2 MECHANICS: TOM NOOK TUTORIAL AND FORGED PAINTINGS -
Animal Crossing, being a game that has you make your own fun, doesn't really have an end goal, but the closest thing that comes to it is acquiring enough bells to pay off the mortgage on your house, courtesy of Tom Nook, the game's resident business proprietor. He builds houses ahead of time, conveniently enough before the player moves into town, and as you are forced into choosing a place to live, you accrue a loan that must be paid off, and for the beginning of the game, it's a pretty substantial loan.
Fortunately, there is a way to shave some bells off of your loan from the get-go. Unfortunately, it requires essentially being Tom Nook's bitch for half and hour, and in the first three games, it couldn't be skipped. Yes, mandatory tutorials are quite frustrating in a lot of games, but hardly any of them take as much time as the average Animal Crossing tutorial, which involves, among other things, planting flowers, delivering carpets to your neighbors, figuring out how to use certain tools, meeting everyone in town, and other assorted tedious errands. To twist the knot even further, Tom Nook only takes off a small portion of the loan upon completion of the tutorial. What a ripoff!
Once you get settled into the game for a while, another speed bump starts to rear its ugly head. One optional sidequest has you collecting bugs, fish, fossils, and artwork for the local museum. Three of these things can be found in the wild - one of them obviously isn't. Yes, there is only one way to obtain paintings in this game... by purchasing them off of what is essentially the damn Black Market. And, true to the real thing, purchasing a painting from Crazy Redd's underground emporium runs the risk of it being fraudulent, which the museum strictly forbids and won't accept and of course, there is no way to tell whether or not you've bought a fake until you show it to Blathers. Worse still, getting rid of the forgery actually COSTS YOU MONEY unless you have a trash can lying around in your home.
New Leaf alleviated the problems of this EVER SO SLIGHTLY with its unique Crazy Redd art gallery, but only for the savviest of art geeks. This time, there are four pieces to chose from, and all but one of them is a fake. Sounds hair-tearing, but for those of you who know your shit, you can actually spot visual imperfections within the forgeries this time, allowing you to differentiate between the real thing and the worthless dud replica. Of course, if you hardly know a thing about art, you can just use a guide instead this time and save yourself the frustration. It's a welcome addition, but it's far too little too late to make up for the other games' sins in this regard.