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July 2014 Retro Gaming Article


July 28, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

My infatuation w/ Nintendo's 3DS Tomodachi Life increases as I collect CRTs, Virtual Boys & NES consoles

Celebrity Miis for Tomodachi Life From flight simulators to pet care games and even EA's long running series of Sims games, I've never had any interest in this genre. I have no problem pretending I'm flying a spaceship, invading a village or any of the myriad of scenarios that video games can immerse us in.

I'll happily be the leader of a squadron of intergalactic battleships, but I have no desire to be the Mayor of a small town... or island... until now.

My son was visiting for Summer vacation so I had lined up several games that we could play via local-play on our 2DS's. We always play a lot of mini-golf, build sandcastles, endure epically long Monopoly games and have bike races, but a fair amount of our time centers on video games from my youth and his.

We're both pretty new to the 2DS, so I thought it would be fun to interact via StreetPass and try some of the local-play options in it's game library. From Super Street Fighter IV to Ridge Racer and Mario Kart, we had a blast whipping out our 2DS' and engaging in a brawl or a race... not to mention checking for StreetPasses.

Tomodachi Island There were a lot of ads for Tomodachi Life. It was being touted as the end-all-be-all of handheld gaming. Knowing little about it, I equated it to one of those Sims-type games that I had no interest in. Additionally, I'd heard the outrage from the LGBT community who started a #MiiQuality campaign to let Nintendo know that there are wider varieties of relationships in the real world than depicted in the game. This made my curiosity about the title grow a bit more.

When I discovered there was a demo of it on the e-Shop, my tune changed. After launching the demo, I was quickly hooked! Looking over my shoulder, my son could no longer take it and he too downloaded the demo. The ability to connect locally and share both Mii characters and various items we'd collected made this a really fun game outside of all the options you have in managing your island and it's residents.

Celebrity Miis for Tomodachi Life Shawn White & Shaq - celebrity miis

Imaginary Mayor

You manage a small island of residents, much like a mayor. Part of the fun is populating the island... well, not in that way. We'll discuss mii sex later. You can import miis from your Plaza, create them from scratch, use a photo or photograph a celebrity mii QR code. You can create QR codes of your miis as well. in choosing emotional factors of your mii islanders, consider that this probably determines which ones will date, marry and have kids.

Obviously everything is pre-determined as the game is coded to a game cart, but it's fun to unlock items and see where the game will take you. You might even learn a few life lessons along the way.

This is probably one of the most creative uses of StreetPass I've seen to date from choosing your island's name to it's chief export. Your island can choose to export an item. As you encounter other Tomodachi Life players you exchange exports via StretPass. As your island residents begin dating and getting married, they'll soon have children - in a very Nintendo family-friendly manner.

These kids quickly grow up and you can choose to let them travel to other islands - another clever use of StreetPass. It also takes advantage of SpotPass by delivering custom items to one of the island's stores.

Tomodachi Gets a Little Retro

At various points you can award a gift to your islanders in a variety of ways. In terms of gifts you can bestow them their very own 3DS XL or Wii U game console. All my islanders get those, but the islanders will reward yo with items - typically by winning a mini game you play with them. So far, I've won an NES, old CRT TV, GameBoy, Virtual Boy and SuperScope. I love that they included some retro Nintendo items - particularly the Virtual Boy!

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