Monday, 10 March 2014

One To Watch: Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training [3DS]

It's finally here! The latest installment of Dr. Kawashima's hugely successful Brain Training franchise is set to arrive on the 3DS in the UK for the very first time. Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can you stay focused? was first announced back in 2012, but despite several rumours that the game would be scheduled for European release on the 8th March 2013, it failed to appear - until now.

The game, (which is also known as Dr. Kawashima's Concentration Training outside of Europe,) offers another difficult set of mental agility challenges for players to complete, but whereas previous titles in this series have tended to focus more broadly on logic, mathematics comprehension, perception and long-term memory recall, each of the exercises in Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can you stay focused? have something to do with concentration and training the player's working (short-term) memory to stay focused whilst facing various distractions.

So, what exactly has the game got to offer fans of the series? Well, Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can you stay focused? offers a total of thirty daily exercises and minigames, including eighteen exercises which have never appeared in the previous Brain Training games. Furthermore, many of the featured core exercises can be uniquely tailored for brain training enthusiasts of all abilities.

For example, Devilish Calculations challenges players to recall the answer to a previous mathematical problem while paying attention to the next one in line. The questions come thick and fast and it will take all of a player's concentration skills to successfully remember all of the required information without making any mistakes.

Meanwhile, Devilish Mice,  challenges players to simultaneously track the path of some mice while they are being chased by cats. It sounds simple but it's a lot harder than it might first appear.

However, this is where the game usefully adapts itself to the player's performance and understanding. If players struggle during the exercise and seem to perform badly, then the game dynamically adjusts the difficulty based on the player's real-time results. By offering a difficult challenge from the start and shifting the difficulty to match the player's individual performance, Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can you stay focused? constantly pushes players to attain new high scores, helping them to stay alert, engaged and to use their short-term memory to its fullest.

As well as putting themselves to the test with the daily challenges on offer, players can also build up their concentration skills via the Training Supplements mode, which seeks to further train the brain using other exercises from those that are completed during the daily challenges. Players who are feeling confident in their short-term memory capabilities may also wish to complete the difficult Concentration Challenge

Furthermore, Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can you stay focused? has now made it even easier for players to compete against friends and family by using multiple save slots to keep different profiles on a single Game Cartridge.

Like many other 3DS games, Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can you stay focused? will now use the 3DS' StreetPass to trade data with other users of the game and allows players the chance to compete against one another to attain the best brain training challenge scores.

 The actual UK release date for the game is yet to be confirmed, but with more screenshots and a newly-designed European boxshot cover design slowly emerging on the Internet, it would seem that Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training days are far from over. 

The following video presentation from Nintendo Direct (originally filmed in December 2012) helps to give an idea of the gameplay and challenges that players can expect to see during the game. If you are having trouble viewing the video on your device, please CLICK HERE.

As with the previous games in the series, Dr. Kawashima's Devilish Brain Training: Can you stay focused?  has a nice 'adult' feel to it, whilst still remaining entertaining and accessible enough to appeal to slightly younger gamers as well, making it a very good family game. 

If you enjoyed the previous Brain Training games but are looking for a new challenge, or if you just feel that your short-term memory could do with a work-out, then this is definitely the perfect game for you. Overall rating: 9/10.

Keep checking in with the Mini Gamers blogsite for more release date and gameplay information on this game as it arrives!

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