Sunday, 29 December 2013

Top Games for 3DS in 2013?

We hope you all had a great Christmas, and got all the games you wished for! ;)

Anyway, as 2013 draws to a close, we're wondering what are your top 5 3DS game releases of the year??

It has been a brilliant year for games, but these are Jen's top 5:

1. Animal Crossing New Leaf: No matter what other games I play, I always come back to this one! Experiencing all the seasons as the year progresses is fun, with so much to collect and customise, great music, and of course some weird and wacky animals to chat to along the way!

2. Luigi's Mansion 2: I love this for the multiplayer function, and all the rare ghosts you can collect. I loved the storyline too, and it was nice to see such a good game for the Year of Luigi!

3. Pokemon X & Y: Loved this one, but couldn't keep up with the rest of you lot and your Pokédexes! Settled for completing the storyline and hope to complete the Pokédex one day... I love how you can train the Pokémon, although wonder trades were annoying at times! Battles with others are so much fun though! :)

4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds: Haven't gotten too far into this yet, but am loving the artistry to it, and the StreetPass function. It harks back to older versions whilst still feeling new. Perfect balance!

5. Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins: Never pass up the chance to play a Lego game. Always great fun with the story, jokes and functionality. Another good one for StreetPassing too!



What are your top 5 for 2013? Please comment below! :D

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mini (Christmas) Meet! 17/12/13

We opted for a meet slightly later in the day this time, so instead of Cafe Nero, we went for Varsity again. Booking the little corner to the left of the bar meant we had a bit of privacy and made sure that this time we didn't clash with any sport that might have been happening that evening. In the end it turned out to be a quiet night, both for the pub and our group!
It was nice though, as when we did our first mini meet, there was a bigger overall number, but the constant number was a very small four! This time we had a constant 6, with only one having to leave early; and we still had a decent 5 of us by the end of the meet!
We didn't run any competitions this time, as everyone wanted to play different things. Despite the varying tastes, though we covered all the decent multiplayers we had on us, and the smaller group gave us more chance to chat properly :)

We did a few Mario Kart 7 Grand Prixes, some Island Tours, Luigi's Mansion 2, and a Pokemon Battle! Fun was had by all, and since it was Christmas, all the attendees were given some eshop credit to spend over the holidays!

Merry Christmas all/Nadolig Llawen pawb! :D

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Nintendo UK's Pokemon Winter Event 7/12/13!

Eight members of StreetPass North Wales made it down to this event in London! 
Koryo, Zog and James were representing us in the battle tournament. Two friends were supporting them; a regular member came down for the experience too. Dylan & I were there to represent our StreetPass Group, but unfortunately Rhys couldn't make it due to other commitments.
Dylan & I couldn't feasibly do it all in one day so we made a weekend of it, staying just up the mainline in Milton Keynes.
This was officially the worst weekend to be using the trains!!! Rhyl was flooded so there was a replacement bus service for some of the journey, and then down south were even more delays due to the weather we'd had on the Thursday.)
We met up with the guys from StreetPass Highlands & Moray at Euston on the Saturday morning so we could walk to the venue just off Oxford Street together. 

The event itself was immense! Even though it had been organised in a mere few weeks, it looked very neat, with rows of tables for the competitors, demo stands for other games, a main stage for the final battles, a stall at the back selling Pokemon trading cards, and a long table to the side with Pokemon themed cocktails (later to be pizza too!)

Dylan & I had offered to help, so we were given "nintendo team" shirts! I picked red (mario), and Dylan picked orange (Donkey Kong) and we went to do our "jobs" :)


                              

We met a lot of other StreetPass Founders, so it was a great opportunity to network. 
We cheered on our guys too, and it definitely got tense when we reached the quarter finals!
Unfortunately Koryo and James had been put against each other in Round 1, so we lost one just by default...
Koryo was doing really well, but one hesitation and we lost him in the quarter finals - There was a lot of pressure though, as they decided to put his 3rd match up on the stage, whereas the rest of the round were down on the tables... 


Round 3 (Koryo vs. Seb)



 
Thanks to Eden from SPEastMidlands for the use of this video.

 

Zog was on a roll though, he'd beaten Havak (Chris Barton) at the start, and made it all the way through to the semi-finals. It was a really tense match up on the stage, but he just lost out on gaining a place in the final. He ended up in the 3rd place play-off against South Wales' Alex Monks. He got through and so Brandon from Northamptonshire was 1st, Justin from London was 2nd, and Zog from North Wales was 3rd. Congratulations guys! :D


Zog gained 3rd place! :D
64 in all took part, but it was running a bit late, as the coach that Liverpool and Manchester were on got delayed! Things seemed to come together in the end though, and everyone who entered got a fair chance at battling, and some goodies to go with it! 
A nice way to end the major events for 2013, here's to hoping for more exciting opportunities in 2014!  



Links to battle videos:
Zog vs. Havak: E6PW-WWWW-WWW3-YNXV
Zog vs. Chez: QW4G-WWWW-WWW3-YN23
Zog vs. RussianGG (Joe): 85QG-WWWW-WWW3-YN29

Monday, 25 November 2013

North Wales' Pokémon Qualifier

This was arranged at somewhat shorter notice than other events, but we wanted to make our mark at Nintendo UK's Winter Pokémon Event on the 7th December, so after we had just hosted our Big Official Pokémon Event, we asked people to sign up for another event, deemed just "The Qualifier"!

This time we used a pre-registration idea, where people had to sign up via email to secure their place. We also used the app "Brackelope" to make things a bit clearer and more official. 
It worked quite well because exactly 16 people signed up, and 16 turned up on time too!
The slight downside of the smaller group was that the 5 people who knew each other were inevitably going to have to battle each other. Cue 1st round and the little guy got put against his own cousin!

The layout of the room was different to last time. We moved out the giant beanbags, and used the big tables as gaming tables. We had them next to each other in a line, so there were 8 chairs (4 opposite 4) - perfect setting for an official qualifier!

We did try and emphasise that anyone could attend and play whatever they wanted, so we also made a corner for "non-competitors". This seemed to go down quite well :)

This event was hosted by just Dylan & I, as Rhys really wanted to compete! 

Due to the number of 16, everything went really smoothly, bar one connection right at the start. We synchronised the "start battle" with a 3,2,1, GO!
We did a quick breather in between each round, and it got tense in the semi final.

Even though the top 3 places were all essentially the same prize, we still did the final, as the top 2 wanted to know who was the ultimate champion!

The 2 who came top in the last event ended up as 3rd and 2nd. A new guy came 1st.
Congratulations to  Chris "Koryo", Daniel "Zog" and James, and all the best for London! Do us proud! :D


We finished slightly early, so the Pokemon guys stayed for a bit and chatted about their teams and set up. The "non-Pokemon" lot decided to have a few rounds of Mario Kart just for fun. With only a few of us left, it meant both Dylan & I managed to get some Karting in too! :)


Round 1


Quarter Finals

Semi Finals!

3rd place play-off!
top 2!



Tuesday, 19 November 2013

North Wales’ Pokémon Qualifier! – Sunday 24th November

If you want to be in with a chance to win a golden ticket to Nintendo UK’s Pokémon Winter Championships in London being held in December then get along to our qualifier event being held at Academi in Bangor on Sunday 24th of November from 2-4pm. Don’t forget to check the event on Facebook for last minute updates!

The top three placing people at our event on Sunday will receive a ticket that qualifies them to enter the competition in London (We think you'll have to pay your own travel). The prizes for the London competition look to be quite amazing; including £500 cash, a limited edition 3DS XL and £100 eShop credit for first place. Second and third are nearly as good, and everyone that qualifies will receive £20 eShop credit and a t-shirt.

northwales-poke-qual

Make sure you register with us beforehand by sending an email to streetpass.northwales@gmail.com to secure your place in the competition. For those knocked out, or just turning up for the Streetpass hits we’ll likely be playing Mario Kart 7, and other multiplayer games like we did in the last official meetup at some point during the afternoon.

Additionally, myself and a few other people are intending to record the first episode of the SPNW Podcast at the event and we’d like suggestions as to topics we should cover for you guys! Let us know in the comments here, or on the facebook group!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

North Wales' Official Pokémon Event (Official Meet #2)

This meet was planned for a Sunday, at the request of some from the previous event's feedback. We ended up choosing between the 27th October and the 3rd November. We chose the 3rd November after a vote, and planning was well underway a week after the first event!
Amongst our prizes from Nintendo, we acquired a few eshop vouchers, Pokémon plushes, and some other Pokémon merchandise. The merchandise was from Pokémon Black & White Version 2 due to licensing preventing us having merchandise from the newly released Pokémon X & Y. This didn't put anyone off though.... after all.... who can resist a very large Pikachu plush?! :)

This time, we booked Academi. this is a student-run venue in the centre of Bangor. We booked the "Cinema" room, and the "Meeting" room as a reserve. It was a nice and clean, quiet venue, but the downside was the lack of tables. There were two tables in the meeting room, so we grabbed them and moved them into the Cinema room for the day. We put the chairs around the edge of the room, and threw a selection of giant beanbags into the middle. We put some Pokémon posters along the walls of the venue so people could find us from the entrance (Posters obtained from older editions of the ONM!)

Leading the way...
There is a big screen for hooking up laptops and consoles at the front of the Cinema room, so we took advantage of that and put some slides up for the Pokémon Battle Tournament.

The Grand Final!


Everything kicked off just after 11am.

A pikmin was given for anyone who showed us a pink piece from the Pokémon X & Y puzzle panel upon entry to the venue. People also signed up to the Pokémon Battle and/or Mario Kart 7. Throughout the day we also sold raffle tickets. Due to there being no food provisions at the venue, we told people beforehand to bring their own food or pop over to ASDA in a gap (which was across the road). We did however provide a selection of biscuits and soft drinks for anyone who might have forgotten. People started off on the chairs, but as the day progressed and people got a bit more relaxed with the company, some ventured on to the beanbags :)

Pokemon Battles 1
Pokemon battles 2
The Pokemon battle went underway: double battle with flat rules. We had a knockout round for 4 players randomly drawn from a hat. This left us with 8, perfect for the Quarter final. We made some slides for each of the final rounds...
The final round was really tense and lasted quite a while, but eventually James came out top, and when given the choice of eshop credit or Pikachu, he just had to choose the 
Pikachu!


Pokémon Battle Champion!




Socialising
We had a bit of a gap, so Rhys led another Battle : Single, flat rules. Of course I hadn't factored this in, so had to swap some prizes around. I nearly ended up without any decent raffle prizes... eek! Another curve ball was thrown when the same people came out on top, and then 1st place forfeited. This meant that 2nd place got 1st prize, and ended up winning more in total than 1st place... this will be reconsidered for future events. If you forfeit a prize, 2nd place will still get the 2nd prize, and the forfeited prize will be saved until the next event.

Next up was the Mario Kart challenge. We had exactly 8 entrants. Due to Rhys having to forfeit his position at Event #1 due to being host, Dylan hosted it this time to give him chance to compete properly. He did indeed win this time, so there went the 2nd official Shell cup Trophy :) They raced 3 cups: Mushroom, Star and then special cups. It was quite a tense tournament until the final cup. Nearly everyone had voted for the special cup at the end, despite earlier in the day half of them saying they hated Rainbow Road! :P


Mario Kart Tournament.

Mario Kart Winner :)

On to the Pokémon Quiz. Courtesy of one of the Mario Fest 2012 guys, we came up with 20 questions and 10 images. People laughed at some of the easy questions and gasped at some of the harder ones. People seemed to be eager to try the image quiz too. Everyone loves a "Who's that Pokémon" right?! Everyone attempted it, and there was quite a spectrum of scores, but there was just a single point between 1st and 2nd place! Here, a Tepig was given away, as well as some collectible figures.

Finally, we did the raffle, and officially announced the winners (complete with a photo of them and their prizes.)

Fun was had by all it seems!

This was our last big event of the year, but we hope to have a few mini meets before Christmas, and some online ones too. Check out our group for upcoming events! :D

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Online Meet #1 - Mario Kart 7!

What better game to start our series of Online meets off with, than Mario Kart?!

It is the easiest one to organise, with the community function at your fingertips! 
There was about 5 of us for the first meet, which made for a good few races. People seemed to have fun, and it also gave those members of the group not currently living in Bangor, still chance to take part in our happenings :) 

We posted the community code shortly before the races happened, and most people got on it ok, with only a few disconnections during the session.


Mario Kart is definitely a fundamental of any Nintendo gaming group, but we do hope to circle round a number of games that are good for online multiplayer. We will be taking votes for the next one probably, so watch out in the Facebook group for that :) 


One thing we have to consider is the fact that while our main fanbase is in Bangor, a lot of that fanbase are students. Students move on after a few years, and aren't usuallly there outside termtime. 
We hope to host one or two online meets between official events, to encourage all to stay involved, whether they missed the main event, are away from Bangor, or are at every single happening. 

Also I know some are on Twitter and not Facebook (and vice versa), but obviously there is a lot more space for content on Facebook. We strive to keep our twitter fans up with all our goings on though, so if you feel like we've missed anything, don't forget to give us a shout!


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Informal Meet #1 - Caffe Nero

We organised a "mini" meet for Monday 7th October 3.30-7pm.
It was a free for all, and just for fun, and a bit of getting to know each other. 
We got a couple of Mario Kart cups in, discussed some upcoming games, and compared eshop buys. We also discussed our potential next event, and how we might get the word out.

We arranged this meet for a weekday, after a request from the GAME guy, who works both Saturdays and Sundays. This worked well for some and not for others. Unfortunately the GAME guy had an emergency to tend to, some were still at work, and others had lectures.

Those who finished at 5 popped up for a bit, and a couple joined us earlier who had lectures at 5.
There were approximately 4 of us at any one time, which was nice for the more intimate gaming, but also a little disappointing for numbers. We saw about 8 faces altoether, with a few requests that a different day might be better.

Thus a dilemma. We don't want to clash with Bangor University's Gaming League (wednesday afternoons) and every other afternoon, someone is going to have work or lectures!

The venue itself was very good for atmosphere and food provisions, but again, the wifi connection interfered with the local connection, so playing Mario Kart and anything else was a struggle!
If we use Caffe Nero again, we need to take the interference into account, though on the other hand it's the perfect central location complete with relay, for multiple Streetpassing opportunities!

We do intend to do at least one mini meet in between the main events, but venue may change or alternate between a few ideas :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

North Wales Does National StreetPass Day, Saturday 28th September 2013


"North Wales does National StreetPass Day" was a roaring success! 
We were a bit nervous at first, but thanks to a couple of guys in Bangor's GAME, StreetPass UK and twitter, as well as those big A2 posters in GAME itself on the day, we managed to get a total of 20 attendees! 4 of which hadn't heard about it but happened to go shopping in GAME and saw the advert!



We held a Mario Kart tournament, the "Who's got the biggest plaza" competition, and a raffle. We tried Luigi's Mansion 2 time trials, but only one group submitted before download play cut us off!
We also offered a Pikmin plush to anyone who flashed their 3DS console at us!
As one of the choices of raffle prizes, we offered someone the chance to complete their set of Pikmin, so as well as the cute Pokémon plushes, this was a great hit! :)

We managed to get a good mix of friends, locals (including a couple of children) and students. We were even able to offer bilingualism thanks to Rhys! (Very important in this part of Wales!)


Conclusion for us: Varsity was really loud, as there was a big football match on at the same time which we weren't warned about. (Apologies, I'm not clued up on Football matches!) We are going to look at a different venue for next time, and are hoping to collaborate some things with the University's gaming society. Everyone seems excited for our next event too, and looks forward to more prizes, especially Pokémon!

The other thing I learnt was when a pen says "dry wipe", I may want to do a patch test before writing out the whole board, just in case it doesn't wipe off!! (Thankfully we fixed it with a good scrub haha!)


We loved the fact that everyone was able to chat to each other, though it was quite hard to get the publicity out there in Bangor itself.
I think once everyone turned up and saw what we had planned, they joined in with the enthusiasm too. One request from a few declines was to hold the next event on a Sunday though, so on we go with planning the next event!

The First Arrivals

StreetPass Hats!


Mario Kart Winner with coveted shell trophy

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

About us, and how we Started...

It all started in early 2012 when Dylan and I put "3DS" on our wedding gift list, and ended up receiving one each because of a disorganised groomsman. Instead of taking it back, they decided we should indeed have one each!

We also held a Mario Kart Tournament at the wedding itself, for the "friends" in our wedding party. Best men, Bridesmaids, ushers, helpers and partners! An usher hosted it in his hotel room, and everyone did time trials on the original Mario Kart DS.

Wedding Mario Kart tourney!


Dylan and I got back from our mini moon to find out there was an actual Mario Kart 7 Grand Prix about to take off with chance to fight it out in a Final in Birmingham. We only had one copy of the game though, so I got my own version to take part with!
It all revolved around the community and racking up points, so because it was the last week of my holiday, I managed to qualify. We went to Birmingham at the end of October, for "Mario Fest 2012", met lots of amazing people, and best of all, I came away #3 for the UK, #1 for Wales and won a year's supply of 3DS (new release) games! (See 6:03 in below!)

I stayed in touch with a few people from the day, and was so inspired but disappointed at the same time! There was obviously a lot out there for 3DS and Nintendo fans generally, but absolutely nothing up in North Wales! In the November I created a Facebook group called "3DS Bangor Wales", and a few people found us. Nothing much happened though, as we were so small. I tried to get word out, but in the end, no one seemed to be available at the same time for events :(

I managed to get a few mini events in early in 2013, but they were all unofficial as it involved me just visiting a certain building when I knew people didn't have lectures!!!

Fast forward to Summer 2013, and I found StreetPass Manchester's Facebook Page. Essentially for our first wedding anniversary, we went to SPM's "Big Luigi"  It was one of the most well-organised and amazing events I'd ever been to! Over 140 people turned up, there were a few tournaments, a quiz and a raffle. Plenty of friendly people to talk to, and best of all I met the hosts. James and Beth were lovely, and seeing how they ran things with their helpers, inspired me again.


We were running as essentially StreetPass Bangor, but around this time, we collaborated with Rhys of StreetPass Llandudno, and became StreetPass North Wales. Plenty of ideas between us, and some good resources to help us, we're now well on our way!
One day we'd like to cover all of North Wales, but as our fan base is mainly Bangor for now, we tend to base our events in the Bangor area. 

We are a group for locals and students alike, as well as all age groups!

We aim to be bilingual where possible, and host events to recognise as many multiplayer and streetpassable games for the 3DS, especially those great for larger groups. Occasionally we may feature other Nintendo consoles too.

Our "official events" will be once a month or so, with smaller informal meets in between and some online meets. Just keep an eye on our group for upcoming events and news! :)

Follow us: @SPNorthWales
Email: Streetpass.northwales@gmail.com


Written by Jen