Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain - Interview With Mateus Soto

Mateus Soto

By Paul Hunter

To celebrate the launch of Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain, Nintendo of Canada gave us the opportunity to interview Canadian whiz kid Mateus Soto. Before the interview we had a chance to go brain-to-brain with 14 year old Mateus Soto, who won Canada’s Smartest Person Junior just a few years ago. We played Balloon Burst, Whack Match and a few other activities—and it was a lot of fun. Now, on to the interview!

Paul Hunter: You've had the game for a little while now, what does your Big Brain Academy training schedule look like?

Mateus Soto: It's very regular! I play whenever I feel like having a bit of chill fun or I wanna exercise my brain, and then I'll usually run through some of my favourite games which are the ones we just played. Whack Match is my most consistent and highest scoring, plus Shadow Shift and Balloon Burst being the runner ups.

Paul: With these games you're testing your brain in various way, do you find there specific times of day where you perform better?

Mateus: Maximizing braing power is a very personal thing, so it's whenever you like you're at your best. It could be after something or before. I like to play it midday whenever I want some kind of challenge but it's going to be different for everybody.

Paul: What would you say are the best activities to start out with for new players?

Mateus: Well you can always go into the practice mode and pick out the one you want. You can choose whatever activity you feel weak in, it'll be very different for everybody. For me that's obviously Whack Match, Train Turn and Balloon Burst. Those kinds of games help prepare you for the rest.

Paul: Let's settle the eternal debate, what's better for this game the touchscreen or button controls?

Mateus: Ohh, it depends on the game. I think certain games like Whack Match benefit from having your finger in one place and making one input as fast as possible. Then some other games like Balloon Burst where the timing is a bit more irregular and you don't know which balloon it'll go to then it's touch screen all the way.

Paul: What do you think is better to maximize your score, going fast and potentially be less accurate or going slow and careful but perhaps not complete as many rounds?

Mateus: Take your time I'd say. Absolutely take your time. If you miss one in any game there's a whole animation where you lose points and reset the screen so that lose of points if really going to hurt. You'll have to go through a whole other round to get back to where you were. So absolutely slow and steady is the way to take it.

Paul: Well that's why I lost the last couple of games (laugh), I was going a little bit too fast. Once thing I noticed as I played activities is I was unlocking presents that lets me accesorize my character. What are you thoughts on the presents and do you have any favourite customizations you've earned?

Mateus: I'm sure there are plenty more I have to unlock but I've got a few that I'm really a fan of like a lot of different cute outfits. Everyone's preferences will be different but I think there's a good enough selection to go around.

Paul: Yeah I unlocked the spy glasses a little while ago so that was an auto-equip for me (laughs). Have you had a chance to play the multiplayer Party mode, and if son what do you like best about it?

Mateus: The Party mode is really fun because you can go against anyone you want be it local or online. You can go brain-to-brain with friends, family and even people across the world. I like how you can set the difficulty to whatever you want so everyone is on an even playing field.

Paul: I see that Brain vs. Brain has a new Ghost Clash activity, how does this mode work?

Mateus: It works by setting up a replay similar to other games and you can compare yourself to another person live.

Paul: Cool well if you upload some ghosts let me know, I'd love to try and beat your high scores. What would you say to someone who's been trying an activity for several days but they just can't seem to improve their score? Any motivational tips or things you'd suggest?

Mateus: Take a break and take your time. If a game in particular isn't working for you, you could always try going to other games in the same category and those skills will transfer over. That's because they're all pretty similar to each other in terms of what parts of the brain they exercise. Just power through it, there will eventually be something that just clicks or a moment where you get lucky and that'll boost your confidence. And then you can take that to the next round and the next round after that.

Paul: Do you have any tips or tricks on how to get other folks to play with you? Like if I want to get my friends or family involved what's the best way to get them excited about Big Brain Academy?

Mateus: Just invite them over or challenge them! Do you think you can beat me? Everyone has a competitive side.

Paul: I was unlocking Gold Lobes as I was playing, I believe based on my score. Do you know these Lobes are used for?

Mateus: It's a medal system to track how well you're doing in a certain game. That way you can see at a glance what games you're best at. And I know it goes from Gold 1, 2 and 3, and I've got as high as a Platinum Lobe, which is 1,000 points or above. But the Lobe system is good because you can quickly see what your strengths are.

Paul: My last question, there's a larger Test you can take where you complete an activity in all five categories. What are your best tips when preparing to tackle the Test?

Mateus: Don't get in your own head. Make sure that you're calm and confident, even if you may not be entirely well versed in what you're doing. Fake it 'till you make it, it works. You can go a long way by believing in yourself!

Paul: Thanks for your time, Mateus, much appreciated.

Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain details

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Party, Puzzle
Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Last updated January 2022.