PAX East brought many new shared experiences with friends. The best experience however was that long lost connection I had with my favorite portable handheld system.
I bought a 3DS XL almost a year ago, June 9, 2013. Why do I remember that date you might ask, well, it’s the day Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released! The last DS I had owned before this was DS Lite, which had none of the fancy DSi functions, so I now realize just what I was missing out on.
But the reason why I bought it was different, it all came down to the release of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. It was months away from release and I figured why not just get it now and be ready when the game launches.
This story however doesn’t involve a retail game, even though those were the reason I bought the system.
What’s That Strange 3DS Game?
It wasn’t until PAX East 2014 where I realized the true power of my handheld friend. I noticed tons of people playing a strange game where their Mii’s were fighting ghosts and knights, and I also saw puzzle pieces being collected. I wondered why I was the only one playing a retail game and everyone around me was too busy playing something else. It wasn’t until I noticed that my friends within my entourage were also playing those damn games. It was at this point that I decided to ask what it was. Sure enough an entire new world opened up, the world of meeting others around the globe and ‘collecting’ them to be a part of your universe. Sure you don’t actually meet these people in person, but the fact that they were in your environment, in your proximity, is what made the experience awesome, and I quickly realized that these too are real people.
The best part of finding these people was the fact that it gave you their home country, along with the state/province they are from. It was amazing finding people from Canada, Russia, and even states like Alaska to Hawaii. These people traveled from their country to my home state of Massachusetts to attend this convention. So now we have yet another meta-game going on! As you find people from each country, you would fill in the map and eventually finding a person from each place! Finding your friends was also a satisfying feeling, as these are the people who you deal with almost daily.
Finding the same person multiple times ranks them up which makes them a bit stronger. I still don’t really know why I felt that it was such a cool feature, I honestly didn’t fully catch on until day 2 of the convention. The shirt colors make a difference when fighting in Find Mii, and that the only puzzle pieces you could collect in Puzzle Swap are those in which others have to offer you. The concept is extremely simple but that alone sparked an entire new interest with my 3DS.
Sure something like this is only useful during conventions where the masses actually carry their systems, but it got me thinking of other places where I would be able to find others with a 3DS. Maybe set up Facebook page for locals who want meet and set up gaming events. I’ll do just about anything to finish those damn puzzles! Or to find new items.
The days following I thought to myself that I wouldn’t use my 3DS anymore because I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of those mini-games. But something strange happened, I got addicted to browsing the store and finding new games to download. Come to find out, there are other games you can purchase that use the same mechanic of meeting people, but without a population like PAX East, it’d be a waste. Instead, I looked for other mini-games, which led to finding Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball, but that’s a story for another day!