It’s officially one week to the Nintendo 3DS launch, but what do you get in exchange for your gold coins?
Bundled with your shiny aqua blue or cosmos black handheld system with be 6 AR character cards, 2GB SD card, a recharging cradle for your 3DS to charge up it’s batteries or send it quietly into sleep mode – aww – 3DS AC adapter, and a telescopic stylus. My first impressions of the 3DS are pretty much as I expected, I’ve literally not put it down since it’s arrival at GGUK Towers. It’s remained by my side for the occasional walk and when I want to have a good gameplay session. It’s a nice size and feels comfortable in my hands, compared to my original DSi XL which was a chunky comparison. The aqua blue colour is shiny and reflective making the handheld stand out from the rest of the Nintendo Game boy family which were relatively finished with a gloss finish. The stylus feels nice in my hands, although I feel it’s positioned in an awkward place on the 3DS and should have been made more available to the far right of the system. The sounds and graphics are truly amazing, and the 3D although is stunning, it made me feel a bit woosy the first few times I played it, but over time my eyes seemed to have made the adjustments. I didn’t keep the 3D on all the time with the depth slider and it remained on when I felt I needed it within gameplay. Overall a very good handheld system for the Nintendo family and a new addition I recommend you purchase if you want to keep up with the technology and new games that Nintendo will have to offer in the future.
Over the last few days I’ve been checking out the pre-installed software, experimenting with the AR cards, checking out Street Pass, playing with the Mii Maker and all of the lovely bits of software that encourage us to play and explore. I’ll try to show you what the 3DS is capable of before you part with your gold coins.
The Nintendo 3DS features an ‘always on’ background connectivity called ‘Street Pass’. This means your 3DS can seek and connect to wireless networks and Wi-Fi hotspots sending information back and forth in the background while in sleep mode or while you’re playing a game. Street Pass is a passive communication where your 3DS can connect with other systems via wireless or the internet and you have the chance to share Mii avatars.
This is where you can create your own cute little Mii with a slightly oversized head. You can customize your Mii from changing the facial features to wearing certain attire.
STREETPASS MII PLAZA
Here you can add your very own greeting to your Mii so other avatars you meet via StreetPass can see that too. Players can edit their profile which includes preferred pets, likes and dreams, birthday and creator. This information is shared with other Mii avatars you meet, so be careful what you share because it can be seen by other people. StreetPass also shows you how many StreetPass hits you’ve encountered and the population of your plaza. Once you’ve met another Mii, they will come into your plaza. There is a limit to the amount of Mii characters that can be collected via a StreetPass session. The 3DS will save the Mii characters you have encountered and then you can go and collect more. Once you’ve collected a Mii, you can then see their nickname, country and region of residence, mostly used software and the time you met. The awesome thing about this apart from collecting tons of Mii avatars is the fact that they may pop up and make appearances in other software. When I received my 3DS, there was no one else around to practice with, so heading down to my local GAME store I took the opportunity to use StreetPass with one of the members of staff. The 3DS needs to be in Sleep Mode for this to happen. Having a new Mii avatar appear in my StreetPass Mii Plaza was quite an interesting experience as they casuallly walked into my virtual world. I love the idea that millions of players from around the world will be communicating and exchanging through this new dimension. Once you’ve had a Mii encounter, you have the oppotunity to play selected games such as Puzzle Swap and StreetPass Quest.
In puzzle swap you can collect pieces to make a 3D picture. This is done when you first open up the game and when you also make an encounter with another Mii. You can collect pieces from other Mii characters you’ve met via StreetPass. You can also purchase one piece of the picture in exchange for two Play Coins. The game shows you the pieces you’ve collected, how many Play Coins you have available and how many travellers you’ve met. Believe me when I say that you need to gather Play Coins to progress in this game. I will explain about Play Coins later in my review. Once you’ve played around with Puzzle Swap, it’s time to check out StreetPass Quest.
This is another impressive and genius mini game where you must gather heroes, fight ghosts and collect little hats for your Mii. That’s right, little hats and let me tell you that they are very cute. There are other items to collect, but I won’t spoil it for you and you’re just going to have to trust me. The first time you play this game you’re going to have to gather heroes via StreetPass or hire them by purchasing with your Play Coins. Once you have a hero, they will battle against ghosts and ghouls and fight using the power of magic or with the use of their sword. The first time you enter you may find your hero is not strong enough, fights once and then does a runner or becomes fatigued. It takes a little while to get through the various rooms, but the Play Coins enable you to hire new heroes to help you on your quest. You may find like myself that you’ve battled once and died, but return later with more heroes to overthrow enemies. I esepcially loved this game because each time it gave you incentive to progress through the game and the only way to do that is with the use of Play Coins at this time. My advice is start saving up and gather coins so you can hire many heroes at a time.
Play Coins are gathered from the distance you walk in steps with your Nintendo 3DS. This encourages you and gives you the incentive to take the 3DS everywhere you go. My shiny aqua blue 3DS hasn’t left my side since I received it last week. Nintendo reward your hard earned steps with gold coins. 100 steps will earn you one single Play Coin and you can only earn 10 Play Coins in a day and your 3DS can store a maximum of 300 Play Coins at any one time. So I guess this is a good excuse to take a brisk walk to the local corner shop instead of taking the car. Although I should imagine there may be some gamers out there who will cheat their way around the system to record steps falsely. The pedometer tracks the motion of your movements, much like other pedometers. Getting Play Coins has become somewhat addictive, mainly because you need coins to unlock other games. They are a fun element of the 3DS and one that I welcome.