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100 Classic Book Collection (Nintendo DS) Review

Review for 100 Classic Book Collection on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Nintendo has been busy trying to establish the DS as a portable platform suited for all demographics by not only offering a wide selection of traditional games, but a slew of other titles that lure the more casual crowd to the machine. Brain Training, Cooking Guide, Maths Training and the rest have all turned into massive success stories, but can Nintendo strike gold once more with its new release '100 Classic Book Collection'?

Nintendo has been helping consumers make the right decisions in the past few years by releasing its range of self-explanatory titled products, such as 'Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?', 'Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Cook?' and 'Sight Training: Enjoy Exercising and Relaxing Your Eyes'. In comparison, '100 Classic Book Collection' is of moderate title length, but gets the message across loud and clear, whilst the front of the box also clarifies matters more just in case people are still confused by the rather obvious name, stating 'Enjoy reading 100 classic novels from some of the greatest authors ever, including Shakespeare, Dickens, Jane Austen and many more'. Many may bemoan the fact that they should not have to pay just shy of twenty British Pounds for this collection when all of the books contained within this package can merely be downloaded as text files, completely free of charge. However, the response to that has to be that the polish added by Nintendo and developer Genius Sonority (Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness, Pokemon Battle Revolution, and so on) makes it all worth it. The set-up is ideal as well, since the DS is held on its side, a la Brain Training and Hotel Dusk, making reading simple and relaxing.

For those wondering about eye strain, there are two font sizes to choose from, 'Small' and 'Large', but even the default text size is more like a 'Medium' size and is far clearer to read than the majority of text in full game releases. Then, to make the reading experience even more pleasurable, there are thirteen different background sound themes that can played whilst reading, ranging from the likes of 'East Listening', 'Beach', 'Airport' and 'Summer Day', or you can simply go with the 'No Background Music' choice to avoid distraction. The attention to detail throughout is very impressive, with a wise owl (replacing the black cat found in the Japanese edition...) guiding players through the experience every step of the way with handy tutorials. Players can even change details such as whether or not to show the current page number whilst reading or show the page number and total pages in order to highlight how long is left in a specific book, as well as altering the usage of the D-Pad or L/R buttons to change pages, plus switching the actual DS orientation to suit left-handed people.

Screenshot for 100 Classic Book Collection on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The main in-game tutorial teaches players the basics of navigating through 100 Classic Book Collection, selecting the book of choice and then actually reading it. Choosing any of the books on offer is as simple as going to the game's virtual bookshelf and using either the stylus (which is the slower method) or a scroll bar found at the lower part of the touch-screen (the faster option) in order to browse what is currently on offer. When a book spine is tapped on, its specific menu pops up, where users can learn more about that book, find out more about its author and actually go ahead and read the story. Rather than having to flick through everything on the bookshelf, though, there are search and sort functions that exist. A mere tap with the stylus on the top of the touch-screen in the bookshelf mode brings up a menu where players can then search through titles 'Alphabetically', 'By Length', 'Genre', 'Era', 'My History' (what has been read before), 'Ratings' and/or 'Description', or simply sort by 'Author' or 'Title'. Once a book has been fully read, an 'R' appears on its spine so it is easy enough to keep track of completed titles. As for when in the midst of a good story, players can tap either the left or right edges of the touch-screen to change page or slide the stylus horizontally across the screen to flip pages back and forth. Tapping the bottom of the screen brings up a scroll bar that lets you jump to whatever page you want in a short space of time, whilst tapping the top brings up another menu that lets you bookmark the current page (something that is automatically removed when you go back in and change the page) or completely exit the book and return to the main menu.

So it has been established that there is a wide selection of books on offer, navigation is extremely user-friendly and there are plenty of various options available to ensure the whole experience is not cumbersome in the slightest. But what else is included to help justify the cost? Well, there is a Local Wireless option that lets you send a trial version to another DS ('Send Trial', 'Send Book' and 'Receive Book'), as well as a quiz feature. In this quiz mode, the in-game owl asks the user several questions (such as 'What did you dream last night' and 'What is your favourite colour'), then depending upon the responses given, the game determines what books will most likely be of interest to that particular user (for reference, the three suggestions this reviewer received were 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination', 'The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes' and 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes'). Finally, and probably most importantly for many, there are Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection features. 100 Classic Book Collection actually allows the download of new books (with ten available right from the start and the promise of many more to come, considering the Japanese edition is receiving more a year after release!). There is about 1MB of free space on the actual DS cartridge and with the books being less than 100KB (most not even a third of that size) there is plenty of room for lots of extra downloads, and thankfully they do not take long to obtain at all. For example, it took about six seconds to download a 70KB book and a further five to save it to the DS card (obviously this will likely vary depending on network connection speeds). Finally, there is also the Update Rankings mode, which focuses on a book's popularity, with each title being ranked by users, or categorised by ten different user-attributed criteria, such as 'Exciting', 'Shocking', 'Profound' and 'Bizarre', with the results finally being uploaded to Nintendo's servers so others owning the product can see the most recommended novels. All-in-all this is likely to be the most comprehensive release of this style to ever grace the DS, so those looking for a strong collection of stories in an easy-to-use format should not pass up this treat.

Screenshot for 100 Classic Book Collection on Nintendo DS - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

User-friendly is the key with 100 Classic Book Collection, and Genius Sonority has ensured that this product is vastly superior to having the actual books in your possession.

Graphics

These are books being read on a DS, so there is not much in the way of visual prowess. However, it scores highly for being easy to navigate and extremely clear to read.

Sound

The selection of background themes on offer provide a very pleasant atmosphere for sitting back and becoming absorbed in the many books on offer.

Value

With so many titles on offer to start with, plus a batch of free downloadable books available right from the start, as well as a regular supply of others to come, this could well be a title that always finds its way back into your DS.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

It may have taken a long time coming, but Nintendo has put together a fine collection of classic books to keep everyone happy, packaging them in a superbly user-friendly format and offering up plenty of extras to ensure that true value for money is provided. If you are a book lover and have a Nintendo DS, then this little bargain should be right up your alley...

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28.12.2008

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Also known as

100 Classic Books

Developer

Genius Sonority

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Other

Players

1

Online enabled

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (30 Votes)

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

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Hope they release this in America, it would be extremely useful for my English classes
They make the pre-AP/AP read a lot more than the regular
And the literature book isn't the lightest thing to carry around with 3 other books of similar size and a large binder
One less book is all that's needed :]

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Exactly. I've heard quite a few people on regular gaming forums complaining about how Nintendo is just making a cheap cash-in product, but the alternatives are not ideal at all. Either carry all the heavy books around, or download text files and find something that can read them (DS homebrew, for instance - but the formatting isn't always fantastic then).

It retails in the UK for £19.99, but places like Amazon UK are already knocking it down to £14.99, which is a great deal!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I want this for myself and my other half.

About time such software surfaced.

EDIT:

Bought it on Amazon just now. There\'s a list of the 100 titles it includes there.

( Edited 28.12.2008 07:40 by Linkyshinks )

I'm glad to know you can download books. I'd like to pick this up, but there's other things calling for my money. Maybe I'll get around to it and buy it.

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

I dunno, I'd rather be reading a book to be honest. It's much easier and more natural to read something on paper then on a computer screen, especially if it's a long passage.

Now on twitter, predicting celebrity death headlines! @thedaytheydie
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Seems like it's doing pretty well for itself. Last night it was No.10 in the Amazon UK Best Sellers list, and today it's now completely sold out, with copies on eBay going for full price (not that normal for many DS games nowadays!).

It'll be interesting to see where it charts in tomorrow's Chart Track UK update. Last time I saw activity like this for a DS game was Prof. Layton's release last month...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I'm definitely interested in getting this if it comes Stateside. Its a brilliant compilation really -- so many good classics all in a system that I take everywhere. Its a near perfect fit for me.

These are the sort of 'casual games' that I can get into and appreciate.

C3 Moderator

Does anyone know if this can be purchased from the UK and used in the systems in the States? Is there a difference in the games or actual systems that wouldn't make it compatible?

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The Nintendo DS is a completely universal system, so you can indeed play games from any region on any DS or DS Lite.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Thank you for your help!

The cheese. said:
I dunno, I'd rather be reading a book to be honest. It's much easier and more natural to read something on paper then on a computer screen, especially if it's a long passage.

That's exactly how I feel. There's just something about reading a page right in your hands compared to reading a bunch of text on a computer. It's easier on the eyes, and, for some reason, I pay more attention when it's on paper in front of me.

If there's an article that's has a pretty good lenght to it, I'll print it out and probably go find a comfy spot to go check it out. But, that's just me... ;-Smilie


The former top user was Keven! You'd probably give birth to yourself 1000 times over until you sprout wings to fly away into the fading sun, that or you'd just turn into a lesbian. Who knows @_@ - L, 12/06/09
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It does sound interesting, but my logic about it just doesn't work out. You'd think that making a game about reading would make me much more likely to read, however I hate reading manga on a computer screen so I don't think this would be much different. Smilie

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

I suppose it is a good idea because there could be some really rare books that can\'t be found in the shops so maybe there are some on this game. It would be good for people who like old and claasic books.

( Edited 08.01.2009 19:03 by Super Sonic )



SuperYoshi6 PSN name
3DS friend code 2878-9581-8999
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Has anyone continued to 'play' this and see if more books have been made available for download?

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

It will be interesting to see how this fares in other countries. Is it already out in the likes of France and Germany now? I'm sure I saw it was being translated for mainland Europe...

I know it's coming to the US soon, at long last, that's for sure. Seems this sleeper hit has become bigger than Nintendo expected. It sold something like 500,000 units in Japan as well.

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
NiaMair (guest) 04.07.2010 22:49#16

For people who are thinking it won't be the same as reading an actual book... Then you obviously haven't tried it. I had the same worry, but I bought it regardless as it was 100+ books in a simple DS, I could carry it anywhere.
I myself also hate reading lengthy articles on a computer screen, I have recently downloaded a preview to a book and I shall be printing it out, but this DS 'game' is far better than reading on a computer. The glare isn't bad, and you can turn the screen brightness down. The font looks like a classec book font, and with the easy pressing of a button the page has changed, and I find I read books a lot quicker!

Friendly Mushroom (guest) 08.09.2010 03:11#17

think about it, a little stamp-sized game cartridge is the equivalant to 100 books. that's pretty good. plus, you don't have to carry around a book that may be heavy, don't have to worry about damaging a book that nmight not even belong to you ('cause let's face it, DS's a pretty durable. once I dropped it down my stair case and it lived. I'm talkin' 13 uncarpeted wooden stairs.) and It's a pain to have books on your carry-on when your on a plain. and frankly, it's easier to lose a book than my DS. It's pretty convienient. Smilie and FRIENDLY MUSHROOM! ( sorry that's my catch phrase. I know I know, it's from Avatar the Last Airbender)

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