4 new StreetPass games have been released on 3DS and this weekend I had a chance to StreetPass my arse off, collecting over 300 Mii’s in my pocket across 2 days at Supanova in Sydney. With some solid playtime behind each game, I thought it’d be fun to write some impressions with this perspective.
Before I talk about the new games though, I’d like to clear up some confusion that’s been spreading around the internet and answer some common questions people asked me over the weekend.
Does EVERYONE need to own these new games?
They do not. Mii’s show up in your plaza as normal, and then you take them into the game. It’s your party and everyone’s invited. If they DO have the game, you get an additional customisation or message, and you can see their progress. However, it’s not necessary for your own adventures.
Is the StreetPass limit still 10?
Yes it is. Only 10 at a time can queue outside the plaza entrance, this is in addition to the Mii’s you’re currently playing with. Technically you can take home 20 people this way, with 10 in the games and 10 waiting outside the door.
Deal with it.
Do I really have to play all 6 games?
Nope! You don’t have to play ANY, you can just touch “Go To Entrance” on the bottom screen and all the Mii’s will leave. They’ll probably be disappointed you didn’t play with them, but it’s your life and your choice. Alternate ways to clear the plaza include:
– Going ‘back’ and hitting the ‘Entrance’ icon with the A button
– Throwing your 3DS against a wall really hard
StreetPass problem solved.
Going to the HOME menu, closing the plaza and coming back means they will STILL BE THERE. Any unplayed games will still be ready to play with impatient Mii’s bouncing around.
Do you have puzzle pieces for me?
I have a lot but not all of them, we have to work together to complete the latest 4 puzzles. Connect online and get your pink bits ready. I noticed about half the people I StreetPassed did not have ANY pieces in the newest round of puzzles, which means they hadn’t connected their 3DS to the internet in at least a week. I guess that’s considered normal, but normal isn’t fun. Connect, share, engage!
Can I StreetPass the same person over and over?
If by “over and over” you mean “every 8 hours“, then yes! At the end of the day I started getting hits from people I StreetPassed in the morning. The limit used to be one per day, but they must have lowered it through an update.
How would you rate me?
Fantastic! I don’t care if you have an ugly hat, unreadable name or what terrible game you’ve been playing. You gave me a StreetPass and I am grateful. I also respect you enough to not hold the R button and accidentally hit “OK, I guess” while not paying attention. If I like you a LOT, expect a personal greeting next time. Isn’t that exciting?
Is my body ready?
It will never be ready.
Now for the fun stuff, the new games!
StreetPass Squad is by far the most fun to play, and it’s the only “game” out of the 4 that has explosive reflex-based action. You hire a team of Mii’s to tackle evil dudes in space and I don’t know what the hell the story is, but it’s funny and you shoot stuff. Each Mii you collect through StreetPass adds a bit of health to your spaceship, AND a unique weapon. You can assign the Mii’s around your ship much like Nano Assault Neo, except in pre-determined slots around the ship. You fire with A and rotate your weapons in a fixed circular 8-pattern with R and L. Weapons vary from lasers to flamethrowers to standard bullets, and you can position them wherever you want. The graphics are smooth and colourful with a lot of crap going on, and the boss fights are insane with some clever patterns. I’ve managed to play over 12 levels so far and I’m not quite sure where it ends, the level design is extremely impressive. Each level has multiple paths and switches, and has to be replayed at least once more to get every gem (6 hidden in each level). There’s also achievements for beating a level without getting hit and for getting a particular score. As a full fledged game by itself I would even recommend this, It’s more fun than Nano Assault EX and somehow looks better. The downside is it’s very expensive to play with play coins, and now I want to play it every day.
StreetPass Garden is alright but I didn’t find it very welcoming at a busy event. The goal is to become a master gardener by growing every breed of plant. You get a nice little garden area to customise, with different pots to choose from, additional decorations to buy and different display options. You grow plants by putting a seed in a pot and having people visit to help it grow. The problem I had was it took too long, there’s about an hour of tutorials before it becomes playable in small doses, with endless lines of text everytime someone sees your garden. The first 4 or 5 times I introduced people to my garden, I was either on the train or standing somewhere I shouldn’t be and just wanted it to end.
When I got home after the first day I had a proper play and enjoyed it a lot more. At the moment I have 9 plants out of the 20, and it’s getting harder and harder to get new ones. You have to pick the right seed by taking cues from the predicted shape and by looking at the percentage chance it has of growing. There’s also shops with some funny character designs looking after them, including this creepy bloke who is either trying too hard to be Australian or is planning to kill me when the shops close (I nominate him for Smash Bros).
After people come over and help out your plant, they hang around the courtyard and you can talk to them. If they have the game you can see their garden, otherwise they make small talk and attempt to show you a plant they couldn’t possibly be growing. Overall StreetPass Garden is quite robust and has a lot of depth to it I haven’t fully explored. The best thing I can say about it is the graphics and music are really nice and other people at the event seemed to really get into it.
StreetPass Mansion was initially my favourite game thanks to some great atmospheric music, quick gameplay and sassy dialogue. The more I play though the more I don’t care about it, but there’s 30 floors and I’m only at the 5th so it’s still very early. There’s a lot of weapons at my disposal and these level up individually. I think I’m already screwed because I’ve only been leveling up one weapon, but that’s because my other weapons are useless and can’t even win a fight on the 1st floor. Thankfully the game gives you the option of fusing useless weapons to make another weapon better, and so far that’s been working. Battles are quite cool, they play out like an RPG with bars that fill up for attacks and you mash A when you can, or save up a charged shot with another weapon. There’s items to refill health, improve defense and others I haven’t seen yet. There’s also different elements to each weapon and enemies have strengths and weaknesses, but that hasn’t really come into play yet either. When you StreetPass someone, they give you a randomly shaped block to fit on a floor, this helps you explore with the aim of finding the stairs to move up a level. There’s a bit of strategy involved, if you make a square out of one colour then it creates a room with a treasure chest, and if you mix colours you’re more likely to encounter enemies. I’ve been doing this on purpose to level up, but I have no idea if that’s the right strategy yet. We’ll see! Overall this one has more depth than I’ve seen, and what’s there is already impressive but it hasn’t really kept my interest.
StreetPass Battle is the best game in small doses and I amassed a huge army (currently around 120,000) over the two days, because it’s very easy to check and quickly cycle through Mii’s. You have the option of invading countries but you can choose not to invade, and simply amass troops. This game I feel has the best design because of how accessible it is. I played through this game (and the puzzle one) every time I checked StreetPasses and probably amassed the biggest army there. How do I know this? Not because I’m an arrogant commander, but because there’s a ranking of Mii’s showing how many people they have in their army. Admittedly I stopped challenging other countries in the game to keep my numbers up, just to scare the shit out of people who StreetPassed me.
Battles play out when you either encounter a rival kingdom (somebody else with the game) or when you decide to invade a country. Numbers are the most important thing, but you also have to organise your army into three groups of infantry, archers and cavalry. These all have strengths and weaknesses like rock, paper, scissors. Even after you’ve assigned the numbers there’s a bit of luck involved, as you have to pick the right army without knowing what type the enemy will pick. If you have enough numbers though you can cover all bases with an even spread (that’s been my strategy so far), and you only need to win 2 out of 3 battles. As you progress there’s more elements like mud and wind that affect different types of troops. I’ve also just started encountering new troops like Ninjas and Berserkers that I can’t seem to recruit yet. There’s a castle you can upgrade and I’m guessing that’s how I do it, so far my upgrades have just given me more ways to buy troops with play coins.
That’s it, we just played through all 4 games! Yay! I’ve heard a lot of people (who don’t have the games) complaining that now it takes too long to check them all. I never had a problem with this because you don’t have to check them all. If you are playing them all, what does that mean? It means they’re fun! I mostly ignored the Garden game for the first day after a bad first impression, ignored the Mansion one on the second day, and did the Squad one whenever I felt like it. Since StreetPasses don’t grow on trees, it takes about the time you’ve played all 6 games to get 10 more people in the plaza anyway. It’s a non-concern and actually very conductive to playing all day if you want. I didn’t intend to play these games the entire time but 80% of the time I still was, just because they’re fun. There wasn’t much in terms of gaming at Supanova, just a Nintendo area with current games and a small Namco-Bandai setup. It’s mainly an anime pop culture convention and I had no clue what anything was, so I was happy to StreetPass. The only new game I played was Tales of Xillia, which looked surprisingly good and had a 3D camera that didn’t suck. I triggered a cutscene and walked off.
Now that I’m out of Sydney again I probably won’t play these much, but they definitely make the thought of a StreetPass a lot more exciting. I’m happy I got all 4 games, they all have very different strengths and I hope I did a good job explaining the differences. Happy StreetPassing!