Gaming and reading sometimes go hand in hand, in fact until the rise of the cinematic cut scene storylines were delivered via the written word. Times have changed however and reading (as a pass time) is less and less common as TV Movies and Games take over, but there are still those that enjoy a good read and Nintendo have released a title that might appeal to many of that type.
As the name suggests 100 Classic Book Collection is a compilation of titles from various authors, the likes of Jane Austin, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. The range of books are probably not everyone’s cup of tea but given the nature of the collection that shouldn’t be a problem unless you can’t read the title, in which case the experience isn’t going to be the most pleasant experience in any case.
There is a tutorial when you first turn on the game which will walk you through the ins and outs of using the game. But after the first time or two there isn’t really much of a challenge to navigate and do what it takes to get stuck into the novel of your choice.
To read a book the orientation of the DS is turned around as to hold it so that the screens are opposite each other and the hinge acting like the binding of a book. There is no option to change this function which isn’t really a problem once you start turning pages with your thumb on the dpad, the stylus can also be used but it is far less convenient. The sides of the screens each have a specific function, a scroll bar on the bottom a menu at the top and turning pages with the left and right hand sides.
The idea of using the DS as a reader is not surprising but it has both its advantages and disadvantages. First up, the comfort of using a DS to read, it’s surprisingly good. Only one hand is needed to hold it and the weight of the DS seems to be less that that of most paper or hardback books. You don’t need to hold it open like you would with a book as it holds it’s own shape, I found that on a high table it was comfortable enough to just set it down and read it off the table.
I tried to use the DS for reading in a darker room which didn’t work out too well, my dislike of reading large quantities of text from a LCD screen weren’t realised but I did however find I couldn’t stomach reading from the DS in a darker room. The text size is variable (user selected) but the standard size seemed perfectly adequate to read from upclose and at a comfortable arms length reading distance.
Overall a rather enjoyable experience that has already allowed me to read through some classics that I might not have ever had the chance to enjoy otherwise.