Monday, November 23, 2015

(Unsanctioned) Fun with Nintendo Badge Arcade

The crappy thing about Nintendo Badge Arcade (aside from paying for virtual items, and having to talk to that stupid rabbit) is that although you can use the badges to customize your home screen, that customization is pretty limited. "Use your badges to make your own scenes, and I'll show the best ones in my gallery!," the rabbit promises. Then you wander into the gallery and spot a half-dozen portraits littered with random sprites from the original Super Mario Bros. I wasn't expecting the Guggenheim here, but I've seen more clever things stuck on the front of a suburban mother's refrigerator.

Fortunately, there is a solution. It's kind of complicated and it's not authorized by Nintendo, but it will bring some much-needed variety to your home screen. Allow me to demonstrate...

Note the image of my character Byron pasted on the front of the folder on the top of the screen. That used to be a power-up mushroom, but I used a program called 3DS Badge Tool to change the graphic, because I needed a bear on my home screen more than fungus. It's actually a little more involved than I'm making it sound, but I won't bore you with the details... just know that a badge requires two images, a graphic and a shape. The graphic is what you see on the front of the badge, and the shape is the metal on the back.

Once a badge has been successfully redesigned and loaded into your 3DS system memory, you can either pin it to the front of your home menu, or better, set it on one of your folders. The initials used by default don't tell you what's inside those folders, but a custom-designed badge like this sure does!

There you go! Much better than a cryptic "G." 

(In case you were wondering, that theme isn't official either, featuring a Mr. Driller image by my friend MomoDriller. Thanks for that, Momo!)

Speaking of Mr. Driller, here's something else you can do with custom badges...

Don't expect to find much in that
rabbit's skull, Susumu.
Not useful in the least, but fun! One wonders why Mr. Driller and other third-party titles aren't officially available in the Nintendo Badge Arcade. The app has been available in Japan for over a year... heaven knows Nintendo has had plenty of opportunities to make it happen. Shake some hands, sign some contracts. Just get the licenses already!

But it's probably not too tough to figure out why badge design has been made strictly hands-off for users. For every 3DS owner who would adorn their screens with family-friendly sprites, there would be two more who would do something like this...

What can I say? I was weak. And that episode of Larry Wilmore was funny.

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