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GoNintendo "End of day" thoughts - Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree review

I finally had the balls to do a different type of review. I don’t know if you guys will like it or not, but I thought it was worth a try! Hopefully at least some of you will enjoy it. I’m of to bed gang, catch you in a few hours.

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Man, I always dread these kinds of days. Why did I decide to take summer classes? I can’t believe the first day is here already. I feel like I just graduated from Big Brain Academy. Well actually, it really wasn’t that long ago that I finished classes here. Sure, I made it out with flying colors…but still, I felt there was more to learn. For as much as I hate waking up early and going to classes, I thought I would further my education. After some talk with friends and soul searching, I decided to go after my Wii Degree. There’s no such thing as too much learning is there? I know it’s going to take a lot of dedication on my part, but I am up to the task. My original visit to Big Brain Academy was worth the trip. I’m ready to buckle down and start another training regiment. Sure, things might not be so easy at the start, but I’ll get into the swing of things. Still though, none of the upcoming tests or training bugs me…today bugs me. The first day at school is always a rough one. Luckily some of my friends decided to go for their Wii Degree as well. Nintenho is here, hell…even my parents are here. I guess you are never too old to better yourself! We actually all wound up in the same class too…what are the odds?! Once again we got stuck with Professor Lobe. He’s a very animated guy, and he definitely knows his stuff. I would have preferred Dr. Kawashima, but I hear his class doesn’t start until later this summer. Oh well, no sense in whining about it now. I guess I should make my way to class…

The school has changed a bit since last I was here. It seems like there’s more to do this time around. I’ll have to check that out later, I need to make my way to the main office for right now. The registration shows that 8 people can join the same class as me. Like I said earlier, Nintenho and my parents have already enrolled and received their books. The only way to add more people to our class is if someone drops out. They have to go and return their books to the main office, and then a slot will open up for a new student. I’m sure some more students will come join our class as time passes on. I should make my way to my classroom before I’m late. I can’t wait to check out some of the new improvements they’ve made at the school. It seems like there’s a lot of group activities to join in now. More than when I first signed up for Big Brain Academy. I’ll definitely check those out later on. There are a couple classrooms down the opposite end of the group activities wing. Looks like my room is the one on the left. Wait, what’s this all about? There’s a note on the door that says test! Dr. Lobe is giving a test on the first day? Man, maybe enrolling here wasn’t such a good idea. Nintenho is skipping out on the test for now it seems. She went into the room next door to practice. I guess I should just go for the test so I know just how much I need to practice later. It’s nice to have the option to practice before the test though.

Alright man, just calm down…you’ve taken tests before. This is no big deal. Professor Lobe just wants to see what he is working with. We’ve all got to start somewhere right? This is just to get a baseline…no need to worry. From the looks of it, there are five areas to be tested on…compute, visualize, identify, memorize, and analyze. Man, I don’t even remember my scores from my first time at Big Brain Academy. I have no idea what subject I am best at! I guess it doesn’t matter; the sections of the test are going to be come randomly. The objective is to finish each section of the test as quickly and accurately as possible. Professor Lobe says that the test questions will automatically alter themselves depending on how well I do. I guess that means if I answer a few easy questions quickly (and correctly of course), I will start to see some harder questions. If I fail at too many, the test will get a little easier. That’s pretty cool actually; it should help give me a good idea of just what I need to work on. Each section of the test has the same amount of questions as well. It’s not like they will be testing me extra hard in certain categories. I think I can handle this.

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Man, the Academy definitely upgraded their equipment this year. I guess they made a lot of money off of last year’s enrollments! We aren’t taking tests with paper and pencils anymore. This is some kind of new computer controlled input. It’s some sort of wand that lets me directly interact with the screen in front of me. Professor Lobe says that all I have to do is point at the answer I want, and press the A button. That seems easy enough! I like this a lot better than what we did last time we were here. It seems like it will make test taking a lot more fun. There’s also a speaker on this thing. Apparently it will let me know when I am getting close to finishing a section of the test. It will also announce what section of the test is coming up next, and ask me if I am ready to start. According to Dr. Lobe, this speaker is going to get a lot of use while I am going for my Wii Degree. It’s a pretty cool feature actually. It’s not 100% necessary feature for me to understand what’s going on, but it is a helpful reminder. Well, now that all that’s taken care of, I guess I can hop into the test. There are a few sections that I know I’ll do better at if I work on them out loud. I’ll just have to make sure to whisper.

The Memorize section just popped up. I’ve always liked these kinds of brain teasers. Various little quizzes to test how good my memory is. Okay, so this first test has me watching a set of bird cages. Some of the cages have birds in them, and some don’t. The screen is telling me to keep an eye on the birds. Now all of the cages are covered up, and they start shuffling around in different orders. I think I get it; I have to keep track of the birds until the cages are done reorganizing. Now all I have to do is point to the cages that have the birds in them, and select them. Well, I managed to make it through that well enough. Now I am watching some kid ride by the screen on some sort of toy. Oh crap, I was supposed to be paying attention to his face! What kind of face was that kid making…I think it was this sad one. Oh well, better luck next time. The next test tells me to listen closely. I hear a chainsaw, a hammer, and a drum. I see pictures of them on the top of the screen as well. Oh, now I have to pick the order that the items sounded off, but I have to do it in reverse. That would be drum, hammer, and chainsaw. Alright, not too shabby! Now I’m back to the bird cages. I think I can handle it from here now that I talked things out.

Uh oh, the Compute section just popped up. I know I am going to have to do this section out loud. I was never very good at math. It’s only made worse when I am supposed to answer questions as quickly as possible! Alright, a bunch of balloons with numbers are on the screen. I have to pop them in the order of the lowest to highest number. The balloons are rotating too; it makes it a little tougher than it sounds! Now a tower of blocks dropped from the top of the screen. The blocks all have numbers on them, and they are stacked vertically one on top of the other. It’s asking me to make the blocks on the screen equal the number five. Oh, so I have to knock away the other blocks until the blocks with numbers on them will add up to five. So for instance, if I have four blocks, and they have the numbers 2, 2, 1, and 1 on them, all I have to do is knock away one of the 1 blocks. Glad that’s taken care of! Now I am looking at a basket that is being filled with red and blue balls. Some of the balls are going into the basket, and some are missing. Now it’s asking me if there are more red or blue balls in the basket. There’s a choice for an equal amount as well. That’s the one I am going with. Well, now I made it back to the balloons again, so I think I’m good from here on out.

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Well, I managed to make it through all 5 sections of the test. I don’t know what it is about this school, but they always manage to make their tests fun. I liked these questions even more than last time I was here. There were a few questions along the way that were a little confusing. Sometimes a question comes up and the on-screen explanation just doesn’t seem to make any sense. That’s alright though; it only takes one try before you figure out what you have to do. Even if I didn’t understand it after the first time I could go and practice it next door. Apparently I can practice each single test separately. All I have to do is highlight the category that the test was in, and then I can practice that one until I feel really confident in it. Professor Lobe will even reward me with medals depending on how well I do in my practice session! Apparently, if I practice all of the tests available, new ones will be added to the real test. That’s a pretty cool idea actually. It will help to keep things fresh for awhile. I guess practicing is the key to getting a better final grade. Speaking of grades, Professor Lobe is about to announce our results.

It seems like the Professor is doing things just like he did last year. He loves doing this crazy brain weight scale. According to Professor Lobe, the average brain will weigh 1400 grams after a week of test taking at Big Brain Academy. He also says that the first test average is usually around 750 grams. He’ll throw in a traditional letter grade for those of us that actually want something that makes sense! He grades on a little bit of a different scale though. You can get an A, A+, and A++ for example. I am not quite sure how he works that out, but I guess that’s why he is the Professor! Alright, my results should be coming up next. My brain weight is…1234 grams! Not bad for my first test! I should have no problem making that 1400 weekly average. So that works out to be a B-…not too shabby. Oh, I don’t know if I agree with this. The Professor is hanging up a chart in the hallway with everyone’s grades on it! Now anyone at the school can read the chart and see what I got on my last test! The chart even breaks my score down category by category with numbers and a diagram! Man, I better stay on top of my tests or else everyone will know when I’m flunking!

I guess that’s why there are so many more group activities this time around. Now if I am doing badly at the academy I have a lot more options to work with friends. Wow, I can actually work with up to eight friends! That would be awesome, I could do group sessions with all the people in my class! It seems like some of these activities are more geared towards competition, and others are for cooperation. Professor Lobe has split them up into three different categories. He calls them Mind Sprint, Mental Marathon, and Mind Quiz. Mind Sprint lets me compete against classmates, either in real life or against their grade averages. I have to answer a set of questions as fast as I can, and manage to get them correct at the same time. I can also grab a classmate and team up with them to go two on two with another group. Mental Marathon is an eight person activity. We take one giant test where we are supposed to pass the input device between each other when prompted by the screen. The objective is to see how long we can go without getting a question wrong. Finally there’s Mind Quiz. I saw Nintenho and another classmate playing this when I was walking by earlier. You can have up to four teams with a total of eight players. Basically you have some sort of game board with panels. You choose a panel and flip it over. On the other side of the panel is a quiz question, and a difficultly level. You are supposed to answer as many questions as you can correctly before time runs out. The game keeps track of how many questions you answered correctly, and marks it on that piece. The winner is the person/team that has the most points on the board at the end. Man, between my regular tests, practice sessions, and group activities, I am going to be super busy!

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I guess going for a Wii Degree won’t be for everyone. If someone enrolled for the last Academy session, I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to come for a Wii Degree. They really have improved the school in almost every way since last time. There’s just more of everything. Still though, I am sure some people will get bored. They might be looking for more group activities, or perhaps test taking just isn’t their thing. Personally, keeping a daily regiment of taking my test and practicing every day keeps me very busy. The best part is that I really enjoy doing it. The group activities are an added bonus as well. So far everyone that’s enrolled with me is still here. We don’t have any dropouts! Sometimes I come to the academy to find my parents already taking a test! I think it’s great that they can keep that routine on their own; it really shows that they are hooked on getting their Wii Degree. Overall, if you are someone that really likes going to school and training yourself through these various programs, going for a Wii Degree should be right up your alley. I feel like I am getting a lot more out of this year than I did last time. I know I’ll see my tests through to the end of a month’s session. That’s the personal goal I set for myself. I know some of the other students have set longer goals for themselves. Things aren’t perfect this year, but they are definitely a huge step in the right direction. I guess even Professor Lobe can learn!


Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree gets a 7.9 out of 10

Categories: Reviews, Consoles
Tags: wii

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