It’s been a long time since Nintendo fans have had any new elements added to the 3DS StreetPass Mii Plaza. The feature began as a pretty bare-bones game, offering just Find Mii and Puzzle Swap, but this was enough to start a strong fanbase. After a while, Nintendo released the first paid StreetPass games, Mii Force, Flower Town, Warrior’s Way, and Monster Manor. These games offered some unique takes on the StreetPass’ functionality, with some excelling while others floundered. Two more games have just been introduced, but are they worth checking out?
Ultimate Angler starts things off with some fishing action. Every time you StreetPass someone they give you a piece of bait, which can vary between multiple different types. Using the right types in the right places will get you bigger, better, and more varieties of fish. Your objective is to catch them all, but also to go for larger sizes, and to fill up optional aquariums for decoration. Some strategy comes in when you combine different bait types to form larger treats to lure fish. Combining certain kinds will help you attract that particularly elusive fish.
The actual mechanics of fishing are pretty standard fare, with you waiting for them to bite before jamming the button and reeling them in with either the circle-pad or touchscreen. Reel in too fast and you can break your line, too slow and they might escape. It’s good fun, especially if you enjoyed the fishing segments in the 3D Zelda titles. The only problem, which has been a theme with the later StreetPass games, is that it takes quite a while to work out all the activities you need to.
Fishing can stretch out quite a bit if you are seeking larger catches. Reeling in the fish can become a bit tedious as you battle between getting the fish in and not letting your line break. Having to choose the right bait for the right fish can feel fun and strategic, but combining them really ramps up the enjoyment. And, if you don’t have a lot of time to fish, you can always combine all of your current bait into one massive piece, shortening your required time and giving you a better shot at a monster fish. Collecting all of these various fish, and displaying them in your aquariums will certainly intrigue the collectors out there in the same way past StreetPass games have, such as Flower Town.
Next up is Battleground Z, Nintendo’s foray into the zombie game genre. The entire town has been overrun with zombies and its up to you to save survivors, while battling the undead horde. To do this you acquire weapons from the different people that your StreetPass, with each having different effects in-game. Some will deal large area-of-effect damage, but not deal out too much actual pain. Others are more focused, but will take out zombies quicker, and easier.
Each weapon also features a power up move, which can sometime be performed multiple times before having to switch to another weapon, or rely on the standard attacks. These charged-up attacks can be pretty devastating, so using them gives players an element of strategy that some of the earlier StreetPass games lacked.
Missions vary in terms of their objectives, some features waves of enemies, while others place you in an arena to survive, and many more. These missions can feel a bit like the fishing aspect, where they drag on a little long. This is, of course, dependent on the player and the atmosphere in which they do their StreetPassing. In fact, while both games are quite enjoyable, I feel like they might falter in the long run for some players.
The big thing that kept popping into my head was how I had originally loved Mii Force, the StreetPass game where you play through a 2D space shooter. It was action-packed and had a lot of variety to it. However, the missions could go on for quite a while, leading to me giving up or just getting tired of the game. StreetPass games, to me, work better as quick affairs. However, if you disagree and find that you prefer devoting a large chunk of time to your StreetPassing, then there is nothing that should deter you from checking out both Ultimate Angler and Battleground Z inside the Mii Plaza.