StreetPass – A Missed Opportunity By Gamers
The Nintendo 3DS has StreetPass, the function to interact with other Nintendo 3DS consoles, exchange player information, and even add to various games. I preface this article with this, because it feels like not everyone who has a Nintendo 3DS realises they have the power to connect and to have more fun in their very hands, largely for free.
When a Nintendo 3DS enters StreetPass mode (either by being closed or being on while outside of a connected Wi-Fi network), players can enter a magical anti-social social world, heralded by the notification light on the Nintendo 3DS turning green. The best part of this world can be accessed through the StreetPass Mii Plaza. Unfortunately, this goes unused by many and that is a real shame.
The StreetPass Mii Plaza is a hub of asynchronous communication and various minigames. Each time you StreetPass a user, their Mii will be queued up, with a maximum of ten Miis at a given time. You can send each other little messages or say if you think they’re awesome or not. Each Mii passed by also enables a functionality in one of the StreetPass games. The two initial games, StreetPass Puzzle and StreetPass Quest, sees you collecting pieces to puzzles that result in Nintendo dioramas, and completing a simple turn-based RPG to save the kingdom’s ruler, and then the world. Paid games have been added, which include the shoot-em-up StreetPass Squad, the flower cultivating simulator StreetPass Garden, the rock-paper-scissors-based StreetPass Battle, the real time RPG and puzzle hybrid StreetPass Mansion, the fishing StreetPass Fishing, and the hack ‘n slash StreetPass Zombies. If you’re willing to shell out a little, there’s quite a bit of variety here.
StreetPass can be enabled for certain games too. There are many great examples of StreetPass done right in games, like Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire exchange user made Super-Secret Bases and recreations of teams to battle, or Animal Crossing New Leaf and the ability to see other player’s houses with the extra ability to order furniture they have for your own house. There have been some mistakes with StreetPass though, like Pokémon X and Y. In this game, the magical function of StreetPass enables you to… give each other points. That can be used to buy items in one shop. And they’re not all that great. And you can earn those points by communicating with other players outside of this. Essentially, it’s a wasted feature here.
To enable StreetPass, you have to turn it on in its respective game. If you picked up a Nintendo 3DS for a single game, you might not have explored everything your $200+ device has to offer. That’s cool, I’m not going to lecture you on how to have your fun. There’s just more fun to be had, waiting right around the corner. It’s just sitting there in your Nintendo 3DS Home Menu.
If you go to your local shopping centre, there’s nothing quite like getting a StreetPass, opening the StreetPass Mii Plaza and looking around seeing any of the Miis you received look like anyone around you, trying to spot where everyone came from, or having a little conversation with that stranger you keep passing by. On the other hand, there’s nothing more disheartening when you get a StreetPass, but it’s only for Pokémon X and Y, which in the long run does nothing for anyone.
Part of this is on developers for not taking the full advantage that StreetPass has to offer. Players will go through their game, sometimes not realising what that StreetPass thing is. But with StreetPass Mii Plaza, players have no excuse to at least try out a free piece of software waiting to be used.
Through StreetPass, a whole community opens up. For the most part, seeing that little green light light up lights up my face, and if you give the StreetPass Mii Plaza a chance, it’ll light up your face too.