Saturday, September 6, 2014

StreetPass Games Revisited: Flower Town

I have every single plaza ticket available in Flower Town.  Getting them isn't incredibly difficult, and you can finish them long before finishing all the jobs.  That said, I'm still playing the game, because I'm going for journal completion.

Flower Town is definitely the underdog of the four additional StreetPass games.  On the surface, it looks like it's just a simple game where all you do is grow flowers, but once you get into it, there's a lot of thought and logic you'll have to put into what you're growing in order to get what you want and/or need.  Learning how to read the Planter's Preview and interpret seed shapes as well as their resale value is critical for getting the breeds you want.  The percentages it shows are mostly for show, because the seed has basically already "picked" one of the potential results and will grow into that plant with 100% certainty.

Likewise, once you get to the jobs from Flower Power, you'll find yourself needing to get plants that are either short or tall, and the game has absolutely no indication of what constitutes a short plant versus a tall plant.  Every place where you can look at a plant will adjust the camera or the scale of the plant's picture to fit it into view.  You'll have to use the size of the pot shown in the picture to determine how much the image of the plant has been scaled.  You'll often find yourself having to buy a seed from Poppy's Seeds and breed it with a plant that has the height you want, and then grow the result seeds to get the breed you want with the height you need.  Sometimes you need a plant of a specific color, but that's comparitively simple since it just requires that you StreetPass a Mii with that shirt color.  You then select that Mii and ask them to plant a seed with you, and they'll inject some magical plant-DNA-altering dye into the pot after you've planted the seed.

Much like Mii Force, Flower Town will simply ignore that you're holding R at some points.  Also, here, I feel as though the speed of the game when you're holding R should be the base speed, and holding R should make it go even faster.

This game is unique in that you can start it up and do things in it without having to StreetPass anyone or spend play coins.  The only thing restricted to StreetPasses or spending play coins is actually growing the flowers.  You can visit the shops and buy and sell things all you want.  You can go rearrange and decorate your gardens all you want.  You can take a job and turn in a plant for that job.  Or if for whatever reason you want to talk to Mr. Mendel, you can do that too.  The ability to play portions of the game without StreetPasses might not be a regularly-used thing, but it's important to note that it's there.

The goal of the game shifts.  Initially, the goal is to grow 20 different breeds of plants, but that's just the beginning.  Normally in these games, you get their second hat after you beat them, but you get Flower Town's second hat when you grow your 20th breed, and the game's far from over at that point.  After you grow your 20th breed, the next task is to take and complete jobs from Flower Power.

A small handful of jobs will present you with a choice of seeds, one of which will always complete the job.  For most jobs, however, you'll need to get the seed on your own, which involves either breeding it, or buying it from Poppy's Seeds.  Sometimes, hilariously enough, you can use a seed purchased directly from Poppy's Seeds to complete a job, without having to breed a specific height or ensure a specific color, including the job that you get from Poppy later on.  Couldn't she just grow one of her own seeds?  Not that I mind getting the job completion money...

To be able to buy a seed for a specific breed from Poppy's Seeds, first you must grow the breed in question.  Just once, any height, any color.  I recommend filling in a good portion of the journal before getting heavily into the jobs, just so you're more likely to be able to just buy what you need to complete the job.  You can earn a good chunk of money just by growing seeds harvested from plants and then selling the result plants.  Rare breeds in particular will go for a lot, should you choose to sell one.

Also, since the game thrusts the free Garden Grace shopping spree on you relatively early on, here's a hint: Go through the items and take the most expensive ones.  You know, because they're free.  Then, after you've checked out and you have an incredibly gaudy looking garden, go back to Garden Grace and sell that stuff.  Surprisingly, this works, and it will net you a fair amount of money if you chose pricey enough items.  You can only do this once, though.

The final phase of the game is after you've completed all the jobs and you just have miscellaneous things left in your journal to fill in.  This phase is of course entirely optional, since it involves growing every plant in every single color that each individual plant can grow in, and each plant has specific colors it can be.

Pacing-wise, this game depends heavily on StreetPasses.  If you don't get very many, it will take a lot longer to do anything.  Each plant needs to be watered multiple times before it will bloom.  Every time you StreetPass people, your Mii will water it once, and then each of the people you StreetPassed will water it once.  In addition, for each seed you want to harvest from a plant that's bloomed, it needs to be watered once by a Mii you've gotten via StreetPass.  I recommend finding yourself a Nintendo Zone that will cooperate and give you six StreetPasses every time, which for me at least was somewhat of a point of contention until I set up SpillPass-Pi.  Six StreetPasses is enough to grow almost everything that isn't a rare breed, and enough to harvest the majority of the seeds from a plant.

When StreetPassing someone else who owns Flower Town, they'll be holding whatever plant they're currently growing, and you can select them in the courtyard or shopping mall and see their garden.  The garden you see is the one they've selected as their favorite.

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