The lights are on
Describing Animal Crossing is like trying to describe the
basic concept of time to a child, it is difficult to qualify. How long is an
hour? How long is in a little bit? With Animal Crossing, you get a lot of
"Well, you see, you go around the town and hit rocks with your shovel."
You can go on and talk about
fishing and beetle hunting and how eventually you'll get to go to an island,
but the person you're having the conversation with will either give you a
quizzical look (if they are polite) or they will scoff at how you spend your
time. For so long, I was a scoffer. I just didn't get it. The game's previous
three releases slipped from my radar without remorse. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
would have been the same way if I didn't have a trusted gamer tell me to just
turned out to be really good advice.
only way to describe the game is to describe how I spend my time: I wake up in
the morning, and right after I shower, I curl back into bed, boot up the game
and water my flowers while also digging up dinosaur bones randomly buried
throughout the town that I am the new mayor of. The last three weeks I've also
been coming home from work and flopping down on my futon for another
twenty-minute session because I am Petaltail Dragonfly hunting, and the jerk
only comes out between 5-7 p.m. I even open the game back up right before bed,
just to check on things and maybe do some night fishing.
put near 100 hours into New Leaf, and what's surprised me the most is the
evolution of my obsessions.
1: Planting trees and collecting
Obsession 2: Collecting high-bell, large beetles.
3: Expanding and decorating my house
with beetle money.
4: Gardening. I did not pay attention to
my flowers in the beginning, but now I flip my s*@t if I don't get to water my
garden that day.
Finding my inner completionest.
should note that I have never collected everything in a game in my life (I am
close to finding all the treasures in Uncharted 2 and I might have collected
every upgrade material in Final Fantasy VIII, maybe). But in New Leaf, I have
become an avid completer. As of this writing, I have collected all the dino
bones, and I am missing 5 bugs, 5 diving creatures and 17 fish. But the
majority of what is remaining are later seasonal catches...so the getting has
been good in my town.
biggest dilemma right now is when am I going to put this game down? I've soaked
in nearly everything the game has to offer. I mean, I have to stick around
until December when the Pond Smelt, Sea Butterfly and Stringfish become
available. But then I worry about my
flowers. How can I sit idly by while my beautiful gardens wilt and die.
review might sound like New Leaf filled me with heaps of anxiety, but it is
honestly the opposite. I have never played a more relaxing game. I can talk
about compulsive flower watering and bug catching, but the game is much better
than the sum of its parts. The whole experience is as consuming as it is
rewarding. I have Donkey Kong Country, Radiant Historia and Ocarina of Time all
sitting at my nightstand right now, but I keep coming back to Animal Crossing.
Because after a long day, searching for fish-shaped shadows in the river and
shaking trees is all I want to do.
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