+One Gaming

Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by APant1

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Why I Passed on Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I fell in love with the first Animal Crossing for the GameCube. There was just something about the sleepy little town that drew me in. I loved building a house and filling it with silly furniture, finding new bugs and fish to catch, and that infectiously cute music. If I fell in love with the first one, I got married to the DS sequel, Wild World. Everything that made the first one great plus more of everything, it was portable, and you could play online with friends.

After only playing a little bit Animal Crossing: City Folk for Wii, I was kind of done with the series. I never thought I would do this over a decade ago when Animal Crossing and I first met, but I passed on the latest installment of the series completely, New Leaf for the 3DS.

Not that my friends didn’t encourage me, and even point out when it was on sale. My retort was always the same: “If I start playing, I won’t stop until I beat it.” “But Apant, you can’t beat an Animal Crossing game,” they would say, “it doesn’t have a– oh, I get it.”

It’s true for the most part. I know it would have taken a big chunk of my time, and I likely would have enjoyed most of it, but after a while, it would become a daily slog through fish and fossils just to satisfy the completionist in me, like the others.

My views on gaming have changed a bit since elementary school. I still love how a game can give you a sense of time passing and progress by having events specific to certain days and seasons. What I’ve grown to not like is how it can sometimes feel like punishment when you miss out on something because you couldn’t play that day, or didn’t have a wiki open at the time and blew your chance at the once-a-year, super-special Thing With The Thing.

If you do want to pick up the game later, the roaches and bugs that infest your house don’t really encourage you to do it again, and that’s ignoring what the townsfolk say when you talk to them. I’ve grown older, but I can’t tell if I’m wiser or grouchier.

I’m not saying New Leaf is a bad game. I haven’t played it, after all; how would I know? Nor am I saying that you shouldn’t get it. I’m passing, even in my current dearth of good 3DS games because I don’t think it’s right for me.


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