2700615-streetpass weekend

StreetPass With Faraway 3DS Owners During National StreetPass Weekend

The 3DS‘ StreetPass feature is a neat one, letting you exchange data with fellow 3DS owners you pass. But if you’re not someone who travels much, odds are that anyone you do manage to StreetPass lives in the same state as you. You’ll have the opportunity to change that and diversify your StreetPass connections next week when Nintendo hosts the second-ever National StreetPass Weekend.

Much like last year, you’ll have a few days to visit a Nintendo Zone hotspot somewhere in the United States. By doing so, you’ll be able to get up to six StreetPass tags from faraway 3DS owners.

The event runs for three days, from October 31 through November 2. The first National StreetPass Weekend was scheduled for two days last December, but a positive reaction to its announcement caused Nintendo to kick it off a day early.

There are more than 29,000 Nintendo Zone hotspots, many of which can be found at Best Buy, McDonald’s, and various airports. You can find one near you at Nintendo’s website.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Video: Terrifying Giant Mii Heads Promote Halloween National StreetPass Weekend

Nightmare fuel

We sometimes describe Mii characters as our happy, aspirational and trouble-free selves here at Nintendo Life, the embodiment of our personalities in a world where every day is a trip to the Mushroom Kingdom to share some cake with the Mario Bros. and Princess Peach. When Nintendo of America decides to represent Miis to the world, however, they use enormous foam heads that don’t fit the poor actor’s bodies; suddenly the vacant eyes and permanent smiles that are cute on a console take on a whole new dynamic.

If one of these walked up to you and simply looked at you, would you be charmed or a little freaked out? Remember, they don’t blink.

Which brings us to the trailer for the upcoming National StreetPass Weekend in North America, celebrating Halloween and running from 31st October to 2nd November. StreetPass Weekend is like any other weekend, in reality, as you can use Nintendo Zone hotspots to get relay hits — like on any other day of the week. We imagine that StreetPass groups and Nintendo itself will, however, arrange some gatherings and special events.

No real details have been released on that score yet, but we do have the video promoting it. The theme is Halloween and, no doubt, it fits the theme. Those Mii outfits are still terrifying…

Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley reveals festivals in latest trailer

I want this game, I want it bad.

The white screen and Natsume logo only means one thing to me, Harvest Moon. Today, we got a new look at Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley for the Nintendo 3DS.

This new trailer shows off a bunch of festivals that we can look forward too – both old and new ones! Taka Maekawa, the Producer of Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley shed some light on the new game and the festivals shown:

“Festivals have always been an integral part of the Harvest Moon experience…We’ve taken fan-favorite festivals and combined them with new festivals! It makes for an exciting experience in The Lost Valley!”

The new trailer doesn’t only focus on festivals, it also teased that players will need to watch closely for, including romantic encounters, marriage, children, cows, sheep, chickens and so much more.

Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is set to release on the Nintendo 3DS on November 4th, 2014. If you pre-order the game (at GameStop or EBGames) you receive a plushie modeled after your in-game dog. There’s also a Collector’s Edition that comes with a premium-sized rabbit plushie.

I want this game so, so bad.

Catch me on Twitter @TatiMo_GZ

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Nintendo Australia adds 5 more New 3DS Cover Plates to Launch range

Nintendo Australia has announced that 5 more New 3DS cover plates will be making the launch here in Australia, these plates were previously announced for Japan earlier in the week.

We’re getting the Camo Mario, ‘Stache Mario and Luigi, Yellow and Pink Stars and a translucent Blue and Yellow plates, this brings the total number of plates that will be available in Australia at launch to 20. The full range of what will be available is available at Nintendo’s website.

Did one of your favourites not make the trip over from Japan? Don’t worry you can still import them from Japan if your favourite isn’t released here officially.

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Million Arthur Arrives On Nintendo 3DS

By Spencer . October 22, 2014 . 1:00am

Square Enix’s most successful smartphone series, Million Arthur, made a jump to Nintendo 3DS. Kaku-San-Sei Million Arthur is now available on the eShop. The 3DS version is a port with a remapped interface to make use of the system’s two screens.

Million Arthur uses a free to play model just like the smartphone and Vita releases. Throughout October, players will be able to get tickets for in game items.

Square Enix has not announced any plans to bring Million Arthur out in the West, but an English localized version has been distributed for smartphones and tablet in other countries in Asia.

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Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

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Review: Shantae And The Pirate’s Curse (3DS eShop)

A pirate’s life for me

It’s interesting to track the progression that WayForward‘s Shantae series has undergone over the past decade. Beginning in 2002, the original title was released on the Game Boy Color, an unfortunately timed release that was mostly overshadowed by the recent introduction of the Game Boy Advance. Despite an attempted sequel on the newest handheld hardware, Shantae wasn’t seen again for eight years until Shantae: Risky’s Revenge became available on the DSiWare service. Fast-forward another four years to now when we’re not only seeing the release of one new game, but two completely new entries in the Shantae collection on a plethora of different consoles.

Though taking a bizarre path to get to where it is today, the Shantae series is one that is deserving of all the attention is has been receiving recently. Jumping from console to console with mostly unsteady footing, each game in the series has been nothing short of fantastic. Both of the first two games are currently available on the 3DS via the eShop and Virtual Console services, and now we’re treated with Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, the latest instalment in the series, and it’s every bit as good as we could have hoped for.

Picking up not long after the events of Risky’s Revenge, our purple-haired hero wakes up in Scuttle Town, the home that she is determined to protect, despite her missing genie powers. Without delving too deep or giving up any spoilers, the plot kicks off immediately with the reintroduction of the pirate Risky Boots, Shantae’s arch nemesis, who comes bearing surprising news about an even greater threat called The Pirate Master. Deciding to put the past behind them, Shantae and Risky reluctantly join forces to venture out and stop the Pirate Master before things get out of hand. It’s a classic use of the “enemies working together for the greater good” trope that we see so often in media, but it’s refreshing to see something new introduced into this series rather than relying too heavily on the same stock characters.

Pirate’s Curse is easily defined as an adventure platformer with Metroidvania style progression. As you explore the open 2D world, more areas will become accessible as you progress through the campaign and collect new items; this game doesn’t go too far out of its way to stand out from others in its genre, but it does manage to expand the premise outward, creating a huge world to explore with an ample cast of characters.

Unlike previous Shantae games that featured a single seamless map filled with varied environments, Pirate’s Curse instead opts for several smaller worlds disguised as islands that are accessible from Risky’s ship. Despite not boasting an entirely interconnected world, a fair amount of traipsing back and forth between islands is necessary for collecting all items and exploring every last inch of the map. Not having to completely traverse one sprawling area over and over again just to get to the next point is a welcome change, as it cuts down on time wasted in travel. While revisiting areas may work well for some games, the fact that you’re not collecting experience points or levelling your character up in this franchise can make repeatedly running through the same areas feel both tedious and unnecessary. There is still a bit of necessary backtracking, but this feels like a much more streamlined version of the exploration heavy games that came before it.

As can be expected from a Shantae game, or almost any platformer that WayForward has put out recently, the controls are not only simple but they’re exceptionally tight. This is especially apparent during some of the more precise platforming sections of the game, working your way through labyrinthine dungeons and making short work of long jumps. The 3DS’s touchscreen is also implemented well, optionally displaying your inventory, key items, and a world map; items can quickly be selected using virtual buttons on the bottom screen, making it remarkably easy to see what you have available at any given moment and use those items on the run.

To put it lightly, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a difficult game, but that’s not to say that it is entirely unforgiving. As you progress and delve further into the plot enemies encountered become stronger and more diverse, but so does your arsenal. You will also come across increasingly more complex dungeons and puzzles to solve, but as your move set expands you find that there is never really a point where you’ll feel completely stuck after enough trial and error. Save rooms are abundant in the open world, usually placed strategically at a dungeon entrance or inside a town, and dying means replaying small sections rather than being sent back a significant amount – assuming you’re taking advantage of the opportunities to save. This is the rare type of game that allows itself to be accessible to a new audience while simultaneously sticking to its classic roots.

Pirate’s Curse retains the same look and tone of previous games in the series, this time enhanced by the 3DS’s superior processor and display. WayForward’s signature art style is once again present, but not necessarily to the betterment of the game. While the brightly coloured environments, wacky characters and upbeat soundtrack may appeal to a wide audience – including the younger 3DS owners – there is an unnecessary level of sexualization when considering the audience that is being targeted. It all seems a bit tongue-in-cheek based on the exaggerated dialogue and abundant jokes, but the tiny waists and heaving cleavage jumping out at you per the handheld’s 3D effect can be a bit much. If you’re not the type to be bothered by these affectations, especially considering that they don’t worsen the meticulously crafted gameplay, then feel free to ignore our warning, but do keep in mind that this might not be one for the kids.

Looking past that, the 3DS’s display capabilities are used particularly well to bring the environments to life. WayForward has always had a knack for adding subtle details into its lush settings, but this time around those little intricacies are displayed in a layered parallax, making for an absolutely gorgeous experience. The soundtrack has also been expanded, resulting in a massive mix of classic Shantae tracks along with new jams to fill the new lands. It’s obvious that so much effort has gone into making this the best game that it could possibly be.

Conclusion

Whether or not you’re a platforming fan, and whether or not you’ve played any of the previous titles in this series, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is an exceptionally well-crafted game that should not be ignored. The art style and sense of humour aren’t going to appeal to everyone, but they work well together and manage to set a very specific tone that WayForward has clearly spent time perfecting. There is little reason for any 3DS owner to avoid adding this gem to their treasure collection.

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Nintendo hiring for next gen console

Nintendo hiring for next gen consoleThis is what the inside of a Wii U looks like

A job ad from Nintendo of America seems to show the company preparing a successor to the 3DS and/or Wii U.

Job adverts are always giving away clues about up-and-coming new games, but it’s rare that they give a hint about a company’s hardware plans.

And yet the listing here is for a senior architect to work on what must be one of Nintendo’s new consoles, the only question is which one.

The talk about SoC (system on a chip) and low power suggests it could be the next gen successor to the 3DS, but the job description refers to the work as being for the group responsible for game consoles – and Americans never refer to portables as consoles.

In fact it’s surprising that such an important role would be advertised in America at all, rather than being undertaken by someone in Japan. But it may suggest that Nintendo is following a similar path to Sony, when they made American developer Mark Cerny lead architect for the PlayStation 4.

How advanced are Nintendo's next gen plans?How advanced are Nintendo’s next gen plans?

Second-guessing Nintendo is always impossible, but it’s widely assumed that a new portable would arrive before a new home console. Although popular rumours suggest that the new portable and new home console may end up being one and the same, or at least two different devices that are much more closely integrated than ever before.

When either would appear is particularly difficult to say, but Nintendo is planning to reveal its Quality of Life (QoL) platform next year. What exactly this is also remains a mystery, but it’s implied not to be primarily video games-related and instead something to do with health and fitness.

Whether that just means a fancier Balance Board nobody knows, but although the job ad could relate to QoL that seems the least likely explanation at the moment.

What exactly is a non-wearable platform?What exactly is a non-wearable platform?

Email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk, leave a comment below, and follow us on Twitter

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Nintendo’s New 3DS XL Isn’t a Huge Upgrade, But It Will Be Eventually

Nintendo’s new 3DS is certainly an upgrade. But we won’t really know for a while how much of an upgrade it is.

Like the Game Boy Color or the Nintendo DSi, the New Nintendo 3DS (yeah, that is its actual name) is one of Nintendo’s half-step measures, not a brand new platform or a purely cosmetic redesign but something in between. It’s got a second analog stick, a nicer 3-D screen and a whole bunch of other tiny improvements. Eventually you’ll use it to play exclusive software, but for now it’s just upgrading the experience of your existing library of 3DS games.

Nintendo seems to be in no big hurry to get the New Nintendo 3DS out of Japan, where it launched earlier this month. It is launching New 3DS in Australia in November, but hasn’t announced any plans to bring it to the U.S. or Europe, meaning we almost surely won’t see it until 2015.

There are two sizes, standard and XL (called LL in Japan). As I indicated in a previous piece, I bought an XL, because even though the smaller version has rad swappable faceplates, I currently use a 3DS XL and wasn’t about to downsize my screens. As it happened, Japanese consumers agreed with me: The XL outsold the smaller size by more than two to one in its launch week.

Holding the New 3DS XL and the original 3DS XL is like playing spot-the-difference: At first glance, the pair look identical. Same rounded-corners clamshell design, same dimensions, nearly identical weight. You have to peer in close to start picking out the changes—some good, some neutral, and some unfortunate.

The most significant change is the addition of the C-stick, a second analog joystick of sorts, above the buttons on the right-hand side. This is the first Nintendo handheld that has actually had twin sticks as a standard feature, better late than never but still pretty darn late. Let’s not pretend this is here for any reason other than the fact that Capcom’s inexplicably popular Monster Hunter series, one of a handful of games that’s keeping 3DS relevant in Japan, is set in a free-roaming 3-D world that cries out for independent camera control.

American players by and large have resisted attempts by Capcom and Nintendo to start a Monster Hunter craze here as well. But the C-stick can also be used for Super Smash Bros., which is what I tested it on. The stick itself is very similar to the pointer nub that I imagine is still used on some laptop computers. If you put your thumb on it and move it around, you can’t actually feel the stick moving underneath you. But you only need to twitch your thumb a little bit to get it to activate, and I found it to be quite comfortable and accurate.

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Josh Valcarcel/WIRED

The next best update is the 3-D screen. Anecdotally, I’ve found that most people just turn the 3-D screen off on their 3DS hardware. The novelty is gone by now, and more than that if you shift the 3DS or your head around while playing, the illusion tends to break and the image gets distorted. The New 3DS has actually done a remarkable job of solving this. If you move your head or the system around, it takes a lot more movement—significantly more than you would probably have in a gameplay scenario unless you were launching into orbit—to break the illusion. Nintendo says it solved this by tracking your head position with the device’s front-facing selfie camera, which is a significantly better use of it than taking selfies.

There’s another very cool use of that camera: New 3DS can automatically adjust the brightness of your screen based on the brightness of the room. Turn off the lights and the screen will darken, saving that precious, precious gaming juice.

Look closer and you’ll keep finding tweaks. The A, B, X, Y action buttons on the unit’s face are spread a little further apart now, making gameplay more comfortable. There are two extra shoulder buttons, again primarily for Monster Hunter but generally bringing the 3DS into rough parity with a standard game console’s controller. This may prove important if Nintendo or its partners plan to port more of their existing console content to 3DS.

The Start and Select buttons have been moved from their terribly inconvenient positions below the screen and over to the right side. Meanwhile, the power button has been moved to a terribly inconvenient location on the underside of the unit. It’s less likely that you’ll hit it accidentally, but for a while you’ll probably have trouble hitting it at all.

Similarly, the stylus used for the system’s touch screen has been shifted from a convenient slot on the unit’s right side to a nearly unreachable position on its underside. The stylus is also significantly shorter than the one on the standard 3DS XL. Oh well, it wouldn’t be a new Nintendo handheld without a puzzling downgrade.

Fortunately, the puzzling downgrade on the 3DS XL has been rectified here. That unit’s speakers were pretty weaksauce compared to the first 3DS unit’s. The decibels have been cranked back up for the New 3DS.

There’s a significant design change that will result in an upcharge for current 3DS diehards: While every Nintendo handheld back to the DSi in 2009 has used SD card storage, the New 3DS is shifting to Micro SD. That means you can’t just transfer your account information and pop in your SD card full of games; you have to transfer the data.

Nintendo gives you three options here: Transfer every bit of data via a local wireless connection (takes literally hours); only transfer your account, licenses and save data (requires that you individually re-download all your games from the eShop, a painstaking process); or move everything over with your PC (requires an SD card reader and, well, a PC).

Oh, and if you want to get to that SD card, you’ll have to use a tiny screwdriver (not included) to take the battery cover off of the New 3DS. This is not that big an imposition, and frankly considering how small a Micro SD card is I’m glad that it’s locked up in there, but if you’re in the habit of removing your SD card to get photos off of it, you might be annoyed. But Nintendo has a solution for this as well. You can now make your 3DS appear as a device on your Windows 7 or 8 network, and access its files through Explorer.

So as of now, New Nintendo 3DS appears to be a laundry list of improvements large and small that make your experience of playing 3DS games a little more comfortable. If you’re not playing 40 hours of Monster Hunter a week, is this going to convince you to upgrade? Probably not at the moment. But the thing with the New 3DS is that it’s a time bomb.

See, in addition to all of the upgrades that you can see, New 3DS also has more processing power under the hood. Right now, you won’t notice this, besides a mild boost to the speed of downloads and Internet browsing. But soon, Nintendo will begin to release games that use the extra power and can only be played on New 3DS, a port of the Wii role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles being the first.

I think we’ll see many more of these in the coming years, especially since the combination of the console-style button layout and extra power will make it easier to give old content a new life on 3DS. The ability to play something on the go can bring in a new audience: Even RPG players who couldn’t be bothered to pull their Wii out of the closet to play Xenoblade might give it a whirl on 3DS. It’s a way of having “new” content without having to pay for the bottom-up development of a new game. And with the extra stick and buttons on New 3DS, the experience doesn’t have to be compromised.

Will New 3DS protect Nintendo from the steadily encroaching threats that keep taking big bites out of its portable gaming business? Not by itself. But it continues to produce the very best gaming-only portable device, and that’s got to count for something… right?

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby Demo Code Giveaway!

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon Omega Ruby are coming to the 3DS and 2DS on November 28 in the UK, bringing with them some major visual updates, mega evolutions, and adorable Pikachu cosplay.

Can’t wait until then to return to the Hoenn region? Well, you’re in luck! Nintendo has given us plenty of codes for the Special Demo Version of the game to share with you. Best of all, your Mega-Evolved Pokemon and reward items can be brought into the full version of the game when it launches. Catch your code today!

Enter your email address in the module below to receive your code for Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Omega Ruby while supplies last. Codes are restricted to UK residents only.

How to redeem your Pokemon Alpha Sapphire or Omega Ruby code:

  1. Make sure your Nintendo 3DS or 2DS system is connected to the internet and has the latest system update.
  2. From the HOME Menu, open the Nintendo eShop.
  3. Select the MENU tab on the top left of the lower screen, select REDEEM DOWNLOAD CODE.
  4. Enter your 16-figure Download Code in the screen that is displayed.
  5. Select OK and follow the on-screen instructions.

Further information can be found at support.nintendo.com.

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Pokemon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby

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