As of yesterday, I am the proud owner of a Nintendo DS Lite. Forever the victim of relentless advertising, I also acquired New Super Mario Brothers and Brain Age. I started this new foray into portable gaming by attempting to ascertain the chronological state of my dusty old gray-matter.
I’m invariably certain initial playthroughs are not intended for evaluation purposes, as it placed me roughly between ancient and decrepit. I’m not yet 60, nor was I 48. Today, it says I’m 27, so perhaps this game is merely a cleverly organized set of mini-games which practice renders toothless. The brain is already a highly plastic environment capable of adapting to newly introduced environments, something most gamers have experienced; no matter the complexity of the task, certain difficulty is presented in avoiding subconscious pattern recognition. Math? Someone who’s rusty may have slight trouble for a few days, but once the memorization is reinforced and writing styles coincide with writing recognition, the test becomes one of memory cache fetching. It’s good exercise regardless, and one I’d suggest to players below the target demographic.
New Super Mario Brothers is indeed highly enjoyable. There’s also a crapload of mini-games, of which many can double as brain-expanding supplements to Brain Age due to their puzzle nature. The super mushrooms are freaking awesome, and it’s highly refreshing to just stomp around on a level irrespective of enemies, obstacles, or anything resembling an object smaller than you. I unintentionally opened a warp-cannon, and jumped to world five from world two, but backtracking is allowed, so I won’t miss anything important. I fully intend on vanquishing this game, much as I had with Super Mario World, the last Mario game I actually enjoyed. It really is unfortunate Mario Sunshine exhibited such drudgery as manually washing a billion levels with a refillable water jet.
And of course, I’ve been re-ripping my CD collection to 160kbps ogg files. Not sure what I’ll do with them when I’ve finished, but anything is an improvement over my old 128kbps mp3 files. Only about 15 cd’s to go as of now. The end is in sight!