When we first started up our original D&D campaign, the first full-fledged adventure after a two-session tutorial run, I recall our DM giving us players a moment saying, “Now’s the time when your characters should introduce themselves and tell a little bit about your backgrounds so I can use those details against you later.” Of course, the only one of us with a fairly detailed background was the cleric, as he had more D&D experience than the rest of us combined. Our bard had a couple of details, but only because this was her player’s second, perhaps, adventure rather than her first. Rachel’s and my characters, though, didn’t really have much of a background.
For my first character, I filled out the basic stuff and the rest was unknown. The back of my character sheet was just about blank other than her height. I didn’t want to create an elaborate backstory and try to stick with it. I wanted to see how my character would react in certain situations throughout the campaign. However, with my second campaign character, I created a basic background per the DM’s request. And, honestly? I think I like it better than not having a background at all.
I had a basic idea of my first character’s background, but it was mainly from the suggestions that the Player’s Handbook gave. If pressed, her basic motivation was to find more information on her parents, as she’s a half-elf and grew up in the wilderness. Other than that, though, her background was a blank slate as well. It’s pretty much on par for even the characters I create for novels. I let them run around and act out on their own, learning bits and pieces from them as I go about it. At this point, we’ve each created a couple of other characters for more campaigns and my characters’ backgrounds are more filled out. Our current DM’s homebrew world has plenty of backgrounds for us to adapt to, and we found that creating the backgrounds definitely helps to flesh out our characters more.
Reese has a decent background. I not only used the background ideas from the Player’s Handbook, like you, but also our DM has created a semi-homebrew campaign. He had some background ideas fleshed out based on somethings in the handbook. Reese is from the Wetlands, and she follows the River Goddess. She’s very much into keeping the waters clean and she loves boats. She crafts boats and loves to go on water-based adventures.
I have a tiefling druid who is seeking knowledge about the world’s inner workings and is very exasperated with our current campaign since it is keeping her from reading, haha! Having more of a background for the characters also helps the DM since, if they know of the character’s background, they’re able to incorporate the characters more in the world the DM created. Entwining the characters’ goals based on what they’ve experienced in their history with the world is a common goal for every DM, I believe. Some DMs like to receive copies of the players’ characters beforehand to approve them, be sure their abilities and backgrounds would work with the world too. I think we have a happy medium with our current characters, having enough of an idea as to where the character comes from, but still figuring out their innermost traits by playing them.
I agree, I think it helps all of us. Not just ourselves and the DM, but the other players as well. We have something to bounce off from. With that said, the next time you make a character, are you going to create a backstory or try to wing it again?
A mixture, I think. I want to give my characters enough of a backstory so I have some defining traits to roleplay them with. After all, backgrounds and history help to shape the characters. Yet, I don’t want to so rigorously define my character with a history that there’s little chance of further development.
That’s fair and I can totally agree with that. I think, though, our DM opened my eyes to the backstories and the possibilities of how I can have fun with my character’s backstory. I might try to create backstories more often than not now.
If you play DnD, do you create backstories for your characters or wing it? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
Fairly recently, Kris and I had played through Lady Layton on the Switch. It wasn’t the best game but it did have some pretty great characters.
Katrielle Layton, most known as Kat, is a detective following in the footsteps of her father, Professor Hershel Layton. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the Professor Layton puzzle, detective games. Kat stars in her own detective game, Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy which originally was released on the Nintendo 3DS in 2017. She also stars in her own TV series, Kat’s Mystery Solving Files. There are about 50 episodes with cases taken from her game and brand new ones as well.
As I said earlier, Lady Layton isn’t a great game. In terms of solving crimes, it was a bit bland. However, the characters were strong and I absolutely loved Kat’s personality. She’s strong-willed, knows what she’s talking about, smart, funny, and doesn’t care what other people think. Plus, she’s constantly hungry and has a soft spot for chocolate. I found that to be a fun quirk about her.
In terms of Kat solving crime, I often found that she seemed to pull the answer out of her rear, but I think that was mostly because the game didn’t truly allow you to solve the crime yourself. Her answers always made sense so she was clearly the smartest in the room. Although, she could act like a know-it-all about it.
Overall, Kat’s not a bad character and I wouldn’t mind seeing her in other games. I’m curious to see the TV show about her as well. I’ll have to look that one up at some point.
Do you love Katrielle from Lady Layton? How many of his games have you played? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Since Animal Crossing New Horizons is still fairly new and absolutely everyone is still playing the game, we thought it’d be appropriate to do an Animal Crossing edition of would you rather. So, Kris, would you rather have terraforming and not be allowed to move anything once it’s already placed (houses, trees, etc.) or not have terraforming but be able to move anything and rearrange your island however you wanted?
I believe I would like the ability to be able to move and rearrange my island without the terraforming. It would be a challenge to use the island layout when arranging everything to my liking. Rachel, would you rather always be surprised with the villagers that move into your island (or town) or need to always pick them and choose them, getting rid of that surprise element entirely?
I would rather always be surprised. I’m surprised I’ve been island hopping to find a certain someone, especially because I like the element of surprise and I do want to collect them all at some point. The surprise makes it more fun. If Animal Crossing had a new side game come out, would you rather be a real estate agent under Tom Nook (though not like Happy Home Designer) or be a museum curator and work under Blathers?
I’d work with Tom Nook. I’d bet I’d make bank! That and, as interesting as the collecting and facts about the items in the museum are, the museum isn’t as appealing to me. Blathers is cool, though. Being a real estate agent, trying to persuade buyers, find hidden gems among houses, sounds like it can be fun! Would you rather have all the clothing options for your character or would you like to be able to decorate the houses and buildings of your island or town? Basically, fashion or interior design?
I think I’d prefer the latter. I absolutely love the fashion options in New Horizons – they added and upgraded so much. However, you can only go so far when it comes to changing outfits. There are a ton of interior decorating items and collections to mix and match – plus, you have multiple rooms to try out many different things at once and switch them up here and there. Would you rather have all your villagers be the same species at random (for example, have an entire island with chicken villagers) or would you rather have all your villagers be one specific personality type at random (for example, all cranky villagers)?
I don’t think I’d mind a random species with different personalities. I think it’s the personalities that really make the characters. As long as each character looked different enough for me to tell them apart at a glance, I’d pick having the different personalities. Would you rather have only one island or town that is super large, giving you plenty of space but may be overwhelming with taking care of the whole thing, or have the ability to have multiple small islands or towns, perhaps only with enough room for one specialty shop and a handful of villagers?
I’d rather have something large. As much as I’d love to have multiple islands, if I’d have to put the museum on one island and the shop on the other, it wouldn’t be as worth it. Final question from me, would you rather only play Animal Crossing for the Gamecube for the rest of your life or only play Animal Crossing New Leaf – no, that’s not a typo – for the rest of your life?
No New Horizons then? Between those two, I’d probably go with New Leaf. It has more updated mechanics and graphics. Not saying that the simpler Gamecube would be bad, but I think New Leaf has more to offer and may hold my attention longer. For your last question to answer, would you rather only be able to play New Horizons without online play or always be online with your gates open for friends?
Great, make people get mad at me… I’d rather have no online play. Being able to send letters to friends and have them come onto my island is fabulous, but I’m too much of a control freak. I wouldn’t want to share my deserted island with anyone. Overall, I think we came up with some pretty good questions based on Animal Crossing. Maybe part two will come at some point!
What are your answers to these questions? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
Kris and I are well-versed in the Pokemon world. We love each and every region, though we do have our favorites. However, even though we have similar tastes, we do have opposite opinions on which Pokemon region is the better one.
Last year, we did Johto vs Kalos, a couple of our favorite regions from the Pokemon games. This time around, it’s Hoenn vs Sinnoh, the pair of games that are not only right up there with our favorites list, but also the regions where we first poured in so many hours respectively in order to not only defeat the champions but also train our Pokemon up to level 100. I’m playing for Team Hoenn, the region that is home to the third generation of Pokemon.
And I’m playing for team Sinnoh, the fourth generation of Pokemon. Pearl was the first Pokemon game I played all the way through and beyond and it’s had a special place in my heart ever since. I had, of course, played Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald before Pearl, Diamond, and Platinum came out. I never actually beat those games though – not until Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire came out. I enjoyed the Hoenn games, but for some reason, I seemed to enjoy Sinnoh a lot more.
Hoenn was always one of my favorites, mainly because I really enjoyed the Pokemon of the generation. While Sinnoh was great, Hoenn was the first generation to give you the option to play as either gender from the get-go as well as having a slightly more defined family. The duality of Sapphire’s and Ruby’s stories were interesting enough to keep me invested, and Emerald incorporated both Team Aqua and Team Magma well.
True, it was pretty cool to play as a girl for the first time. However, one thing I really loved about Sinnoh was Barry, your rival. I know he’s annoying to some, but I felt as though he was the first rival of yours who didn’t have any background in the Pokemon industry (such as their father being a gym leader or brother being the champion). Barry did have a story and he grew during it, even if it was a bit lacking. It still worked and I enjoyed his personality and journeying alongside him.
Barry’s father, I believe, was one of the heads of the Battle Tower, if that counts. I believe catching up to his father was one of his main goals, other than just having a grand old time on a journey. Hoenn kind of had two rivals, the opposite-gendered avatar as the professor’s child and Wally, the kid who spent the time working to improve both his confidence and health. They weren’t too bad, as far as rivals went, except that they were the first rivals to be fairly friendly with the main character. The rivalry was good-natured and they helped to protect the world with the main character rather than just be considered another villain-like character.
I actually don’t remember that about Barry. Good-natured rivals are well and good, especially since Barry was your friend in Sinnoh. I have to say, I don’t necessarily like comparing Pokemon to other Pokemon, but… I do think the legendary Pokemon in Sinnoh are cooler than the ones in Hoenn. It’s cool to have Pokemon care for the land and one for the water as well as one for the sky, but Palkia and Dialga represent time and space and then Giratina is animated. How cool is that? I feel like land, water, and sky are a bit cliche and Sinnoh’s legendaries represent so much more.
The Hoenn legendaries, though, are more plot-relevant in the third generation than the Sinnoh legendaries, I feel. Sure, in Platinum, you go to another dimension to meet Giratina, but I honestly forget the major plot points with the other legendaries. Hoenn actually has Kyogre and Groudon nearly duke it out and destroy the known world, making it more exciting. Hoenn also introduced the Battle Frontier, giving trainers more battle challenges after the main story. While the Battle Tower itself was introduced in the Crystal version, Emerald expanded upon it with the whole Frontier.
I think we can agree to disagree that there are various differences between the two regions. They both have their ups and downs, though I still enjoyed Sinnoh a lot better. I think partly because it was on the DS instead of the Advance, but… I guess I can’t really use that as an advantage since that was just the technology at the time.
I adored the look of Emerald, even if it was on the Advance rather than the DS, with the scenery of the region throughout your journey. At least the third generation of Pokemon had remakes! We’re still waiting on the Diamond and Pearl remakes, haha!
Which side are you on? Do you prefer Hoenn or Sinnoh? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Amiibos was something that didn’t appeal to us when they were first released in 2014. While I thought they were pretty cool, I didn’t have any desire to collect them. I knew, once I got one, I’d have to collect them all. However, I don’t actually use them. They’re all still in their original packaging, displayed in our office. Yet, after a while of Amiibos being out in the world, we slowly began to collect them.
The Amiibos are fun little figurines, but we never felt the pull to actually collect them enough to use them. We have a deal that we each get one another an Amiibo during our birthdays and Christmas, just to slowly collect them so they can be displayed. They’re extra surprises during the holidays, but that’s pretty much it. While we still hear about new Amiibos coming out — especially with new Super Smash Bros. fighters — we don’t hear much about people using the Amiibos.
It’s funny because Amiibos used to be all the rage. While Nintendo still releases new figurines when a new game comes out or a new character appears in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, you see people commenting on Twitter about how cool they look, but that’s about it. Do people still buy Amiibos, especially the new ones? I used to see Amiibo collections and displays all the time and now… not so much.
Not only that, but there are very talented artists out there who make (or have made) custom Amiibos. When Amiibos first came out, Nintendo used to talk up their capabilities within games, such as Breath of the Wild gaining new clothes or even Wolf Link to help out the Link through the adventure depending on which Amiibo you used. Animal Crossing New Horizons has Amiibo capabilities, I’ve noticed, but I haven’t heard much about them being used.
Animal Crossing had Amiibo capabilities in New Leaf and people did use them then. You can basically manipulate which villager you want to arrive at your campsite using the Amiibo. Of course, there isn’t an Amiibo for every villager. You could bring characters from other games to your village such as Medli from Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
I believe that’s what New Horizons can do as well, yes? Although doing a bit of research, I see that New Horizons uses Amiibo cards from Happy Home Designer. Did you ever play Happy Home Designer, Rachel? When did Amiibo cards become a thing? Would we still be able to use Amiibo figures for New Horizons? Someone figure this out.
You asked me too many questions to comprehend anything and I’m not going to re-read what you just wrote. But yes, I did play Happy Home Designer. I “beat” the initial “story.” It was quick and easy though there are plenty more houses for me to decorate. I haven’t gone back to it though. It was fun, but I prefer to play the main Animal Crossing game. The Amiibos cards have always been a thing, I thought. Maybe they did come out around that time but I’m sure Amiibo cards aren’t just for Animal Crossing. Clearly, we’re not that savvy when it comes to Amiibos and maybe we shouldn’t be writing this post.
And the fourth wall has been shattered with a hammer, haha! I think our limited experiences with Amiibos are fine enough for this post. Basically we’re trying to figure out if anyone out there is still interested in these figurines or if Nintendo has already gotten all of their money’s worth from them.
Nintendo is still making them though and I do think they’re a delight. I don’t know about you, but I do plan on collecting them all someday. I just don’t know how I could justify dropping a boatload of bucks on Amiibo we don’t have all at once. Someday though. I want to have a large coffee table in the middle to the living room and display the figures like the trophies used to be displayed in old Smash Brothers games.
It would be fun to collect as many as we can for display purposes! One day I would like to actually use the Wolf Link Amiibo for Breath of the Wild and try that out. Who knows, maybe if we actually open them one day and use them, we’ll understand their appeal more.
Do you still collect Amiibo? What do you do with them? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
When I was a kid, I didn’t play video games on a console. At least, not until I got a little older. I played a lot of simple games on the computer. Here are just a few.
Petz (Dogz & Catz)
Let’s be real – if there’s a pet simulator out there, you bet I’ve played it. Petz was a series that had five installments. It was always Dogz. Catz wasn’t introduced until the fourth installment, I believe. These games were as it sounds – you adopted a dog or cat (as many as you’d like), play with them, give them baths, feed them, and breed them and take care of the puppies and kittens. You could name them and dress them and it was so much fun. You couldn’t take them on walks, but you could take them to other places to play mini-games where you could win toys for them or something.
What was really special about this game to me was that there were different rooms to the house. If you wanted to feed them, you needed to bring them into the kitchen and open the fridge to get their food or a bottle, if they were a puppy or kitten. Using the cursor, you picked up the bottle and feed the pets until they were done or the bottle was gone. It was small touches like that that made the game unique.
I believe we still have this game in our office. If only we had a computer old enough, I would totally play it again.
Arthur’s Computer Adventure
I was recently reminded of this game. This was a gem, even though it was buried deep into my memory. In fact, I don’t remember too much of this one. Arthur plays too many computer games and you play the computer game he’s addicted to. It’s some underwater adventure, that’s all I can recall. It’s on Amazon and the cover may seem familiar to some of you. It brought back some nostalgia for me… I just can’t remember the actual gameplay.
Disney’s Activity Center
We had quite a few of these. Although I have to admit, I can’t remember which ones we had exactly. I know we had The Lion King and I believe 102 Dalmations. We had a 101 Dalmantions game but I don’t think it was exactly “Disney’s Activity Center.” I couldn’t find it, but I believe it was a storybook type of CD-ROM with mini-games and the like.
I remember spending hours on these games. There were pictures to color, mini-games such as Timon catching bugs from Pumbaa, or playing a matching game in 101 Dalmations trying to match the dogs with their owners. They were short games, but they were games I played all the time, on a loop. I never got tired of these.
What are some of your favorite expansions for The Sims? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Since the world is currently shut down, we’re not able to see our friends and have our normal monthly DnD session. We miss it, especially we had our own go-to snacks and drinks for each session. We were in a routine and it was fun. However, we’ve been doing virtual sessions to keep in touch and, because we all have more free time, we’ve been doing a session every two weeks as opposed to monthly.
At this time, we’re doing a new campaign where another member of our group is the DM. It’s really odd not being with everyone in the same room to play — that, and we always got these awesome sandwiches from a place near our friends’ house — but we’re making due. The first virtual session, Rachel unfortunately missed, but her character was with us in spirit. We started off in a fight and, upon winning, took the survivor of the opposing group to interrogate. Turns out he was part of a following that wanted to stop a blasphemous play that may bring the Dark One back to life. We agreed to help by pretending to be on the opposite side, playing along with the director of the play. Per the director’s instructions, we got rid of the vermin in the old playhouse so the play could go on. Once we finished, the director attempted to convince our party to join the play, but my character especially was adamant against it. Instead, we told him we’d talk to a famous actress that he wanted for a special part to see if she would be willing to join.
I’m sorry Reese wasn’t there for that. She would have been delighted at the chance to be in a play! There was an elf that the director wanted in the play. So, in our next session (where Reese was present), our group tracked down this elf. We found ourselves at the Glittering Wood Cafe where there were a lot of serene elves, whispering to one another. They were kind, though sounded as though they were under some sort of spell. We were given tea and Reese gulped it down getting a bit tipsy as a result.
I believe all the characters got a little drunk off this tea except for our group’s high elf, haha! It was great because Reese was tipsy enough to firmly believe that the actress was going to be her new best friend and, with the help of our sober high elf, spoke to the actress and convinced her to join this play. We promised she’d be safe, giving her a badge from the group that was trying to trap the blasphemous people putting on the said play, to indicate that she shouldn’t be harmed.
By the way, we’re not naming this elf actress because our DM gave her a name I have no idea how to pronounce or spell so I called her L the whole time. Luckily for us, she agreed and the following day, the play went on. However, as predicted, right at the climax of the play, some of the actors became possessed and tried to summon the Dark Lord. Thus, a battle ensued with many of the audience members dying in the process. We won the battle overall, but… we lost at the same time.
Haha, our DM kept changing up the spelling of the name, adding more Ls and apostrophes each time we tried to ask! During the battle of the play, the director was killed and we were able to protect the actress and ourselves, but despite our best efforts, the spell to release the Dark Lord was done. Our group was exhausted, returned to the following that had helped to put an end to the play, and vowed to find out more regarding the Dark Lord. The next morning, we stepped out of the inn and were met with a bunch of disciples and scholars blaming us for the Dark Lord’s release. Considering we had attempted to go to them for help first before all the play nonsense and were dismissed, we threw the blame right back at them.
Reese stopped the director from doing something fishy – we weren’t sure if we could trust him or not. In the middle of the battle, I called to our elf (we were all dying and she was closest to him) that he was doing something weird and… well, she rolled really well and burned him to a crisp. So, I’m not sure if we did the right thing in killing him or not, but what’s done is done. Anyway, now those scholars have decided to help us. We were brought down into a basement, cellar, type thing searching for more answers about this Dark Lord.
Rather, we’re all in this together now to stop the Dark Lord from coming to full power and doing anything awful to the world. The scholars asked us to go deep into the archives of their symposium and library to find more information on the Dark Lord, basically because not many go down there so who knows what monsters may have sprung up, as well as the fact that we don’t know the ancient language, so there’s less of a chance that we will be corrupted.
Ah, yes. The library. I forgot where we went so I opted for “basement, cellar, type thing.” Anyway, while we were down there, we came across a door that had a stack of scrolls that weren’t dusty and old as the rest of them. We tried to stake out the door – since there seemed to be no lock, key, or handle of some sort, and came across someone knocking on the door. It opened from the other side and our group sprang into action once more.
We confronted the person, another scholar, who knew how to get the door to open and persuaded her to get the door open for us to go and explore further down the archives. You want to know what was on the other side of the door? Baboons. They were some type of baboon that we knocked down the stairs on the other side of the door. We left the session with our group staring at these baboons and trying to figure out if they would be friendly enough to let us explore the archives.
Do you play DnD? How well do you think Reese, Faith, and their companions will do? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Does anyone remember Nintendogs? That game existed… it wasn’t great, but it was still a good one.
Nintendogs is a series of games for the Nintendo DS originally released in 2005. There are ten games in total within the series, all being essentially the same game. There are just more breeds (or different breeds) of dogs within each installment, eventually adding cats into the mix.
I had two of these games. Maybe three, but at least two. I only played one of them though. I had the idea that I would have every single breed and, eventually, get all the games in the series so I could complete my collection of dogs (and cats). That never happened, of course. I played the game on a regular basis much like Animal Crossing or The Sims. I needed to check up on my pups every day.
Of course, I soon got bored of the game, thus leaving poor Buddy and Julie behind.
Yes, I had two dogs – a male, orange Shia Inu named Buddy, and a female, white Shiba Inu named Julie. I don’t know why I remember those details exactly, but I do.
In the game, you can take your pup for walks, give them a bath, feed them, and teach them tricks. You can also enter them in competitions such as obstacle courses or frisbee throwing. From what I remember, the game did have some meat to it. However, it wasn’t easy to hold my attention for too long. Once you had fed your dogs, given them a bath and a walk – maybe not necessarily in that order – there wasn’t much else to do for the day.
Eventually, I got out of the habit of playing the game every single day, and, soon enough, I stopped playing altogether. I still have the games, of course. I’m sure if I turned on my original Nintendogs, Buddy and Julie will still be there waiting for me.
Overall, I remember it being a pretty fun game. Even after I stopped playing, I still hoped to collect all the games. If not to play, but just to have. You know, similar to collecting all the Pokemon games even though they’re fairly similar to each other.
While writing this article, I have the urge to take out the game and turn it on. Maybe I’ll try playing it again and do a review for it. It could be fun. I think it would be cool to revisit the pups again.
Did you ever play this game? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I have to admit, there’s one character from Animal Crossing that I’ve been missing in New Horizons. Since he’s been long retired anyway, I thought it was appropriate for him to have a chance in the spotlight.
Tortimer is a turtle from the Animal Crossing series. He has appeared as the mayor in the village you move into in all the Animal Crossing games, except for Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. His first appearance was in Animal Crossing on the Nintendo Gamecube from 2001.
Aside from having the title as mayor and running the Acorn Festival as “Cornimer,” Tortimer didn’t do too much. He hung around the plaza or was inside an office. He didn’t wander the village at all and mostly kept to himself.
He retired in New Leaf, which is why he wasn’t in the game. He’s not in New Horizons either, though I would love to have him visit my island once a year or so, still in his retired get-up with a tropical drink in hand, thinking your island is a vacation spot.
He doesn’t have to do anything but wander around complaining he’s on the wrong island.
Overall, there’s not too much to say about good, old Tortimer. He didn’t do too much but he didn’t have to do much. He was always a favorite NPC of mine and I would love to see more of him.
Do you love Tortimer from Animal Crossing? How many of his games have you played? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Title: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 20, 2020
How I got the game: I pre-ordered a digital copy from the Nintendo Switch eShop
Guys. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is here. I mean, it’s been here for a month now, but… it’s here and we can actually play it.
I have to say, I think Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the best Animal Crossing game yet. It’s been a month and, while I have skipped a day or two here and there, this game is hard not to put down and I’m addicted to it. Given to what’s going on in the rest of the world right now, I think Animal Crossing: New Horizons is exactly what we all needed at this time.
For the most part, this isn’t too much different from the previous games in the series. Yet, there are a lot of brand new features.
The point of Animal Crossing is that you move to a new village – or, in this case, a deserted island – and you build up your home, paying off your debt to Tom Nook. In order to make money, you can fish and catch bugs to sell, sell furniture, sell fossils, and the like. There’s a shop where you can buy furniture and other items for your home along with wallpaper and flooring. There’s a clothing store, a flower shop, and so much else to make your village and house your own. No to mention, helping out the museum by donating bugs, fish, art, and fossils.
In New Horizons, you start off on a deserted island that you build from scratch. The island has nothing but fish, bugs to catch, fruit trees, and rocks. Your house first starts off as a tent and the “shop” is a tent as well. Plus, it’s just you, Tom Nook and his two kids, and two villagers. With that said, you’re building a brand new place for people to live. You’re not just concerned about your own home, but the island in its entirety.
You can collect materials such as tree branches, stones, various types of wood, and iron nuggets to craft an abundance of items. These items are tools such as a bug net, fishing pole, shovel, and more. Plus, you can create furniture and other items that you can use to decorate your house or your island. Which is another difference between New Horizons and previous Animal Crossing games – not only do you collect materials and craft things yourself, you can use those items to decorate the whole island.
Now you need to worry about which couch to place in your living room and where to put a picnic table outside.
I love gathering materials and crafting items. It really adds a lot more depth to the game and gives you more to do on a daily basis rather than constantly fishing and catching bugs just to sell to pay off your house or buy things from the store to decorate your home. I have to say though, my favorite new feature is being able to decorate outside of your home and the whole island. I have a plastic kiddie pool in New Leaf that’s in the middle of my living room and it makes absolutely no sense. Now, I have that same plastic kiddie pool in front of Astrid’s house – she’s a kangaroo and I’m sure the little tyke in her pouch would love to go for a swim.
Speaking of things to do, a new feature called Nook Miles has been added. These are achievements for the game. Nook Miles+ is something extra which are daily achievements. Once you reach one, a new one will appear. It makes it so that when you’re playing and you’ve already hit all your rocks and shaken all your trees but don’t necessarily feel like farming fish or bugs for money, you can take a look at some achievements to do in order to gain Nook Miles.
Nook Miles is sort of a reward point system from Tom Nook. You can use these miles to buy certain DIY recipes for crafting or other furniture for your house and island. You can also use these miles to go on Mystery Island Tours. Similar to the island in New Leaf, you can head to another deserted island at random. This is a way for you to gain extra materials. There are rocks to hit and trees to shake. Sometimes, the weather will be different on these random islands than what’s currently happening on your island and you’ll be able to catch different bugs or fish.
All the mystery islands are randomly generated and no two are alike – or so I’m told – however, there are different kinds of islands you can come across. For example, the bamboo island will have bamboo trees for collecting. You can take them back to your island with you and farm bamboo for DIY crafts. The most common island is one that looks normal with your native fruit. The next most common, but rarer than that, is a regular island that has fruit trees that are not your native fruit. There’s also tarantula island, money rock island, and a few more.
On these islands, if you have space and have a house for sale on your own island, you can run into one villager. You can either invite this villager to live on your island or leave them behind. I think this is a pretty cool feature because there are nearly 400 animal villagers to move into your island and you can only have ten. I’ve always loved how random the villagers were, never knowing who you’re going to get, and always hoping for that one special villager. With this, you can pick and choose. It’s still random so if you’re looking for a specific guy, you could be searching for a bit.
The villagers have always been my favorite part about Animal Crossing and now they’re better than ever. They have more dialogue (not much, but still more), they have more emotion behind their words (the reactions do help though), and they do more than just aimlessly wander around. They eat donuts, sit under the trees, run like Sonic, sing… it’s great. Plus, the higher your friendship with them, the more they’ll interact with you and say more things. It’s great.
Speaking of villagers and friends, it’s so easy to have friends over to your island. You can invite anyone locally or via online. If your Switch friends have the game, you can just invite them instead of opening your gates to the world. Also, when you invite someone, you can become best friends with them and there’s an option to only open gates for your best friends. On the flip side, you can use a code to only invite certain people in. Just in case you’re not feeling very social but someone wants to sell their turnips because you have a better price that day, you can use a code to let that person in only.
The best feature of all though? If you’re best friends with someone, you can mail them letters. And it gets to them immediately. I can’t thank Nintendo enough for that one.
Overall, I have little complaints about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I guess I would say I wish you can craft multiple things at once. I made a bunch of birdhouses one day because it the hot item at Nook’s Cranny and I had to build them one by one. If you have the materials in your pocket, it should ask how many you want to make. Although, I can live without that. It’s really just a nit-pick because I honestly can’t find anything else wrong with this game.
I mean, really… what can I say about the graphics and music? No matter what I say, it won’t do them justice. The music, as always, is great. It’s relaxing and calm but catchy. Animal Crossing was always known for its hourly music and also depending on the in-game weather and, for some reason, you need to unlock the hourly music. I don’t mind this and it doesn’t take long to unlock it at all. I just don’t understand why they made it something that needed to be unlocked.
The sound effects are a huge plus as well. It was always satisfying but now you can hear and see the wind blowing through the trees and your character’s hair. You can hear the ocean waves when you’re at the beach and listen to the waterfall. The positional audio is a nice touch as well.
As for the graphics, the villagers look so good. They look much more realistic than they ever did before. They have some texture to them – not a lot, but enough to make it noticeable and for it to look good.
I’m going to be playing this game for the rest of my life. I may get to the point where I don’t check the island every single day, but… I’ll play it for the rest of my life, yes.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons gets… 5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!