Why I care about virtual animal people on my 3DS.

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Posted by Phatmac (5928 posts) -
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Coffee and eggs are staring at me while I get ready to go to work. I grab everything I need before heading off to the rest of my day when I suddenly remember that a new villager is coming to town. I pop up my 3DS and turn on Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I'm greeted by the adorable Isabelle that gives me the run down on what's going to happen on that particular day. Once in the game I remind myself that I'll only play it for 10 minutes as I don't want to be late for work. You probably guessed that I was late to work on that day.

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I've told myself to never get hooked on Animal Crossing as it looked like the sort of game that would ruin my life. I kept telling myself that it was a game for girls only and that it's childish nature could never win me over. After countless hours and weeks spent on this game I can say that I'm hooked on this social experiment. New Leaf could very easily be a horribly addicting game on Facebook. Nintendo really did create one of the first social games that are now rampant in the games industry. What I mean by social is a game about doing certain daily tasks to better improve your home or clothes. Each day you can dig fossils and either donate them or sell them for a quick buck(bell would be more appropriate). You can talk to your friendly neighborhood animal citizens who idolize your every action since you are their mayor. The game has to be played at least once a day to constantly keep your town schedule going and making your self-conscience feel better. Heaven forbid anyone ever misses a day in their own town. I've promised myself to never give up on my town as I am their mayor after all.

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Being the mayor in New Leaf is a new change to the series. In previous games you were just some nobody that wound up on a mysterious town that values bugs and fish over anything. Being the mayor gives you many new abilities such as creating constructions such as new bridges, streetlights, and other complex creations. You can also set ordinances such as being able to keep shops open later at day or earlier in the morning. I've kept it as being able to sell things for more bells. Animal Crossing has always had a strange mantra about everything. It's very Japanese as it emphasizes the importance of nature. It's mostly a zen-like adventure that anyone can really enjoy. This lifestyle is contrast by a dark, secret capitalistic sort of mantra that deems that the economy should be based upon selling anything that you can get your hands on. I don't know how anyone can appreciate having beautiful creatures be trapped in nets and sold of to whatever horrible future awaits them beyond the transaction.

New Leaf is a game that only young people can really enjoy. The commitment that it asks of you is probably too much for an adult with a full-time job. People that say that it's a game that you can play in quick burst are crazy people. To fully appreciate and love all the New Leaf has to offer you really do have to explore all that it has. Whether it's planting fruits, fishing big fish, or catching grand bugs, it all combines to be a peaceful little game on your 3DS that is hard to put down. The only problem with it is that the best events are always happening tomorrow. It's a game that you just can't beat or rush through. It's a rare game that will always have something new for you to do every day. This could mean a new construction to build or a new animal friend living in your town. Not to mention the big holiday events that I have yet to experience. It's all so very novel and not for everyone as people like to say it is.

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I felt shitty after missing the Bug-Off due to being busy on Saturday. New Leaf doesn't wait for anyone and if you aren't there to experience one of it's timed events then it'll be heart breaking to discover that you did. I almost changed my 3DS clock but decided that it'd be a bad idea to do so. It would ruin the purity that is New Leaf, a game that relies upon your honesty with it. It's a rare game that you have a never ending relationship with. Like any relationship it has it's ups and downs. Not being able to automatically have all of your fruit to stack is just awful and most of the interface is clunky and unresponsive. The strict limitations on pocket space is also a shame. It's all very deliberate and admirable but it's ultimately a chore to have such limitations. The online system of having a gate open for people to join just reeks of Nintendo being too overprotective. Still, most of these complaints can't keep me too mad at it. It's far too adorable for me to stay mad at New Leaf for long.

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Go buy Animal Crossing: New Leaf if you haven't already. It truly is a rare gem of a game that is still unlike anything else. I almost forgot to mention how great it looks. I never knew that 3DS games could look this good. Everything is polished up and done better then any other animal crossing game ever. All of it amounts to a charming game that can take over your life. So go be a mayor and prepare to deal with the responsibility of taking care of all of your virtual animal pals. Except Tom Nook, screw that guy.

I talked about Animal Crossing: New Leaf in a video. Check it out!

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#1 Posted by Dalai (7865 posts) -

Alright, this Animal Crossing thing is getting out of hand. I think I'm the only person who isn't playing it and yet I feel like I have more freedom, not imprisoned by a virtual town filled with adorable critters.

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#2 Posted by fisk0 (6231 posts) -

Since I don't have a 3DS, I bought Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley for PS Vita instead. At least one word in the title is the same, and it's all about farming, right?

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#3 Posted by TruthTellah (9805 posts) -

*puts down the 3DS for a moment*

Yeah, this is my first Animal Crossing, and I'm quite enjoying it. I like all of the characters, except Olaf. That jerk sold me a counterfeit Mona Lisa... heh. Well, I guess I can forgive him for that. It's just a peaceful game. A lot of the games I play are really tense or take a lot of brainpower; so, it's kind of nice to also have a game that you can chill in at your own pace. :)

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#4 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (5560 posts) -

In my Animal Crossing game I started choking up when I found out one of my neighbors moved away. I neglected my town for two weeks and then he suddenly disappeared.

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#5 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2079 posts) -

I feel this thread.

I stood someone up for visiting their house two days ago because I was busy with work and when I realized it my heart basically stopped for a second and I was so scared to open my 3DS to play Animal Crossing and talk to Carmen again.

When I finally mustered the courage to play and own up to my mistake, Carmen acted as if I never stood her up. So I am grateful. But man, this game is addicting and the villagers are strangely endearing, especially since I legitimately felt bad for standing one of them up.

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#6 Edited by 49th (3483 posts) -

My town is full of dorks. I've seen other villagers with awesome scars and stuff but I've just got a koala and some pigs. Dumbass cat Shari won't even sell me her sitar and she is boring. Curt the bear is the only cool guy in my village and he never sleeps - I love that guy.

Also, Curt has the same birthday as me. Best villager.

Damn, he even has MVP on his shirt, that says it all.

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#7 Posted by davidwitten22 (1712 posts) -

I never thought I'd say this, but I may need this game.

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#8 Posted by Nezza (386 posts) -

@equitasinvictus: I've missed two appointments.

The first was with Rudy, I just totally forgot. The second he saw me he came running up and screamed 'how dare you' at me. Really laid it on.

The second was with Daisy - who is easily my most adorable villager. She didn't shout... she said she understood I was probably busy... It was worse than being shouted at. Then she stood me up at our next appointment..... Coincidence, or revenge?

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#9 Posted by spookytapes (313 posts) -

I missed an appointment today and felt guilty for forgetting to visit a polygonal dog during my lunch break. oops.

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#10 Posted by Phatmac (5928 posts) -

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