What a difference a patch makes! Above is a comparison of a turn I just took in Nintendo’s new 3DS game Code Name STEAM: on the left, before the game was patched; on the right, using a post-patch fast-forward button.

The game is running here on my New 3DS, where the new fast-forward option is supposed to work best. The result is a 46-second enemy turn now takes 17 seconds. Nintendo says that original 3DS units won’t be able to push quite that much of an improvement, but that fast-forward will still help with the game on those devices, too.

You don’t have to flick the new fast-forward switch on, of course. You don’t have to use an umbrella when it is raining or look both ways before crossing the street, either. These are life decisions you’ll have to make on your own.

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The slow turns in the game had been a big drag. Code Name STEAM is a 3D strategy game in which players take turns maneuvering their troops on a grid and then wait for the computer to move its enemy units in response. You can’t skip the animations, as you can in STEAM’s Fire Emblem forebears, so having...to...wait...for...them...to...finish...was...doubly annoying.

I’d bailed on this game, but now I think I’ll give it another shot.

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