Today Nintendo released two new games, Fishing and Zombies, for its popular 3DS Streetpass, as well as a new Premium Plaza.
The Plaza costs £4.49 and the games are the same, or come together in a bundle for £7.19. If you purchased the previous Streetpass games, you can get a Thank You bundle of the two new ones for £6.29, which is a nice little discount. The new plaza gives a bunch of new features as well as a birthday minigame. Let’s take a look at some of the new features.
Game Vault – if you have the whole suite of Streetpass games, you may find your game section getting quite full! The Game Vault allows you to move completed games out of your game section so you don’t need to see them (or their demanding exclamation marks!) You can move them back out of the vault at any time you want to. Completed games are now also marked with a gold medal, however this doesn’t take into account Plaza Ticket accomplishments, so bear that in mind if you are a true completionist like me (I still have one Mansion plaza ticket to collect, and a bunch on Streetpass Squad as I’m terrible at that game!)
Upgraded Music Player – new games means a whole bunch of new music to collect, and you can now customise your background music in the plaza as well as listen to the songs in sleep mode.
VIP Room – this feature allows you to set Miis you’ve encountered as VIPs, so that they will remain in your plaza, even if you fill it up. As you may know, once you hit the upper limit for the plaza, older Miis are removed to make space for new ones. This can be a pain if you’ve managed to encounter some special Miis and want to keep them. With the new VIP room, just make that Mii a VIP and they will be forever protected. It’s also a nice place to keep all your friends together!
Birthdays – as you meet Miis during Streetpass, this feature will now log their birthday on a calendar. Fill up each day of the month and you can redeem Plaza Tickets. February 29th is a special accomplishment day!
New greetings – customisable speech bubbles are now available. Instead of just a boring cartoon speech bubble, you can now select from a range of fun options. You’ll get a few for free when you get your first Streetpass hit, and others can be unlocked with Plaza Tickets. Another new greeting feature is the option to skip them entirely – if you just want to get on and start playing the games, rather than running through each Mii’s greetings, you can turn greetings off in the settings menu. Quite handy when you are at conventions and big events!
New hats – all these new games means there are new Plaza Tickets to achieve, which in turn can be redeemed for a huge range of new hats for your Mii to wear. I’m really looking forward to unlocking them all!
New settings – a final new feature is that you can now change the order of the games in your plaza, just pop into the Settings and click on Rearrange Shortcuts.
Okay, on to the two new games!
Fishing takes you to a series of Streetpass islands where you pit your angling skills against a variety of aquatic beasties. You obtain various types of bait from other anglers you meet via Streetpass, and you use that bait to attempt to catch a fish. Different fish like different types of bait, and if you don’t use the right type, you’re likely to catch something useless like a can or a boot (hello, Animal Crossing flashbacks!)
Meeting multiple Streetpass anglers will help you in your quest to become a fishing god, not just by providing bait but by helping you pull in your fish. Other anglers will provide a small power boost when you are reeling in your line. I admit I haven’t quite got the hang of fishing yet, as you must not only time your pull to hook the fish, but also wind it in carefully, balancing speed against line tension. I managed okay with the tutorial, but snapped the line with my first proper go! If you do happen to reel in a fish, it will go in your log book along with details of its size and a ranking. You’ll also get points, which add to your angler ranking, and gold, which you can use to buy new stuff. Your fish will also go into your aquarium, which you can then customise. You can buy up to 20 aquariums, and as you meet other anglers who have the game, you will be able to view their aquariums also. You can also purchase and upgrade your fishing rods, to give you an advantage when trying to hook the big one. Yep, there is a monster fish to catch in each of the islands, and they are sure to prove a Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it soon, and don’t need to look so dejected all the time!
As with the other Streetpass games, you can use Streetpass coins to invite anglers to help if you haven’t had enough Streetpass hits. There is also a logbook that shows your progress, your rankings in comparison with other players, and the requirements for getting new Plaza Tickets. Streetpass Fishing also has special challenges that reward you with gold, new rods, or Plaza Tickets. So there’s definitely lots to do!
The world is overrun with zombies, and it’s up to you to find survivors and hold back the undead horde. You receive weapons from Streetpass encounters, and the type of weapon you receive is based on the hobby that Mii has set. For example, if someone has “playing games” as their hobby, you will receive a Wii Mote as your weapon. Or if they enjoy “cooking”, you’ll get a frying pan! Collecting all the different types of weapons is one of many challenges the game sets for you.
You start the game at the train station, where you meet up with other survivors (Streetpass hits). You can toggle the initial display by pressing X to see what weapon each Mii is holding. The Wii Mote, for example, is used as a sword and has a simple fast slash attack, or a charge attack (Digital Doom) if you hold down A. You get three charge attacks only. Zombies will attack you in waves, and if they get you, your weapon will take damage. Once the weapon gauge is depleted, your weapon is destroyed, and it’s game over – so don’t let those zombies near you! In the train station level, zombies will emerge from all sorts of places (including out of the ground, or on arriving trains), so stay alert. You can smash environmental items, like rubbish bins, to get points and around the middle of the level, a special zombie will arrive holding an invincibility potion – grab that and you can kill the zombies just by running into them (for a short time anyway). A boss zombie appears at the end of the level, and you must defeat it to win. Make sure you do so in the time limit for a bonus! Once you win, you’ll receive a scorecard which includes some special requirements. You’ll earn medals for each one you manage to complete.
Like in the other games, there is a log of your statistics, this time called the Zombinav, which lists the zombies you encounter (including a section for rare zombies) and the achievements needed to earn Plaza Tickets. You can also customise the background if you want to.
These new additions to Streetpass are great for extending the longevity of a feature which has been part of the 3DS since its inception. I’ve noticed of late that Streetpass was waning in popularity a little (except at massive gaming conventions), and I struggled to get hits even in bigger cities than my hometown. I reckon these new games will bring a renewed interest in Streetpass, and I can’t wait to start filling up my birthday calendar and catching lots of fish. Happy Streetpassing, everyone!