Would You Rather: Animal Crossing Edition

Would You Rather: Animal Crossing Edition | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Animal Crossing | Video Games | Gaming | Animal Crossing Games | DoublexJump.com

rachmii
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?

krismii
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?

rachmii
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?

krismii
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?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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)?

krismii
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?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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?

krismii
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?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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!

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Are Collecting Amiibos Still A Thing?

Are Collecting Amiibos Still A Thing | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

rachmii
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.

krismii
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.

rachmii
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.

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

krismii
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.

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Monday Memories: AOL Instant Messenger

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

We’re going back to the past in regards to today’s post. AOL’s instant messenger was alive from May 1997 to December 2017, and I remember using it so often to chat with friends after school during our early high school years.

AOL | Video Games | Gaming | Super Smash Bros. | Movies | RPG | Role Play | Doublexjump.com

Video games have always been a major source of inspiration for me. I started writing due to the Legend of Zelda. I started drawing due to Pokemon. Then there was a good friend and the Super Smash Bros. franchise helping me discover my passion of storytelling through the use of AOL instant messenger.

A couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out in Jett’s Stardew Valley stream and the chat went off on a tangent about AOL instant messenger and reminiscing about the good ol’ days of the Internet. Back near the end of middle school and for a couple of years in high school, my best friend and I tended to end our nights after homework chatting with each other about our school classes.

Somehow those AIM chats also evolved into role-playing with my friend taking on the roles of some of her favorite movie characters — like Professor Snape from Harry Potter and James Bond — and me playing some favorite video game characters, such as a multitude of fighters from Super Smash Bros. Melee, since that was the main game we played at the time.

That was actually the “setting” of our game. This sounds ridiculous as I type it out, but our AIM chat room was a “common room” set in between my friend’s boarding house for her favorite movie characters and the Super Smash Bros. manor. Not only would my friend and I talk, but we’d use different colored text to indicate what other characters were talking as well. We even had imaginary pets join our houses at some point because apparently we didn’t have enough characters clamoring for our attention.

With these characters, we went on adventures, crafting stories such as heading to a wedding venue for a couple of movie characters to get hitched to going to Hyrule to help defeat Dark Link. Dark Link in turn ended up being invited to the Smash Mansion, partnering with one of my original characters and turning into a pair of character archetypes that I use all the time in my novels now.

Creating these stories with each other helped us navigate through the middle school and high school transitions, and it was just a lot of fun to goof off with each other like that and virtually explore unknown worlds together.

Unfortunately, during the last couple of years of high school, our AIM conversations started to fizzle out with the need for jobs and filling out college applications. We grew up and moved on from our joint stories, but I still have the majority of our AIM conversations saved in an old flash drive. It’s nice to go back for a little spark of inspiration or just to reminisce again.

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Friday Favorites: New Horizons Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

I’m still enjoying my time in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the most part. There are definitely some improvements that could be made, especially to the crafting system, that I would like to see in future patches, though. This is my wish list for improvements to the game that I hope to one day see.

Animal Crossing New Horizons | Animal Crossing | New Horizons | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo Switch | Doublexjump.com

Weapon Durability Indicator

I actually like the crafting aspect in New Horizons. However, I would like an indication as to when my tools are about to break. Even a little hint, a pop-up bubble mentioning that the tool is feeling brittle or “flimsy,” would be nice. While eventually my island will have more bridges and such to connect the different parts of the island together, it is annoying to start searching further away from my workbench only for my tools to break without warning.

Craft/Redeem Miles In Bulk

I know I’m not the only one who wants this patched into the game. Crafting is great, but why is there no option yet to craft two or three fishing rods at a time? Why are we only able to create one at a time even when we clearly have enough materials to craft multiple tools and items? On that note, it is a little tedious to have to buy one Nook Mile ticket at a time. I would like the option to buy those in bulk, if you have enough miles, please.

“Preferred” Mystery Islands

The mystery island tours can be fun, but I have found myself going on multiple ones due to being disappointed at where I first landed. I’ve found myself at similar islands, and I understand the mystery islands are probably recycling several of the same types, that do not have the resources I was looking for and ended up racing back to my island to get another Nook Miles ticket to try again. Aside from possibly having the option to go from one mystery tour straight to another — if you have the proper amount of Nook Miles tickets in your inventory — I would also like a little bit of a choice as to where you end up. For instance, if Orville asks what kind of island I’m looking for, I can say one with fruit trees or plenty of rocks or long rivers. Having “no preference” as a response can keep islands more random.

“Write” DIY Recipes

Collecting DIY recipes is great and being able to mail and swap items with friends is awesome, but I would love to be able to “write” DIY recipes to send to friends. They can send me an item, sure, but I would prefer the actual DIY recipe so I can always make the item if need be. I have no idea how many DIY recipes there are in the game, either. I think it would be another nice way for others to connect by sharing DIY recipes with each other.

What features and mechanics do you wish were in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Throwback Thursday: Nintendogs

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Does anyone remember Nintendogs? That game existed… it wasn’t great, but it was still a good one.

Throwback Thursday: Nintendogs | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

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.

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Character Spotlight: Tortimer

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

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.

Character Spotlight: Tortimer | Animal Crossing | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

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.

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High Hopes (A Shield Nuzlocke): Chapter 5

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

This is chapter five of my Nuzlocke, a little shorter than previous chapters, but the ending seemed fitting. If you missed the first chapter or want to be reminded of the rules, feel free to go back to that post. Or, if you missed chapter four, that post is right here. Hope you enjoy this piece!

Pokemon | Pokemon Nuzlocke | Nintendo | Pokemon Shield | Pokemon Sword | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

Chapter 5:

I felt like I was going to throw up.

I thought I would be fine with all this. We registered as Gym Challengers, got to the hotel, and even helped out the hotel by defeating this really weird group of people that called themselves Team Yell in a Pokemon battle. After Hop and I defeated them, another Gym Challenger introduced herself to us as she berated the group and apologized for Team Yell.

At first glance, Marnie seemed like me. From a small town, not quite sure of her place in the world just yet, but she surprisingly had a fanclub already. She seemed nice at first glance, but I was wary of her. What had she done in her life already to warrant a fanclub? Team Yell wasn’t the most orthodox fanclub, I’ll admit, but they were there just the same with banners of Marnie’s face plastered on them.

Hop thought it was great. She was another potential rival for him to beat to the Champion status, after all. Marnie gave him a crooked smile, humoring him, before we all went on our way the next morning to the opening ceremony.

Cue me almost getting sick.

I knew there would be plenty of pomp and circumstance about the Gym Challenge. It’s what the Galar region lives for. I knew there would be a gaggle of us challengers on the field in the stadium. I knew Chairman Rose would be there to give a speech. I knew the gym leaders — well, most of them — would show up.

I was not prepared for it at all.

“Kris, isn’t this great?” Hop shouted at me above the cheering crowds. If not for him at my side, I would have turned around and retreated.

Hop was beaming and waving to those in the stands, and he couldn’t keep still even as a hush fell around us when the gym leaders sauntered in. I stuck close, my friend helping to keep me grounded as the flowery speeches began.

The opening ceremony couldn’t end soon enough. All of the celebration just for the beginning of the competition made my head spin and I wasn’t sure what it would be like whenever the Gym Challenge began to wind down.

Yet, while I was ready to go back to the hotel or the Pokemon Center to decompress for the rest of the day after the ceremony, Hop was more than ready to keep going.

“The first gym is in Turffield,” Hop said, his voice still a little louder than normal — somehow — because he didn’t quite realize we were out of the stadium yet. His Rotom Pokedex up hovering in front of our faces with the map app open. “We just go through Route 3 then the Galar Mine, then a short trip through Route 4 to reach Turffield. Easy-peasy.”

“Hop…” I paused him before we reached the edge of Motostoke. “You realize this is the farthest we’ve ever been from home?”

“Yeah, it is,” he said, the wattage of his grin dimming just a bit. “But that’s what makes it so exciting. We’re exploring the world with so many other people and Pokemon. What, are you worried?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “You’re cut out for this, but I’m not sure about me.”

“Lee wouldn’t have endorsed you if we thought otherwise,” Hop said. He moved the map app on his phone and added, “The first three gyms are Turffield, Hulbury, and Motostoke. It’s like a circle. With your bond with… well, Bond”–I rolled my eyes as Hop grinned and continued–”and the awesome way you’ve battled so far, I think you’re going to be great at the gym challenge.”

“I’ve only really battled you,” I pointed out.

“And Team Yell.”

With you.”

“Still.” Hop would not be deterred. “You’ve a full team of Pokemon already, too, don’t you? And we’ve crossed the Wild Area without any trouble. I think you should give this a go. See how you feel when we get back to Motostoke after getting the first two badges, yeah?

“Not gonna lie, Mum gave me an earful about being safe while on this journey,” Hop continued. “I know I’m really excited about this whole thing, but I am aware that it’s not going to be easy. It’s why I’m glad you’re doing this too. You got the whole level-head-on-your-shoulders thing going on. Because of that level head, though”–he poked my forehead–”I’m worried you’re going to miss out on a lot of things. You don’t want to stay in Postwick forever, do you?”

“I suppose not,” I said. I took a deep breath. “Alright. Two badges, at least. I’m just going to visit the Pokemon Center once more before heading to Turffield, make sure I’m stocked up on medicines.”

Hop grinned. “Perfect! I’ll meet you there.”

“Be careful,” I called as Hop raced off. He waved backwards and I watched until I couldn’t see him anymore.

Two badges. I could do that. My team would be just fine. We had a diverse group, and everyone was growing well enough that we’d be okay. Pokemon training was a tough but supposedly rewarding career. Everything would turn out fine.

At least, so I thought until Posie died.

Current Team: Bond the Sobble, Piccolo the Dottler, Ryder the Rookidee, Posie the Bunnelby, Freya the Oddish, Everest the Delibird
Body Count: 1

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Flashback Friday: Fire Emblem

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

These past few months have been spent trying to find comfort with some favorite games, both old and new alike. While I haven’t found Animal Crossing New Horizons to be too bad so far, I’m finding myself drawn right back to some old favorites.

Fire Emblem | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

When Super Smash Bros. Melee first became a thing, there were a couple of Japanese-speaking characters that rose in popularity. Marth was a favorite fighter of mine and Roy was Rachel’s, with me favoring the speedier characters and Rachel enjoying the stronger attacks Roy had (and fire). Meeting these characters in Melee made me interested enough to find our more about the games they came from.

Fire Emblem was a series that used to be only available in Japan because of the difficulty level. Being a grid- and turn-based strategy game that pit two armies created with characters of various fantasy classes that included permanent death for fallen units, it wasn’t a series that I would have picked up myself had I not been intrigued by Marth and Roy. Sacred Stones was my first Fire Emblem game — I distinctly remember finding it amid Toys R’ Us’s much smaller video game section at the time — and it hooked me onto the series.

I was still interested in playing the installments that touched upon Roy’s and Marth’s history, but considering not many of the Fire Emblem games had been localized in the west, Sacred Stones was my best option at the time. The game simply titled Fire Emblem in North America existed, of course, but it was a difficult game to find.

Against all odds, my parents found a used copy of Fire Emblem but, unfortunately, the game’s internal battery was dead, not allowing me to save any of my progress. Years later, the game became available on the Wii U’s virtual console and I had restarted the game while waiting until Rachel and I could get a Nintendo Switch. It was great to go back to the game, but once we did get a Switch about a month later, I forgot about it.

My love affair with the Fire Emblem series has not waned, especially with me still putting hours into Three Houses. Considering how much I enjoy the series, I’ve realized that there are a couple of Fire Emblem games — aside from Three Houses — that I still need to finish. It may be time to turn my Wii U on again and finally finish Fire Emblem.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Animal Crossing New Horizons | Nintendo Switch | Animal Crossing | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | Game Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Simulation
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.

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

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.

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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.

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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! 

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Consume More, Create More

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

How do you find inspiration to be creative? Do you just go with it, write until something that you like appears on the paper? Do you do detailed outlines before diving into a bigger project? What sparks you?

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Within the past year, I started writing on Medium. The past month or so, due to the state of the world at this time, the site hasn’t seen any new articles from me and I’m planning on getting back into it at some point. Still, it was an interesting site where you could write about nearly whatever you want and, if it’s good enough, it could be curated and distributed to a wider audience. It was the type of site that didn’t look too bad whenever there was downtime at my office and I was browsing the internet.

Anyway, a while ago, there was an article I read that left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I don’t remember it all too well, other than the author was proud of himself for consuming less and creating more. That sounds great and I’m glad the author was able to do that, but he was talking specifically about stepping away from video games.

Which, again, is great for the guy if that’s his goals for a healthy life. I’m not knocking that. What I am knocking is the fact that he separated video games from being part of a creative lifestyle. He “consumed” video games, taking them at the surface level, rather than allowing them to mingle with his creativity. Only by slowing down and ultimately stopping his gaming habits did he feel he was able to really embrace his creativity.

Hey, good for him if that worked out. Video games, at their core, are designed for entertainment. If that’s what he got out of them, enjoying them only in the moment only to later consider them as something that ate away at his time, that’s not a bad thing. However, to someone like me, I found his opinion a bit insulting.

Video games walk hand-in-hand with my creativity. Imagine me gesturing wildly to this blog, for example, and the amazing friends I’ve met due to it. Let me open up one of my many novel drafts that started based on a “What if?” question from some video game or other. Old sketchbooks are full of drawings of Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog characters, Legend of Zelda fanmade characters. Text role-playing back on AOL instant messenger with my best friend — me taking on the role of several Nintendo characters while she took up the mantle of her favorite movie characters — started me on the path of writing and I never looked back.

Video games are, to me, more than just a fun piece of entertainment used to whittle away the hours. My creativity is constantly inspired by the stories, the art styles, the music of some of my favorite games. I’ve learned about character arcs and designs ever since I first picked up Super Mario RPG for the SNES.

Creativity can be found anywhere and, yes, people are going to find different sources for their inspiration. I’m glad that the original guy on Medium was able to figure out his own well of creativity, but to suggest that others “consume less” is detrimental to creativity itself.

Consume all the art, including video games. Open your mind, form questions, share your opinions, try your hand at said art. Consume more, create more. That’s what I did with that guy’s article, after all.

How do video games help your creativity? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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