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New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art (Nintendo 3DS) Review

Review for New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Having worked on the likes of Battalion Wars II and House of the Dead: Overkill for Wii, it was quite a shock to find that Headstrong Games, a part of UK outfit Kuju Entertainment, was the team behind two 'edutainment' releases on the Nintendo DSi download service, DSiWare. 25th December, 2009 saw Art Academy: First Semester become an instant hit, despite weighing in at a hefty 800 Nintendo Points, and just a couple of weeks later, heading into 2010, Art Academy: Second Semester arrived at the same price-point. With DSiWare, more so than WiiWare, not managing to have massive penetration amongst system owners, despite being successful, the artistically creative titles were only able to reach a limited audience. Cue a retail release that combined the two styles of training into one retail package on 6th August, 2010, and subsequent massive sales. Is it really so surprising to see a sequel to Art Academy: Learn Painting and Drawing Techniques with Step-by-Step Training nearly two years later? Read on to see the result of New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art on 3DS.

Vince is back, slightly older, but also wiser to the needs of budding artists around the world, and it is via New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art that the in-game guide and his trusty dog, Bacon, attempt to lead players by the hand through a range of different training courses. There are plenty of introductory lessons that unlock one-by-one upon completion of the previous one, but also a whole slew of advanced classes to partake in to ensure there is a wider appeal than with the Nintendo DS version. To help break up the learning process, though, there are also free-style mini-lessons that open up in-between to leave people to their own devices, playing around with the enormous selection of drawing materials.

New Art Academy is all about providing its audience with as much information about the numerous styles of art, from the standard painting aspect, through to simple pencil sketches, all the way to the use of minimal colour to bring the best out of an object that is placed against slightly tinted backgrounds. Vince leads players along at a very moderate pace -- both visually and via on-screen text -- to allow a clear view of what is being done within each step. There is then a choice of using an on-screen grid or zoom function for further guidance, or even replacing the 'real' image shown on the top screen with Vince's hand-drawn version to see exactly where the next pattern or coloured section must be placed to achieve the desired effect, rather than going down the expert route of analysing the final piece of art.

Screenshot for New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Fundamentally, New Art Academy has not changed much from Art Academy, but there is definitely more emphasis on expansion of the experience in order to appeal to all sectors and skill levels, as well as now giving free rein to those wanting to express their talents on the canvas or paper, choosing from any of the tools at hand, referencing images included, and using variations on numerous in-game themes covered in the structured lessons. Flora, fauna, landscapes and landmarks, random objects, food, human faces and body parts; there is so much source material to choose from that players will be truly engrossed with New Art Academy for many months after purchase, if not longer. Nintendo will be offering free lessons from time-to-time, but bonus additional lessons will also become available for purchase, and specialist ones can even be user-created and shared with friends and family. The same goes for actual art creations, with them either displayed in the in-game 3D gallery building or shared with others (locally, using Nintendo Letterbox, storing on the SD card and uploading via a PC, or even through SpotPass).

As if New Art Academy was not already packed with enough extra features, there are tips and interesting titbits of information from Vince offered when starting the game each day. With the pastels, special coloured pencils, paint sets and all manner of fresh tools for whipping up the latest masterpiece during play, the scope for replay value is amazing, especially as collaborations can be made on image creation in the Free Paint mode. It may all sound a little too similar to Art Academy: Learn Painting and Drawing Techniques with Step-by-Step Training, but there is more than enough content within New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art to make it not only one of the most refreshing Nintendo 3DS experiences on the market so far, but a wonderfully comprehensive art package that anyone interested in the subject should consider buying a Nintendo 3DS XL for.

Screenshot for New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art on Nintendo 3DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

There is the perfect mixture of hand-holding for real beginners and free rein for those that merely wish to express their already acquired talent on the touch screen. The ability to share creations and purchase extra content simply makes this package all the more impressive.

Graphics

Whilst the artistic look of the original Art Academy duo is missed, the revamped appearance for New Art Academy is just as easy on the eyes, with intuitive menus and clear visual instructions throughout.

Sound

The soundtrack is simply beautiful, with lilting string pieces and serene piano tunes that create a relaxing environment that is ideal for the subject matter at hand.

Value

Art Academy was packed to the brim with artistic goodness thanks to it being two download games blended into one, but this sequel easily provides just as much value for money thanks to its extended lessons, image sharing capabilities, and all the other little extras packed in by Headstrong Games and Nintendo.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

New Art Academy: Learn New Painting Techniques and Share Your Art builds upon the solid foundation of its predecessors to offer an extremely well-rounded experience that is suitable for budding artists keen to make a fresh start, and experts looking to hone their talents further. With a wide range of lessons and the option to share content with ease, this is everything people could have expected from a new version.

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31.07.2012

5

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Developer

Headstrong

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Educational

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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Staff Member

Good review! Am hoping it goes digital soon as it'll make far more sense to have a game like this on the hardware at all times. Same with Oni Training when that turns up. Smilie


Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Thanks, Shane. I'm surprised this has started off so slowly. Freakyforms didn't make the Nintendo 3DS Top 10 (deservedly, I say), but New Art Academy only scraped in at No.9. It seems the launch of the 3DS XL didn't help it, instead boosting games already on the market.

Perhaps people can't justify the price for yet another art title?

Has anyone at Cubed3 tried this?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Jane (guest) 05.08.2012 17:38#3

I can't wait to get it after the price has gone down

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Ah, perhaps that's what is putting people off! I hadn't really considered the price factor too much.

Have there been many adverts? I know the DS game was advertised A LOT in the UK, so I presumed it'd be the same this time round. However, I don't watch much TV nowadays, so I miss out on new game adverts!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Nick (guest) 01.09.2012 21:17#5

I bought it , it's good for relaxing, and on 3DS XL it's nice. I've done one painting on it that came out good seeing as I haven't drawn anything since I was a school boy, the level of depth is deep enough to satisfy everyone I imagine. It can be a bit fiddly as the touch screen is not the same as drawing on paper obviously, but I like it.

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