About a month ago, Nintendo brought out a massive update to the 3DS StreetPass Mii Plaza program, and added four games in addition to Puzzle Swap and Find Mii I & II. I’ve been able to try these games with some StreetPass tags I’ve gotten over the past month at meetups and whatnot, so now I’m ready to properly talk about these titles. So here are some quick, fun little reviews of each game!
But before I get into that, the Mii Plaza itself got a bit of a makeover during the update. There is a courtyard now where you can view (and buy) each game. They’ve also added a bunch of different hats to earn from the new entries, too. The way you get the new hats is a bit altered, though. By completing objectives in the four new games, you’ll earn tickets that you can use to trade in for hats. They have four new hats you can get each day or so. I’ve already got a Meta Knight hat to go with my favorite Kirby hat. What are your favorite Mii Plaza hats? Also, Mii Plaze itself just seems to run a little faster, too. OK, now we’ll look at the games!
Out of the four games, Mii Force is the most ‘game-y.’ It’s a 2-D scrolling shooter, and the StreetPass tags you get act as your power-ups you can collect in the level. So if you have 10 tags, you’ll be an unstoppable force. The shots you get depend on what color the Mii you tagged is wearing. Pink shirt shots stick to walls, red shoots flames, etc. You can arrange them on the bottom screen to shoot in the front, back, and up and down angles of the ship. Put multiple Miis in the same row to power up the shot. You can also rotate your cannons to shoot in different directions, too. Hidden gems and other objectives in each stage ensure replayablity.
The cutesy vibe of the levels and music reminds me of ‘cute-em-up’ titles such as TwinBee, Fantasy Zone, and Parodius. I especially love the Saturday morning style dialogue of the bad guys. And the way you can manage your power-ups reminds me of Gaiares (do I get ‘cool points’ for mentioning that?). There are a wide variety of stages, too. Some on a tropical beach planet, while others have you exploring ruins or a haunted amusement park! Levels can scroll left, right, up, down, or even diagonally. Sometimes you’ll even stay in a fixed area to defend a craft from invaders from all sides!
Mii Force does have some problems, though. If you suck at shooters, like me, this’ll be a challenging game unless you can get 10 tags at once. If you get hit, you’ll lose one of your tags, and when they are all gone, you lose. You do get three chances, but you have to start over at the beginning of the stage and collect your Miis again. When you complete a stage, you don’t get to go onto the next with all your tag power-ups. You have to collect more again. I wish you can go through all the stages at once instead. There is a mode that I haven’t unlocked yet, so maybe that’s it. And finally, while the stages are short, they can still take time to pass, which isn’t conducive to the StreetPass way. With the other games, you can play them quicker to get the 10 tags out of the way to make room for more. But it’s a bit more difficult with this one since the stages are longer. Otherwise it’s still a great shooter.
Since my grandmother was a florist at one time, and she passed away recently, this part of my review is dedicated to her! Flower Town is certainly a laid back, different kind of game, and it might not be everyone’s favorite. But if you buy all four games at once, you get one for free, basically. So just consider this the free game. In the game, you grow flowers. Each StreetPass tag acts as a visitor, who you can greet in your courtyard. Each visitor will help water your plant you are holding to help it grow. Flowers that have blossomed can also produce seeds when your visitors cross pollenate with their plants. Your goal is to plant 20 different breeds of flowers. I’m already at 13 breeds, so it’s not too hard yet!
Flower Town is the only game that lets you play even if you don’t have any guests to garden with. You can decorate your garden and store grown plants there. Shortly after starting, you’ll unlock shops you can peruse. Buy seeds and sell plants and seeds, take on jobs to grow certain plants, purchase pots, garden decorations, new garden plots, and more! The flowers you grow are fictional plants, though. It would be cool if they were real, then the game could be considered educational, too. Even though it’s not as exciting as the others, I don’t think Flower Town is THAT bad.
In this one, you play the role of a warlord trying to take over 20 different countries by building up an army. You can choose a theme for your kingdom (Oriental, Medieval, or Space, I chose Space). Warrior’s Way takes a different approach to StreetPass tags. Whenever you tag someone, the number of Miis in their plaza becomes part of your army. If you tag someone who owns the Warrior’s Way game, too, you can even battle them. Once your army is built up enough, you can try to conquer one of the 20 countries. There’s a rock-paper-scissors type of gameplay, so there is a tiny bit of strategy involved, too. Conquer countries to upgrade your castle and earn more hat tickets. Just make sure that you have lots more in your army than your opponent!
This last one is the most similar to Find Mii. You play the role of an investigator exploring a 30-floor haunted house. Each tag you get lets you place a puzzle piece in the house like Tetris, and those pieces act as rooms on each floor. The color of the Mii’s shirts represents what color the room will be. You must piece together the mansion to find the stairs to the next floor. But behind each door leading to a new room can lead to a RPG style battle between you and a ghost. If you place pieces to form a square of the same color, though, you can earn treasure chests which may contain more powerful ghost gun weapons for you to use, among other goodies. I’m only on floor 4 now, so I’ve got a LONG way to go to get to the top!
While most may find this game their favorite, I had a few problems with it as well. They don’t explain very well how to upgrade and equip weapons, and you have a limited inventory and I always hate that. Plus, as of this writing, I died while fighting a ghost boss on the 4th floor. So I don’t know if I have to start over or what. But other than that, it’s still a fun game.
And that’s all the games! You can buy them directly on the Mii Plaza for five bucks each, but if you get them all at once, you save five bucks so it’s like getting one for free. Some may complain that these cost money, since the first two Mii Plaza games were free. But I don’t really consider the Puzzle Panel and Find Mii titles REAL games anyway. The new ones are more robust and I don’t mind paying five bucks for each one since they’ll provide me with many hours of enjoyment. In the comments section, let me know which of the four new Mii Plaza games is your favorite!
In other exciting 3DS news, looks like they just announced Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright in the US. Yay! Something to look forward to in 2014. Nintendo also just released a new Miiverse app called Animal Crossing Plaza on Wii U. I’ve been monkeying around with it a bit and I think it’s pretty cute. I wonder how I can check out QR codes on it? Well, that’s all for now! Later! –Cary