Monday, February 25, 2013

Friend Network is Heading to NA Vitas

(Note:  The trailer is from last month at least and is for the Japanese Release)

Remember when I said that people amaze me in that they can make a game out of literally anything?  Like waking up?  Well, that trend continues with the announcement of the latest couple of apps heading to (non-Japan) Vitas, of which I'm specifically talking about Toro's Friend Network tonight.  Now, the premise of Toro's Friend Network is just as simple as Wake-Up Club - the 'game' is about making friends.  As in, sending off friend requests to other people.  That is the game.  It is not the only facet of the game, but it is the main component of it, as the 'goal' is to try and get 100 friends on your friend list so that Toro possibly could achieve his goal of becoming a human. kind of Toro's thing.  Trying to be a human, I mean.  Oftentimes through crazy schemes.

As I said, on a basic level, it's a fairly simple premise - Toro wants you to make friends and you're given a venue in which you can easily do so, with lobbies that sort of combs what you play and tries to match you up with others that play similar things.  You can exchange 'business cards' which is the actual friend request, and upon doing so, you are then friends!  As I said, it is literally the friend request process turned into a little game.  It's strange, but oddly, it works quite easily and adds a whole new layer to the process beyond the clinical checking of a profile, compiling a message and sending it off.  It manages to make it all quite charming which is something to be touted, I'd say.

Of course, there's more to it than that, thankfully.  The video shows off your personal living space, which I assume is just sort of your friend hub so you have somewhere to be other than the friend lobbies and social networking lobbies.  But it's not just a hub, so much as it is something that you can customize more and more as your friend list grows and grows.  You get increasingly extravagant locations that I presume has progressively more and more area to work with to customize it.  The video shows that you can put your friends to work improving the appearance of the space which I presume does more than just make it more aesthetically pleasing, though what actual statistical value it might have is a bit lost on me without knowing more of the mechanics.

On top of that, there's something referred to as the "Friend Dungeon" which we'll simply ignore so we can peacefully move along without gigglefits.  With this dungeon, you can apparently select two of your friends to explore said dungeon.  From the video, it appears to have an RPG-lite approach to it, in that you and your friends do battle with somebody else who you can, upon defeating, attempt to befriend as well.  I don't know if there's an actual exploration/dungeon-crawling part to it as well, which would certainly be neat, but I'm not going to get -too- hopeful because, well, who knows how big or small this app is actually going to be.  It certainly looks impressively deep from the presentation, and I would hope that it is, so that it can be a proper time-sink.  Since, well, it looks pretty fun.

The post says that it will be out sometime this spring, which is something that you can choose to believe or not.  The last time we were promised apps, the actual timing of them was quite a bit.  Three apps were supposed to release consecutively - Paint Park, Treasure Park and Wake-Up Club - yet Paint Park preceded the two by more than a couple weeks (months, actually), and then I believe there was a gap between Treasure Park and Wake-Up Club as well.  Whenever it hits the store, however, it's assuredly going to be a freemium title as the rest of the apps have been.  I would imagine there will be exclusive items and decorations that you can only obtain via purchase with real money, as well as being able to buy 'points packs' to give yourself a little bank to spend without doing too much work.  Yet, you'll still be able to get a good experience without spending a dime.  And that's what this looks like - a good experience.

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