had with Wii Degree was that it really could have pushed the menus and the style of the game to the next level. I want to see Nintendo push the standards of these sort of games and move it to a new level with the new Wii hardware. In general, the visuals are as standard as you imagine they would probably be.
Wii Degree is not a game that you are going to be playing for hours at a time, but since I have received Wii Degree, I have played it around half an hour a day and just never felt the need to put it down. It really gets the mind going and like previous games is hard to miss a day. I personally really got into this game and made sure I stayed on schedule with my training. It is a game that at days can be extremely fun, and one that I would imagine people possibly could play it everyday until the next brain game comes out.
In the end, Wii Degree for the Nintendo Wii is a good solid rendition of the Brain titles from the Nintendo DS. The first outing on the Wii is solid and it has a well rounded approach that gives the user a very enjoyable experience. There is still a lot of room for improvement, but in the end I have to say fans of the previous game or those who want to test their brain should really go check this game out, it is definitely worth a look.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.