We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, and happy Father’s day to all of you out there! While Father’s Day generally includes celebration and relaxation for dads and father figures, it’s also important to take some time to relax yourself.
June has been rather interesting with life. Nothing bad has happened, thankfully, we’ve just been very busy. Busy enough that our regular routine of writing up posts and scheduling them has been interrupted throughout the month, and this comes after last month of us just being tired — physically, mentally, and emotionally — for various reasons.
We haven’t really played any video games lately, not new ones, at any rate. While we would like to pick up something new — Cadence of Hyrule, Little Friends, for a couple of examples — we’ve been finding ourselves vegging out with Animal Crossing: New Leaf while old Twitch and YouTube streams play in the background instead. Game Dev Tycoon is both on our Steam account and on my phone, so I’ve come home from my day job just to plop on the sofa and drain my phone battery with the game. This past week, I’ve been booting up Arcade Spirits more often than not in the evening instead of, say, working on blog posts (hence why this post is being posted a touch late rather than having been scheduled and published already). We’ve been focusing on some comfort games lately than crashing into new things.
Everyone needs a creative break sometimes. Stretching your creative limits can be exhausting and you can fall into a self-depreciating hole for not creating enough or taking too long of a break. Rachel and I have tried to find other creative endeavors to make that faucet flow again — me with a new sketchbook and canvases, Rachel with bracelet weaves and magnets — and we were excited at the idea of starting something new.
Yet, at this time, my pack of canvases is still shrink-wrapped.
But that’s okay. I’ll have a weekend off soon and maybe that’s when I’ll start throwing paint around again. It’s difficult always being creative all the time, and it’s okay to step back and take a break. It’s okay if that break is only a couple of days, maybe a week, or even a month. There is no time limit on caring for yourself.
What do you do to give yourself a creative break? Any comfort games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Most of the time, we’re focusing on new games that are coming out, trying to plan what we want to play and experience. Every once in a while, we go back to old favorites and I’ve recently been playing a game that I’ve never really been interested in before…
One of my favorite chill game franchises is Harvest Moon. In fact, I heard that another Harvest Moon game will be revealed at E3 next week, which is usually exciting for me. I’m looking forward to hearing more details about the game but… I realized I’m not as excited for it as I used to be for past Harvest Moon games.
In all honesty, my favorite Harvest Moon games tend to be the past ones. Newer Harvest Moon games — with their gimmicks and updated mechanics — tend to not impress me as much. My longest farm-run is on my More Friends of Mineral Town for the Game Boy Advance and probably A New Beginning for the 3DS. I prefer the ones with simpler stories, which is a bit ironic considering how invested I get in the stories of video games, that give me more freedom on growing my farm.
With that said, I haven’t picked up a Harvest Moon game in a while. However, lately I have been playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
If you recall from one of the previous challenges Rachel and I have done, I had her play a Harvest Moon game while she wanted me to give the Animal Crossing franchise another chance. Neither of us really did too well on that challenge, both of us becoming bored with the other’s favorite franchise fairly quickly. However, lately Rachel and I watched a couple of our favorite YouTubers doing a quick Let’s Play with New Leaf, and I found myself asking Rachel questions about the game’s mechanics. Seeing a Let’s Play of what could be done in the game gave me the urge to give it one more try, and it’s something that I’ve been chilling out with lately at the end of the night.
If given the choice between the two franchises, I will would pick Harvest Moon over Animal Crossing, but I definitely have a newfound appreciation for Animal Crossing.
Is there a game that you used to dislike but found appreciation for recently? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Title: Animal Crossing New Leaf Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development, Monolith Soft Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: November 8, 2012
How we got the game: I bought it when it came out many moons ago
If you know me, then you know Animal Crossing is one of my favorite games ever. I recently got into the mood to play Animal Crossing New Leaf again and realized the only Animal Crossing game I’ve reviewed on this site is Happy Home Designer. So, I visited my New Leaf town, which is apparently called, “Kalos.”
Like the Animal Crossing games before it, New Leaf isn’t too different in gameplay. You have your human villager move into a town inhabited by various animals. The goal is pay off the debt on your house, upgrade said house multiple times and paying off that debt, all the while decorating your house, collecting various items to boost the town and make friends with your many villagers.
The shops can upgrade depending on how much money, or bells, you spend there. There’s a general store, garden shop, clothing and shoe store, the post office, and more. Some of these shops don’t open until you meet certain other requirements in the game, though none of it is hard.
You’re also mistaken as the new mayor of the town so you can do some extra stuff – like created public works projects or put certain ordinances into effect. There are four ordinances – beautiful town, night town, early town, and bell boom town. Beautiful means no weeds will appear and your villagers will water and plant more flowers on their own (even if you stop playing your game for a while). Night owl and early bird are as it sounds – villagers and shops will either wake up and go to bed earlier for the early bird town or they’ll stay up later and wake up later in the night owl town. Bell boom makes everything more expensive, which in turn allows you to make money faster.
I personally have the night owl town on so I can go to my private island at night and collect the various beetles and sharks. I make anywhere between 100,000-200,000 bells per trip.
The public works projects are fun as well. Granted, the villagers don’t do much to help it out – it’s basically more money for your to put into the town yourself. Still, it adds more depth to the town. You can add a fountain, benches, and best of all, bridges. Each town layout is large and there’s only one bridge connecting the two halves over the river that splits them up. I personally picked a town map with a bridge on the right-hand-most side. Now I also have a bridge in the middle and on the left to make it even.
While I wish the villagers did more and had more of a variety when it comes to personalities (even though there are a decent amount of personality traits), I find them amusing all the same. I love each and every one of my villagers and will not let any of them leave until I get their picture. Then they can move on so I can collect more villagers.
New Leaf also has “Welcome Amiibo” which I haven’t used. There’s a campground where you can visit certain NPCs in a trailer and buy some of their stuff. You can also put an Amiibo in and they can become a villager in your town. New Leaf allows nine villagers in your town, but you can have ten if it’s from an Amiibo.
I haven’t tried this yet because all my Amiibos are still sealed. Someday, when I open them, I will add Boo into my town or something.
As always, the graphics in this game are great. On the 3DS (I play on the 2DS XL), they’re crisp and bright. The water rippling in the ocean and river are satisfying, the flowers sparkling when watered are great. Everything about this game is aesthetically pleasing to me and the various themes of furniture and such are too much though I’m determined to get it all.
The music is one of the best parts of this game, I think. There’s a new song every hour and it’s so relaxing and calm. I love playing this game whenever I’m stressed or having a rough week. It’s easy to get absorbed into this work and not feel better afterward.
There’s always something to do in this game even after you “beat it” and pay off all your debt. There are so many things to collect – furniture, clothes, bugs, fish, fossils – and the villagers especially are the most fun (and difficult) to collect. I’ll be going back to this game forever and forever.
Animal Crossing New Leaf gets… 5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Going to change it up a little this week in that I’m doing a post in response to the challenge that Rachel and I gave each other way back in October. Did any of you forget about that? I promise we didn’t!
Way back at the beginning of October, Rachel and I challenged each other to play a game from the other’s favorite laid-back franchise. I challenged Rachel to play a Harvest Moon game — Light of Hope for the Nintendo Switch — and she challenged me to play Animal Crossing New Leaf for the 3DS. My goal was to pay off my debt enough to get the biggest house expansion as well as have my villagers like me, have a great town, and a high mayor rating.
And I failed.
What I did accomplish was get a 100% mayor rating (although it’s probably gone down by this point considering I haven’t visited my town in a month), make some villager friends, and paid off enough debt to expand the first floor of my house. I didn’t get the side rooms, but the front room is bigger.
I didn’t do too badly, in my opinion, but I obviously did not meet all of the requirements to complete the challenge, and I have no real excuse for not doing so. We had chosen October to do these challenges because we figured we would have enough time to do them before the decidedly busier months of November and December. Instead, New Leaf became a chore rather than something I wanted to do. Being competitive didn’t make me want to pick up the game.
It was nice meeting and seeing the villagers and Isabelle. The characters are adorable and they made me chuckle with their animations and the way they talk. When I did play the game, it was relaxing. I especially enjoyed the music while running around bug-hunting and fishing!
Yet, I was bored with the overall premise of the game. Sure, it was cute, but there wasn’t anything to keep me sustained. While my Harvest Moon games tend not to have huge stories to follow either, I’m able to create my own and, for the most part, figure out how to accomplish my goals myself.
It was interesting to actually make more of an effort in an Animal Crossing game but, when the Switch version comes out, I’ll probably leave that game to Rachel.
What do you think of Animal Crossing New Leaf? How would you have done with this challenge?
I’ve got Animal Crossing on the brain lately since I played Happy Home Designer. I started playing New Leaf again and it’s been a while. I’ve rediscovered so many things I love about that game.
Going to the tropical island is one of my favorite things to do. Most people may skip the boat scene, but I always listen to it. I love reading what Kapp’n has to say mostly because it’s usually funny. I also just love the way his voice sounds. The character speak has always amused me, but Kapp’n voice is my favorite, hands down.
I can’t explain how many times I’ve gone to the island and spent hours there at one time just searching for and catching sharks. They sell so well and you pay off your debt, no matter how big, in about a day. The music is fun and it’s just relaxing and casual.
I’ve heard people say they hate writing letters in Animal Crossing. It’s annoying and people will write down something random and send it because the characters aren’t actually reading it. However, I write actual letters and I love sending them. Is it annoying? Yes. But I do it because I love to get mail and the only mail I get in real life are bills.
This should come as no surprise. I love to collect things no matter what it is. In Animal Crossing you’re trying to get all the bugs, fish, paintings, and fossils. Then there are the many kinds of furniture you can get along with the clothes. Even the villagers are collectibles. Though I don’t like “forcing” the villagers to move away… because then I feel bad.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Animal Crossing? Let me know in the comments below!