Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Little Bit of Neglect: Animal Crossing


When I purchased my 3DS originally, it was so that I could buy and play Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I'm not sure what I expected, really, or if I thought that it would be able to hold my attention any longer than the other Animal Crossing games, but now I find myself playing it mostly out of guilt. I know, that sounds crazy, but guilt is a very real motivator for me—even when things are supposed to be fun and, well, games.

While Animal Crossing games are always exciting when you first start playing them, they quickly lose appeal for me. When you get a new game and build a new town, you get to meet all of your awesome neighbors, see what their personalities are going to be and play with the newest features of the latest release. In New Leaf, the newest feature was that you got to be Mayor—you took the place of old Tortimer and were able to make mayoral decisions like building projects and town ordinances (such as making everything worth more money, or making the town remain open late). While these are exciting in the short term, and my completionist attitude always makes me want to fill up the museum, and build the best house, they never manage to hold my attention for long.

I thought that this would be rectified by the addition of the island—a place where Tortimer retired that is abundant with "tropical" fish, plants, and bugs, scuba diving, and even minigames. However, that has not managed to hold me either—the minigames are all beat, I've harvested all the tropical fruit that I can, and there are only so many sharks I can stand to catch. They're endangered, you know!

For me, I think, the issue is that I feel like it is a repetitive cycle. I've fished all the fish, written letters to all of my neighbors, and there is no longer any space for neat public works projects in my town. While I know my house to get larger, I also know that I am super close to beating Pokemon X, which is basically the only thing I can think about right now. The only thing that keeps me coming back is the fact that I know there will be roaches and weeds if I don't and some of my friends need that aforementioned tropical fruit to spruce up their own town. But I want to love Animal Crossing, I want to rejuvenate those fresh-out-of-the-box obsessive feelings, and I just don't know how.

How do you keep hold of that lovin' feeling? Do you endlessly hoard your money? Send love notes to the same neighbor every day in hopes to cultivate a relationship with them? Are you always dancing at Club LOL and listening to Dr. Shrunk do crappy stand up? Or does your gameplay, like mine, ebb and flow around other more immersive games? What's your secret?


  1. Although the last Animal Crossing I played was back for GameCube I imagine the idea is still the same. One thing that I remember really loving was the "timed events" such as ghosts appearing at 3:13am, traders on Sundays, holidays, etc. My brother was a little cheater back in his day and he would change the date and time on the gamecube to suit whatever event or person or prize he wanted.
    But I also agree that you want to love it, you feel guilty when its been a while since you played and your neighbors say "Gee Krista where were you? We missed you!"
    Whenever you find that spark again, let me know, maybe I'll pick up a gamecube controller.

    1. Funnily enough I still play (on DS though) like, once every two weeks. Only because the DS games are like, right there on my bedside table, though. :]