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Review: New StreetPass Games

07 Sep

New StreetPass PlazaThe Nintendo 3DS has a basket full of features: it can display stereoscopic 3D images without the use of glasses, the system is capable of handling software that is visually comparable to the Wii, and it fits in your pocket. Perhaps the most underused (?) but most awesome features the system has is StreetPass. Tagging someone with the system’s detection ability and then playing a game with that person’s Mii character has always been fun, and getting bonus content in select 3DS games is even cooler. But with the addition of four brand new downloadable StreetPass games to play, Nintendo has made carrying your handheld with you even more exciting! Not all the bonus games are incredibly fun, but there’s enough content and enjoyment to be had to easily warrant a purchase.


All the new games have their own icons. Awesome!

All the new games have their own icons. Awesome!

Nintendo has created four brand new games to play within the StreetPass Mii Plaza. They are Mii Force, Flower Town, Warrior’s Way, and Monster Manor. Each new game will set you back $5, but if you decide to purchase all of them at once you can get a package price of just $14.99. I strongly recommend the package deal not only because you save $5 but because as a whole they’re worth $14.99 more than $20.

Each game is drastically different from the others. Here’s a bit of information about each:

Mii Force

The Mii Force Plaza

The Mii Force Plaza

Out of all four games, I found that Mii Force was the one that felt most like a video game. In Mii Force you command a space ship in a scrolling shooter not unlike Gradius or R-Type. Each other Mii you tag joins your game as a weapons pod for your ship. So the more Miis you bring into the game, the more firepower you have. For example, bringing just one Mii into Mii Force gives you just one weapon, but having a full arsenal of 10 Miis gives you maximum firepower on all 4 weapons, which means you’ll really be doling out the destruction!

Each Mii fits nicely into your ships docks. The color of said Mii also affects the weapon they use.

Each Mii fits nicely into your ships docks. The color of said Mii also affects the weapon they use.

The color of each Mii also affects which weapons they use. For example purple Miis have straight firing pellets, red Miis shoot out continuous fire, black Miis drop bombs, etc. You can hold down the fire button to shoot without any breaks, but letting your attacks cease for a few seconds charges them up, allowing you to unleash a much more devastating power attack.

Each stage gets progressively more difficult, with more enemies flying around and more items to pick up.

Each stage gets progressively more difficult, with more enemies flying around and more items to pick up.

The stages themselves are straightforward scrolling shooter stages, but periodically throughout a stage the orientation of the scroll will change. You might start out moving to the right only to have the level shift and you start moving up. It’s a neat touch that is very welcome in such a game! Couple this with enemies flying in from all angles and extra pods, bonus points, and items to pick up (and each stage it topped with a boss battle) and you’ve got an excellent shooter for only $5!

I will, you Jerkface!!

I will, you Jerkface!!

Flower Town

Flower Town Plaza

The Flower Town Plaza

My least favorite game of the bunch is Flower Town. That’s not to say it’s bad, in fact it’s probably the most in-depth and complicated game of the bunch. It’s essentially an RPG where you grow and nourish plants. It’s sort of like Animal Crossing or Harvest Moon, but you are only working in a garden. *I haven’t played Gardening Mama, but maybe it’s like that?*

kjh

Mr. Mendel is your buddy throughout the game. Perfect choice in name, no?

As you tag people through StreetPass they’ll come to your garden and help water your plant. Once your plant has been sufficiently watered, it’ll grow and blossom and maybe even produce a harvest seed to grow a new plant!. It might sound easy but the process gets way more complicated when you throw in cross-breeding seeds, changing the color of plants, and even how the shape of the seed can affect growth.

Foxhart is helping my plant reach its full potential!

Foxhart is helping my plant reach its full potential!

After you grow your plant you place it in your garden. Here you can arrange your setting as you see fit, and you’re even able to purchase decor like shelves, vines, ladders, buckets, and new pots to further customize your area. After you’ve put your green thumb to rest watering and arranging your creations you can visit the town. In town you can accept jobs to earn money (like quests in an RPG), sell your plants, buy new plants, and purchase/unlock more areas around your garden to decorate. Flower Town is easily the most complicated game of the bunch, but the game does a wonderful job explaining all the intricacies to you and makes sure you understand fully before moving on.

There's plenty to do in Flower Town when in... town...?

There’s plenty to do in Flower Town when in… town…?

At first I was not feeling the game at all, but after seeing how deep the rabbit hole goes I’m more turned on to the idea of growing flowers and expanding my garden. If you tag someone else that happens to have Flower Town you can visit their garden and see what flowers they’re growing, have already grown, and how they’ve decorated their land. It’s a neat sharing feature that can certainly give inspiration to the fledgling gardener.

Your Flower Report keeps track of all your progress in the game.

Your Flower Report keeps track of all your progress in the game.

Warrior’s Way

The Warrior's Way Plaza

The Warrior’s Way Plaza

Warrior’s Way is a simple-yet-addictive strategy RPG where you are a Shogun trying to conquer the world! As the commander of an army you must battle other generals in a rock-paper-scissors style battle of force. By tagging people you can do one of two things depending on whether they own the game: If they don’t own the game, they’ll add a number of troops to your army equivalent to the number of Miis in their respective Mii Plaza. If they do own the game you can choose to fight them!

Seeing your Mii decked out in the royal regalia is pretty cool.

Seeing your Mii decked out in the royal regalia is pretty cool.

Unfortunately I’ve not yet tagged anyone else that has the game, but from talking with friends and doing some research I know you can fight one another. Anyway, should you tag someone and subsequently add their troops to your ranks you can set off to conquer the land.

The map of the world that will (hopefully) be yours.

The map of the world that will (hopefully) be yours.

There are 20 countries in the land and you must take over them all by defeating the reigning ruler. From that aspect alone it reminds me quite a bit of Pokemon Conquest. Each ruler is stronger than the last, as as a rule of thumb you should bring into battle a number of troops equal to the number that ruler has. Once you’re ready to engage you’ll enter battle!

Before each fight they opposing lord will mock your measly army!

Before each fight they opposing lord will mock your measly army!

You can assign the number of troops to each class as you see fit.

You can assign the number of troops to each class as you see fit.

Before the battle starts you’ll be able to peer into your enemy’s ranks and determine how many troops they have coming at you. The battles take into account numbers (the amount of troops you have on that battlefield) and advantages/disadvantages (the Rock-Paper-Scissors approach). Adjusting your troops to beat your opponents is easy enough, but eventually the addition of new troops and unscoutable foes makes the challenge even greater!

The troops march to battle!

The troops march to battle!

Victory!

Victory!

I found Warrior’s Way to be one of the better games of the bunch, but since there’s really little interaction on the player’s part (as opposed to the great amount of interaction in Mii Force) I can’t call it the best game. Still, watching your army grow, taking over more countries, and defeating your friends’ forces is quite fun!

jhk

As you win more battles your castle grows stronger as well!

Monster Manor

The Monster Manor Plaza

The Monster Manor Plaza

Rounding out the package is Monster Manor, a horror-themed RPG that takes elements of Luigi’s Mansion and Dark Cloud and fuses them with a dash of customization. You play as an explorer searching through the 30 floors of the manor. As you explore the house you’ll run into ghosts and ghouls that you must fight in real time RPG-esque battles and you’ll uncover weapons, items, and powerful tools to assist you on the adventure.

The game begins with a gigantic skeletal hand throwing you into the manor.

The game begins with a gigantic skeletal hand throwing you into the manor.

For each Mii you bring with you into the house you’re given a colored piece of the floor. The pieces are all shaped differently and must be slotted into place on the floor as you see fit. You don’t have to fill all the tiles on each floor before moving on, but you are encouraged to as you’ll reap more rewards by doing so.

The bottom screen shows the layout of the floor from all the tiles I've placed.

The bottom screen shows the layout of the floor from all the tiles I’ve placed.

There are some strategies to keep in mind. Placing tiles next to tiles of the same color will make that particularly colored room bigger. The bigger the room the more likely you are to find treasure. Treasures include gems you can use as in-game currency, weapons to blast away baddies, items to aid you further, and more!

For each newly colored tile you place, you’ll open the door to the room and walk in. Sometimes this will trigger a battle with a ghost that you must defeat in combat. Battles are simple RPG bouts, with you firing a gun at the enemy until their HP is drained. Some guns do more damage to certain types of ghosts, so keeping a small arsenal on you is important. But you also have to watch the energy cost of the gun, because running out of energy means you won’t be able to fire until it recharges. And of course watch your own HP!

Battles are engaging and fun!

Battles are engaging and fun!

The goal of the game is to get to the 30th floor, and as you find stores on a level you can progress higher if you choose. Instead of moving fast I am enjoying placing the tiles on each floor as perfectly as possible, to ensure I get the best possible items. Compared to the other games this one is probably the most diverse in gameplay, and I RPG fans will appreciate the somewhat deep combat/item system.

I must make it to the top!!

I must make it to the top!!

Why you should buy them

While each of the games are fun on their own, having them all as a collective group makes each one better. There’s easily something in the package that will cater towards what you like. For me I really enjoyed the action of the Mii Force game and also enjoyed the power fest that is Warrior’s Way. I can see others really getting into growing flowers in Flower Town and exploring every nook and cranny of Monster Manor. I believe that is the strongest aspect of the new StreetPass games; they cover a wide range of interests.

And let’s not forget about what some might call the biggest draw to the new games…

Plaza Ticket Get!

Plaza Ticket Get!

Hats!

Taking a page right out of Valve’s playbook, with the new update required to play the new StreetPass games you’re able to spend Plaza Tickets to purchase exclusive new hats and costumes for your Mii! Each new StreetPass game will award you Plaza Tickets upon completing certain prerequisites which can be spent in the Mii Plaza to buy new gear. The tasks required to unlock the tickets range from the simple like growing your first flower in Flower Town, to the more challenging like amassing a 50,000 army (or something along those lines) in Warrior’s Way.

The selection of hats available changes daily!

The selection of hats available changes daily!

Each hat costs just one Plaza Ticket, and the selection changes daily! Sometimes instead of just hats there are full costumes available to purchase. These are usually reserved for hats that were previously available in the Find Mii games but now feature a skin for the body of your Mii as well as the hat/helmet. So far I’ve seen and bought a Link costume, which gives you the Link hat and Link clothes for your Mii, as well as a Donkey Kong costume, which gives you the DK hat and gorilla skin with matching DK tie. If for no other reason the new StreetPass games are worth it for the awesome new hats alone!

Falcon Pawnch!!

Falcon Pawnch!!

With all of the content you get from the $14.99 package deal (4 new games to play, tons of new Mii gear, and triple the amount of games to play with each person you StreetPass with) there’s little reason not to buy the new games. You’re simply maximizing the 3DS’ potential by adding these games to your system. While some games will appeal more to you than others, and some of the hats will likely be a waste of a Plaza Ticket, it’s hard to not recommend these new games to every 3DS owner.

Basically, if you have a 3DS, you should download these games.

Laters,
Jsick

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Posted by on 09/07/2013 in Nintendo 3DS

 

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