How Nintendo Made the 3DS Less Useless [Swapnote Review]

So, remember that angry post I made about the 3DS and the fact that I felt cheated? Well Nintendo is finally doing something right.

Last week Nintendo quietly launched a little downloadable app for the 3DS called Swapnote (Nintendo Letter Box for the UK), and since then I haven’t put my 3DS down.

The idea behind Swapnote is to create 3D postcard-like doodles and photos to send to friends registered on your system through the SpotPass feature. You can select a few or all of your friends to send messages to, which will be downloaded to their systems the next time they’re around a wifi connection. Recipients can then respond to messages (either visible to all fellow recipients who are mutual friends, or just the original sender). The end result is community driven fun!

The first day I received about 5 dick drawings (some much better than others), which is to be expected when all but 1 of your 50+ 3DS friends is of the queer persuasion. Unfortunately, no one has taken the initiative to just take a 3D wang shot and blast it out. What’s taking so long, boys?

However, a few very sexy shirtless photos have popped into my inbox, so I guess I shouldn’t look the gift horse in the ass.

There are some drawbacks:

    •  Each recipient is only allowed a single response to any message.
    • Creators of the original message cannot respond on their own messages.
    • Each recipient can only see responses from people who are also registered on their systems (another BS “safety” measure by Nintendo to protect the children).
    • Your response to a message does NOT appear in-line with others. For some stupid reason, your response will sit at the top of the list, even if you sent it last.
    • There is no keyboard for text, meaning everything must be hand-written. This is a huge drawback if you or one of your friends has crap handwriting. Plus, resistive touch screens such as those used in the DS family can only allow for so much accuracy. This means no matter how perfectly straight you draw a line, it’s still going to look squiggly.

    Some of these gripes seem minor, but they put a lot of restrictions on how carry out conversations through the application. This is supposed to be Nintendo’s (long overdue) version of a messaging feature that is prevalent in EVERY OTHER MAJOR CONSOLE. It’s a commendable first effort, but there has to be some changes made, which we all know won’t happen. It just isn’t Nintendo’s style to fix the things they release pre-borked.

    Whatever, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun and even though it has a 3,000 message limit, I’m already approaching 1,000.

    If anyone out there has a 3DS and wants to do some note swapin’, give me an add: 0301-9783-9629. Just remember to leave a comment with your own code, as adding friends has to be mutual.

    Happy swapping!


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