Sunday, November 17, 2013

Animal Crossing: Revisiting Hell

Given a week in the City (Animal Crossing: City Folk), I decided to head back to my roots and see what was going on in my original Hell. The last time I played was shortly after I acquired an Action Replay to cheat in a ton of things I knew I could never get otherwise. Since the Nintendo Wii is backwards compatible it was just an easy disc swap, and away I went!

Instantly I saw the major difference in textures, although everything else seems to be pretty much the same. I do have to say I don't miss the Zelda-esque map grid they did with the towns, but it did help quite a bit when it comes to figuring out how to keep your town clean and happy. Needless to say my town was once more overgrown with weeds, everywhere! I'm going to have to find the spirit who will do me a favor the next time I'm on there and get that sorted out.

After a quick jaunt around the town, at 1am, I realized there wasn't much I could do. My inventory was nearly overloaded with gifts sent to me by the villagers from my birthday earlier in the year, which I obviously missed. With only a handful of slots I found the money rock and gained a bit of cash, after which I ran across the golden statue of myself, which reminded me that I had no loan to pay off!

I went around and visited some of my favorite neighbors and said hello, most of them were upset at me for being gone 19 months, which I think is impossible, but who am I to argue? After seeing some of my favorite villagers I wondered around the town and the layout came rushing back to me, all the bridges and hills, lakes and trees. Everything came back as if it had been just a few days, instead of 19 months.

So why do I doubt the all knowing and all powerful villagers of my town called Hell? Simple, I only acquired the Action Replay a few weeks before my birthday in March, to the best of my knowledge; even before that I did the Halloween event, but I do remember not saving that night and having to deal with Mr. Resetti the time I booted up to use the Action Replay. With that mystery set aside I do have to say that now my house is filled to the brim with the neat Nintendo items they packed into this game.

Is Animal Crossing on the Game Cube still my favorite of the series? Yes! Without a doubt! City Folk has come into its own; I've learned a lot about the game and there are a lot of redeeming qualities that took a few days of consistent playing to discover. One major feature from the original Animal Crossing that I miss is that the villager dialog options offered you the chance to do a task for them, and if they didn't have anything they would simply say no, in Wild World and City Folk you have to wait for them to come to you. I want to feel more helpful, not USED!

Despite everything feeling too similar, at least to me, between the original and City Folk, they're still both their own game, and more diverse than I originally thought. I've had a ton of fun with the original throughout the years and I plan to have even more fun with City Folk.

But perhaps Animal Crossing's downfall, if anything, is that it took never ending to a completely new level; the constant need to upkeep everything. Its ok for a game like GTA (namely San Andreas) to just never end and leave the ending up to the player, post story. Animal Crossing, however, feels like a chore, a never ending task of pulling weeds, tending to personalities to keep them pasified, and even if you want to take a break you know there is the dread of having those chores compounded by the length of time you've been away.

Regardless of the chore factor, I still like checking in on the personalities I grew to enjoy, and I can already feel myself growing attached to animals in City Folk. I just wish my DS would straighten up so maybe I could give Wild World another crack, there are a few personalities I miss on there already. Even so, I still prefer to play Animal Crossing on a console, instead of on the go.

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