Wednesday, July 3, 2013

News: Ride to Victory Patched to Version 1.2

Amid the news scuffle last month surrounding BT13's announced release and Bushiroad's new franchise Future Card Buddyfight, one important subject flew under the radar. The Nintendo 3DS Cardfight!! Vanguard TCG simulator, Ride to Victory, was patched wirelessly from Version 1.1 to Version 1.2 through the online distribution of a special QR code. Alternatively, players could access the patch in the Nintendo eShop.

Released to answer problems with the game's original release, like 1.1 before it the Ver. 1.2 update fixed a notorious bug that caused the game to freeze on startup, but in addition to that it fixed a different bug that caused the game to crash when finalizing deck customizations, and typographical errors in the game text. While the changes in the 1.2 patch are relatively minor, the implications of Bushiroad being both willing and able to distribute game patches of this kind are exciting.

Ride to Victory is not the first 3DS game to receive game patches, although it is among the first to receive multiple patches in sequence. Mario Kart 7 had that honor, followed by Tomodachi Collection: New Life in Japan, and while it never materialized it was suggested for some time that Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition would receive a patch to bring it up to date with its arcade and home console iterations. The technology and precedent is there, but as in the SSIV example, the main obstacles toward patching a 3DS game is convincing the companies involved that it's worth the effort--something that Bushiroad Inc. and FuRyu Corporation have visibly demonstrated with the 1.2 update. The most appealing use of this in the eyes of cardfighters is to update the game's card pool by adding more booster sets, as Ride to Victory currently stops at VG-BT09: Clash of the Knights and Dragons, but through more serious updates, it could potentially go all the way up to BT11: Seal Dragons Unleashed and EB06: Dazzling Divas. The problem faced by going beyond these sets is that while break ride mechanics can be easily handled by the game, it's currently unknown if Ride to Victory would be able to handle Link Joker's Lock mechanic with just a patch. Ver. 1.2's removal of game-stopping bugs suggests that the sky is the limit for these patches, but the impetus to fix release errors in a game is much greater than for an update that effectively serves to add more characters and would require a bigger workload.

Players that made the jump to 1.2 were able to retain their save data, although the update required that the 3DS itself be version 4.1 or higher, and an SD card was necessary to complete the update.