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Full Version: [Body And Brain Connection] This could be the new family game... [7/10]
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Body And Brain Connection

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR6gtNvGgQnkLhJXquWWR3...lpEthXjE4F]
  • Official site
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Genre: Arcade/Puzzle
  • Alternative game name: Dr. Kawashima's Brain and Body Exercises
  • Modes: Multiplayer, Training
  • Players: 4
  • Online Features: Achievements, Friends, Xbox LIVE Family Settings
  • Kinect Features: In-Game Avatar, Players 1-4
  • Kinect Activity Level: Standing - Active
  • Uses avatars?: Yes
  • Age group: Everyone

Body And Brain Connection - The good
  • If you like puzzle games, this game is great
  • It really is simple enough for anyone to play
  • Kinect detection is highly accurate, better than any game so far
  • It's actually a basic exercise game, yet with puzzles to mess with your brain

Body And Brain Connection - The not so good
  • Unfortunately it is just a compilation of mini-games...
  • It could get boring by yourself, but not sure...depends on how determined you are
  • Barely anything verbal, all games are instructed by text, but maybe it helps your brain
  • The menu is still quirky, but it's because of depth perception by Kinect

Body And Brain Connection - Story
No story mode, but it does keep track and assign you exercises each day.

Body And Brain Connection - Kinect experience
I do have to say, whatever Namco did to use Kinect, they did it damn well. It does individual hand and leg/feet tracking. Some of the games require you to cross your hands/arms in front of each other (example, making a clock face) it detects this with no problems. I am so excited for the next wave of games.

It also does depth detection perfectly. The only issue I had with it was the menu, you have to hover your hand over the arrows to move to the next phrase that the Dr. is saying, and its at the bottom, when you try to move your hand closer to Kinect, it moves the on-screen hand up and off the arrow. It's not an overly bad issue, but it's there.

I also noticed there is like no lag with Kinect at all, such as Kinect Sports and some of the other titles, but with this game it's instant. Some of the mini-games require you to be super fast, and I mean it's lag at all. If they are able to get Kinect this accurate, could we get our true fighting games and everything else??

Body And Brain Connection - Graphics
More cartoony graphics due to in-game avatars. I think the general rule of thumb is, if we put in avatars, it's a cartoony game. If we don't, then we can make it realistic. Mix the worlds already developers, the avatars are not that cartoony looking, I mean seriously, a talking light bulb?

Body And Brain Connection - Gameplay
Ok so I had fun for a little bit with this game. I could see playing it for awhile it will get boring as there's only 20 mini games. I thought I read somewhere about 40, but no there's only 20. Here's where I am different than other reviewers, I actually took the time and went through every mini-game. I try to explain each as best I can, but if you have questions, feel free to ask.

So you have your main menu, on it is a brain age test that it recommends you doing each day so it can keep track of your progress. It selects 3 random brain tests and then creates a custom "workout" program based on your results each day.

There's also custom workouts that let you choose any of the mini-games if you just want to play to play. Then there's group exercises which is multiplayer but I couldn't play it, it literally wants 2-4 physical bodies it can detect, I was trying to fake it to see if the mini-games were different. It's all take turns though, so no simultaneous play from what I can tell.

Last option is your data. You can view your brain fitness chart, which tracks your brain age of you and your family/friends on a graph. There's stats which shows you who has the highest grades (A+ through F), but more of a bragging rights screen. The next option is Completion, just shows what you've done so far...Last is the Calendar and Achievements, there's also a photos section that says View photographs taken from Group Exercises, I'm guessing this is so you can humiliate each other Smile

Alright, so that's the menu, onto the minigames! The custom game mode categorizes them so I did the same. We have the following:

Math Jock - This one shows a math equation on the screen like, _ + 2 = 4. You have 2 balls in front you, one on left and one on right, one will be 2 and one will 3. Kick the correct number ball that fills in the blank. It gets really fast and crazy though.

Which Is Bigger? - This game was wierd, I didn't quite understand it at first, there's 2 math problems on both sides...left side will have like 8-7 and the right side will have like 5-2...then you have to swipe with your opposite hand which one is greater so in this case, the one on the right, so you have to use your left hand and swipe to the right. Really confused me at first.

Meter Reader - This one I found fun. There's a meter and in this meter has 3 sections, a minus/less than sign, a number and then a plus/greater than sign. There's a constant flow of numbers of at the top but only 2 enter in this like window at a time, so for the duration of those 2 numbers being shown, you have to lean left, right or stand still if the sum of those 2 numbers is smaller/larger or equal to the number on the meter. It was pretty fun. Again, it goes faster and faster but kinect is so responsive in this one, I think it made it more fun.

Perfect 10 - This one has 5 boxing gloves. You have to choose 2 out of the 5 different number combinations that equal 10. Another goes faster game.

Balloon Buster - This one show some numbers on balloons. You have to pop the balloons in order from smallest to largest, so like 1, 2, 3, 4 but they can be all over the place sometimes and on later levels it throws different combos like, 2, 11, 29, 32 just to mess with you....

Flag Frenzy - I found this one hilarious, it's kind of like simon says, but you hold a flag in each hand. It will verbally say, red flag up, and the red flag will be in your left or right hand, so you have to raise it up and hold that position, then it might say red flag up again, and you have to stand still. Tricky game, found this one fun. This one might do 2 player simultaneous as its you against 2 other avatars in it which could be really fun.

Pop Til' You Drop - This is that old favorite game where it will display a name of a color, like Red for example, and then the letters R-E-D are like blue, and you have to pop that color of the balloon.

Follow The Arrows - I didn't really care for this one, you have to match the direction of arrows in boxes, they could be in the correct boxes already or they can be in the wrong ones and then you have to choose the correct empty boxes in a matter of seconds. Real brain teaser.

What Time Is It? - This one was fun. It's a clock game. It displays a digital clock in 24 hour format and it will say like 18:15. Then it has a normal clock face, with 1 through 12 on it, and your arms become the hands on the clock and you have to match it up. This is one of the mini-games that detects really well and detects which hands cross over each other. Very accurate.

Time Bomb - This one gets you on your toes. There's 2-4 bombs that flash a number every second. You have to hurry up and choose which bomb is going to explode first by observing which bomb is ticking down faster and touching/punching/whatever gets the job done to it.

Match Maker - This one has a combination of up to 10 shapes. You have to match the shapes and put your hands/arms in the position where the 2 matching shapes are, kind of like the clock game, but with shapes. It gets confusing because they throw random stuff in there, like the same shape for example, a tetris L block, it will be L on one side and a reverse L on the other.

Off The Radar - This one has you doing more clock motions. You are looking at like a sonar/radar screen, it will do a pattern like | / -- if you get what I'm saying, and then it goes blank and only beeps, you have to count the beeps and when its done beeping, guess what position it would be in using your arms in that pattern, so in my example, if it beeped 2 times when it was blank, then it would be in this position | - I'm sure there's screenshots of it around here if you don't get my explanation.

Strike A Pose - Your friendly avatars will do a pose, like from Kinect ID setup, stay there for about 10 seconds, and then the doors close for 5 seconds, then the doors reopen except for one. You have to remember which pose the guessing avatar was doing and match it.

Flip & Find - There's little circles around forming a circle, they will show a number, typically starting with 4 different numbers and quantities increase as you do better. They then disappear, you have to remember what numbers were what and choose the panels in order from smallest to largest, of course these aren't sequential again.

Pizza Catch - I didn't like this one, too much on screen action going on. There's 4 conveyor belts. You have 2 pizza boxes, one for each hand. There's burnt and cooked pizzas. All you have to do is catch the cooked pizzas with the pizza boxes. Now at the end of the belt, there's a warming glass except it hides what kind of pizza is under it. And sometimes there will be no cooked pizzas and you have to move your hands to center and stay still to close the pizza boxes. I found this one really difficult but it was really fast. More like a panic type game.

Step Mania - This one is like simon says somewhat, except you have 2 rows of glass blocks. It will light a pattern to get to the next section, it reminds me of that one kids game show on Nickelodeon, don't know the name of it, but they have to step on the lights in the pattern that is shown to them. Anyway, an example is, left square, left square, right square, both squares (for both squares you have to jump). So you would step left, left, right and then jump. You actually have to raise your leg high enough so kinect detects you are stepping. Decent mini-game.

Traffic Control - This one is in the demo, match the colored cars to their exit tubes using your arms as a bridge. It does tire out your arms though after awhile.

Mouse Mayhem - It's like whack a mole, but sideways and much faster. There's also a spikey headed mouse that you can't punch, so it makes it more interesting.

Touch 'N' Go - They revived Pac-Man and Pooka for this one. Pooka goes on your left hand and Pac-Man on your right, they are like magnetized to your hands. The 4 Pac-Man ghosts then move around trying to chase your left and right hands but you can't let them eat kill Pac-Man or Pooka. Interesting game.

Mathercising - This one takes some math skills. They give you 2 numbers, in my example, 3 and 5. One is left and one is right. There's a counter on the bottom left that goes in increments of 1 every second. So it will go, 1, 2, 3, etc. When that number is a number that is divisible by one of your main numbers (3 or 5) you have to punch that bag. So, 3 is divisible by 1, so you would punch 3, then 5, 6, 9, etc. When you get to like...15 in my example, since both 3 and 5 can divide into 15, you have to punch both bags at the same time. It is fun though.

So that's basically all of the mini-games, unless like I said, there's different ones in the group modes but I can't test yet. There's also 3 difficulty levels, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The higher levels are locked until you get a B or better on a mini-game and it only unlocks that level for that game. The higher levels are faster and more challenging than beginner. Other than that, there's not much else to this game.

Body And Brain Connection - Multiplayer options
There is multiplayer, 2-4 players however I didn't get a chance to test it out.

Overall, it's not a bad game. Like I said though, playing by yourself could get boring, unless you like puzzle challenges, then it will keep you going. It is exercising but in a completely different way where you're not sweating blood & tears. I really think this game will shine with families. Even if someone in your household has never played a game, this is a great introduction, some of the mini-games are so simple that grandparents and kids under 3 could play, which is what I'm guessing that's what they are marketing from the commercial. Unfortunately this game would only beat Kinect Sports due to the physical impact Sports has on your body, but it will never be better than actual sports to us Kinect Sports fans! Smile
Nice review Zeeman, very detailed.

Is Step Mania like Light Race in Your Shape ?

Did you tried the demo of this game ? Is it representative of the game ?
Thanks, I haven't played Light Race so not sure. I did play the demo, they only let you do the traffic game, but it is a good feel for how the game works.
Just to update on the multiplayer aspect, I did play multiplayer and the way they have it setup its exactly like the Kinect Sports party mode, there's a wheel that spins and it picks a random mini-game to do. Each player only gets to play 2 mini-games. There were a couple that allowed 2 people to play at the same time, Strike A Pose and Touch 'N' Go, although Touch 'n' Go works 50% of the time, I think it has a little trouble tracking 4 hands instead of two. But overall it does have the same problem KS has, you play a lot of the same games over and over.
thank you for the review as well as the others, especially what games there are & how they play.
there's a "quick look" on they like to be funny in all their videos, but this one isn't as good as they seemed lost, but it does show what the multiplayer looks like. their first looks on all the other kinect games are better.
Good review and similar to my feelings for the game.

I've played a fair bit of multiplayer with the family now including a 4 player game and I'd like to throw in my thoughts.

There are 2 multiplayer modes. One is called 'Group Mock Test' and it basically throws up a couple of minigames at random to however many competitors you've said there are and then each player is given their 'brain age'. It's quick and easy.

The other multiplayer mode is the full version and this allows you to add up to 4 players and requires you to stand next to each other while it takes a picture of each of you. Annoyingly you then have to manually choose your avatar for each player (it generates one at random). It then picks 2 games at random, some of which are 2 player at once and adds an effect like trying to distract you with extra sounds or darkness and spotlight to make the game slightly more difficult. It then scores you all and present a winner.

If I'm honest it's not great in multiplayer, the games are wildly random and the presentation is long winded and tedious. When I have played multiplayer we now either play the group mock test or choose our own games and try to outscore each other.

Also one other addition. I bought this for my 6 year old daughter to play too and with the stopwatch it's slightly to hard for her. I'd love a kiddie mode where the puzzles are really easy and the timer is removed.
WooHoo! I just got this in the mail from Amazon today! I played with it for about an hour and really had fun. I tend to like puzzle/logic games and with Kinect added it's even more fun. I'll play with it for a few days and see if I have more thoughts about it then. I'm really enjoying Kinect in general and I'm very happy to see games that are not strictly for fitness, though I do enjoy those as well.
I've had the Body and Brain Connection for a little while now and I'm really enjoying it. The one thing I can do without is that the game takes intermittent photos of you as you play. As far as I can tell the photos are not saved when you exit the game. But I'm a little tired of having to look at my facial expressions that seem range from delight to dismay to bafflement to utter despair throughout the game. TongueDoes anyone one know if there's a way to turn that feature off?
(02-26-2011 07:10 PM)AuntieParticle Wrote: [ -> ]I've had the Body and Brain Connection for a little while now and I'm really enjoying it. The one thing I can do without is that the game takes intermittent photos of you as you play. As far as I can tell the photos are not saved when you exit the game. But I'm a little tired of having to look at my facial expressions that seem range from delight to dismay to bafflement to utter despair throughout the game. TongueDoes anyone one know if there's a way to turn that feature off?

I think that all games that do that should ask you if you want that feature on or not at the start of the game.
@ZeeMan-Is there an options like Kinect sports or even Adventure to turn that off? If there's not and option screen for this game, then they failed. Sorry.

Oh if the pics are being taking...where does it go? Does it have a photo gallery or something?
(02-27-2011 04:40 AM)Corellianrogue Wrote: [ -> ]I think that all games that do that should ask you if you want that feature on or not at the start of the game.
I completely agree. I don't mind the initial identifying photo so much. But the photos throughout the game drive me crazy. I almost think I'd get better scores if I didn't have the last bewildered looking photo of myself as a distraction Tongue

@meistroracer, I recall being able to turn off photo taking in Kinect Adventures. But it's been a while since I did it so I don't remember the process. It's in one of the menus, I'm certain of that.
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