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September 2014 Retro Gaming Article


September 24, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Touted as an enhancement, StreetPass Relays provide Mii data in low-traffic areas

Mii Plaza Logo I bought my son a 2DS last Christmas and picked one up for myself the following Spring. As I've mentioned before I loved the Game Boy line with the GB Advance being my favorite.

I wasn't a fan of the Nintendo DS and skipped it until I realized a DS Lite would enable me to play GBA games. However, the 2DS really piqued my interest.

StreetPass integration into the Mii Plaza games as well as many Nintendo and 3rd party titles intrigues me no end. The games played within the Plaza offer an interesting dynamic of attaining StreetPasses to assist with various goals across the 6 games. Regular games make use of StreetPass in similar ways by exchanging info or the ability to begin co-play.

Tomodachi Life blends StreetPass so well by melding wonderfully with the game itself. It feels like a natural extension of the game play. Each player manages an island and can export goods to others via StreetPass. Island residents have children who grow up and can "travel" to other islands via StreetPass. It creates a very compelling ecosystem that's a lot of fun to be part of.

StreetPass Light StreetPass has a way of reinvigorating my play-energy (is that a thing?). Even if I simply get a notification of another Street Fighter IV or Centipede Infestation player passing by, it refocuses me on that title with a desire to fire it up! And of course there is the ability to enhance game play via StreetPass added items/abilities.

How StreetPass Relays Help

In 2013 Nintendo announced the idea of relays for their StreetPass system by using the many Wi-Fi access points as relay stations. It was designed to increase Mii traffic to your 2/3DS. Rather than relying on passing another 2/3DS in real time, a Relay captures your data and stores it to be passed to the next 2/3ds that encounters the relay.

This storage scenario allows you to get multiple StreetPasses with a single relay encounter. I've gotten up to 10 at once. As some games use the storage slots for their own StreetPass data, you may not get as many Miis as you would expect.

Discovering Local StreetPass Relays

I live in a less populated area and real-time streetPasses are fairly rare. In a big city one can fill up all the slots on a 2-block jaunt for lunch. Not so in my area. To even out the stakes - and keep 2/3DS owners interested in gaming - Nintendo created StreetPass Relays that store StreetPass data and dispense it from a common area, called a relay. Thus I can go to the mall, strut past a relay and suddenly a slew of Miis invade my Plaza... so to speak.

3D Streets Of Rage for 3DS I wasn't familiar with StreetPass Relays at the outset and found it curious that I was getting so many StreetPasses. Once I knew about relays, my peculiar ways beckoned me to hone in on them. Armed with a map of the mall, a red sharpie, and my 2DS in hand - I began to walk from one end to the other. I eyed that small light waiting for it to turn green. When it did, I slathered a red "X" on my map and sat down to cear my new Miis from the Plaza gate. I then continued my journey until I had discovered 4 relays that instantly dumped Miis-O-Plenty.

I consulted Nintendo's website about such relays and discovered that my local Home Depot was on the list. I swung by for a plumbing gasket and walked out with 7 new Miis bopping around my Plaza. Cool!

I've found a lot of games I love on my 2DS, but I love that there are still some great retro offerings for it. I recently downloaded 3D Streets Of Rage and was stoked to discover it has a co-op mode for local play. This is another awesome feature of many 3DS games - the ability to share your game with another 3DS or play together via local wireless play.

Every time I play on my 2DS, I realize what an amazing experience Nintendo delivers via hardware and software. Some see a big future in mobile gaming on smart phones, but I hope that likely reality doesn't eclipse the awesomeness that Nintendo delivers!

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