DSiWare | Nnooo | 1 Player | Out Now | 500 Nintendo Points
Much of what made the original so accessible has carried over here, such as the toolbar which features a variety of ink colours and pen sizes. However, this new group of titles has made some improvements to offer more bang for your buck. The most noteworthy of them all is how much bigger the application is. The first set only had 32 pages, and these new releases have a total of 128 pages. That's more than 4 times what the original offered. So it's likely that once you purchase one of these new notebooks, you won't see the need to purchase another.
Clearly, Nnooo took note of some of the feedback they received and in so doing, each of the new myNotebook apps now come equipped with the ability to have blank paper. So you can have two pages side-by-side, one with an image of some sort, and a piece of text beside it. Having the ability to doodle freely without having lines mug up your precious artwork is great to have. And this is something that will especially be appreciated by people who become inspired by their surroundings. I wonder if they could've taken this a step further and allowed for camera support, where you could possibly have a page with a photo on it, and then some text beside it to explain a thought. At the same time, this might have made myPostcards seem less of a worthwhile investment in the long run. But I digress.
There are some new functional details that the developers focused on this time around. Now you have the ability to press Up or Down on the D-Pad twice to advance 20 pages, as opposed to the usual ten. I thought this was a smart move, especially given the number of pages included. When you first load the application, a warning appears indicating that the game saves with the turn of a page. Of course, you can still press the Select Button to pull up a menu and select an option to save your work instantly.
So, then, does this mean that if you were to press the Power Button before flipping the page that you'd lose all your work? No, not at all. Every time I wanted to return to the DSi Menu, I noticed that there was a small dialog box at the top indicating that the application was saving as I pressed the button. So this prompted me to do a test. I did a few scribbles on a blank page and pressed Power without flipping to initiate the save function. When I went back into the application, those scribbles were still there. I thought this precautionary measure was a nice touch, and it eliminates any fears one may have of losing any work.
Another noteworthy addition is the ability to export your notes. Simply by pressing the arrow on the top of the toolbar, you can send your notes to your DSi's Photo Album. Just like with myPostcards, the picture will appear on its side so you will need to rotate it around should you desire to upload it to your PC before sharing it with loved ones. You don't necessarily have to follow this, though. If you study the orientation of the notes as they're saved out, you can create a blank, or grid paper with writing positioned vertically. Bear in mind, though, that the resulting effects won't be as nice-looking this way. Overall, having this feature is quite commendable, and it's something I didn't expect to see here.
Nnooo took the liberty of making the app a tad more convenient by including indicators for your handheld's battery level as well as a time display. It's a small addition in retrospect, but most will appreciate having this. Other than this aspect, presentation has pretty much stayed the same. There's no new music, but that's not necessarily a bad thing since Beat Therapy is good at what they do. But having multiple tracks would've been nice to have.
Some of the comments I mentioned in my original review of myNotebook still stand here. I still would have liked to see a thumbnail viewer of some kind that would act as a Table of Contents of all the pages you've written on. Sure it would've been tricky to do, and you can always create your own list, but it would've gone a long way in helping consumers keep track of where everything is. The eraser size has remained the same, so if you have a lot of text to erase but want to preserve isolated portions, you'll have to go through a somewhat tedious process.
This new set of myNotebook applications is more of the same really, just with some new improvements. You have much more to work with, as well as the ability to export your notes to the Photo Album. But beyond these, offering more value for your money is really the biggest draw of this new release, not to mention more appealing colour choices (I'm personally partial to Tan, but that's just me). And so, if you currently own any or all three of the original releases, there's still reason for you to pick this up if you enjoyed having this handy application on your system. Everyone else who didn't bother with them the first time around, I still recommend you get it when you have some points to spare. You might be surprised just how practical it really is, even if it may not seem so initially.
27/30 - Excellent
Functionality 9/10 - Can now do blank pages, can export notes, page turning and save functions improved, an overview of some sort would've been great
Presentation 8/10 - Has remained the same, no new music tracks which may be disappointing to some, battery and time indicators, more appealing colours
Lasting Appeal 5/5 - Definitely justifies the space on your DSi Menu as it will see repeated use, good for quick jot notes or even extended notations
Value 5/5 - Over 100 pages in total, get more than if you were to purchase all the original releases, spending $5 is not unreasonable to ask
Equivalent to a score of 90% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)