DS Face Training: Day 2

facening03.jpgSo today when I booted up Otona no DS: Face Training for the second time, I was greeted with a message saying that a “test mode” was now available from the main screen. Apparently the facening test I took last time was just that: a test to determine my expressive prowess, and not an actual “facening” exercise routine. Having done the initial test before, I was free to take it again many more times and track my progress. So I took the test again and was shocked to earn only an 80% (B) grade. I admit, I didn’t practice for a day, so perhaps my face muscles had weakened from not smiling enough yesterday, but in any case, I’m glad the test mode is there- because I can let my friends try it without screwing up my personal data.
So with new motivation to get a higher score I went into my user account, which is marked by a signature you write with the stylus. Immediately, the familiar head of Fumiko Inudo appeared, informing me that I had a question for her. “Really?” I thought. Then my head appeared and asked in fluent Japanese (very impressive), “At what age should you start facening?” Inudo responded saying that any age would do, and that if I wanted to know more I could check the Q&A section of the game’s “other” sub-menu. Afterwards I was to start my first real facening routine.
A facening routine has three parts: a body warm-up, a face warm-up, and then the actual facening itself. I selected warm-up, and then my DS’s little green light turned to a little red one. “crap,” I thought- and I started to wonder if using the camera drained the battery any faster than standard game play. Then I remembered I hadn’t charged my DS in over a week, during which I had taken it on an 11 hour flight, and surmised that the battery life was not affected by the camera. Still, I figured I’d at least have time for one facening routine and continued.
The pre-facening warm-ups don’t use the camera, but simply ask you to move your shoulders about a bit, then close your eyes and move your mouth from side to side, with the aid of an on-screen woman. The purpose is apparently to warm up the muscles in your face and neck, because as I proved while taking the test before, you will cramp up if you try to stretch out your jaw without prior movement.
Once the warm up is finished, you’re taken to the facening menu. The menu allows you to select different kinds of exercises depending on the muscles you’d like to work on, but with my battery life dwindling, I quickly selected the “recommended” exercise button. The recommended exercises are seemingly based on what previous data shows are your weakest muscles, in addition to the general stuff. My custom exercise routine was formulated to work the tiny muscles behind my eyelids (I always forget about those when I go to the gym). At this point the game first shows you a short animation of the routine you need to do, before asking you to perform three repetitions of each routine (mine involved squinting and then raising my eyebrows). The best part of the instructional animation is that if you pay close attention you don’t really need to understand the Japanese being spoken to you during the exercise portion.
Even though I only had time for the one recommended exercise, I felt good when the game stamped today’s date on its built in calendar to show that I had completed a facening routine for the day, and my face even felt a little… stretched. Kind of like your legs do after running a mile.

10 Responses to DS Face Training: Day 2

  1. droop4 says:

    You mean you actually exercise your face!? Sounds like a fun application to play- to watch other people playing.

  2. enigma says:

    that game sounds like it sucks and i would never play that

    i know it sounds ignorant but im sick of these ‘non-games’

    theyre ruining the hardcore scene. thats not a game, and no one needs to ‘face-train’

  3. M says:

    I can’t be sure why, but it sounds like fun. Here’s hoping for a US release.

  4. Eolirin says:

    Ruining the hardcore scene? By providing more options for people who have no interest in that scene?

    Okay, I get that you’re not interested in ‘non-games’. Honestly, that is perfectly fine. They’re not being targeted at you though. Personally I don’t really like realistic sports games like Madden, and I can’t *stand* gamepad controlled FPS games. Does that mean that devs should stop making them? They’re a very lucrative market. But you know what, they’re not enough like the games I really enjoy playing that proceeded them, so obviously they’re not worth making. We should all go back to adventure games and console platformers. All these other types of games are ruining the “Old Skool Scene”!

    Somehow I don’t think you’d be happy with that though 😛

  5. bryan3089 says:

    Great points, Eolirin. I too cannot stand the Madden franchise. I also detest gamepad controlled FPS games; in fact, beside the fact that the multiplayer / online content of these games offer a very social atmosphere, I don’t understand how it’s fun at all (nor am I looking for an explanation, because I’ve heard it all and will never like Halo OR Madden.) I’m more about trying new things, exploring bright colorful new worlds (like in Mario games!) with new types of controls, etc.

    As for “no one needing to train their face,” I strongly disagree: As I mentioned in a previous post (in different, though related thread), singers often do face muscle exercises to strengthen those muscles required to sing their very best. Also, doing this every day for a long period of time would indeed prevent the appearance of aging. It may very well have positive effects on your sinuses, among other things. Bottom line, while the Nintendo DS is obviously primarily a portable gaming machine, develops can (BECAUSE it is portable) make fantastic use of its very adequate hardware. Why shouldn’t Nintendo experiment with genres like this one? I presume you are not a fan of the hundreds of Disney spin-offs (see: That’s So Raven, Hannah Montana, among others), and yet they continue to produce (and SELL) these products.

    While the DS is obviously nowhere near as powerful as a computer, you stating that these games are “stupid” and “unneeded,” is almost as inappropriate (and idiotic, frankly) as someone saying “Why on Earth does my computer have Microsoft Word, AOL Instant Messenger AND World of Warcraft?” While I despite the latter, each of the aforementioned applications are quite unrelated, but they’re made available on the hardware on which they run BECAUSE that hardware is capable of catering to a wide array of audiences — and, of course, because each of those sells… as will the DS Face Training.

  6. hospee says:

    Brava Bryan.

    I too am interested in this game as well as many other “non-hardcore, stupid, dumb, useless, casual games” because they offer a new experience which is welcomed all the time by yours truly.

    I love the fact that I can better myself while being entertained a-la-wii, but now on my ds (physically, unlike Brain games).

    I hope for a US release, and a date on Wii-fit.

    Who knows, that camera may be fun to use!!

  7. InvisibleMan says:

    to enigma:

    1) Very few of these ‘non-games’ actually make it to the U.S.!
    2) You may say that about Wii games right now, but there is no way you can say that DS is ruining the “hardcore scene”… no other platform offers right now the wide range of game types that DS is offering now!

  8. enigma says:

    lol im sorry…. I was kind of angry before. Some ‘non-games’ are cool, but I’m kind of sick of them. I need a real game to sink my teeth into, and face training just seems really silly, not fun, and not very practical to me.

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