My DoItAll Review for Nintendo DS

My DoItAll Review for Nintendo DS

Doesn’t Do It All,
But Does It Do Enough?

Although they’re somewhat rare, the DS has a few software titles that are not just games. They usually try to make up for the lack of extra features found on the Nintendo DS / DS Lite. This device, even though it’s the best-selling handheld video game platform in history, can’t do much more than play games, unless you completely hack the thing and start installing homebrew applications in it (not very recommendable because, amongst other things, it voids your warranty).

My DoItAll screenshot

That’s why a few companies like TOMY Corporation have decided to give it a shot and create software that will enrich the overall experience with your favorite travel companion. It’s not a half-bad idea, at least until the DSi is around!

As you know, Nintendo is going to cover all the basis with the upcoming DSi system (already released in Japan). The DSi is a redesign of the DS Lite with several extra features like cameras, music playback, SD storage, downloadable software, calendar and organizer, etc. Rumors say it will be available for everyone this summer, but, in the meantime, there are other options to keep yourself organized like My DoItAll. Plus, who wants to spend almost $200 on the new system when you already own a sweet DS Lite and have access to a huge game library?

My DoItAll converts your DS into a helpful organizer and a learning tool, plus it can be a nice pastime once in awhile. The title comes packed with 15 applications, three of which are simple games you can play alone or with your friends when you’re bored. As you can imagine, not everything in this package is very useful, but some things are better than others, and everyone should be able to find something there that’s useful in different situations.

The productivity applications are definitely the most interesting and practical. Who doesn’t need a handy calculator on the DS? It even has a nice unit converter, so you can figure out measurements you’re not familiar with. I find this especially practical for traveling situations, as you can convert temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa, or from Kilometers to Miles, Milliliters to Ounces, etc.

My DoItAll screenshot

The World Map could also be useful, as it shows you the different time zones and some basic info about each country. This feature could have been much more in-depth, but unfortunately, I find it a little lacking, especially in the time zone department. You can see the different areas and their current time, but you can’t see exactly which countries belong to each time zone. It’s nice that they kept Daylight Savings in mind, as you can see which countries have already changed the clock and which ones didn’t do it yet.

The title also includes, of course, a Calendar where you can track down your appointments and dates of interest, as well as holidays, depending on the area where you live. You can also keep a journal and use cute icons to keep everything organized. The Notepad also lets you write quick notes and such, but all the typing is done with an onscreen keyboard. Unfortunately, no “doodling” tool has been included, so you can’t quickly write your memos in actual handwriting. In my eyes, this is one of the biggest downfalls of the title, as it seems like an obvious feature to have in a title like this.

One thing I didn’t expect is the Periodic Table. If you’re at that age when it’s important to learn all the different symbols and their chemical composition, this might come in handy. I personally will never use it, but at least a few chemistry-oriented people will find this interesting.

My DoItAll screenshot

Other things you can do with My DoItAll are not as practical, but they can be fun to use once in awhile. First of all, when you start the game you create your own character. This is done similarly to the Miis on the Nintendo Wii, selecting from many different hair styles, eyes, eye and skin color, eyebrows, noses, mouths, and their corresponding positioning. Nothing can be rotated, but everything can be tweaked to be higher up or lower, closer together or more separate, etc. I enjoyed the character creator, but unfortunately the avatar is not used for much, other than playing little games. You can exchange your contact card with other people, but they need to own the game too, so it’s not extremely useful.

My DoItAll screenshot

Sound-driven applications like the Rhythm Machine, Sound Effects, and Voice Changer are interesting additions that could be appealing for some kids, especially if they’re into the YouTube phase, creating their own videos and such. You can play a couple dozen different sound effects, create new rhythms with rock, metal, or pop influence, and even record your voice and tweak the pitch / gravity, play it backwards, etc. Honestly, there isn’t much to these little applications. You can do these things on the computer a thousand times better, but it could be fun for a few giggles with your friends.

So, what else can you find in My DoItAll? There’s a Dice application where you can select and throw different kinds of dice; there’s a Spinner where you can type a few options, but it doesn’t work very well; there’s a Poll system where you can ask your friends questions by passing the DS around or via wireless ad-hoc; and finally, there are three games mostly based on luck. The first, Boxes of Doom, will display a group of boxes and you and your friends will have to lift them up, taking turns, until one of you uncovers the clown (loser!). The second game, Ninety-Eight, is a card game. It can be played wirelessly and with only one game cartridge. All you have to do is discard your cards in hand, taking turns, and add them all up until one of you goes over 98 (again, loser!). The third game, Crazy Eights, is also card-based. It’s similar to UNO because you have to match the color or number of the card that’s facing up until one of you manages to get rid of all the cards in hand.

As you can see, everything in this title is very simplistic, and so are the visuals, menu interface, etc. Everything is user-friendly, simple, and appropriate, but it doesn’t have much spark anywhere, which would have made the title more attractive. In addition, I found some of the menus to be slightly confusing, but I also appreciated the shortcuts to the different applications available at almost any time through a simple tap on the top-left corner of the screen. The design choices in general might not have been the best, but they do the job.

So, what’s the verdict? Does My DoItAll really do it all? Yes and no. It’s true that this package contains more features than you would imagine right off the bat, but I also think you’d get over it fast, as they’re not particularly useful. Also, most of the apps are the kind of thing you would take for granted on a modern handheld system such as the DS. Why it didn’t come preloaded with some of these features is a mystery, but you know almost every modern phone / music player / gaming handheld out there can play music and even videos, has a calendar, notepad, organizer, calculator, and much more. That’s why I don’t find this software appealing enough, even if I got excited with the unit and currency calculator. Also, at $30, the price is quite steep! I guess we’ll have to leave this one for a younger audience with a desire to learn new things.

The character creator is simplistic but at the same time has more choices than other games. Other than that, the graphics are plain and simple, but they do their job. 3.6 Control
Stylus-based controls throughout are perfect for this software, and multiple shortcuts make the interface more user-friendly. However, a few of the menu features can be rather confusing. 3.6 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
This title has some simple music and a few sound-related features like a voice changer, a sound-effects board, and a “rhythm machine.” Nothing sounds too great on the DS, but it’s cool enough for a simple title like this. 2.9

Play Value
My DoItAll is not extremely useful if you own a gazillion other gadgets with the same features, but if the DS is your best traveling pal, it’s kind of nice to have a unit converter, calculator, and world map.

2.9 Overall Rating – Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Stay in touch with all your friends by sharing Friend Cards with your info, or even share your schedule!
  • Features a cool Voice Changer that records with the DS microphone, and the Sound Effects machine packed with over 30 sounds!
  • Create your own “mini-you” character with your personal look and style!
  • Customize your game interface by applying different color and sound schemes.
  • Have fun playing wireless multiplayer games and custom polls that you can take with your friends!
  • Use reference tools like the Calculator or World Map so you’ve always got the right answers!

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