Sega Brain Assist
- Awesome unlockable icons, downloadable multiplayer
- Time limit frustration, pointless and uneven ranking system, obnoxious characters
Maybe if the whole game had as much character as that one backdrop they'd have something, but the way it stands, even with its budget price, Brain Assist is a game you can walk right by.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
From the moment you are only allowed four letters for your profile name, you realise there is something wrong with Brain Assist. This Brain Age bandwagon title hopes to hook the casual player with its array of reflex building, geometry testing, and memory enhancing mini-games – but honestly, we can't recommend it.
The package has sort of a slapped together feel, really generic graphics, and a Power Point-esque presentation to set up the games. Corny names like "Counting-Mania" and "Pi and Thagoras" are your introduction to tasks that are mostly identical to those offered elsewhere in other puzzle titles. Even with the odd original game in the mix, these still aren't the type of things you want to do everyday – especially with the lame scoring system.
In evaluation mode, you're given a time limit for each of four events. It's almost as if they don't really want you to play the game, much less win. For example, rather than basing your score on how fast you can "Spot the Difference[s]", they base it on how many of said differences you can find in 20 seconds. Even after completing some tasks successfully, the timer goes off and you're told that you've given a wrong answer! Then you're ranked mysteriously 22nd out of the last 100 people and left wondering what that even means. Who were the last hundred people? It's obvious that they're finding a percentage somewhere, but for some reason just don't want to state it as such. Your final score is predicted briefly before the last event by a cat-eared goth, and then calculated at the very end as a letter grade.
In the Single Game mode you can practice any of the tasks from the get-go. Nothing to unlock except cute neon coloured icons featuring whimsical, plushie-looking animal characters and extra trainers for the games. A note about the trainers, though: it seems like each one has a voice more obnoxious than the last. Not that they actually speak (thank god) but between the forced Southern and Australian written accents, and the ultimate unlockable 1337 speaker (whose dialect has been misunderstood as just misspelling everything as horribly as possible) you'll either laugh, cry, or resort to the first "nurse" you are introduced to, who, thankfully, is pretty vanilla.
For those of you who are evil enough to inflict this stuff on your friends, there are two multiplayer modes – both downloadable for your convenience. For some reason, though, the games get super hard super fast – as in only cyborgs could possibly win. One mode is apparently supposed to be a compatibility test for couples, giving you some co-op tasks as well. In the other, up to four compete to see whose flower grows the furthest into outer space. The background is done in a cute, almost chalk-drawing style, but that doesn't make the mini-games any more fun.
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I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
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