Sunday, 28 July 2013

EXPOSURES (VIDEO GAME) -- 4 Streetpass Games (Mii Force, Flower Town, Warrior's Way, Monster Manor)

So two weeks ago, I read this article about 4 new StreetPass games coming to the 3DS. Watching the trailer got me super-excited, and I purchased them all last week for my birthday. I personally like the StreetPass feature on my 3DS, so any games that incorporate it and encourage others to carry around their 3DSes is great.

The StreetPass games are $4.99 each, but as of this writing, there's a promotion where buying all the games will cost $14.99 ($16.94 after taxes for Ontario). To get to this promotion, first make sure that you can connect to the internet with your 3DS. Then go into StreetPass Mii Plaza. In the Games area, go to one of the new games and select that you will purchase it. At that point, you will be asked if you would like to take advantage of the promotion of buying all 4 games for $14.99.

A new perk about these 4 new StreetPass games is receiving plaza tickets for reaching certain achievements in each game. You can use the plaza tickets at the Exchange Booth to exchange for new hats / costumes for your Mii.

Since these are StreetPass games, I have to mention that in order to fully enjoy them, living somewhere where StreetPassing takes place fairly frequently is critical. You could use Play Coins to hire "Miis", but I wouldn't recommend it.

StreetPass Games (July 2013)

Playtime Length: 30 to 40-ish minutes each session (about 10 or less minutes per game)
Platform Played on: 3DS
Language: English
Types of Game: See below.
   Mii Force: Shoot'em-up
   Flower Town: Gardening simulation
   Warrior's Way: Strategy
   Monster Manor: Puzzle, Dungeon-exploring, RPG
Overall Impression: I enjoy each of the 4 games in their own way. They provide a nice short break and they're fun!

Mii Force

Mii Force is a classic sidescrolling shoot-em up game. You pilot a spaceship and you go through various stages, shooting baddies and gaining power-ups. I think the basic premise is that evil forces are trying to take over the world and you and your StreetPass buddies are there to stop them (I don't really remember -- I just know that I want to shoot some baddies, lol).

Look at this craziness.

StreetPass Perk
The docks where you can place the Miis.

In Mii Force, those you have recently StreetPassed are the power-ups for your ship. When you get them in the stage, you can place them on one of 4 open docks. The type of power-up you get depends on the Mii's shirt colour. Placing two or more Miis on the same line will power up the Mii on the outer dock.

The Miis also serve as your healthpoints -- every time you're hit, you'll lose a Mii. When you lose them all, you lose, but you get a chance to start over. It's like having an extra life. I'm currently not sure if you can start over more than once. 

Brief Impression
This is really fun! The gameplay experience for each stage is always different since you never know what kind of power-ups you'll get (i.e. who you'll StreetPass). It can get a little hectic at times, but it's engaging and really easy to play. Currently, my favourite power-ups are white, blue, and green. Red is really good, too.

Flower Town

Flower Town is a gardening simulation-type game. I don't think there was a real premise to it at all. Your Mii just wants to become a Master Gardener. The most basic thing you do in Flower Town is grow flowers. The ultimate goal is to grow at least 20 different breeds of flowers. Then there's some other things like customizing your flower pots, decorating your garden, taking on jobs and growing flowers specific to the client's needs. If there's anything more, I haven't unlocked it yet.

Example of a garden.

StreetPass Perk

Each Mii you StreetPass has one of two roles:
1. Watering your flower so that it blooms or gets close to blooming.
2. Cross-breeding a bloomed flower to harvest a seed.

Now, only a certain amount of seeds can be harvested from a flower. If there are still Miis left and your current flower doesn't have any more seeds for harvest, then those Miis are "wasted". Thankfully after the tutorial, you have the option of changing your current flower before meeting all your recently StreetPassed Miis.

After the Miis do their stuff with your flower, you can briefly talk to them about the flower they're growing. If you talk to those who also own Flower Town, you have the option of visiting their garden.

Brief Impression
Unlike the other new StreetPass games, Flower Town is more laid back -- kinda like a game meant to unwind and relax with. And that's not bad. It's kinda nice to have a game where the goal is to simply grow flowers and take in the beauty of nature (or something). Of course, it's not a game for everyone, but it works for me. 

Warrior's Way

This game is all about world domination. If you have ever played Dynasty Warrior-type games, there's just a bit of similarity there: the larger your army, the better chance of wiping the floor with your opponent! Every session involves you recruiting more members for your army and possibly invading one country. Sometimes when you win, you'll also win materials to upgrade your tower to unlock new perks.

Warrior's Way uses a Rock-Paper-Scissor-type battle system. Before going into actual battle, you get to divy up your troops between the 3 class-types (hopefully well enough that you will win). Then it's a best two out of three matches, where two or all your troops will get sent out. There's also small details like weather conditions making one class-type favourable or unfavourable -- or an opponent who has two groups of the same class-type.

An example of a favourable match in Warrior's Way.

StreetPass Perk

I think this is a really neat way to take advantage of StreetPass. Each StreetPassed Mii will come with an army that is the total of ALL the Miis that person has StreetPassed before. So, for example, using the screenshot above, Greg's Army is 1,155. That means that whoever has Greg as their Mii has StreetPassed 1,155 different people in real life. That is totally neat.

If you StreetPass a Mii who also owns Warrior's Way, something else happens. They will meet you as a Monarch from another country, carrying with them the army they have amassed. At that point, you can decide to "Greet Peacefully" or "Attack".

If you "Greet Peacefully", then they will say hello, and they might offer some troops to you... or they'll just leave. If you "Attack", you battle them the same way as invading a country. If you win, you win a chunk of their troops. If you lose, you lose a chunk of your troops. I often play it safe and only attack those I know I would win against.

Brief Impression
In my opinion, this has the shortest gameplay session of all the three games. Sometimes you're not doing anything except amassing your army. But... (here's my but) it's really fun! It's quick; the strategizing is quick; the rewards are quick. And it's fun. It's so fun, lol.

Monster Manor

Monster Manor has multiple elements from different genres: puzzle, RPG, and strategy. The premise here involves your Mii investigating this haunted mansion, but the rooms are completely dark. Your goal is to find the stairs to each room and get to the top and figure the great mystery (I forgot what the mystery was, lol...).

Creating rooms for your Mii to investigate.

Gameplay-wise, there's a few things going on. The first is to find the stairs to each room. To do that, you have to place coloured blocks to create hallways and rooms. The blocks have be placed adjacent to a room your Mii can get to. Placing same coloured blocks to create 2xwhatever squares or rectangles will result in treasure chests (for items, weapons, and equipment badges) and other perks. Placing blocks of a different colour next to another room could result in an enemy battle.

Enemy battle!

When facing an enemy, it's real-time battling. You can Attack as many times as your battery life allows (don't worry -- most weapons have a really quick recharge time). When the enemy attacks, if you have some battery life still, you can guard. Rinse and repeat until somebody kicks the bucket (either you or the enemy).

When the battle is over, your equipped weapon gains experience. That's right. Weapons carry max levels and they can be leveled up.

StreetPass Perk

The StreetPassed Miis are super vital since they're the ones carrying your room-blocks. If you've StreetPassed the same person multiple times, you'll have more selections to choose from, to a max of five different blocks.

Sometimes if you create large rooms of the same colour, they'll show up on the map and will either give you some gems (the game's currency), items, or a puzzle. If you solve the puzzle within the time specified, then you receive a deluxe prize (no idea what that could be right now).

Brief Impression
From what I see, Monster Manor is the most layered of the 4 StreetPass games. The combination of puzzle-solving and RPG elements work so well here. There is also some strategy involved as you're trying to decide the best route or order of laying down those blocks (to, you know, yield the most benefits).

For me, I'm not even rushing to the top -- I just want to create rooms and collect treasures, lol. And upgrade my weapon.

Concluding Impressions
I have to say, each of the 4 StreetPass games carry their own charm and level of fun. They are totally worth picking up -- especially so at the promotion price. If I had to recommend just one game to you, though, it would have to be Monster Manor. If you enjoy puzzle games with a bit of RPG elements, $4.99 (before tax) is like a steal. I honestly would have paid more for that game.

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to comment about anything. And happy StreetPassing! :)

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