GAMING BLEND

StreetPass Mii Plaza: A Closer Look At The New Games

By Ryan Winslett 2013-07-14 12:59:44 discussion comments
Now that the 3DS has four new StreetPass Mii Plaza games available in the States, the Big N has released a new four-minute trailer giving a brief rundown of the games. After spending a weekend with the titles, I have some of my own impressions to share, too.

While these new Mii Plaza games have been out for a while now and were released a couple of weeks ago in Europe, the United States is only just now getting in on the action, as we reported the launch of four brand new StreetPass games earlier this week.

The games included in the update are Mii Force, Flower Town, Warrior's Way and Monster Manor. As previously stated, each game goes for $4.99 a pop, or you can enjoy all four games in a discounted bundle for $14.99. For you collectors out there, there's also a bunch of new hats to unlock by playing these games, accessed by spending tickets you earn from accomplishing achievements in-game. Still, when we're talking about games that require StreetPasses or precious Play Coins to dive into, the question remains, are these games worth your hard-earned money.



The short answer to the above question is yes, but maybe only if you live in or around a big enough city. If you're getting a few StreetPasses every day or two, you'll likely get plenty of mileage out of all four of these new games. If you have to rely on coins, however, you might want to reconsider. You can only earn 10 coins per day on the 3DS and purchasing random characters for one game doesn't make them available in the other games. Fixing that issue alone would make this an easy recommendation for StreetPass fans, no matter where you live.

Of the lot, Mii Force is easily the strongest title, offering a gameplay experience that's, well, just like playing a normal game. A bullet-hell shoot-em-up, the friends you bring along into the fight add extra weapons and lives to your pool, meaning that the more buds you've gathered in StreetPass, the more likely you are to complete a given level. You can only tackle one level per StreetPass collection, however, so don't expect to plow through the game in one sitting. There are also a couple of nifty mechanics at play, including the ability to swap stacked helpers on the touchscreen and cannons that can be rotated around your ship using the L and R buttons.

My second favorite game of the lot is Monster Manor the RPG-lite dungeon-crawler. The friends you collect give you map pieces that can then be laid on the floor to create new rooms and hallways to explore. Friends with the same color shirt allow you to make the rooms even bigger and, to get the most out of the game, you'll want to use up as much of each level's (30 in total) floor plan as possible to grab the most loot.

Loot includes state boosters, one-use items and new weapons. You can also occasionally bring one of your StreetPass friends along for the ride, making the monsters even easier to plow through. Like Mii Force, there are a nice assortment of systems at work here, giving the game more depth than it really had to offer.

Third on my personal list is Warrior's Way, a pretty straightforward strategy battle game. The Miis you collect add their StreetPass totals to your army, growing your force bigger and bigger as you try to claim 20 territories. Using a simple paper-rock-scissors mechanic, the trick is figuring out how many of each unit type to send onto the battlefield in order to take on your opponent's forces. You know how many soldiers they have in each unit, but you don't know in which order they'll be sending them out. I quickly learned that going for a clean sweep was less effective than finagling my numbers until I practically guaranteed the needed two out of three wins.

Losing a battle eats away at some of your forces and winning a battle allows some of the enemy's numbers to join your side. You can also earn building materials through battle, which is used to fortify your own castle. This also comes at the cost of some of your soldiers, who will be needed for the construction. The stronger your castle, the more likely you are to defend yourself when a roaming warlord comes to town.

Finally, there's Flower Town, which actually serves as a nice change of pace from the other new games. Your gathered friends will help you grow plants by watering them and maybe even help in the harvesting of seeds. You can put full grown plants on display in your garden or sell them in the market for some extra cash. The cash is used to buy new pots, seeds, etc. It's simple, relaxing and nobody is getting shot at or terrorized by ghosts.

My only real gripe with some of these games is the limitations imposed by the StreetPass model. As I said, purchasing turns with Play Coins in one game doesn't carry over to the others, meaning you'll likely run through your supply with a quickness if that's the route you want to take. Also, I don't see why I can't go back to previously beaten levels in a game like Mii Force and play it for fun. Turn off the leaderboards and rankings in free play and let me enjoy the game I purchased as much as I want.

All of that aside, I feel like my $15 were well spent. I got 30 minutes to an hour of play out of the new collection of games each time I collected a handful of helpers these past few days. They're fun distractions and, most importantly, give you better reasons than ever to take your 3DS out for a stroll.
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