It’s no secret that Nintendo loves fun, and with Art Academy for the Nintendo DS family of handhelds, they’ve hit the nail on the head.
Art is one of those things that can be taken for granted. It’s one of the few mediums out there that can bring about a cornucopia of emotions. Art is moving, and has even brought me to tears with how beautiful it can be. Without art, the world would be a pretty boring place. We probably wouldn’t even have the gorgeous video games that we do today, so be thankful for art. Like most things in this world, art takes skill and practice. Some naturally have it, whereas others have to go to classes and train under professionals. With Art Academy, Nintendo hopes to bring out the inner artist in everybody.
As a child, I loved art and always participated in the annual art fair at my elementary school. If you were to ask my daughter, who is 7, what her favorite subject in school is, she would say, without any hesitation, art. In a game that’s going to be suitable for children through adults, Art Academy will give everybody training and skills that will be able to easily translate from stylus to paper, or even canvas. Players will be able to go through tutorials that will touch on topics like shading and coloring, or one can simply do their own thing in Free Paint mode. There are even options to adjust brush sizes, mix colors, and apply effects to take something 2-dimensional, and make it lifelike.
What I think is great is how the game will allow players to go at their own pace. With the assistance of Vince, your instructor, you’ll be able to go through the tutorials as fast as you want to, and even have the option to pause and save in the middle of them. It’s really ideal for somebody who might have to stop a tutorial abruptly, and not feel forced to have to sit through until the end, or risk losing their progress. DSi owners who’ve gone hunting through the DSiWare catalog will recognize Art Academy due to previously released installments like Art Academy: First Semester and Art Academy: Second Semester. All 10 lessons from both games will be available on the actual Art Academy game.
With additional mini-lessons, 20 virtual picture frames, and over 80 motifs that can be used for practice, the game offers a lot of features. Also, with Wi-Fi, you can share a demo lesson with another DS owner who doesn’t have the game. One feature that I think is nice is, for those who have DSi or DSi XL’s, you can use the built in camera to take pictures of images or people you would want to use as a reference later on when painting.
With major retailers like Best Buy and Target listing the game for only $19.99, and still available for pre-ordering, Art Academy will easily be another one of those must-have games for the fall and holiday seasons.