Not to be confused with other Nintendo niche series Brain age, the Big Brain Academy the series is now over 15 years old and is finally back with a brand new entry called Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain.
Originally launched on Nintendo DS in 2005 with Big Brain Academy, Nintendo followed it up soon after with a sequel on the Wii in 2007 called Big Brain Academy: Wii . Degree. Since that time, however, the series has been on hiatus until the final sequel was announced for the Nintendo Switch earlier this year.
Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain split into just a handful of different game modes, with Practice being where you want to start. While Practice sounds like something a lot of people just want to skip in a game, it’s basically the Play Now style mode you’d expect in many mini-game style titles. is different.
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Practice is divided into five different categories at the outset, including Recognition, Memorization, Analysis, Computing, and Visualization. In each of these sections, there are four activities to complete, each of which is essentially its own mini-game.
The types of activities vary in each type depending on the category, such as having to figure out what items are gradually appearing on the screen in sections as quickly as possible in Fast Focus or playing basic whack-a-note to hit the exact items as requested in the Whack Match.
Even so, some operations can be a bit repetitive, especially in the Memo section, with Flash Memory, Random Memo and Reverse Store all being relatively similar.
For each actual activity, you have 60 seconds to play the activity and will rank in the match itself based on your performance. This depends on the activity itself, but you’ll level up starting at Kindergarten and work your way up through Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Elite until you eventually reach the Super Class. by doing everything right.
For each incorrect answer or button input, you get knocked back a bit and have to rebuild yourself. Not only that, but you also lose points and can get really hurt.
One thing that can make you quite annoying is that you cannot pause the game during any activity. The + button on the Nintendo Switch will automatically stop whatever activity you’re engaged in and return you to the start screen for that particular activity. While it is technically possible for someone to pause to try and gain an advantage at some point while playing in Practice, it can be a pain when you really need to pause or just go all the way. Mistakes and losing a really good turn are likely to happen. However, this means a very quick reboot.
When you complete any single activity, all of your points are added together to give you what’s known as your Big Brain. Based on that score you will be awarded a Gold or Silver medal with a 1, 2 and 3 star rating on it. The game is great at letting you know your previous highs and other things too, so it will make you replayable when trying to beat your top score.
After receiving at least 1 Gold star in each Practice activity, you will unlock Super Practice. This basically works the same way as Regular Practice, only with each activity having an extra Super in front and increasing difficulty starting in the Advanced Class at the very beginning.
From that, Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain has a total Big Brain Brawn score that it calculates by giving you five random activities to complete, one from each category. By doing this, you will be given an overall level and brain rating based on your strengths and weaknesses.
Similar to what you see in a game like Mario Kart, Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain There are also Ghosts that you can compete with in the aptly named Spooky Clash. These Ghosts include random Ghosts played by other players online, online friends, other family members saved on the same Nintendo Switch, and even specific Ghosts by entering a code .
As the game’s title alludes to, competition is arguably a more factor here in Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain. While the previous two games featured competitive multiplayer elements, the marketing for this game made it seem far more focused on that aspect than ever before.
From the main menu, playing Party is a separate in-game option from Solo. However, this is quite annoying when trying to switch between them. This is because once you choose solo, you won’t be able to go back again. Instead, you’ll have to force close the entire game to get back to the option where you can even choose Party.
The lifespan of multiplayer just isn’t there
When selecting Party from the main menu in Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain, you will be asked how many players you want to play with from two, three or four. While playing with two, you can even play on a single system in a handheld with touch controls.
From there, you only have two options to choose how you want to play, which is Spin the Wheel or Choose Genre. Regardless of which category you choose, you will have the opportunity to choose if you want between one and five matches.
Other than that, it’s really either purely luck of the wheel or at the player’s discretion what activity to do. There’s nothing fancy here, which is really disappointing for a game that seems to be more competitive than ever.
That’s especially disappointing considering how Big Brain Academy The game on the Wii has some multiplayer options, which Nintendo has removed a lot in this latest version in the series. That’s not to say you won’t have a lot of fun with your friends here for a while, but the longevity player count isn’t there.
For a game with subtitles Brain vs. Brain, the multiplayer is simply a bit difficult. Surprisingly, the single player part is where Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain really shine through their well-designed and thought-provoking activities and replayability due to Ghost times and your personal desire to beat your best score.
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