バッジとれ〜るセンター

There's this game on the Japanese 3DS which translates as Badge バッジ Capturing とれる Center センター. Though, とれる could be "catch", "take", or "collect". It basically refers the action in a UFO machine, or crane game when you get something.


Badge Center is free on the eShop in Japan. It was just recently released, too! It came out on December 17th, 2014. Here's the website: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/3ds/eshop/jwvj/index.html

In this game, you control a UFO machine and get a bunch of badges. These badges can be placed on your home screen, and it turn it into something amazing.

This is my current home screen. I have my game cart on the left. Street Pass, Badge Center, and my current Picross game on the right. And then that folder with the rest of my games.

Let's begin

When you start up the game, you're greeted by that shifty rabbit who sold you those Street Pass games, and he rolls you through the process.

Ya know, now that I actually look at this photo, he ends his sentences with っす for no real reason. It seems like Japanese characters tend to do this a lot. Not necessarily っす, but some kind of sentence suffix. I think it's intended to make the character sound cute. I guess…

After his spiel, you are presented with a couple different machines. There's the practice machine 本当りつき練習キャッチャー, badge catcher バッジキャッチャー, Miiverse, theme shop テームショップ, and information インフォメーション.

What you want, what everyone wants, is the badge catcher.

Inside this option, you can switch around between several different machine with badges.


There's the typical UFO catching style using the crane. Those Famicom badges use that style. For those underground Mario badges, those games use the hammer. The hammer is something new they introduced in the past two weeks. And it does just what you'd expect. The hammer lowers they smacks whatever is underneath, sends badges flying, and then several of the badges fall down and are caught.

But HERE is perhaps the problem..

In order to play this game, you must give them money. 5 plays for 90 (90 cents). You can change those options to 10 for 180, or 15 for 270, but there are no deals. This is why I hesitated to play this game in the first place. You can receive free plays, though.

Every day, you have access to the practice machine one time. You get 5 plays on the practice machine. When you catch badges in this machine, they build towards a counter. Every 10 catches will get you 3 free plays on the regular machines. Every time you catch the hidden targeted badge, you get 3 free plays on the regular machines.

5 plays is a pretty good number, though. I've been able to completely clear machines (at least with the hammer) in 3 to 6 plays. In one case, I was able to clear a whole screen in one try.

Rotation

The contents of these UFO machines change every single day. If you take a look at those Famicom pics again, 今日で終了 means "ends today." Tomorrow, there will be different badges in their place. Those Famicom games weren't there yesterday either. Yesterday, they introduced a bunch of Tomodachi Life items. The day before that, they had Majora's Mask items.

From what I can tell, there have been the following series of items: Animal Crossing, Tomodachi Life, Famicom, Mario Kart 8, Zelda Majora's Mask, Zelda Link Between Words, Rhythm Heaven, 8-bit Mario, and regular Mario. Those 8-bit Super Mario Bros sprites have a whole lot of variations. Currently there are underground sprites, but there's been overworld ones, clouds, castle, Christmas, and some business suit ones, too. Actually, right now they have some limited Animal Crossing badges for Hina Matsuri, which is a national holiday in Japan (March 3rd).

Themes

Additionally, if you spend at least 180 in a single day, you get a free theme for your home screen. All of these themes fit a category of badge. I spent the money, and got that Mario underground theme, so I can closely recreate a Mario level. These rotate, too. Today, there was a Mario Kart 8 theme.

There are also badges which replace the standard 3DS apps (like the eShop, Street Pass, etc) so your home screen can still have a lot of functionality. I've only been playing this game since Thursday, so I haven't gotten those yet.

Ornamental Goods

The idea of selling ornamental goods is not a new thing. But it has never felt right. It has always felt shady.

For the 3DS, this began last year with the sale of themes. You would spend $1 or $2, and it would change the image and colors of things on your home screen. There were free themes, too, but those were just solid colors.

When I originally found out about this game, I thought it was just a new level of this nonsense.

This is what my screen looks like before. Super clean, everything accessible. My American 3DS home screen looks similar. If I got a couple of badges in the game, where would I put them? What would I do? My home screen would be littered with a bunch of non-function garbage that didn't really fit at all.

Then I got this Club Nintendo theme which looked really nice. It was 20 points through Club Nintendo.

It changed the folders to Famicom carts, and made 8-bit sounds when you navigated the menu. It was nice, and I figured those Famicom badges would actually fit with theme, and perhaps look good.

I downloaded the game, and went through the tutorial. The first 17 or 20 minutes of this game is on Youtube, by the way. That video shows you exactly what you're getting into.

Again, I started playing this game on Thursday. And on Thursday, those Famicom badge weren't available in the rotation. Bah, annoying. I played the practice machine, and got some free plays. With those plays, I got my first underground Mario badges. Then, through the hammer tutorial, I got some more Mario badges.

Why not? I dumped in 90, played again, and got a ton more badges. Then I did it again so I could get the free theme. And I got plenty more badges, too. Enough to create that underground scene from earlier.

The "free" themes are what really make the badges come alive. Without a theme, using these particular sprites makes the home screen look like garbage.

Actually, maybe that Club Nintendo theme could work with a few changes.

I have dropped a total of 900 ($9) into this game over the last 3 days. I've captured ALL the underground sprites, and then I got all the Famicom badges which appeared today. Ugh, I'm so dumb.

I have enough badges now to create a Mario level that extends all the way to the right, taking up the entire home screen.

I put all my Famicom badges into the folder with the rest of my games.

Those hearts are from one of the Zelda Majora's Mask machines.

Inventory

Every badge you capture is just a single sprite (or a block of sprites) which takes up a single tile on the home screen. For example, each one of those coins are an individual badge I've captured in the game. You do not have infinite stock. Though, apparently once you've gotten 100 of a single badge, the counter turns to a star. Maybe then it's infinite.

To place badges on the screen, click the settings in the corner. The badge menu shows up directly under the theme menu. From there, you pull badges from your menu, and place them on your home screen. Also, "opening" a badge on the home screen always brings up the badge menu.

Bleh

My home screen looks pretty awesome, but I feel like all this is taking advantage of that part in my brain that just can't say No to collecting crap. And now, I want to get more Mario sprites and build more levels within folders. I would LOVE to get some Zelda sprites, too, and some other 8-bit games. Maybe some Pokemon badges... Ugh stop!

Man, I don't like this. It's a bunch of 3DS "hats"!

Showing off your home screen to other people is about the extent of the worth. But that continues the cycle of making it viral.

I don't think they've made any announcement about this game coming to the US (or other territories), but the user base in Japan has surpassed 1 million unique users. I wonder how much money they've made from this. If each person spent $1, they've made a million dollars on practically nothing. It's gotta come over here eventually, right?

The Miiverse for this is QUITE active with tons of variations.
https://miiverse.nintendo.net/titles/14866558073507549188/14866558073507549199

Anyway, there you have it!




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