|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 15, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
Flash Focus is intended for those who don't mind dedicating a few minutes of their daily lives to improve themselves. The game is a follow-up to the universally successful Brain Age, which also takes a few minutes of your day to enhance brain activity. Flash Focus will try and enrich your visual abilities. It's certainly not magical, but it might be beneficial for some. Whether it's true or not, the game is fun and interesting; why wouldn't we play it daily and see what happens? I don't see how an eye workout could hurt
When you first start playing, the game explains its intentions of helping you improve your eye abilities in a variety of categories that are often more developed in sports professionals. We are talking about Hand-Eye Coordination (HEC), Peripheral Vision, Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA), Momentary Vision, and Eye Movement. HEC helps you react in situations by interpreting what you just saw. Peripheral Vision has to do with your ability to see what's around you, while focused on something else. People with good DVA can easily keep track of moving objects. Momentary vision pertains to your memory as well, as it's the ability to tell what you saw in just a minimum period of time. Eye Movement is the eye's ability to rapidly shift focus between things. It sounds like a science lesson, but once you get into the actual activities of this game you'll understand how these simple practices might help your eyes rejuvenate.
Flash Focus contains ten core training activities and seven sports-related ones. They're not all available right from the beginning, but you'll gain access to them as soon as you practice a few times. After just a series of activities, the game can determine how acute your vision is and calculate your approximate Eye Age. You'll usually start with a higher Eye Age than your actual age. By practicing daily you will find improvements, which may or may not translate into your daily life. The game will recommend you practice different activities depending on your eye weaknesses. It even creates graphs that will help you understand the way you perceive things. You can also choose to do a custom training and just select the activities you want to practice that day. If you do an Eye Age Check about three times a week, you will see a quite accurate chart that reflects your improvements.
The Core Training games are all typical practices you might have done in the past. There's one where you follow three moving boxes and have to find the coin within one of them. Another one consists of identifying the numbers that quickly flash on the screen and disappear. Others will have you identify symbols or rapidly tap the blocks that show up and move around. The sports-based activities look bit more complex, but are equally uncomplicated, fun, and engaging. You'll be trying to score homeruns in baseball by tapping the ball at the right time, sliding the racket with the stylus to play table tennis, punching your trainer and dodging his attacks in boxing, etc.
The game's controls are quite simple and absolutely precise. There's no reason to complain about this title, as everything is easy to achieve and ultimately relies on your eye skills and hand-eye-coordination. Each minigame is controlled by either tapping the screen with the stylus or dragging it across. If you're used to playing DS games, you know there's no mystery to that. In fact, it's not much different from using pen and paper