Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quick Look: Four New StreetPass Games for 3DS  


Games: I was chatting with the wife today about the 3DS and it sort of struck me that its most prominent draw, the 3D, is a feature that goes TOTALLY UNUSED  by my entire family, and most of the people I know.  Instead, the thing that I find myself most occupied with (apart from the slew of fantastic games we’ve been getting lately) is the StreetPass feature.

It’s funny because when I first heard about it before I owned a 3DS, I didn’t think much of it. 

Passing people on the street to trade data?  How many people even had a 3DS, and if they did, how often would they bring it with them?  What were the odds I would pass anyone, even in a relatively large city like Seattle, and if I did, why would I want to trade data with strangers, anyway?

Of course, this just goes to show that sometimes the things you don’t expect have the most impact.  Once I started using StreetPass, it didn’t take long before the addiction set in. 

I think a large part of the appeal is that it’s kind of like getting a little surprise every day…  Will I have passed a fellow gamer without knowing it?  If I did, will we have any games in common?  And apart from these little unexpected discoveries, the games which take advantage of the function are clever and low-maintenance.  It quickly became part of my normal routine to check my 3DS for a few minutes before bedtime, and as a low-calorie bedtime snack, it fits the bill perfectly.

While the 3DS shipped with Find Mii (a simple combat game, soon joined by its sequel Find Mii 2) and the simple tile-based collection game Puzzle Swap, Nintendo recently created four more titles based around StreetPassing that became available in the most recent software update. 

Unlike the ones I’ve just mentioned, players must pay for each title - $5 apiece, or $15 for all four as a one-time-only offer.  Although I haven’t put enough time into these to deliver a full review, here are my initial impressions.


Mii Force

This title is a sidescrolling shooter similar to something like R-Type or Gradius.  The player controls a spaceship that flies from left to right and blasts any enemies that come along.  The hook is that the people who are StreetPassed act as weapons and powerups for the ship. 

For example, if you pass someone wearing a black shirt, that character will shoot bombs when attached to the ship.  Pass someone wearing a white shirt, and the ship will fire saw blades.  Once all available slots have been filled, further StreetPass characters can act as boosters, increasing firepower. The overall design is surprisingly deep and enjoyable thanks to a variety of weapons and great flexibility in arranging them for different effects.  

The only downside I’ve come across so far is that all of the characters collected in a given pass are dismissed after the end of one mission – for instance, I passed ten people today in use them to blast my way through a level.  Instead of continuing on to the next, the game ended and my resources were reset to zero, encouraging me to get out there and ‘Pass some more.  Disappointing, but I suppose that’s a good thing since I was eager to keep playing.


Flower Town

This one seems like the most laid-back and slow-paced of the group. 

Upon starting, players are prompted to select a flower seed which will grow at a rate which seems to depend on the frequency of StreetPasses.  Once the plant blooms, it can be further nurtured to produce seeds of its own, and these can apparently be used to combine hybrid flowers with various characteristics.

It was cute and I will certainly be checking it daily, but there wasn’t really all that much to do (yet, anyway) and out of all of the games and covering, I spent the least amount of time with this one.


Warrior’s Way

I’m a big Chunsoft fan, so although it’s not a roguelike, finding this one was still a pleasant surprise.  The gist is that the player starts their own kingdom at one end of a long, snaking map and has the ultimate goal of defeating every foreign country that lies in their path.  In order to do this, they must amass an army by StreetPassing, of course! 

People that are passed become available troops, and everyone that they’ve met becomes a soldier as well.  For example, my friend @Leggetron passed me today, so not only did he join my army, the other 700 (!!!) people he’s passed joined me as well.  I would imagine by continuing this sort of large-scale addition, the size of an available army would balloon up quite rapidly if a decent number of StreetPassable people were in the area.

Combat is a paper-rock-scissors affair, but a nice level of complexity is added by letting the player the divide their available troops into each category.  Although you can’t predict which way the enemy will go, this randomness can be mitigated by a nice little system which lets the player overcome a bad call with sheer numbers.  It’s a little too complicated to get into at the moment, but it's an elegant sort of complication, and I admire what I'm seeing.


Monster Manor

While I enjoyed all of the titles that were added in this cluster, this one is far and away one favorite. Monster Manor asks players to investigate a haunted mansion where all the rooms have disappeared. StreetPassed characters give the player a Tetris-like shape which can be placed on a map, and when these sections match up, the rooms of the mansion reappear.  By filling in and out of each map, the player will eventually find a staircase which leads to the next floor, and the ultimate goal is to reach the 30th.

Surprisingly, this title runs on an active-time battle system with an ingenious energy mechanic – the player has a number of guns to shoot ghosts with, but the ammo is a shared resource.  Trigger-happy players will find that they don’t have enough energy left to shield themselves from attack, and since it all runs in real time, it’s important to watch for enemy tells and take shots when there are openings.

On top of all this, add in a neat inventory system with upgradable weapons and a super-cool sidekick character with a surprising amount of charm, and this particular title is the runaway winner.  Although I think getting all for titles for $15 is the smart way to go for those who can afford it, if you’re only going to get one, then Monster Manor should be it.


One other thing to mention is that a new ticket system was included with the update in addition to the four games I outlined.  By performing certain tasks or meeting particular goals in these games, the player will earn tickets which can be exchanged for new hats which rotate on a daily basis.  Although it probably won’t do anything for people who don’t have an inherent gamehat fetish, it is a nice little incentive to check back regularly.

Overall, this is a great selection of titles which enhance an already-excellent feature of the hardware, and if my past history with Puzzle Swap and Find Mii is any indication, I have a feeling I’m going to be getting quite a bit of use out of these.

Oh, and one quick thing to know – my 3DS did not receive any message or prompt telling me to update, so I had no idea these games were ready to go until a friend told me.  I had to go into the 3DS System Settings and manually force an update myself, so if you’re wondering how to get these on your machine, you might have to do the same.


Syfy and Trion Worlds today announced a new contest that brings a gamer into the television world of Defiance, the groundbreaking online open world shooter and hit television series on Syfy. The “Play the Game. Join the Show.” in-game contest pits players against the game’s Major Arkfall events to see who can rise to the top and become the ultimate Ark Hunter. The winner will have their in-game character appear on the second season of the Defiance TV series.

The ten Ark Hunters who complete the most Major Arkfall events between July 8 (10am PDT) and July 30 (10am PDT) will compete for a chance to have their character written onto the show. These ten semifinalists will be fleshed out with a backstory written by the show’s writing staff, which will be featured on Facebook, where Defiance fans will choose their five favorites. From this pool of five finalists, a member of the Defiance team will select the final winner to appear in season two of Defiance.

The “Play the Game. Join the Show” contest marks the second time that players have been invited to make their mark on the world of Defiance. Earlier in the year, Trion Worlds and Syfy ran the “Most Wanted” contest, which saw gamers competing to have their likeness included on wanted posters on an episode of the TV show.

To enter, players must register for the “Play the Game. Join the Show.” contest at , then complete as many Major Arkfalls as possible between July 8 (10am PDT) and July 30 (10am PDT). Between August 12th and August 21st, one semifinalist backstory will be posted per day. Registered Facebook users can vote for the top five characters between August 26th (3am PDT) and September 6th (8:59pm PDT), and the final winner will be selected in September. Defiance season two premieres in 2014 on Syfy.

Defiance is rated M for Mature by the ESRB. For more information on Defiance, please visit


Shin Megami Tensei IV, the upcoming mature-themed role playing game from ATLUS for the Nintendo 3DS system, has a brand new limited-time offer for fans: players in the U.S. and Canada who purchase Shin Megami Tensei IV and Nintendo's hit turn-based strategy game Fire Emblem Awakening and register both games on their free Club Nintendo account will receive a $30 credit to use in the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS. The promotion begins on the release date of Shin Megami Tensei IV - July 16, 2013 - and runs through August 31. Both retail and digital purchases of either game are eligible for the offer, so long as both games are registered to the same Club Nintendo account by August 31, 2013. Specific details on the promotion can be found on the Club Nintendo website:

The Club Nintendo promotion is a first-of-its-kind offer from Nintendo and ATLUS. RPG fans, tacticians, strategists and other gamers who love deep story and turn-based combat that purchase both games and complete the promotion requirements will earn a $30 credit to the Nintendo 3DS eShop to put towards any paid content, including future games and downloadable content (DLC). After each game is registered to the same Club Nintendo account, players must complete a short web survey by the August 31 deadline to receive the credit. 


NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.,  and indiePub Entertainment, Inc., today announce that the retro-inspired 2D platformer Capsized is now available for download on the Xbox Live® online entertainment network for the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft.

In the futuristic world of Capsized, the player’s ship crash-lands on a strange and mysterious planet that is presented in a unique hand-drawn art style immersing players into a captivating yet hostile alien environment. Alone and armed with a grappling hook, jetpack, ship supplies and a diverse arsenal of weaponry, players must navigate through perilous landscapes and fight blood-thirsty creatures and Tribal natives to save their crewmates and escape with their lives.

Capsized features a stimulating mix between third-person-shooter and classic platforming gameplay with innovative physics-based combat that can be played through various game modes; including Story-based Campaign, Death Match, Survival, Time Trials and Armless Fighting (non-weapon combat) modes.

Capsized includes two-player offline co-op action and presents more than a dozen non-linear levels, along with exclusive levels and achievements for Xbox Live players to unlock.

Capsized is available now for download on Xbox Live for Xbox 360 for 800 Microsoft Points, and will also be coming out on the PlayStation®Store for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system later this summer (2013).

For more information about NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc., please For more details about indiePub Entertainment, Inc.,


Dark Horse is proudly celebrating twenty-five years of manga publishing in 2013 by bringing legendary Japanese creator and Eisner Hall of Fame inductee Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub) to San Diego Comic-Con!

Koike will be signing at the Dark Horse booth, #2615, Thursday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as Friday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.!

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Vol. 1 is available in bookstores everywhere.

Look for New Lone Wolf and Cub on sale in 2014!


NIS America is thrilled to announce that the newest installment of the fan-favorite strategy RPG series, Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, will release on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system on October 8 in North America and September 27 in Europe.

About Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness:

The Netherworld – a place where might makes right and today’s friends are tomorrow’s enemies.  After a long journey with many ups and downs, Laharl finally finds himself as a full-fledged Overlord. However, the other denizens of the Netherworld do not see him as such, so he sets out on a journey with his loyal(!?) vassals to receive the respect he deserves.  Along the way, Laharl will meet a girl who claims to be his sister, demons with bigger than usual chips on their shoulders, and find out that even his own body holds a few surprises for him...


Deep Silver today announced that the 'Faction Pack' - the first piece of DLC for 4A Games' critically acclaimed Metro: Last Light - is set for worldwide release on Steam, Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network from Microsoft and the PlayStation®Network on July 16th in North America and July 17th in Europe and the rest of the world.

The 'Faction Pack' includes three original single player missions, each casting the player as a different specialist from the warring Factions. Returning to some classic locations from Metro 2033, these missions feature new weapons, the return of a truly terrifying mutant foe, and offer three distinct gameplay challenges...

• As a Special Detachment Sniper of the Redline, players must infiltrate a heavily guarded Reich Outpost at night, under the cover of a deadly radioactive storm...

• ...before defending the Frontline as a Reich 'Heavy', armed with some of the most devastating weaponry found in the Metro.

• Lastly, players take the role of a Polis Ranger in training, tasked with exploring the vast Library complex for artifacts and relics. Salvage can be exchanged for ammunition, filters and hazard suits allowing ever deeper exploration into the Library. Rangers are advised to ignite torches and leave a trail of lights, so they can find their way back to the base before their precious oxygen runs out...

The Faction Pack costs $4.99 / 400 MSP, and is the first of four DLC packs to be included in the Metro: Last Light Season Pass, which at $14.99 / 1200 MSP offers a discount over buying the packs separately, and also includes an additional exclusive weapon, the Abzats.

Deep Silver also revealed additional details on the content of the future DLC packs.

• The 'Tower Pack' presents a unique experience for seasoned Metro gunslingers - a challenge based game mode, with online Leaderboard support, as players fight their way up the combat simulator known as The Tower

• The 'Developer Pack' boasts a fully stocked Shooting Gallery, the AI Arena and Metro Museum... And a bonus solo mission - The Spiders' Nest - offers some new tools for dealing with an infestation of the skittering Spider mutants

• Lastly the Chronicles Pack will feature original single player missions that cast the player as three of the game's standout characters - Pavel, Khan and Anna - and explore their side-stories away from Artyom's adventure

For the latest news on Metro: Last Light, Like us at or follow us on Twitter @MetroVideoGame. 


Blob fanatics and extraterrestrial buffs can now devour the world in DrinkBox Studios’ Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack for $1.99 as part of the Steam Summer Sale. Starting today and running for the remainder of the sale, players who missed out on Mutant Blobs Attack the first time around will get the full game along with new updates, including an upgrade to the Telekinesis control for gamepad-only players. DrinkBox also plans to release Mutant Blobs Attack Steam trading cards for all blob players, while new gamers can download Mutant Blobs Attack from Steam here.

Set in a 1950s-inspired city with B-movie humor, Mutant Blobs Attack has players take control of an escaped blob with an insatiable appetite, eating everything in their path to grow into a giant, squishy mass of destruction.

Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack is also available on the PlayStation Vita for $7.99 here.


Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments VIDEO 


Life is like a hurricane, as Capcom today announced that DuckTales: Remastered will officially release from this August on all major platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC. In North America, the game will be available for digital download on August 13 (on PSN, Nintendo eShop on Wii U and PC), with an XBLA version launching September 11. Additionally, on August 20, a boxed version (with download code and exclusive DuckTales Disney collector’s pin) will be offered on PlayStation 3 at retailers across the country.DuckTales: Remastered is priced at $14.99 for the digital version and $19.99 for the retail version on PS3.


InXile Entertainment and Deep Silver today announced a distribution deal for inXile’s upcoming cRPG Wasteland 2. Deep Silver is a veteran publisher and already a long-standing partner for inXile.
inXile is currently working on Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, both funded via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The deal allows inXile Entertainment to focus on all creative aspects of developing the game, while Deep Silver handles the retail release of the game and the physical good fulfillment for the Kickstarter backers. Deep Silver will also assist inXile in the QA testing of the localized international versions of the game.

The link for the Wasteland 2 site:


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1 comments: to “ Quick Look: Four New StreetPass Games for 3DS


    Thanks for these reviews, Brad! I was planning to get just the shmup, but now it seems I'd be better served by picking up all four via the $14.99 bundle.

    Also, add me to the list of people who rarely, if ever, have the 3D effect on my 3DS switched on. Although I find it really impressive, I prefer to play games in 2D mode for all sorts of reasons.