As the Mii universe, or what can easily be turned into a universe, expands, so do the opportunities for a deep exploration of Nintendo’s often lurking but never in the spotlight mascots. I’ve made it no secret that I’m a fan. Nintendo’s personalized mascots have made appearances in plenty of games by now, but are most prominently featured in the Miiverse and the 3DS’s StreetPass Mii Plaza. Both are things that I have hoped Nintendo would expand on, especially with the imminent release of the NX.
But with the recent Nintendo Direct focusing solely on their handheld it seems like they’re hedging on the 3DS having legs through 2017. We saw a lot of games, most (disappointingly) re-releases, but what got my attention was of course, aside from more amiibo, the StreetPass games. StreetPass games need to be three things: easy to pick up, lightning quick to play, and addictive and deep. We’ll take each one individually for extra-quick Hot Takes, broken down by developer and game.
Good-Feel (Developer of Battleground Z & Mii Force)
Slot Car Rivals
- One of two pick-able free options. The rounds are lightning quick and you never feel like it’s pausing to tell you things you already know.
- It doesn’t try reinventing the wheel; This is slot car racing in a pretty pure form. It offers a quick tutorial for controls, but otherwise it leaves you to race.
- There’s quite a few tracks available and each track has two challenges to be met. You’ll find yourself replaying courses to get better times or complete challenges, and in turn will unlock new courses in the same series. Progression can feel a bit slow, as you’re allowed one race per play, but there is a practice race option if you’re looking to satisfy a need for speed.
- There is a car editing option but, as far as I’ve played, it’s not a huge selling point, and style or model of car has no effect on the race (Even the unlock-able ones). Instead Miis will create a mod chip to use for your next race, the quality of the chip depending on the number of Miis.
- The other of the two pick-able free options. Similarly, Good-Feel has cut a lot of fluff from the actual gameplay, leaving a StreetPass game that is fast and fun.
- The gameplay is a big seller on this, the more Miis you have lined up, the more accurate your market prediction will be, and in turn the more profitable each session becomes. It even allows you to buy shares before market open, in case you’re predicting a sharp rise in prices. Even with fewer Miis, the risk v. reward gameplay is still a blast, so you never feel like you missed out.
- Good-Feel had fun by adding nods to previous StreetPass games. Easter Eggs and references like these elevate the playfulness of the game. You can deck out a showroom with swag from companies you trade, all of which are related to previous games like Find Mii and Puzzle Swap.
Prope (Developer of Ultimate Angler)
- My favorite kind of Nintendo is self-referential Nintendo, and Feed Mii hits that mark perfectly. It plays as a side-story of sorts to the game that originally launched with the 3DS StreetPass app, Find Mii. But instead of being the heroes, your Mii uses ingredients brought by your StreetPasses to cook dishes for heroes going on a mission to find the king.
- The gameplay is decent, having you guess at ingredients to combine for dishes. They aren’t always straight forward but the game guides you with hints about the number of ingredients.
- Like Ultimate Angler before it, Feed Mii is heavy on completion and collection. With plenty of recipes to discover you’ll find yourself coming back often (or at least till you fill the recipe book). In fact, you can sort of see similarities in combing ingredients here and bait from Ultimate Angler.
- The game is forgiving for when you don’t accumulate many StreetPasses. It lets you keep unused ingredients in a fridge for use whenever you play next. Or if you’d rather, you can use them to perfect recipes for larger portions or even artisan quality.
- Like Slot Car Rivals, Ninja Launcher is a pretty straight-forward game. You line up your Mii to gather kites with weapons and upgrades when shot out of a cannon. The more upgrades you collect in your flight the more capable you are of defeating the enemy at the cliff above.
- Even though the concept is fairly simple, having the timer pressuring you to line up a shot quickly means that the resulting gameplay is mostly fun. But like Warrior’s Way and Mii Trek (which I’ll talk about later) it suffers because it expects longer-term investment.
- The execution is infused with a little humor, and I appreciate that the game doesn’t take itself too seriously. What it adds in character elevates what could have ended up being a middling game concept-wise.
Arzest (Developer of StreePass Plaza Update 1 & Find Mii 2)
- No, this isn’t a Mii parody of Star Trek, though I wish it was. It could have easily been the same game with a space theme and been just as (if not more) interesting.
- I’d say gameplay-wise it’s the weakest of the fare. It uses the real count of the steps taken by your StreetPasses and uses them to measure an amount of distance you can travel on a map. You use your time exploring paths until you find a treasure. It’s fine, but the long-term investment it wants can make it tedious.
- In a way it’s similar to Warrior’s Way that it’s a long-term kind of game. You go so long between interactions or rewards that even with a decent amount of Miis you won’t progress as much as you’d like. That wouldn’t be a problem if the maps you explored were full of interesting stops, but that isn’t the case. They are generally a bit empty. It’s a shame. Theres a good concept, but the execution is meh.
- Instead of using cutesy graphics, it uses photo-realistic sprites, similar to retail release Tomodachi Life. It worked in Tomodachi Life because of how it used off-beat the humor and crazy situational antics. It’s not that I don’t like it, but it’s hard to decide whether it goes with the vibe in Mii Trek.
- There seems to be tons to collect, and almost all of the collectibles require QTEs. They generally balance out the strategic (but tedious) choosing of travel routes.
All in all I’d say a good showing, and even if one or two aren’t your bag, you’d still save money buying them as a package. Nintendo really cut the fluff from the experience of collecting StreetPasses, and these games are a nice little way to reacquaint yourself when you update. If you are one of the few hardcore Nintendo fans still clinging onto StreetPass Mii Plaza be sure to pick these up!
You’re reading TAY, Kotaku’s community-run blog. TAY is written by and for Kotaku readers like you. We write about games, art, culture and everything in between. Want to write with us? Check out the Beginner’s Guide to TAY and join in.
JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Find his sexy ass on Twitter here. Or keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.