Your head is on fire which means you must be playing Hot Brain for PSP from Midway. Hot Brain is another train your brain game that takes what Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day for Nintendo DS started and wraps it in a new package. Hot Brain is very similar to Brain Age and Big Brain Academy for Nintendo DS, and if you have played them then you know what to expect.
Basically, you take multiple timed quizzes that deal with logic, memory, math, language, and concentration to give your brain exercise. After you have completed these quizzes then the game ranks your brain’s heat level and tells you how you are doing. Just like the other brain games that have hit the market lately, Hot Brain uses the theories that state that if you exercise your brain with quick math problems and other activities you can improve your concentration, creativity, and keep your brain healthy. The theory is that we exercise our body and muscles and should do the same for our muscle in our head.
Hot Brain is hosted by a wacky professor with voice acting by Fred Willard of TV and movie fame. The cut scenes that feature Professor Ed Warmer have good voice acting and are entertaining the first time you see them, but I found myself hitting the X button to bypass them after seeing them once or twice. They add a sense of polish to the game, but the load times between them and the other activities really drag down the game. Hot Brain’s activities are very similar to the two games mentioned above for Nintendo DS, but with slower load times and no touch screen capability, Hot Brain just doesn’t match up to the competition.
Now, if you only have a PSP then you will probably enjoy the game, but if you have a Nintendo DS also, then I recommend you pick up Brain Age or Big Brain Academy instead. Heck, buying one of them will even save you $10 as of this writing, since Hot Brain retails for $29.99 and the others only cost $19.99.
Hot Brain’s controllers are also very simple and not as fun or intuitive as the Nintendo DS games. All you do to interact with the game is press the X, circle, square, and triangle buttons to pick your answer from the four on the screen. This is probably the only control scheme they could offer on the PSP to allow quick answers, but I kept wanting to write the answer or shot them out like I do on the DS.
I was also not that impressed with the graphics in Hot Brain beyond the cut scenes. I know these are just little mini games, but they don’t look any better than the graphics in Big Brain Academy or Brain Age. I thought the PSP was a more powerful system than the Nintendo DS, so why aren’t the graphics better for these quizzes?
The quizzes also take from the above mentioned games with you having to figure out based on arrow patterns where the taxi will arrive, what multiple shapes combined will look like, which picture matches the one you see for a few seconds before the screen switches to the answers, how many people go in and out of a ship, and eleven others that challenge your mind to increase its temperature and blood flow. Some of the challenges are a little different than what is offered in other brain games, but only being able to pick from four answers for every challenge started to get old.
Hot Brain’s sound effects are not very elaborate, but I don’t know how much more they could’ve done with them. They have a timer sound that counts down as time runs out as subtle background music plays while doing the different challenges. You also hear sound effects when you press the correct or incorrect buttons. I have nothing really good or bad to say about the music and sound effects. They get the job done and were not annoying, but also didn’t really stand out either.
As brain games go Hot Brain is okay, but the PSP’s control scheme and load times really hurt it. The cut scenes and voice acting definitely beat what Brain Age and Big Brain Academy offer on the Nintendo DS, but after you have seen these scenes a few times you will be pressing the button to bypass them. The game takes long enough to get from challenge to challenge without having to watch a cut scene every time you choose something. If you don’t have a Nintendo DS and want to check out what this whole brain game phenomenon is then Hot Brain is a good choice, but if you have a Nintendo DS I suggest passing this one up and going for the games that started it all instead.
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