A few weeks ago, Nintendo released four new StreetPass games for the 3DS. Unfortunately, it’s hard to reliably find StreetPass tags even when living in a densely populated area. Luckily, there is a way to guarantee StreetPass hits: conventions! Arcade Sushi recently took our 3DSes to Otakon to see how these games fare under heavy StreetPass traffic, in order to give them a fair review. Today we cover Warrior’s Way, a rock, paper, scissors game that really wishes it was a turn-based strategy title.
You are a dictator in a castle embarking on a quest of world domination… you know… for the kids. However, to be able to embark on this quest you need to raise an army. An army needs troops, and the only reliable way to gain troops is through, you guessed it, StreetPass.
Warrior’s Way is unique in that it treats 3DS owners who have the game, and 3DS owners who don’t have the game as two separate entities. If you StreetPass tag a 3DS owner who doesn’t have Warrior’s Way, then they immediately join up with your army along with every other Mii they ever StreetPassed. You’ll average about 200 troops per tag this way, as long as the people you tagged have bothered using StreetPass.
If you tag someone who does own Warrior’s Way, then they will instead be considered a “wandering monarch.” Instead of instantly adding their StreetPass collection to your army, you are given a choice to either greet them peacefully and let them go about their merry way, or confront them in battle. If you manage to win a battle against a wandering monarch, your troops will skyrocket up by the thousands. If you lose, however, your troops will be cut by a significant amount.
After you are done raising troops you have an opportunity to take your army into battle against other countries. Unfortunately, these countries aren’t actually controlled by other players. Instead, they are controlled by the A.I. Essentially your goal is to take over all countries that are bordering you until you finally manage to take over the world. As you progress, you get to upgrade your castle by turning some of your army into workers. These give you ongoing static benefits to your army, though usually those benefits are just the ability to recruit more troops with fewer playcoins if you haven’t been StreetPassing people.
Unfortunately, all of this hinges on the game’s combat which is, in a word, simple. In many words it’s simple to the extent of harming an otherwise interesting strategy game. When battling, every army divides their troops up into infantry, cavalry, and archers, or essentially into rock, paper, and scissors. You then choose to throw your armies at each other and see what happens. If two armies, say infantry and infantry (rock and rock), collide, then the faction with the higher numbers wins. If two armies of opposite strengths, say infantry and archers (rock and scissors), collide, the losing enemy will have its forces halved and then whoever has the most forces left over wins.
This makes the battle a simple math problem. You can only throw rock, paper, and scissors once each match. So many matches are determined by the first battle. In addition, you know what your opponent will allocate his armies to before you allocate yours. As a result, it’s not hard at all to allocate your troops such that two armies will win no matter what and one army will lose no matter what. Since all battles are just two-out-of-three rock, paper, scissors matches, this basically means almost every match is decided before it starts.
So Warrior’s Way is, unfortunately, little more than a game of numbers. On the upside, this means that you get very fast StreetPass turnaround, as you can open the game, dump all your armies, fight a quick battle, and then pick up your next 10 StreetPasses. On the downside, the gameplay just isn’t compelling enough to really warrant extended play. While it is fun to watch your army stampede over your opponent, it all comes down to numbers, which all comes down to who you StreetPass, and where. It’s basically a more mobile version of progress quest. Warrior’s Way also doesn’t give you any bonuses for repeated tags or favored Miis either, like Find Mii does. In fact, it barely even mentions Mii’s by name after you add them to your army.
For five dollars, Warrior’s Way is a bit of a stretch to buy. It’s not as fun as Find Mii, though it is a bit more interactive than Puzzle Swap. As part of the four game $15 bundle, however, Warrior’s Way is a decent deal. It’s just another thing to do with your StreetPasses that you are collecting anyway. In short, if you are already buying two extra StreetPass titles, you might as well splurge on Warrior’s Way. Otherwise, there are better StreetPass games worth your time.