Tag Archives: Animal Crossing

Stumbling into Animal Crossing’s pitfall yet again

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.

Nintendo 3DS launch lineup launches itself into facepalmery

Launch lineups are pretty important. They are the weapons console systems wield to club consumers into submission. They are limelight dancers. They are reasons for being. And alas, for the Nintendo 3DS, the launch day titles are weak beyond belief, and all that hype over the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time remake, Starfox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Metal Gear Solid something or other, and a new Animal Crossing game were just that, hype. Sure, they’ll be released eventually, but so will every other great game being created. What matters currently is what is available at the time of purchase, and brace yourself, dear Grinding Down readers, it’s not looking good.

First, let me say that I’m 90% sure I’m going to pick up a Nintendo 3DS. I have a Christmas bonus burning a hole in my sock drawer, and I think that the updated hardware is gonna be great. There’s built-in minigames, a camera, a music thingy, a Street Pass function, Mii maker, and plenty more. I’ve been wanting to upgrade to a DSi for some time, but this is a much better jump. As a glasses-wearer, I’m also downright curious to see this 3D in action and love the fact that it can be turned off completely. Most likely…it will. As for the games I want to play on it come Day One, well…

Here’s the three from Nintendo itself, and yes, you’ll notice none of the titles contain the name Mario:

  • Pilotwings Resort – Set on the same tropical Wuhu Island from Wii Sports Resort, players go on an aerial adventure by using airplanes, hang gliders, and rocket belts.
  • Steel Diver – This is…a submarine game. Players will control the sub’s speed, depth, and pitch, as well as fire torpedoes at enemies.
  • Nintendogs + Cats – Pet sim. Now with bonus kitty action!

The rest of the launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS are third-party titles. See ’em here:

  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition from Capcom
  • The Sims 3 from EA
  • Madden NFL Football from EA Sports
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D from Konami Digital
  • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars from LucasArts
  • Ridge Racer 3D from Namco Bandai Games
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D from SEGA
  • Bust-A-Move Universe from Square-Enix
  • Samurai Warriors: Chronicles from Tecmo Koei America
  • Asphalt 3D from Ubisoft
  • Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D from Ubisoft
  • Rayman 3D from Ubisoft
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars from Ubisoft

A lot of remakes and ported games. A lot of titles with 3D tacked on the end. Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D sounds like perfect shovelware, and I can already see a hundred copies floating in those Best Buy “hey, whatever, man” bins they got from time to time. Yeah, it’s all a bit underwhelming. Go ahead and sit there for a bit, I won’t mind. I wonder who at Nintendo dropped the (Super Monkey) ball (3D) on this one? Tsk tsk. I mean, all we, as gamers interested in gaming, needed was one strong title, whether it be a new Mario sidescroller or maybe a different take on Metroid or Kirby or, y’know, one of those mascots Nintendo has in its vaults. But no, we’re reduced to slim picking.

So, which game am I gonna get to make my Nintendo 3DS even more enjoyable?

YOU WANT BREAD? NO GAME FOR YOU! NEXT!

I’ll just wait it out until the newest Animal Crossing drops.

Our latest and greatest videogame purchases

Tara and I went shopping over the weekend. I bought jeans and two flannel-infused shirts that go well with–wait, what? You don’t care about the good deals I got on clothes from Kohl’s? Hmph. I see how it is. Bunch of anti-fashionistas. I guess you’d prefer me to talk about all the many videogames purchased this weekend. I guess your wish is about to get…granted!

Warning: this list of games bought is going to blow your mind. Can’t say from what. Surely not the total awesomesauce. Maybe more from the randomness, the WTFs. Steel yourself!

Paul’s Purchases

It was selling for a cool $39.99, and the Internet will not shut up about how good it is. Haven’t touched the multiplayer except for the tutorial level. Oh, I tried. Waited for 15 minutes to have it log me into a new session…and then summarily kick me out. Boo-hoo. Single-player is a much improved performance over the original Assassin’s Creed. Never got to play Assassin’s Creed II. Anyways, if anyone wants to help me give online multiplayer a try, my Xbox Live Gamertag is PaulyAulyWog. Please?

It was dirt cheap. I’ve played maybe an hour of it and also tried Firefight by myself. I’m a smidge above a vacuum. Meh.

Oh man. Where do I begin? Actually, let’s just keep this short. Now that we have our Nintendo Wii set up in the Leaky Cauldron, I’d like to catch up on some GameCube games I never got to play. Such as Pikman and Windwaker and Luigi’s Mansion. All in good time though. And I believe I’ve also previously mentioned my obsession with all things Lord of the Rings. Now, here’s the real tough question; did this version of The Hobbit cost me $1.99, $2.99, $3.99, or $4.99?

It cost less than The Hobbit, and its cover made me laugh.

Tara’s Purchases

This is now our third version of this game owned. Tara’s more interested in it than the Wii version because the controls are simpler. Plus, I heard that you can actually play old Nintendo games within this game–wicked! She liked the sound of that, too. It’ll be curious to experience this version last, seeing as I started out on Animal Crossing: Wild World and then moved on to Animal Crossing: City Folk. Granted, they are, more or less, the same game, but the minute differences are actually where it counts the most.

Mmm…LEGO games.

And those were our big purchases. The funny/annoying thing is that I assumed one could use the Wiimote to play GameCube games on the Nintendo Wii. Y’know, turn it sideways like a traditional controller. Nope. Because the GameCube controller was freakish and had so many random buttons. So we haven’t got to try any of our GameCube buys just yet. We also need an old memory card. The only good thing the Wii does is…uh, let you put the CD into its slot. Geez, it might have been easier just to buy an old GameCube system, but truthfully, we’ve run out of outlets and the back of our entertainment stand looks like the Great Cthulhu, but with wires instead of tentacles. Truly nightmarish.

Pretty sure Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Fallout: New Vegas, and some other games will be able to keep my attention busy until February, and then it’ll be time to travel through alternate dimensions in Radiant Historia.

First Impressions on Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times

magician

So, I’ve had this for a few days now, and though my play-time with Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times has been very limited, I’ve schlepped around the village/school/whatever long enough to express some thoughts on the Animal Crossing: Wild World clone. Now, let’s see…if I want to post my first impressions I have to select…incantation, cranium, and videogame.

Woo, success!

Things I like

  • The variety of life on-screen, from the vibrant mushrooms to the buzzing bugs to wandering classmates.
  • More storage space means more looting from dead bodies.
  • Collecting bugs and fish actually earns money/rewards, much more than AC: WW ever did Making money is a lot easier, which means no more frugal spending, just buy what you want.
  • “The Nutcracker” plays during Mystery Time, which is surprisingly fitting.

Things I hate as deeply as Voldemort hates Harry’s never faulty haircut

  • While having a magic wand that contains many things (shovel, fishing pole, net, watering can) is nice, whenever you switch to a new screen or enter a door you revert back to being empty-handed. This is stupid. And a waste of time as now I have to cycle through the items again just so I can catch a butterfly or cast a spell.
  • You can only take three classes a week. Once they are done, be prepared to be bored. This week I’ve learned the “treasure hunting” and “cloud hammock” spell, the incantation for “love,” and that when you talk to someone their name is added to your list of name-names. I now have to wait until Sunday to learn anything else—it better be worth it.
  • Spells—I already know it’s going to be such a pain later on to have to manually add them every time I want to use them. They should do that upon first usage or maybe set a limit, like after five times manually entering them now you can just select it from a list.
  • What’s the difference between a wig and a hat? (This is not a joke, there is no punchline coming.)
  • Mystery Time is not all that exciting. It’s just a special section where you can collect weird bugs and fish; it is after Mystery Time that is most important because that’s when you go investigating the weekly whodunit.

So yeah, at this point, I’ve only solved the first mystery. I have the generic staff and hat, very little furniture in my room, some Ritch, a couple of lessons under my belt…and that’s it. I kind of have to wait for real-life time to pass just to enjoy some aspects of Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times more. Hopefully, it’s worth it.

The start of becoming the greatest wizard of all time

Okay, I gave into the crack and thanks to some bonus b-day money I now own a copy of Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times.

And so far, after about forty minutes of play, I’m digging it. Of course, the entire time I’m comparing it to Animal Crossing: Wild World, and so with that MQMT has much sharper graphics, a better menu system, deeper pockets (!!!), and a wider selection of things to do, see, interact with, and collect. I’ve only just started taking classes at my school (properly named Hogwarts) and am still figuring out what exactly I should be focusing on, but yes, so far, it’s pretty much what I wanted.

Hello, my name is Paul, and I’m a collectaholic

Collecting has always been a part of videogames. Mario went after coins for extra lives, Link had to gather slew of weapons/items to further travel Hyrule, and Samus was always on the lookout for new toys and upgrades. Roleplaying games gave players the chance for amass weapons (Rogue Galaxy, for example) or pieces of music (Eternal Sonata) or even books (Fable II and the Elder Scroll games do this pretty well). Other games took this even further, often to the point where they are trying to drive those with ADHD crazy. Case in point: Assassin’s Creed and its myriad of pointless flags.

But one of my all-time favorite games for collecting random pixels is Animal Crossing: Wild World, especially with its incentive to play every day and check out what new items were up for sale. Hats, shirts, furniture, wallpaper, and more. Mmm. Granted, I haven’t played in many months now (my villagers probably assume now that I’ve gone off the deep end and am in county jail), but the crack collecting is still deep in my blood, which I why I stopped and stared at the following game tonight in the game shop for a good ten minutes:

14028

Ah, Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times. The obvious clone to AC: WW. But that doesn’t matter. For those not in the know, here’s its description:

Magic academy is in session and enrolling kid wizards! Attend classes with your friends to learn the mysteries of magic and the art of casting spells to experience the wonders of this mystifying land. Exchange secret letters and spread rumors about other students in order to become the greatest magician of all time. Creating or sabotaging relationships will determine the way the adventures are told. In this magic adventure, time flows as it does in the real world and each week your wizard skills are put to the test in a new magical adventure. Solve these quests by gathering information from friends and mythical characters you encounter and by using all the magic you’ve learned. Experience a world of magic, mystery and adventure just waiting to be told!

Truthfully, all I took notice of was the claim of “Collect and customize over 350 varieties of currency, clothing, furniture and more!” How I walked away from purchasing the piece of collect crack, I’ll never know.

Okay, I do know: I’m poor. $29.99 is too much for crack. But still…