In life we all tend to have a direction. It’s control that is lacking in most areas to reach out goals. Adding a bit of order to that equation gives us Life Simulation games. These are nothing new. The Sims has been around forever.
I venture a guess we have played it by now. Or one of it’s sequels or spin-offs or imitators. Best thing is adding in all those cheats to just basically play dolls. Ofcourse you make the house way to big since you pretty much skipped over learning how far a Sim would walk before pissing the floor and weeping into his hands about it. Now this isn’t a review about The Sims, rather I would say almost the opposite in fact. Animal Crossing is a game with control but no direction.
It is literally the elements of life we are lacking the most. You don’t even have monthly bills or even a modest upkeep. You can just do whatever you want. You want to run an illegal gambling racket?
You can do that. How about hold a fashion show?
Got ya covered there as well. Urban planning been your dream?
Roads and fences and stuff to toss about a plenty. You can even make custom paths and guess what else?
You can make your own clothing and art. That can also be placed into furniture and decorations with good ol’ Minecraft style resource based crafting in the games newest addition DIY.
Yes it’s a glorified toybox of creativity and cute animals. I guess I should get into the meat and potatoes of the review and talk about the gameplay huh?
This game actually does have an end despite what you may have heard. Even by me earlier actually. You start with a very clear set of goals. From building the basic needs of your island getaway to bringing in more villagers and tourists your goal is to start a town. The game progresses nicely at this point. It teaches you not to rush and hurry about.
A simple little shop, a few houses, and a ridiculous amount of weeds is your first few days. As you grow and explore you will gain new tools to shape and mold your environment. Traveling to little one off randomly generated islands to find more fruit varieties than what is native to your little alive of heaven will help bring in a steady income. They sell for a good bit more if they are non native. Which you can plant and start harvesting every three days to have a super steady stream of bells. That is what they call money, which is clearly big coins.
As you progress the game gives you the ability to make shovels, axes, nets, ladders, and all sorts of useful gadgets to get you around your island and catch all sorts of local wildlife. Not to mention fossils to appraise and display. Just get like any ten of fish, fossils, or bug and you will get a nice surprise.
An extra large bigass museum that later will get an art instillation after you get the town to a place where the black market shows up. This is basically week one for most people. As your contentious growth goes further and further you will start to upgrade your house to a home.
Along the way you start getting ideas about what to do and how you think your villagers actually feel about you. You make new friends.
Lose a few friends.
Or just make some mad enough that they move away.
You get so wrapped up in all this day to day melodrama that checking the island’s evaluations goes almost unnoticed. Up to now it was just telling you to build fences and houses anyway. Until suddenly you get a knock on the door. The very person you had been getting your tasks from has a favor to ask. He wants to see his favorite musician play a concert at the island. Though that only happens if you have a town worth visiting mind you. So double down and finish what has to be the second longest tutorial in gaming history. Once you do though you are hit with credits and start what I consider post game. Now your main objective will be to get the golden tools. Each with their own method of unlocking mind you. Just now you have access to landscaping as well. Make cliffs and rivers and just let creativity fly!
For me though that meant making the cliff from Chrono Trigger. Just know this is all surface level stuff. The real charm is the villagers and the stories you make with them.
Sometimes it can get real right quickly.
Bare in mind that this isn’t it by a long shot. Ideas start to just build upon themselves as you go.
What happens when your town gets over run with Kaiju? The only thing you can do. Assemble a group of Villagers with attitudes!
Train diligently to protect the town while starting up some scientific research.
Prepare a base of operations for your force!
Test your new suits and mechs.
And finally assemble the Haroton Rangers!
And all of that is just the day to day gameplay. Gathering or crafting furniture and clothes as you theme it out keeps you always excited for what might come next. Each day the stores change up what they sell. Each month the fish and bugs change up and some of them are pretty tricky to catch mind you.
All this is just on your own or local couch co-op as well. You can even visit your friend’s towns complete with regional differences.
My japanese friends have Japanese writing on their buildings. My southern hemisphere friends have the wrong seasons. It shows how much care really goes into every drop of this game. Unbelievably it doesn’t stop there. Nintendo is giving free updates and DLC all year long to add new features and events. New characters and surprises. In short it’s never a bad time to start a new life surrounded by animals. Just pack your suitcase, don’t worry about the bells and see what excitement awaits.
As for controls it’s a little floaty, a little janky, and a lot of learning to work with the game in how and what to do. I still plant flowers wrong and I’ve playing since launch… of the GameCube game Animal Crossing: Population Growing.
The game has come a long way, but I don’t really advise going back to the older titles. True they each have some unique elements and wouldn’t be a bad waste of time. Just these games are best when played slowly. Taking your time and having something to do each day is such a nice feeling. I know my mom is hooked. She hasn’t missed a day since she started. Heck I’ve only missed a few since midnight launch. So as far as value goes you will get you 60 bux worth. You can play it pretty much however you like. So even if it’s only fishing you like doing then have at it. They have a number of daily special visitors you can get randomly after completing certain objectives that number grows. Fishing, bugging, clothing, and even a g-g-g-ghost can pop up. I always try to think of my purchases in how many hours of enjoyment I get. For this I tend to use the staple go to fun activity going to the movies. A movie ticket is about $12 and lasts about 2 hours. So cut that in half to get 6 bux to which I tend to scale down to 5. So 12 hours is how much enjoyment I expect from a game. Not playtime mind you. If I don’t enjoy the grind it doesn’t matter how long it takes it is still not worth it. I put in 12 hours the first day easy.
The music is interesting in the fact it’s just one song for a long time. That is until you build a town hall and start really getting into the swing of things. Then each hour will have it’s own song, and yes you will learn to tell what time it is by song alone. The sound effects are top notch. They even have different foot fall sounds for not only the type of ground you are on, if it’s wet or snowy, is there an item on on near it, but even if you are going up or down hill. Honestly the sound direction is the best I have ever experienced and I get lost in it every time I play.
As you can see I took a break from writing this to go catch some fireworks in my town. Which you all can come visit with my dream code actually. DA-5649-6221-4529
I just really like Animal Crossing if I’m being honest here. It is extremely casual so the more hardcore gamers might not enjoy it. I understand that very well. Just if it even remotely interests you I’d say pick it up. Drop me a comment down below with your Dream Codes or heck join the Discord and hit me up in DM and we can play together.
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