Console: Nintendo 3DS
Start Date: April 16, 2015
End Date: May 3, 2016
If you own a 3DS, you’ve probably fucked around for at least a little while with the Streetpass Mii Plaza games. Two of them – Puzzle Swap and Find Mii – are pre-installed for free on the system, with six additional games available as paid DLC.
The idea behind these games is that if you pass by other people with 3DS systems, the devices will exchange information and that person’s Mii will become available in your games in various ways. It’s a fun little concept and works really well in New York City, where you’re constantly walking past thousands of people. The fact that I’m not really good at any of these games actually works out in my favor – it extends the games’ playability almost indefinitely. Every day, I check to see how many new Mii characters I’ve amassed and then use them to eke out a tiny nugget of progress in my games.
In that sense, it’s almost a bit disappointing when I actually finish one of these games. So I was unpleasantly surprised to find myself at the end of Battleground Z, one of the newest games added, after just over a year of playing.
Battleground Z is an arcadey beat-em-up in which you fight hordes of zombies in arena-like settings. Along the way, you encounter the Miis you’ve amassed via Streetpass, who either join you in the battle or provide you with weapons. Cleverly, the weapons are based on the “favorite hobby” selected in that player’s profile – if someone’s hobby is cooking, for example, they’ll provide you with a frying pan weapon. It’s probably not surprising that my favorite weapon turned out to be the Wiimote, which essentially functions like a dope-looking baseball bat.
Battleground Z is fun enough, but the problem is that it seems significantly easier than the rest of the Streetpass games. This is partially due to the fact that living in a big city means my roster is always filled with the maximum amount of Mii helpers, but it’s also because the levels are short, simple, and extremely forgiving. Aside from a later stage which breaks the formula a bit by requiring the player to solve Adventures of Lolo style spacial puzzles while simultaneously fending off zombies, I don’t think I ever had to play through a level more than once.
Still, it was good fun while it lasted. It offers a more visceral action-based experience compared to most of these games’ laid-back, passive approach, and stands out from the pack in that sense. I’m disappointed that it’s no longer a part of my daily routine, but somehow I’ll survive. If I ever beat my precious, precious Monster Manor, however, that will be truly heartbreaking.
NOTE: Unlike most 3DS games, the Streetpass titles do not allow you to capture screenshots via Miiverse, for some reason. Therefore credit for all the screenshots in this piece go to the ever-reliable Google Image Search.