Tag Archives: accolades

Latest Nintendo 3DS firmware update adds Accomplishments, new Mii hats, and more

Last night, Xbox Live got an update, and this morning, my Nintendo 3DS got an update. Of the two, I’m loving the latter way more. Let me show you what it brings to the table.

After simultaneously recharging my dying battery and downloading the update, the first thing I noticed on my 3DS was a new app called the Nintendo Zone, which promises special content when connecting with certain free wi-fi hotspots. There’s none near Grimmauld Place, and I have no idea where any nearby would be. The 3DS Camera app now has a toggle for either taking video or stills; hopefully you can record video for a decent amount of length, and not a mere 30 seconds or something. Otherwise, that’d be a waste, but I’ll have to wait until later to give it a try. Early reports mention up to ten minutes of recording, with time-lapse being an optional setting. Cool.

Seems like the most new additions are found within the Mii Street Plaza. Fine by me! First, we have Achievements. Well, Nintendo is calling them Accomplishments, which is way better than Accolades, but whatever–they work all the same. Do this, and earn a shiny red exclamation point. The nicest thing is that upon simply loading up the Plaza, I unlocked 15+, meaning they are retroactive. I got one for having over 50 Miis in my plaza and another for having Miis from two different regions (United States and Canada, snatch). Speaking of that, there’s a geographical map to show you exactly where all your Miis come from; I’ve got a lot of East Coast staters, with some strangely from California, too. And you can now get Miis from using SpotPass. A music player lets to kick back and hear some battle tunes. There is a sequel to Find Mii, offering new hats, but only if you’ve found all the ones from the previous game, which I’ve not yet done–I’m one hat away. And new puzzles for Puzzle Swap. Oh man, looks like I’m going to be walking around with my 3DS in sleep mode a lot more than usual.

This firmware update now also allows content to be moved between 3DS systems, and the eShop has also been updated to support demos and downloads when the system is in sleep mode.

Whew.

Next on the list before 2011 runs out is us 3DS Ambassadors getting 10 free GBA games. This little handheld of mine is going to be bursting with So Much Stuff. Not a bad thing. Not at all.

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Scraping the bottom of the awards barrel

Achievements. I like ’em, and so do a number of other gamers. They add extra replay value to certain videogames, as well as reward you for doing something out of the ordinary or, in the case story-related Achievements, just continuing to play the game. Often times, they have fun titles or reference pop culture or a neat picture attached to them.

However, there’s also an entire population of gamers that ignore them and see them as nothing more than graphics to measure one’s e-peen with. Which I totally understand. Really, I do.

To me, getting all Achievements in a game is more of a personal mission rather than a bragging one. It’s something I want to accomplish because I want to see if I’m able to do it. That’s all. As you can see from my list to the right, it’s mostly LEGO games. I’m clearly not an Achievement whore. I just like getting them and talking about the hows and whys.

That said, soon after Achievements became all the rage, other systems and non-Xbox 360 games started looking into ways to hop on the trend wagon. PlayStation 3 introduced Trophies, which are, most of the time, exactly the same concept of Achievements. Little pings awarded for ping hunters.

And then came the Nintendo DS games. With no shared online community, they were less worried about branding a new concept than just coming up with tasks and rewards for players playing their games. Spore Creatures had Badges, Touchmaster 3 had its own versions of trophies, Scribblenauts had Merits, and now we come to Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, which is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with…Accolades.

Yes…Accolades. A word originating back to 1615.

ac·co·lade

–noun

1. any award, honor, or laudatory notice: The play received accolades from the press.
2. a light touch on the shoulder with the flat side of the sword or formerly by an embrace, done in the ceremony of conferring knighthood.
3. the ceremony itself.
4. Music a brace joining several staves.
5. Architecture

a. an archivolt or hood molding having more or less the form of an ogee arch.
b. a decoration having more or less the form of an ogee arch, cut into a lintel or flat arch.

Hmm. I guess I can’t argue with that first definition there, but something about this word screams ridiculous to me. I mean, maybe calling them Honors would’ve been a better fit. And it fits the medieval fantasy world, but I think Nintendo needs to just get the ball rolling and solidify some kind of in-game rewards system for both their Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS/DSi/DS systems.

My suggestion?

Laudatory Notices.

Just think about it. You’re playing Mario Kart DS, you’re in second place on the final lap, and you just zoomed through an item box. Lucky, lucky you…it’s a red turtle shell! Waluigi is a few feet in front of you, and you let the red death fly, zipping by to seal the deal and win the race. <insert catchy musical sound> Laudatory Notice! Shell Shock

It’s gold, Jerry. Gold!