Monster Manor And The Potential of StreetPass

MonsterManor_071513_1600 copy

Geek events like Otakon are bound to be nests of 3DS StreetPass. In places that don’t have Japan’s population density they are often the only chance to really get into Nintendo’s StreetPass minigames. I actually spent a significant portion of my time at Otakon playing Monster Manor. It’s a surprisingly deep and fun game for how little talk I’ve seen about it over the last year or so.

The game Find Mii that comes with the 3DS is a really basic Dragon Quest-esque thing where you do nothing more than turn-based battle after turn-based battle. It’s the kind of thing convention-goers can passively play while also enjoying the convention. Monster Manor though, if you haven’t tried it, is some kind of Resident Evil/Tetris/RPG mash-up that actually occupied my time and full attention, especially after I got stuck at one of the later bosses for a while. That forced me to really start taking the game seriously which in my experience unlocked its potential.

In the game you have to match together pieces you get from nearby 3DS owners on a map of each floor of a mansion to eventually unlock the stairs to the next floor. Rooms of 2×2 or more cubes of matching colors yield treasure. Larger cubes yield progressively better loot. Originally I just slammed together any piece I got looking for staircases but I eventually got stuck on a boss with only crap weapons at my disposal, which forced me to grind for more throughout previous floors. I had to scrutinize each piece I got, finding the most perfect place for it, making groups of colored pieces as large as possible to yield the best loot. It eventually reached  a point where I ended up throwing away half the pieces I got because I couldn’t use them the way I wanted. What I’m trying to say is, Monster Manor would probably make for a fun standalone game were it matched with some kind of puzzle mechanic to substitute for StreetPass.

It also makes me wonder why other full-retail 3DS games don’t do more with StreetPass. Part of the reason I bought Pokemon X recently was StreetPass at Otakon, but all you get from StreetPass in that game is an alternate currency. That’s basically what most 3DS games I’ve seen give you from StreetPass — an alternate source of items or in-game currency in one form or another. It’d be nice if they had some kind of cool minigame at least. Monster Manor even manages to have a minigame within itself. Super Mario 3D Land at least made me go through miniature challenges to get the items.

Even if StreetPass is still a woefully mismatched feature for basically any region outside Nintendo’s native Japan, it still has potential that a lot of third party developers don’t seem to be using extensively. I guess you’re always going to have third parties who don’t particularly care about certain OS-level features.


  • If you look closely, you’ll notice the Xbox One’s upcoming media player update will add MKV playback to the console. I and many others have been waiting a long time for this. Hopefully Sony follows suit. Game consoles NOT supporting MKV was a main reason I hooked up a gaming PC to my TV.
  • Think about it: What are the greatest third-person shooters of all time?
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One thought on “Monster Manor And The Potential of StreetPass

  1. One of the best third person shooters was an arcade game from Midway called The Grid. It was from the Mortal Kombat team, and it was on par with Quake III Arena in terms of speed. Sadly, it never got a console port.

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