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New Art Academy review

The perfect opportunity to use those bigger 3DS XL screens

Nintendo has always wanted us to think of the 3DS as more than just a games console. Art Academy did just that for the original DS and its aptly titled sequel, New Art Academy, goes a fair way toward showing that using our handheld can be a cultured experience.

The core of New Art Academy lies in its Lesson mode. With a total of 32 lessons, divided into Introductory and Advanced sections (and further separated into full lessons, made up of many stages, and mini lessons that teach you smaller aspects) there's plenty to sink your teeth into, and the range of subjects is wide enough to get a basic grounding.

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With the promise of downloadable add-on lessons and the ability to create your own classes to share with others, we can envisage whole courses for specific art styles popping up in the not too distant future. Picasso! Da Vinci! Miyamoto! You get the (ahem) picture.

It's a neat idea and one that basically works - you're not necessarily going to become a great artist, but the stage-by-stage teaching style will make you think in a more structured way.

The Masterclass

Similarly, your virtual tutor chips in with snippets of art history, broadening your knowledge as you go. Annoyingly, the game requires you to unlock each lesson by completing the previous one, which does take away from the 'paint what you want' feel, although this is the best way to prepare for New Art Academy's best feature, the Free Paint mode.

Free Paint essentially amounts to a doodle generator and the incredible amount of flexibility you're given sets New Art Academy apart from rivals. It's a system that's built as much for seasoned artists as it is beginners - you can get going with a blank canvas or pull up a stock image from the game's library to work from on the second screen.

You can even grab a picture from your SD card to work off of. It's a great mode, simple enough to get to know in minutes but deep enough to let you keep drawing for hours.

Couple that with a neat interactive gallery, image sharing and an export function to the camera app, and what you're left with is a complete art system.

Essentially, it's exactly what Nintendo has always wanted - proof that the 3DS is about more than just games, but with non-gaming products remaining fun. With a release scheduled to coincide with the launch of the 3DS XL, this is the perfect opportunity to use those big screens to their full extent, with every brush stroke shown in beautiful, 90 percent-bigger detail. Who needs a brush when you can just grab a stylus?


9 comments so far...
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  1. thecoolmana777 Wednesday 25th Jul 2012 at 14:39

    What I would like to know is if it is better than Colours 3D in terms of artyness , otherwise I might get it depending on cost

  2. imbusydoctorwho Wednesday 25th Jul 2012 at 17:22

    I'm not a very good drawer,so I'm still unsure about this.
    If I find it,under Ł20,I'll get it.

  3. pokemaster Thursday 26th Jul 2012 at 06:13

    The lessons seem good, but as far as I am concerned Colors! 3D wins. A lot cheaper, and the fact you can add 3d layers makes it more worthwhile. If I see it for around Ł15 I may pick it up, but I am still constantly on Colors! 3D so don't need it at the mo. Check out my gallery, the link is in my signature, and have a look at other peoples work, some of it is amazing. :)

  4. Xenobladeperson Sunday 29th Jul 2012 at 22:24

    It looks like Colors might still hold the crown for art on 3DS. While Art Academy has lessons, Colors 3D is much cheaper and has a better range of colours on the wheel-thing. Art Academy seems slightly limited in this perspective, which will lead to poorly blended shading. While I don't own Art Academy, if you already know how to draw, Colors seems to be a better option.(mainly because it's cheaper) But if you don't know how to draw, get Art Academy.

  5. Gamer 1 Thursday 2nd Aug 2012 at 12:26

    not sure what to make of this as im not the best of artists i would make an exception to get this game Ł20 or under if not ill wait till it goes down

  6. bigterence Monday 13th Aug 2012 at 10:39

    Got Art Academy on my old dsi.Recommended as a teaching tool.Should get both for my 3ds xl ,as I think they will complement one another.But the price for Art Academy is too high at release.Will wait for a while and pick it up when price drops.

  7. TwoDaysAgo Tuesday 14th Aug 2012 at 13:44

    Meh. ._.

  8. laurennintendo Sunday 19th Aug 2012 at 13:03

    I got Art Academy for Ł23.99 a very good game highly recommended. Art Academy give you a choice of styles you can use pastels, pencils and paint, the lessons are good aswell buy buy buy! ( but try find a cheaper price.) :D

  9. SM3DL2 Thursday 8th Nov 2012 at 23:38

    I've got it's DS predesscor. It's good, but it saves wrong, so I just keep re-drawing apples. :)

    They should have made this sequel on the DS, for those who don't have a 3DS. Art Academy in 3D? Not nesscary!

    I don't think I'll bother with this one.

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