3DS Buzz Exclusive: Nintendo Reveals ‘Doctor Kawashima’s Humour Training’
The panel-faced doctor is back, blending cutting edge voice recognition and the expression-mapping technology from Face Training into a 3DS comedy tour de force!
The Nintendo DS was well known for its experimental new types of gameplay, and one of the most popular system-shifters was undoubtedly the Brain Training series. These puzzles and exercises were bolstered by the presence of cheery noggin-expert Dr. Kawashima.
And whilst the good doctor recently jumped ship to engage in some XBox 360 business, he’s back home on Nintendo. 3DS Buzz has gained access to some of the Nintendo product portfolio for 2012, and it appears that there’s a new Dr. Kawashima game on the way.
We’re very grateful to Nintendo for allowing us to publish these first images and details of the next installment of the one of their most successful franchises.
Dr. Kawashima’s Humour Training takes the scientific research of comedy and attempts to make a game of it. So what can we expect to see?
The Science Of Smiling
Humour Training combines both old and news ideas from the range of Nintendo’s Training titles. Old school fans can test their ‘humour age’ by repeating jokes displayed onscreen into the microphone. The software will gauge your delivery, and the inner 3DS camera will even monitor your facial expressions. It knows if you’re using Rich Hall-esque deadpan delivery or a more Eddie Murphy style of wide eyes and broad grins.
However, that’s not all. Budding comedians can try the new Kawashima Grand Tour mode, which is the closest a game like this gets to a genuine single-player campaign. Using your Mii as the protagonist, the game will take you from working rowdy late night bars to, hopefully, eventually performing to packed arenas.
Miis both created and collected using StreetPass will comprise the audience, and your challenge is to change their expressions from deadpan to hysterics against the clock.
As you go, the Heckling system will come into play. Every so often, the action will freeze and a Mii will stand and shout a heckle from a possible bank of over 500 prerecorded lines of insulting dialogue. You’re then tasked with rebuking the insult within a three second time limit, and the game will test your wit accordingly.
Boost Your Humour Quotient!
The game uses the currency of a Humour Quotient to gauge your comedic acumen. Ideally, the higher your score, the more funny you supposedly are.
The game boasts some impressive voice recognition, even including a wry dig at videogame culture that decreases your Humour Quotient by 10 points if it detects you using the ‘arrow to the knee’ meme. Not just that, but Nintendo have shown surprising boldness in their recognition of crude humour.
See, part of the Humour Quotient is being subdivided into categories comparable with famous comedians across the ages. Whilst a wry, surreal delivery will earn you comparisons to Eddie Izzard or Bill Bailey, a propensity for naughty language will allocate you a comparison to the likes of Chris Rock or Richard Pryor.
And in a pleasing bit of cross-game continuity, total failure to raise even a chuckle in the Grand Tour mode will cause the game to accuse you of being as much of a comedic failure as Animal Crossing‘s Doctor Shrunk!
Humour Training is, according to our sources, hoped to be seen as a way of bridging the divide between the playful games of Nintendo’s roster and the more bland, casual Wii Fit minimalism.
The technology going on under the hood here is quite impressive. Whilst the game won’t detect everything you say, words it doesn’t know are measured in pitch and tone to detect their comedic merit. The game will even test your ‘Laughter Type’, by producing comical events and cutscenes to you in rapid succession and recording your responses.
Apparently, your humble writer is a ‘Blurter’. Dr. Kawashima says my laughter ‘erupts from nowhere like an Icelandic volcano’, before ‘trickling away in fitful schoolgirl giggling‘.
Gosh. He doesn’t hold his punches, does he?
Doctor Kawashima’s Humour Training is expected to release September 31st, 2012. A Collector’s Edition has been announced, in which the game comes packed in an enormous replica cream pie ideal for plunging into the faces of your friends.
Especially the foolish ones!