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Jonathan Higgins posted a article in NintendoI can“t be too upset with this week“s Nintendo Download. I know we“re not getting Yoshi“s Woolly World this week like Europe, and we“re missing out on their double dose of Kirby in the form of Squeak Squad and Kirby 64. But a lot of this week“s releases and sales here in North America are quite good, and coincide with E3 reveals. Art Academy: Home Studio is available on Wii U this week, as is Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna). This week“s sales feature discounts on SEGA 3D Classics (RUN to the eShop, ladies and gentlemen; don“t walk!), Aqua Moto Racing 3D, and the recent Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains. And hey, speaking of ATLUS: Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars will have a permanent price reduction to $29.99 starting June 29th. This week“s Virtual Console releases go hand-in-hand with games revealed at E3. If you“re pumped for Star Fox Zero like I am, you can play some Star Fox Command on Wii U while you wait. And if you“re pumped for Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, you can play some Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. All we need now is Bowser“s Inside Story to make the full lineup of Mario & Luigi games available on both Nintendo 3DS and Wii U! Last but not least: this week“s themes are pretty much all Harvest Moon-related. So if you“re a fan of that franchise, be sure to check them out! Source: Press Release Are you going to grab any games featured in this week's Nintendo Download? Be sure to let us know!
Developer: Headstrong Games Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: October 1, 2012 ESRB: E for Everyone Michelangelo once said, â€œBelieve it or not, I can actually draw.â€ Now you say it; this time without the quotation marks. What you have just said is what we like to call a fact, because believe it or not, you can actually draw too. Sure, you may not quite be Michelangelo, but he didn“t exactly start out where he ended in his craft. No one does. Ever. Anyone can draw, but to master the art form that isâ€¦wellâ€¦art, takes practice. Enter Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone for the Nintendo 3DS. This little gem from Headstrong Games is the perfect example of an effective learning tool, which is really a better term for it than â€œgameâ€ is. Those who have played its DS predecessor know what I“m talking about, as both games do a fantastic job giving players the tools and lessons they need to become an accomplished artist. If you“ve played the first one, you“ll be pleasantly surprised by how much things have improved. And if you haven“t played it, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone is a great place to start. If you“re a returning student to the Art Academy, you may remember the beardy artist named Vince (no, not the one who cut his ear off), who provides you with your lessons alongside his sleepy dog Bacon. Although, they“ve both changed a bit since last time, having been updated from mere sketches to vibrant 3D models. But no matter what dimension he“s in, Vince is more than happy to teach you everything he knows, whether it“s how to paint a detailed nature scene or a simple still life. Of course, the graphical updates don“t stop with Vince and Bacon; static scenes have been replaced with actual scenes depicting what to draw, making you feel almost like you“re drawing straight from something right outside, such as flowers lightly blowing in the wind. Not only that, but with the 3D turned on, your subject matter looks as if you were seeing it through a window. And to top it all off, with still life objects like a cherry, you can change the position of your light source to alter its appearance, allowing you to draw them more than once without them being the same each time. Once you get into the lessons and play around with the provided tool set, it becomes apparent just how artistically talented the people involved with this game actually are. For instance, the lessons are simply too detailed and well-made for anyone but professionals to effectively give. But that doesn“t stop you from being able to make your own lessons for everyone else to download later, if you know what you“re doing. This game allows users to create and share their own lessons, which definitely keeps the game fresh. Throughout the knowledge-absorbing process, you“ll learn how to place background colors before going over them with layers of outlines, dark colors, light colors, and lighting effects before eventually learning how to mix your colors, use atmospheric perspective, and ultimately make your work look like something you might see in a museum. After all that, you“ll finally get past the introductory course. Yeah, you“re not outta the woods just yet, kid. During the more advanced course, you“ll be taught things many people spend years at college learning, and in a much smaller time frame. Vince will take you through each painting step-by-step, making sure you know exactly what you“re doing, even telling you how things work scientifically. There are also plenty of mini-lessons you unlock that add on to what you“ve learned during specific lessons, only giving you general instructions and leaving you to take care of the rest. As far as realism goes, Art Academy 2 has more of the stuff than pretty much any other art software out there. Not only do you get an incredibly wide range of tools to work with such as pastels, pencils, and watercolors, but everything is pretty much mirrored to real life painting mechanics. For example, once you put paint down on whichever canvas you choose, it will slowly dry. If the paint is still wet, you can blend the colors. If it“s dry, you can“t. And all utensils act differently depending on your canvas, too. This kind of realism gives you a learning experience akin to if you were actually learning to paint/draw in real life, keeping your experience from feeling dull. Sure, you might get annoyed by the fact that you can“t undo your mistakes, but hey – real life has no undo buttons. If you ask me, I think it“s more effective to learn the hard way, so I embrace such a challenge. Of course, if you aren“t like me and don“t like to be challenged, know that you only have to start at the beginning of each step if you screw up. You might have to do this at times anyway, though, because there may be points where the stylus isn“t quite calibrated to your liking, causing your drawing to become a tad off the mark. It isn“t that big a deal if it still helps you learn, but for perfectionists, this will likely frustrate you enough to exit your lesson just for calibration purposes. Art Academy 2 has a pretty good sharing system as well, aside from the lesson-sharing feature I talked about earlier. Once you“ve created a work of art, you can save it to an SD card as an image file to later upload wherever you like. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, you are only able to do so right before ending a lesson. You can still save it to your portfolio for display in a virtual gallery or for sharing via SpotPass, but once you“ve ended a lesson, your opening for transfer is gone, forcing you to redo the lesson in order to have that opportunity again. When all is said and done, Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone is one of the best teaching tools on the market for aspiring artists, especially those wishing to draw or paint on a real canvas. With a wide array of utensils, great selection of canvases, and some of the most effective art lessons you can get, this is the perfect entry point for people hungry to learn this craft. And with a $30 price tag, it“s definitely worth a buy. Pros: + Gain art skills with thoroughly detailed lessons + Incredible realism in both art and subject matter + Packed with content + Very high replay value Cons: - A few sharing flaws - Stylus isn't always accurate Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Fantastic More a teaching tool than an actual game, this is the perfect piece of software for anyone wanting to become a better artist.