One of my favorite things about the Nintendo 3DS is the street pass feature. Whenever I go on a trip or head into town with my 3DS, I always get excited; hoping I’ll manage to get that little green light glowing in the top right corner of my 3DS. In honor of International Street Pass Week, Nintendo has made an upgrade to the 3DS Mii Plaza, and with it, two more games have been made available to add to your collection of street pass titles. Will the latest street pass games sink or swim? Has Nintendo bitten off more than they can chew with these newest editions? Let’s take a walk through the mii plaza to find out!
The first stop on our little stroll is with Ultimate Angler, a fishing game that will have you exploring islands as you attempt to catch and record every fish that exists within each of the ten islands’ ecosystems. As you street pass with friends and strangers alike, each person you meet will share some of their bait with you. Each person’s shirt color determines what type of bait they give you, and it’s important to collect as much bait as you can, as all fish have a particular bait that will drawn them out in the open for you to catch.
The fishing in the game is simple, after selecting your bait (you can mix multiple bait types together to form large pieces that will attract bigger fish) you cast your line and wait for a fish to pull your bobber under the water. It’s important to have patience here, as pressing A to hook the fish before the bobber goes under will cause you to lose the fish, wasting your precious bait. After you have the fish hooked, you reel the fish in by rotating the control stick, or using the touch screen controls. Like all fishing games, there is a meter representing the tension of your fishing line, and it fills and depletes as you fight and relax your line to bring your catch in. Everything is presented to you very clearly, and learning how to bring a fish in is quick and easy.
After reeling in a good haul of fish, you can head to the clubhouse and store your catches in your very own aquarium that you can share with others that you street pass. The aquarium is a nice touch, as you can purchase different backgrounds with the gold you earn from your catches, and there is a nice tank-viewing mode where you can watch your fish swim around. Occasionally on your trips you’ll find treasure chests tangled up in your fishing line, and these contain new rods for you to use. Each rod has different strengths and weaknesses, and you can combine rods to make even better ones. You can even use your gold to improve the stats of your current rod. Each rod can only be upgraded a certain number of times though, so it’s best to choose your upgrades carefully.
Ultimate Angler is a great addition to the Mii Plaza games, and is quickly becoming one of my favorites to play. The game play is simple, but the 3D models of the fish look nice, and if you enjoy fishing mini-games like in Ocarina of Time or Animal Crossing, you’ll have a great time with this one.
Next on our tour is Battleground Z, a beat ‘em up game that pits you against hordes of zombies as you search for a cure to the epidemic with the help of Dr. Scarlett. In Battleground Z, the Miis that you street pass with show up in each of the stages you fight in as survivors trying to find safety. Meet up with them, and they will give you a weapon to use against the waves of zombies. The types of weapons you receive are based off the hobbies that are registered with the Miis that you rescue. If you meet someone who is a fan of photography, they might give you a camera to use as a weapon; if they say their favorite past time is video games, you might be facing down a zombie herd wielding a Wii remote as a sword. Each weapon attacks in its own unique way, and all the weapons you find will be recorded in a weapons journal. You can use this journal to look up weapons stats, and you can even practice using the weapons, which is a nice feature.
The stages themselves are enclosed battle arenas, and wave after wave of zombies will appear to attack you in the “ring” until you defeat them all. Some missions will have you defeat a certain number of enemies, while others might have you locating items or protecting a building from harm. There are medals awarded for how quickly you can clear a stage, or how high you can string together a combo of hits. Some zombies can drop an invincibility potion, which works in the same was a star man in the Mario games, and there are rare zombies for you to find and record in your journal as you defeat them.
Battleground Z is another fun addition to the set of games for the Mii Plaza. If you enjoy beat ‘em up games like Pokémon Rumble, you’ll be sure to have a lot of fun with this whenever you find your street pass light is on.
Last stop on our tour of the street pass plaza takes us back to the main gate. New with this update is the option of upgrading your plaza with a VIP room. With the VIP room, you’re able to save up to 100 Miis so that they will never be cleared from your plaza due to overcrowding from too many street passes. Another feature of the upgraded Mii plaza is the inclusion of registering Mii’s birthdays. While it may seem pointless at first, if you manage to collect a Mii with a birthday for every single day of the year, you’ll earn a whopping 366 tickets that can be used to purchase new hats and speech bubbles for your Mii. At a $4.99 price tag to upgrade your plaza, unless you live in an area with a lot of street passes, or you are obsessed with collecting all the hats for your Mii to wear, this feature probably isn’t worth the investment.
At the end of the day, both Ultimate Angler and Battleground Z are fun games that will make you look forward to getting street passes with your 3DS. If you purchase the games as a bundle, you get both for $6.99, which is a great deal considering both games alone are $4.99 each. If you’ve gotten a lot of joy out of playing the first four games from the Mii Plaza, or by the end of this review these games have piqued your interest, then these games are definitely worth the purchase for some good, simple fun. If you don’t get street passes often, or the idea of these games sounds too simplistic or dull to you, then it’s best to pass them up.
PN Review: Ultimate Angler and Battleground Z
Quick and satisfying