Professor Kageyama's Maths Training (Hands-On) (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Adam Riley 05.02.2008 9

Review for Professor Kageyama

Nintendo has already seen great success with its two Brain and English Training products, as well as recent release 'Sight Training' in Europe. Now the latest craze from Japan is coming over in the form of Shogakukan's 'DS Kageyama Method: Masu x Masu Pure Hyaku Masu Keisan - Hyaku Masu no Maeni Kore Dayo!'. Just as Nintendo did with Hudson?s Sudoku title, the Kyoto Company is translating a niche Third Party hit that would have otherwise never seen the light of day in the West. But what can we expect from it and does it really deserve people?s attention? Let us take a closer look?

Following great success over in Japan under its native title of Kagayama Method Dennou Hanpuku: Masu x Masu Hyaku Masu Keisan, publisher Shogakukan has obviously been in negotiations to bring the game to an even wider market. The maths training title is one of those slow burners that whilst never lighting the charts on fire, has still managed to accrue 282,271 sales at last count, according to Famitsu. Not bad for a game released back in July 2006! You have to wonder if any other Kageyama games will be translated if this proves strong in Europe. However, out of the three games released on DS so far, this one and his IQ game from IE Institute (sold 44,771 units so far) are the only real options, since the other Shogakukan game is a Kanji Training product (sold 78,445, for reference).

Screenshot for Professor Kageyama's Maths Training (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

But anyway, how does it play? Well, the game ditches the institutional feel of Brain Training and is hosted by a little caricature of Professor Kageyama himself, with him guiding users through the various methods on offer and ?fun? tasks to take part in. Everything is far more light-hearted and tries its best to not scare people off by shoving education down their throats. Professor Kageyama's Math Training: The Hundred Cell Calculation Method offers all sorts of mathematical mini-games to hone your number skills, ranging from simple functions that youngsters should love (simply counting the number of objects on-screen before they disappear) right through to some extremely awkward calculations that will leave all but the sharpest of minds floundering (division with remainders!). All set against the clock, the aim is to power home through all the questions in the quickest time possible, earning different medals depending on how close you got to the set times already on the high scores table.

Screenshot for Professor Kageyama's Maths Training (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

One of the options players can choose from is the Daily Test mode that allows them to complete three exercises that change each time they progress to the next level. Each day, once exercises have been completed, users receive a tick on the in-built calendar and when five ticks have been received, the player will move up a level. In addition to this, whilst being guided throughout the game by Professor Kageyama, players can also take part in any of the forty different Practice Exercises to continue to exercise their skills.

However, it is the main method that will be grabbing everyone?s attention, and this is the Hundred Cell Calculation Method from the product?s title. It is basically a way to drill mathematics into your head so you will never forget ?simple? calculations ever again, whatever form of basic arithmetic it is, addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. Each time you start a mode, though, there is an option to choose from ten, thirty, fifty or the full hundred calculations, so there is no major pressure unless you decide to ramp it up yourself. The technique involves having a row of single integers across the top and another down the left-hand side of the left screen (yes, the DS is once again held like a book ? la Brain Training and company). Then you simply work your way across, one-by-one, for example adding the number on the left to the first number along the top, then the next, and so on, until the row ends. The process then continues, but on the second line, using that new number on the left as you add it, again ?for example?, to the ones across the top of the grid. All the while the answers are being written using the stylus on the touch-screen.

Screenshot for Professor Kageyama's Maths Training (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Sadly this is where the game falls down slightly. Whilst the whole thing is very well constructed, with pleasant, albeit basic, visuals and a non-invasive soundtrack that is not too sterile either, the hand-writing recognition in the Japanese version played is rather temperamental at times. For instance, sometimes it would not understand the number ?5?, whilst also not picking up the European style of writing a ?7? (in other words with the strike through the middle). When time is of the essence, you do not want to be staring at the touch-screen to ensure your hand-writing is perfectly accurate because your concentration really needs to be on the calculations side so you can plan ahead and save essential seconds. Considering Nintendo?s writing programme for Brain Training was very impressive, it is hoped that the European edition has minor modifications over its Japanese original. Otherwise players could become highly frustrated and give this a miss, which would be a shame, since Professor Hideo Kageyama?s product is a fun little package (with a nice local wireless competitive mode included as well that supports up to fifteen other players from just the one DS card!).

Screenshot for Professor Kageyama's Maths Training (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

Considering the scope of Maths Training, there is definitely something for everyone, with basic number calculations for beginners, through to three-digit challenges for those wanting a stronger challenge. With the game set to release on 8th February in Europe, this is definitely one to watch for those interested in expanding their knowledge base and brushing up on their numeric skills. Hopefully the writing input bugs will be ironed out by then, though?

Developer

Shogakukan,

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Educational

Players

16

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date 08.02.2008   North America release date TBA   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date TBA   

Comments

This game comes out next Friday, 8th February...is nobody here interested in it?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I hate maths Smilie

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

I know a lot of people that could really make use of this...I saw the other day that HMV has large countdowns to this game's launch. I wonder if Nintendo will be doing a decent TV campaign for it? I reckon this could do better than Sight Training, most definitely.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

1st mathematician: "What do you get if you integrate 1/cabin"
2nd mathematician: "A natural log cabin!"
1st mathematician: "No, a houseboat, you forgot the c"
Smilie

This would definitely keep me entertained if I was about 10 years younger, as it is I do really think I need this in my life.

When will this release in U.S....?

Gaming, gaming, and gaming, plus more gaming, with additional gaming, thus the result of gaming is more gaming, and perpetuation of endless gaming.

K I'm confused! Why does this post say Resident Evil 4 and what are you motherfudgers on about XO. Speak I say.

i like this game and i played it its great game.



Wii code:
001a-e9ae-2359

Can it help me with calculus? Smilie

I'm doing maths and further maths at A2 level and I'm really regretting that.

I hate maths now...no more kthx.

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

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