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StreetPass Gets New Premium Plaza And Games

StreetPass fanatics will have new addictions to focus on later this month, as Nintendo has announced two new premium StreetPass games, as well as a new premium StreetPass Plaza.

The first premium game being launched is Ultimate Angler, a fishing title that sees players receiving special bait from Mii characters that visit their StreetPass Plaza. The players then take the bait and visit the StreetPass Islands to attempt to catch fish. Certain types of bait are best suited to catch certain kinds of fish, so strategy must be used when selecting the items from your tackle box. Once one of the over 150 different types of fish takes your bait, you must then reel it in. Nintendo also hints that "several legendary monsters" are also scattered throughout the islands.

The second game, Battleground Z, is an action game that has players receive special items based on visiting StreetPass characters' hobbies. The player must use these special items as weapons against hordes of zombies within the game. There are 26 different kinds of weapons available to the player through StreetPass visitors.

In addition to these two games, StreetPassers can also look forward to the new StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium. This new Plaza offers new ways for players to interact with Miis in the plaza, including StreetPass birthdays, which fills up a calendar based on the birthdays of visitors. A new VIP section is also added through this paid update, allowing StreetPassers to store up to 100 Miis in a special area. 

The StreetPass update to make these games available will go live on April 16. Ultimate Angler, Battleground Z, and StreetPass Mii Plaza Premium will each be made available for $ 4.99 each. If you plan on buying both Ultimate Angler and Battleground Z, Nintendo has included the option to do so for a value price of $ 7.99.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Opinion – Battlefield Hardline Premium Typifies Problems With DLC

Gamers have gotten used to the idea that they might spend more than the initial sticker price on a game. DLC in various forms, season passes, and premium memberships are common, and often just easily ignored temptations – unnecessary for some and a nice thing to have for others. Although there are numerous pay-to-win titles, most console games do not let some gamers pay for an advantage over those who haven’t. Today Electronic Arts and Visceral announced the Battlefield Hardline Premium program that may cross that line.

The program includes many of the features that were in the Battlefield 4 premium program but Hardline advertises four “super” features – one of which is masks that confer “unique gameplay benefits.” I’ve contacted EA to try and find out exactly what these benefits are, but the company said it isn’t sharing any more details on the program at this time.

Furthermore, the other super features don’t sound very premium when compared to series like Call of Duty that already offer these in the base game. Visual weapon customization via a gun bench and the Legendary status (a replayability feature that sounds close to COD’s Prestige class) arguably should not be put behind a premium wall.

It’s not usual for a multiplayer game’s DLC to offer exclusive weapons for money or as part of a pre-order campaign. In some cases these are balanced with other weapons in the game, and therefore don’t necessarily give a clear-cut advantage. There are other masks in Hardline that everyone can get (they take up a gadget slot in your loadout), and while it’s possible that the masks won’t tip the scales of the game towards those that pay $ 50 for the membership, at best it’s currently unclear what exactly you’d be paying extra for.

This brings up another worrying aspect of the program as well as other games’ season passes – you don’t always know if what you’re paying for is worth it (like with Shadow of Mordor), or in the case of BioShock Infinite, when they are going to come out at all. While the math works out in favor of consumers who get a season pass if they plan to purchase all the expansions, for instance, there’s no way to tell if the DLC that sounds good will actually be worth it.

Funnily, DLC turns out to be a damned if they do, damned if they don’t for developers, too. Visceral shouldn’t offer DLC that gives an unfair advantage, but if they are going to sell DLC in the first place, it better be worth it!

This sums up my ambivalence towards DLC. For most games I don’t buy it in advance because I rarely can get a feel if it’s something I really want, and I also never know if I’ll even be playing the game still by the time it comes out. How often have you felt the DLC you’ve bought was worth it?
At the end of the day, it’s only $ 10 extra dollars, but when there are already so many questions surrounding what you’re actually getting when you pay your $ 60 for your average console game – whether it’s the content, length, or even stability of the product – we shouldn’t also have to worry about the gameplay balance being upset.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Battlefield Hardline Premium Membership Introduces Prestige-Like System And Gameplay Advantages

Electronic Arts and Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral Games have announced a Premium program for the game that nets you four new "super features," as well as early access to the game's story-based DLC.

The program costs $ 50, and the four "super features" are:

  • Masks that confer "unique gameplay benefits" (currently unspecified)
  • A gun bench that tracks weapons' kills and offers visual customization
  • Premium-only tournaments and ladders
  • Legendary status for replayability (similar to Call of Duty's Prestige system)

Premium members will also be afforded two weeks early access to the games's expansion packs. Four story-based DLC have been announced (which are included in the membership), each with new modes, vehicles, and maps.

  • Criminal Activity (summer)
  • Robbery (summer)
  • Getaway (fall)
  • Betrayal (early 2016)

Finally, members will receive:

  • 12 gold battlepacks
  • Premium-exclusive in-game items, and personalization options such as gun camos and ammo skins
  • Exclusive events such as double-XP and missions
  • Priority position in server queues

In terms of extras, EA is also offering a reward to returning fans of the Battlefield franchise.

Battlefield Hardline comes out for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on March 17.

[Source: Electronic Arts]

 

Our Take
This premium membership is similar in some ways to the one for Battlefield 4, except not only does it contain one fewer DLC pack (at least that's announced so far), but as currently defined, the new mask super feature seems like it offers a gameplay advantage. Furthermore, in terms of competing games like Call of Duty, Hardline's Legendary status is pay-gated unlike COD's prestige. Not cool.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

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PSA: You Can Get Free Energy (Premium Currency) For Mistwalker’s Terra Battle

When I first previewed Terra Battle at PAX, I mentioned that the game operates on an energy system. While it is true that each battle drains a slowly refilling meter, “energy” in Terra Battle refers to something different.

Mistwalker uses three different terms that are important to understand when playing the tile-based RPG. Stamina limits the number of battles you can engage in before taking time to recharge. Coins are the currency earned in-game. Energy is what Mistwalker has named the premium currency in Terra Battle.

New characters for your party can be acquired with either coins or energy. When using the former, you’ll randomly draw from the pool of monsters.

When you use energy, you’ll get access to rare characters. Each party member in Terra Battle carries a rank, with D the lowest we’ve seen so far, going all the way up S (though we’ve just started playing and the range might be broader).

You can earn small amounts of energy while playing. You can also purchase it from the in-game shop. If you don’t feel like paying though, Mistwalker will be dropping codes on its official Twitter account and, possibly, its Facebook page.

So far, there’s only one available, and it will award you five energy (enough to recruit another rare hero). Enter this dhth66nWXVCbjdTC in Options, Enter Gift Code. This code can be used once per account.

Terra Battle is a free download for iOS and Android devices. You can read our PAX preview and interview with Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi for more info.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

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