Thursday, 3 July 2014

Pokemon Art Academy 3DS and the New Pink and White 2DS

Pokemon Art Academy 3DS, Pink and White 2DS, drawing software tutorial

Whether you have a Pokemon fan at home, or a child who simply loves drawing, Pokemon Art Academy 3DS is definitely the drawing "game" to get for them this Summer. Initially I thought that it was a video game, but this is actually a drawing tutorial with lots of useful hints and tips! With their easy to follow, step by step guide, anyone can be a great manga or cartoon artist, and the skills learned in game will also benefit their real life skills too.

As a Nintendo UK's Family blogger, we've also received the new Pink and White 2DS as a gift, thank you Nintendo UK! Now me and Abby can play games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf together through LAN (Local Area Network), making it even more fun to play! You can see my Nintendo 2DS review here. The pink and white 2DS with white stylus pen is really pretty and Abby absolutely loves it!  Now we just need the blue and black for Clay haha!

Pokemon Art Academy 3DS, Pink and White 2DS, drawing software tutorial

Pokemon Art Academy 3DS, Pink and White 2DS, drawing software tutorial

Pokemon Art Academy 3DS, Pink and White 2DS, drawing software tutorial

Pokemon Art Academy 3DS, Pink and White 2DS, drawing software tutorial

Back to Pokemon Art Academy 3DS (rrp £24.99, PEGI 3, 1 player), which will be launching tomorrow. Upon registering with the academy, players are given an enrollment card, which they can sign using the Stylus Pen (so cool!) and collect awards.

After passing the first Starter Exercise, the game unlocks further Lessons, teaching players different drawing techniques, from basics like how to use the console and drawing tools, to advance techniques like how to use geometric shapes to help with outlining the character and how to add shades, light and depth. After finishing each Lesson and Sketch (similar to Lesson but much quicker and less steps involved), players can see their drawings featured as a Pokemon card with their signature on.

The Art Academy provides a wide variety of Tools, such as pencil, outline pen, paintbrush and airbrush, just like the ones you get from any drawing applications on the computer or tablets. There is a wide selection of colours and shades, and you have a choice of undoing your current step or using an eraser to remove your mistake as well. Pictures are made of 2 layers - top outline layer and bottom drawing/ colouring layer, and each comes with their own eraser. This means that you can draw the outline of the character first and colour after without making the outline disappear.

Every lesson you finish unlocks a level in the Free Paint section, where players can practise their drawing skill learned with only the picture in the top screen as guidance (ie no dotted line to help). It gives players freedom to be creative as well and test their skills using different tools and effects. Players can also download further free images or import their own through the SD Card to use as guidance. Artworks can be saved in an album stored in the SD card, making the artwork transportable to the computer and Internet.

See the following Nintendo Official Pokemon Art Academy Trailer for a better idea:

Pokemon Art Academy 3DS, Pink and White 2DS, drawing software tutorial
Funny fellow student attending the academy with the player.
Don't feel bad if you can't draw well, practice makes perfect!

I honestly don't think there is anything I can fault at this stage. I think that it's the drawing app or software (in the format of a fun game!) people should get, especially for those who wants to learn how to draw. The game teaches you all the techniques you need to know, and with over 100 templates, you won't get bored with practising. Yes it's all Pokemon characters, but they are cute and the game makes it really fun to play and learn, and you can always import images of other things you like to draw too.

I love it that you can then save your artwork on the SD card and print them out from your computer, or share them through the Internet, giving your drawings lots of potentials (blog banner or website background perhaps?)

Game play wise, the console makes it very easy to control the zoom and undo functions, and the touch screen is also very responsive to the Stylus Pen, giving you full control and precision. I love the sketchy sound effect when I drew, and the other pupil (non-playing character) adds the humor to the game. 

With the Pokemon Art Academy, Abby can learn how to improve her drawing skills through play. The game is like the art tutor we couldn't be as we lack the skill. Maybe one day she'll draw something as awesome as the airbrush picture in the trailer above (at 3:20 minutes)! Then of course, she will need some practise to transform what she's learned to real life drawing if she's wants to, but I think able to draw virtually could be a very useful skill to have in the future.

I normally don't let Abby play games during term time as they tend to stuff her brain with fluff (she can't think at all after a game!), but I'm more than happy to let her go on her 2DS for the Pokemon Art Academy. Don't forget that it will be out tomorrow (3DS/ 2DS), if you have a budding artist and/ or Pokemon fan, this will be the game to get for them this Summer holiday. If you don't have a Nintendo 2DS or 3DS, check out their official store as they might be selling it as a bundle.