Why we need Animal Crossing now more than ever


Hey guys, Jon here. It’s been great so far writing my thoughts down about movies and, that will continue, don’t worry. This is just a palate cleanse of sorts. I have some good reviews lined up too.

One of my best friends that I’ve known more than half my life reached out to me about this topic and wrote this article. Give it a read and let us know what you think. If you guys want to see more game reviews or pieces like the one below let me know. I’m open to suggestions along with tv.

Is it a video game, life sim, or straight up addiction? In all honesty it can be either of the three and oh so much more! My personal relationship with this quirky natured game by Nintendo stems all the way back to the OG on the Game Cube, honestly I don’t know exactly what made me want to get this game, was it the cute animals, the fact I didn’t have a pc at the time to play the sims or was it just an excuse to get another Memory card? Which was by the way packaged in with ever single copy of the game, an 8 MB memory card to be exact! All I know is the day I popped that mini disk into my black (yes I did not go with the OG purple) GameCube I never envisioned I would be spending countless upon countless hours listening to that melodic folky opening credit music playing while I observed my town residents day to day activities like a benevolent god while preparing to get ready for the most mundane or tasks such as picking weeds or watering flowers. This could be the phenomenon known as Animal Crossing summed up but oh boy was I wrong!

Upon first blush this simplistic sim seems just that simplistic, a nice peaceful town with cutesy villagers walking about their daily schedules, on of those cutesy villagers is Tom Nook a loveable little raccoon who prides himself on being the lone shop keeper around, he is also your landlord…. here is where the love hate relationship begins. Here I am excited to start building my Animal Crossing life, this nice peaceful life mentioned to me by the nice kitty fella I met earlier on the train to this randomized village I named, and this raccoon is asking for what? Bells!! What are those, well if you know anything about the world of AC (I’m going to call it that from now on lol, it being Animal Crossing) Bells are the in-game currency, the life blood of this new economy I have now been invited to join. In fact, this little guy says I owe him 48,998 bells for moving into my new home, so time to make some money! Now at first there aren’t many ways to make money, but eventually you’ll unlock resources such as a shovel, butterfly net, axe, fishing rod, watering can you know the basic AC drab, after about let’s call it 5 or 6 hours I have enough to pay Mr. Nook for the services and home he provided for me, yippee I paid off my debts…..NOPE! Home expansion time, this little furball is now asking for double or so the amount I paid him, here I am 13 years old or so saying to myself “shit I have to go through this all again if I want to get a bigger house” but to me the challenge presented a reason to keep on playing this peaceful relaxing game even if that meant sinking hours upon hours into doing mindless tasks, digging up fossils, gyroids, etc. to sell for bigger amounts of bells. Eventually after hundreds of hours and countless days playing this game I had fully unlocked my entire house/mansion (in AC terms at least) found all of the jingle, spooky, and fall furniture as well as all the rare Nintendo Items and NES emulators I had found there to be nothing else to do other than just hopping on occasionally to check on my villager, seen who moved out or moved in. I was in fact pretty much done with AC in total, it was at this time that my little sister started developing her love for this series which she holds dear today. I was on to the next big thing that being Metroid Prime at the time. I just did not care or bother to return to my little animal village, even as I grew older and new variations of the game arrived on the Nintendo DS, Wii, and 3DS respectively I really didn’t dedicate my time to those versions as much as I did during the good old days on the cube OG version, not sure why especially since advancements to the original formula had been made but I had moved on to other games such as GTA, Red Dead, Bioshock, Call of Duty, Skyrim, the Uncharted Series, I honestly had no time for AC. But then something magical happened in 2017, my love for Nintendo had been revitalized, the Nintendo Switch was born along with a heavily rumored and requested version of Animal Crossing.

Here we are 3 years later into the Switch’s lifecycle and on March 17th, 2020 I found myself heading to my local GameStop amongst this pandemic we are all currently living through to pick up my copy of the latest version of the AC franchise, Animal Crossing: New Horizons feverishly excited to start my journey yet again. A few weeks prior to the games release I really was unsure of what to expect from this latest version and was worried what if it was the same what if nothing really had changed since New Leaf on the 3DS, I mean come on it had been 8 years since that game had come out they had to have made some sort of changes. All those worries and questions I had were quickly put to ease, Nintendo aired an AC specific direct presentation which showcased all the new features of the game such as the fact you were building your village from the ground up, building placement, pathways, fauna, outdoor items, a new way to decorate your personal home by ease of use drag and dropping items, and last but not least tera forming and multiplayer online features….this instantly had me hooked! Never did I think that this game could grab my attention more than any other game I have ever played, I absolutely adore New Horizons, and I am so happy to see that I am not the only one. People from all over are falling in love with Animal Crossing again especially during this reality we are all currently living through. Call it fate, meant to be, a god send but Nintendo could not have released this game at a better time than right before this Corona Virus began to pick up steam. This game I honestly feel is the reason so many people have been able to keep sane during all this craziness going on in the world. It’s honestly a little glimmer of light in a darkened world with a now even darker future ahead of it, seeing posts of people flexing their islands on social media has been such a joy to see these days, especially seeing the social distancing parties on virtual islands since people can’t be with one another in real life, the magic is all there once again just in a new way this time.

My personal relationship this time is different with New Horizons, being that this has now become a shared experience with both me and my girlfriend. At first, she had no interest in playing, she thought it was stupid, boring, no point to it but then the virus intensified, and schools were shut down. Her being a teacher this now meant being home 24/7 and teaching the kids remotely from our recliner couch, at this point I tried to present her a way of playing but this time creating her own character and her own home, not just playing as my character. At first, she was reluctant but then eventually started playing by creating her own profile on my Switch (which took quite some time!! Come on Nintendo this shouldn’t be this difficult!) and to my amazement during one of our usual afternoon calls I happened to hear in the background that opening tune from the title screen, grinning I asked, “are you playing animal crossing” which she replied “yup” and hung up. Days pass and my island has now become my girlfriends island, she begins molding it to her liking, changing the placing of my villagers, buildings, land, etc. occasionally asking me to hop on to use my profile as a money pit since I’m one of those time traveling heathens. It’s at this point that we had run into a major problem…. she wanted to play New Horizons as much as I did and personally we are not the greatest at sharing so how do or did we solve this problem especially since I had already spent 100+ hours building up this virtual paradise, well dumbly and without a logical decision I went on the hunt for a Nintendo Switch Lite…. yeah, this game has me that hooked that I would buy a second console to play.

In retrospect it kind of was a waste now since my girlfriend left for North Carolina recently to escape NYC and honestly who could blame her? This place has become a depressing shit hole since this virus has taken its place and doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon. But she did forget to bring one of the two consoles down so now I have both of them with both copies of the game and no reason as to why I spent $280 bucks… but hey it’s a life lesson, I guess…? To think that a game franchise I never thought I would absolutely adore again as well as others is here to cheer us up during this time especially is sort of surreal isn’t it? 

So, to answer the real question here, why do we need Animal Crossing now more than ever the answer really can only be summed up as it’s an escape from this hell we are all currently living through! It gives everyone a way to be with one another even with social distancing restrictions enforced especially here in the hardest hit state of New York. It allows someone who is dealing with stress, hardship, and grief to leave that all behind and relax along the virtual shores of their so-called island with their cutesy villagers and bask in the charm of a not so perfect game but a damn well needed one in this economic crisis. Sometimes people just need a break from reality and video games are a perfect outlet for that, whether your acting out your craziest dreams in Minecraft, being the baddest mother f**ker in town in GTA, enjoying the peace and serenity as well as harsh world of Red Dead Redemption 2, or enjoying a nice stroll through your tropical island paradise created by your hard work… video games create an outlet for just that, a well deserved break!

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