Hi, my name is Paul, and I used to be heavily addicted to Animal Crossing: Wild World. It was the kind of thing that overtook me swiftly, silently, softly; I would go to bed playing it and wake eager to play it again. My lunch hour was not about eating food, but rather using that time wisely to interact with my town’s villagers, find fossils, and collect whatever bugs/fish were only available at such a time. If asked what my Saturday night plans were, I’d have to figure out a solid way to lie and not reveal that I was going to see K.K. Slider play and get a new song for my red boombox.
Yes, it was that kind of addiction, but I did eventually overcome it. This was, naturally, only after I had done everything possible in the game: 100% bugs found, 90% fish caught (curse you, Coelacanth!), all fossils found, all true paintings donated, a good percentage of my item list filled out, house fully paid off and filled with kick-ass furniture. All that and more. Deep down, despite still playing it even after the fact, I knew the magic grip was loosening, and eventually I did wean myself away, passing the cartridge on to Tara to get addicted to.
At some point last year, my wife got Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii, and I watched her set it up, doing the same meaningless tasks for Nook to get started. It didn’t look any different gameplay-wise than what I had already spent a year obsessing over, and so I ignored it, uninterested, disappointed, especially with the slim new offerings like going to the city. I decided to wait for a true sequel.
And then something happened a few months ago: I started to play it every day or so, only for about 15 minutes. It’s a great distraction. It’s a nice change of pace after stabbing assassins or shooting aliens or staring at RPG stat screens for far too long. I told myself that it wasn’t a race, and that if I didn’t pay off my house as soon as possible that the (animal) world would not end. I found myself enjoying just running around and methodically rebuilding my collections (only going after what I wanted then at the moment versus buying everything just to have everything), and once I started gathering Mario-themed items from floating presents, well, I knew I was back. At least for a bit. Until the Nintendo 3DS version drops, of course:
Granted, the magical hold is definitely not as tight as before, but I am excited now that winter has ended in-game to get my net out and collect some fun insects.