Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Status: Catching cicadas and fishing, making the bells to pay back Nook’s ridiculous loans
Dream Address: 4500-2245-0852

I caved to peer pressure. I bought Animal Crossing New Leaf almost a month ago and I am sad to report that I am utterly addicted to this game. When I am not sleeping, playing Borderlands 2 or watching TV with Matt (TV time is cross stitching time), I am planting flowers and trees, playing delivery girl for my townspeople, shaking trees in the hopes that I’ll get some cool bit of swag instead of another angry beehive to drop from the branches, and digging up my town looking for fossils.

I’ve tried to stop. My continued playing of Animal Crossing is definitely not for a lack of games; I have Professor Layton & the Miracle Mask to finish, Shin Megami Tensei IV that I just picked up, and 6 other games in my 3DS backlog. Then there are the other 20-30 or so console games I’ve fallen behind on. Clearly, there are other things I could be doing with my time like getting more of my fantasy story written, which I have been getting to more often these days, all while keeping my AC town gates open for visitors. But I keep finding myself drawn to developing Yukokoku into a prosperous and bustling metropolis where the inhabitants praise me for being an awesome mayor, despite my totally bizarre hairdo and bloodied Battle Royale-inspired school girl outfit.

Double Rainbow!!!!

Even now, as I am typing this, my “yankee” mayor is at the train station where I impatiently wait for friends to open their town gates as I hope to sell my turnips for a profit this week. I’m also hoping I can find some new wallpaper for the latest addition to my house and a few new decorations to spruce the place up.

In all honesty, I blame Tom Nook. He’s the innocent looking raccoon who keeps urging you to expand your home. He even offers his services upfront, charging you after he completes the work. Just this morning he finished a new room off the back of my main floor for a mere 398,000 bells. That’ll be anywhere between 2 to 4 trips to the island tonight to farm for beetles and catch sharks, depending on if those murderous fish are biting.

This one time, I caught a ginormous fish….

Animal Crossing does fill the void left when I got rid of Sims Social and SimCity Social a few months back, pretty much the day they announced Playfish would be shutting them down. We passed on the new SimCity game when I found out it required EA’s Origin service and had no offline mode. Being forced to play socially with people is one of my huge gaming pet peeves; I should be given the choice of harassing my friends, not strong armed by some publisher into it. In Animal Crossing, I choose to open my gates and allow those on my friend list to visit my town. There are no “get 10 friends to like this post and collect X special item” pop ups that interrupt my playtime, no flooding of Swapnote with messages that so and so just got ahead of me and I should retaliate. I don’t have to tell my mayor that she needs to sleep or pass out from exhaustion when all I’ve done if left the game running while I tend to other things around the house or that she needs to pee. It’s as casual a game as there ever could be while being a hardcore favourite.

Paying off my loans, one bug at a time

If I had one complaint regarding the social aspect of Animal Crossing New Leaf it would be that the relegation of mini-games to the island sucks. When I visit a friend’s town there simply aren’t enough things you can do together. Sure, you can swap items, visit their shops and maybe take a photo of the two or three of you standing by the ocean or dancing in Club LOL. I’d love it if there was more to do, even if it was DLC added down the road. Give me some mini-games that I can activate or a carnival that comes to town via traveling to neighbours the way Katie the wandering cat does.

Now please excuse me as there should a balloon floating over my town. Fingers crossed for a golden slingshot!!!

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