Category Archives: Animal Crossing

Back Again

It was a calm steady rain this morning.  There probably would have been a sunrise if not for the clouds hiding it, but it made for a soft orange gray glow that seemed to blend with the color of the leaves and the grass to give the world almost a monotone look.  The spongy earth squished beneath each step but never got messy or stuck to your shoes.  Time seems to tick by a bit more slowly.  The fish are biting.

The only drawback was reality.  In truth I was just sitting in my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot on just another average day, playing Animal Crossing on my 3DS, hoping that if I waited long enough I could get my hands on the new NES Classic Edition.

I’ve always enjoyed Animal Crossing, but the longer I play it, the more I appreciate it.  And the more immersive the game becomes.  Even on a tiny little screen, the sounds and all the little visual details that change as the time, seasons or weather change.  It all came together, and I got that real life feeling you get when it’s just a quiet dreary rainy day, but it doesn’t mess anything up, because you had nothing planned in the first place.

A new update came out recently that brought some more features to the game.  That’s nice and all, but the real gem has just been getting back into my village, and starting new projects and finishing off goals like catching all the fish, or getting the golden shovel.  It’s been about 7 months since the last time I played and they’ve done a much better job of making it easier to hop back in.

I remember in the original Animal Crossing on Gamecube if you were gone for too long, some of your villagers would make you feel pretty guilty when you finally came back!  Plus your town would be ridden with weeds and getting back into the game was a real chore.  The new update goes through and de-weed’s your town before you first step back into it.  Why weren’t the villagers ever so eager to pitch in before?

So I’m rather skeptical that I’ll end up with a NES Classic Edition today, but if not, I’ll sulk and rebound inside Glendale.  A nice little town with nice little people and nothing that needs done today.

It’s not an obsession…

Well that last post was certainly epic.  I guess if you have to encapsulate an entire decade and website into one post, those things will happen.  I started out just wanting to write about the big milestones in life, but as I was scrolling through the archives, I found so many little things that seemed like a bigger deal than I remember.  So I kept writing, and writing, and writing… and it became well that.  I even thought about putting a jump in the post, so the entire thing didn’t land on the front page, but I thought… “It’s my site… why the hell not?”  So I just left it alone.

In the more recent history, I’ve been on a few kicks lately.  I’ve been super into gaming again.  More so than any other time I can recently remember.  Not like when I was in high school.  I don’t have that kind of time anymore.  But definitely more than any other time since college I would say.  I’m not sure what the difference is.  Part of it is the forum I’m on.  (Forums are bad for my bank account I’m finding.)  It’s too easy to find out about all the cool stuff coming out.  And then seeing other people getting it.  And thanks to YouTube… watching everybody else playing it.

So… the collection continues to grow.  Andrea has been showing off the character themed Wiimotes that we got.  Had to import the Yoshi one from Japan (that’s how you know it’s getting bad).  But honestly, it was HER idea.  Not mine.  I MAY have been the one to show it to her.  But she pulled the trigger.  And I MAY have been the one to show her the Bowser and Toad themed ones coming out in Japan… but I’m not buying them.  Seriously… some how, and some way, she has it as bad, or worse than I do.

This is why we need to get back into Guild Wars.  It scratches that collecting itch.  You want every set of armor, go for it!  It’s going to take some work.  But it will be SO worth it…. and a whole lot cheaper, that’s for sure.

With YouTube I’ve been watching a lot of playthrough’s of games.  Honestly I’ve probably even spent more time watching YouTube videos of people playing games, than I have played myself recently.  I wasn’t quite sure why that was at first, but the more I thought about it, I realized nothing really has changed.  Especially for games I’ve played already, I enjoy watching others play them as much as I like playing them myself.  I love seeing people experience a game for the first time.  I love seeing their reactions.  It’s as close as I can get to going back and playing it myself again for the first time.

You have no idea how much I would love to watch Andrea go back and play though some of my favorite games.  Super Mario 64, Zelda, and above all.  Final Fantasy X.  I don’t know how anybody could play that game to it’s conclusion and walk away disappointed.

I’ve been pretty hooked on Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the 3DS.  I took several months off for a while after it first came up.  But I picked it up a couple months ago and have been playing almost daily.  I’m to the point now where everything takes a crap ton of bells.  So I take trips to the island after dark and catch beetles.  I can rack up about 200k bells per trip.  I’ve become pretty emotionally invested in my town and several of its citizens.  Skye is my current favorite.  She’s so sweet, positive and upbeat.  Better than that twerp Tex.

SkyeACNLI’m still doing a pretty fair amount of retro gaming as well.  Trying to work my way through Star Wars: Rogue Squadron on the N64 for a competition on the N64 forum I’m a member of.  Man this game isn’t easy.  Or I’ve gotten worse at games, which is probably most likely.  Though I remember playing, and replaying games back in the day until you have it memorized to the point it’s a cinch.  This game is much like that.  Discovering the most effective strategies, memorizing that.  Getting a bit farther.  And repeat.  I have four missions left to go, so hopefully I can have it beat soon.  It will be the first game I’ve beaten in quite a while.

On the topic of beating games, I still need to beat Guild Wars 2.  I am literally at the last mission.  I’ve soloed a good 95% of the game so far.  But this last mission is more than a single character can do.  It’s more than Andrea and I can do by ourselves in fact.  So I’m going to need some help from Biebs and maybe even some other random strangers in the game.  It’s the last mission though, so there should always be a few people looking to group up.  But right now, I’m waiting for Andrea so we can beat the game together.  Then it’s on to the next RPG style game.

So yeah… I’ve had a lot of thought time occupied by gaming recently which is a bit of a change.  I never really stopped gaming.  We always had a console of some kind hooked up.  But I had gotten out of the “news and hype” part of it all.  Things could come and go, and I didn’t even know about ’em.  I’d keep tabs on the super big games, like Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy.  But now I find myself getting excited about Captain Toad Treasure Tracker.  It looks like a super fun game.  But I have to tell myself… wait 13 months and pick it up for $15 or $20.

It’s fun though.  And now that I have less time to play, collecting is a fun way to be a part of it, and when I retire I can finally play all these games.  Until then the backlog grows and grows.

Vegetating and getting caught up.

What a great day.  I slept until 9AM and got out of bed and Luke was already up, goofing around in his crib.  The Saturday morning ritual commenced with pancakes and Care Bears.  I actually had zero obligations today.  Well… I did have to work on a website for somebody, but that only took about 15 minutes.

hexxit

Biebs has been bugging me to play Hexxit, a Minecraft mod pack with heavy emphasis on adventuring.  Today I finally got the opportunity.  At first I pretty much dove right in.  I made a wooden sword and started rolling through some of the light dungeons near the spawn.  I promptly got my butt kicked.  So at that point I decided I needed to establish a stronghold and build up some resources.  There’s a TON to do and a ton you can do in this version of Minecraft.  And I’m excited to dive into it.

I’ve been enjoying Animal Crossing: New Leaf to a great extent.  With only one big gripe… there’s only been the fishing pole, net or shovel for sale at Nookling’s since I started the game.  I really need my slingshot, watering can, and axe.  It bugs me to no end as I’ve seen about six presents floating overhead so far and no way to get them.

This is the first Animal Crossing game since the first that really feels different.  The biggest difference is you get to be the mayor as Tortimer has retired to a tropical island.  It’s cool because you get to decide in what order you want to enhance your town.  It definitely would benefit from multiple players as many of the projects are pretty expensive.  Right now I’m working on getting my house filled out with more room, so that soaks up all my bells.  But there will be plenty of time to get to it all.  Animal Crossing is a long term dedication.

I’d really been craving a game of this type too.  Something you can build on incrementally.  You end up feeling pretty invested in games like this after you’ve been playing off and on for a couple years.  You have your favorite residents, the collections you’re trying to complete and all the different holidays you want to check in on.  We even used Animal Crossing as our official New Year’s Eve countdown!

All of the holiday travels are done.  And they weren’t without some eventfulness.  We got all loaded up to head to Kansas City for Christmas with Andrea’s family, that’s when I noticed a steady stream of antifreeze dripping from underneath the Jeep.  It was coming out quick enough that I knew we weren’t going to try taking it.  I looked it over quickly and couldn’t exactly deduce where the leak was coming from, so Andrea, frustrated, loaded all our gear into the Cutlass instead which made the trip without issue.

Old Water Pump Removed

New pump installed!

When we got back home Thursday, I looked the Jeep over a bit more and it looked like it was leaking from the gasket.  Which meant the pump had to come off, which in turn meant, might as well replace the pump.  Long story short: I have learned never to be shocked by what you find when you buy a used vehicle.  The water pump had a HOLE in it!  Like an actual hole through the pump.  Sometime before we bought the Jeep someone had dabbed some RTV sealer over the hole.  It’s amazing that it lasted over a year.  But now we have a new pump and thermostat and it seems like it’s working great and doesn’t leak a drop.  Even got it put back together in time to head to Cimarron on that Saturday!  Not too bad for the old KartMaster’s Garage.

Bright red amp power cable and fuse.

Also did some work on the Jeep that was more, “scheduled”.  For Christmas I got Andrea a new amp and speaker box.  We already had the speaker which is what made the project affordable.  It was quite a bit of work, but I’m glad I did it right.  Had the front seat out and all the interior trim apart on the passenger side to run the power cable.  Ended up breaking off one of the bolts that holds the seat down because it was siezed up, so that won’t be fun to drill out and fix… but I’ll get it done eventually.  The finished product is the only thing you can really see is the power cable under the hood, and the speaker in the back.  No ugly wires showing anywhere.  Real clean.

So that kinda gets caught back up to today.  Got a little more snow, but just about an inch or so, nothing that will slow anything down.  Maybe enough for Luke and I to go play in tomorrow morning!

Tuesday Top Ten…err Eleven: Best Nintendo Games on Each System

This Tuesday Top Ten will be a bit different.  Because each of these ten games are all number one.

It’s hard to believe, but Nintendo has released more than 10 different gaming platforms over the years.  Kinda makes me realize how old I’m getting.  Nevertheless, here’s my favorite game on each of ten Nintendo Consoles.

EDIT:  Okay, I had originally intended to combine the Gameboy/Gameboy Color games as one console… but then as I was writing this, I apparently forgot to do that.  Rather than take a great game off the list… I’m just leaving it a Top 11 list.  Enjoy!

smb3

1. NES – Super Mario Bros. 3: It’s rare these days that a game feels fresh, new and exciting. Especially when it comes to a sequel. But that is precisely how Super Mario Bros. 3 felt when it came out. Graphically, it has pushed the NES where it had never been before. New ideas like the World Map and item stash are still in use today over 20 years later. I may be wrong, but I believe that Super Mario Bros. 3 was the first game I ever bought and paid for with my own money. What a great investment.

linksawakening

1. Gameboy – The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: This is pretty close to being the best Gameboy game AND Gameboy Color game. Link’s Awakening set the tone for numerous Gameboy Zelda games to follow. The story was quite weird… but when it comes to playing Zelda anywhere, any time. This game is possibly the best. Carrying around a game of this magnitude anywhere you go back in the day was pretty darn impressive, when most handheld games were 5 card draw poker games and bad segmented LCD games.

DK Country

1. Super Nintendo – Donkey Kong Country: This list could easily turn into the Mario & Zelda list. But my SNES exposure is severely limited compared to the other consoles. I never had one growing up so I was limited to playing what my friends had at their house. There may be better SNES games but I have probably spent the most time playing this one. It was such a fantastic platformer. The graphics were truly impressive, and it was more than just your standard run and jump game. The levels had a definite rhythm to them. You bounce a long and hit combo’s of enemies or tires to just kind of bound though a level, just like a monkey hopping from tree to tree. I recently acquired this game and have been loving it all over again!

Oracle of Seasons

1. Gameboy Color – The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons: Okay, I have to do it. The second Zelda game makes its apperance. This is literally one of my favorite Zelda games. The seasons mechanic offered a fun and sometime confounding twist to the world. Certian seasons allowed you to reach different areas. For instance you could walk across a frozen lake in winter, or climb up a vine covered cliff in summer. The catch was you could only change the seasons while standing atop a stump. So solving the season puzzles could often be a challenge. There was also a companion game to this one called Oracle of Ages. A game I never played but hope to snatch up some day. Maybe it’s even better than this one?

Mario Kart 64

1. Nintendo 64 – Mario Kart 64: When this game came out, something about it immediately resonated with me.  Mario Kart 64 was my first experience in the Mario Kart series and since then it’s undoubtedly taken up more hours of my life than any other single game.  I still like sitting down and cranking out some Time Trials and seeing if I can even get close to my old times.  But what I miss about Mario Kart 64 is the awesome battles we used to have with my friends.  So much fun nailing somebody with a green shell on Block Fort.  Ahh, the memories.

Super Circuit

1. Gameboy Advance – Mario Kart Super Circuit: Oh hey. What do you know, two Mario Kart games back to back. That’s nice… But it’s true! Mario Kart Super Circuit on the GBA was a fantastic game that often gets overlooked. The GBA was finally cranking out portable games that you didn’t have to sacrifice much to get the whole game experience. Super Circuit was anything but a stripped down version of Super Mario Kart on the SNES. It had more tracks, more items, better visuals, and better sound. In all honestly, I bought a GBA just to play this one game.

Eternal Darkness

1. Gamecube – Eternal Darkness: I don’t like scary movies, and I don’t even care much for Survival Horror games either. But Eternal Darkness is something a little different. Yes, the plot is grim and morbid, the scenes are often gruesome, but at its heart, there is a compelling story that keeps you wondering what’s next, and some absolutely fantastic gameplay. Best played in a dark room with surround sound cranked to the max.

Animal Crossing Wild World

1. DS – Animal Crossing: Wild World: Animal Crossing on Gamecube was a fantastic game, but it had two obvious shortcomings. It was cumbersome to travel to other people’s towns, and you couldn’t take it with you! Animal Crossing is the perfect game to have on the go, because you really should play it every day, and that can be hard to do! But if you have it on you, it’s easy to pop it out for 10 minutes, do your dailies, and get back to the real world! If you had to pick one version of the game to play, I would recommend this one!

Skyward Sword

1. Wii – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:  For me, this one isn’t even close. There were some great games on Wii, but there’s a wide margin between Skyward Sword and everything before it. It’s one of the most artistically beautiful games in the series striking a style balance somewhere between Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. But the most fun part about this game is… playing it. I never did completely fall in love with motion control, but Skward Sword changed that. If every motion control game was this fun to play and this natural, well, I wouldn’t have much of a bank account left. Take my money!

SMB 3D Land

1. 3DS – Super Mario 3D Land: You don’t know how close I was to putting Mario Kart 7 here. I mean, it’s still on my notes right now, but I audibled at the last moment. I just got to thinking, which game is more 3DS-ey? Mario Kart 7 is a fantastic game, and I mean to imply no shortcomings. But Super Mario 3D Land is the defacto 3DS game. It just is. It’s probably the single best use of 3D on the system. It’s got it’s own unique quirkiness and level design that kind of set it apart from your traditional Mario release.  Super tight controls, and tons of throwbacks to games gone by.  It’s the game the 3DS should have launched with.

Nintendoland

1. Wii U – Nintendoland: It’s “just” a mini-game collection. It’s no Wii Sports. It’s not a “complete” game. All things I heard, and for a large part bought into before the Wii U came out. I wasn’t looking forward to Nintendoland all that much myself. But after playing it, and most importantly, playing it with a group, it’s the most pure flippin fun I’ve had playing video games since the N64. And for me, that’s saying something! There’s plenty of stuff to do solo in the game, but playing with friends is where Nintendoland, and truthfully, the Wii U itself shine brightest.

They’re still playing…

Even if you're not.

I didn’t know it’d been that long!

Well I was playing Animal Crossing in the Wii yesterday.  And I found myself thinking, “You know, the music on the original Animal Crossing was so much better.”

Out of curiosity I fired it up.  There was a town on the memory card that Andrea and I had created back in the day called Raleigh.   Of course it was FULL of weeds!  I wasn’t sure how long it’d been since I’d played the game, so I started talking to the citizens.  They’d be sure to inform me.  First animal I came across wasa  kangaroo named Mathilda.  “Whoa, a blast from my past,” she said.  “I haven’t seen you for 38 months!”  Wow.  I knew it’d been a long time, but it sure didn’t seem like 3 years!

Then I run into Groucho who’d lived in my original town of Hilldale from the very first day I played the game.  Apparently he moved to Raleigh and he complained that he hadn’t seen me for 52 months!  I felt a little guilty to tell you the truth.

Laments of a City Folk Denizen

Well lately my gaming focus has slowly shifted from the PC to the Wii. Now I’ve been playing as much Animal Crossing as a person can really play in any healthy manner. Andrea complains about my dedication from time to time (even though she’s the one that bought the game for me)!

So I’ve gotten enough bells saved up that I can really start getting involved in the good ol’ stalk market. I have a horde of turnips laying around my house, just hoping for a good price now! Unfortunately since I got the Nookington’s remodel, Nook’s hours are now 9AM – 9PM. This wouldn’t really be a problem if I hadn’t recently discovered that turnip prices change twice a day. One AM price and one PM price. Well since I have to be to work by 9 AM and I don’t get lunch until after noon, I never get to see the AM price! I could be missing out on some prime profit making opportunities!

The good news is, that eventually Nook gives you the choice between a better selection of items (Nookington’s) or better hours (Nook n Go). While I do enjoy the better chance of finding furniture that goes with my place, I think I’m going to go back to the Nook’s that’s open 20 hrs. a day. At least until I make more bells than a person could know what to do with!

A tragic dilemma, I know. I suppose it’s times like this I’m thankful I’m blessed enough to complain about stuff like this! Ha ha!

Animal Crossing and the internet

Well I figured I’d share a few of the pictures I’ve taken in the new Animal Crossing:  City Folk.

Me and my house decked out for Christmas.

Me and my house decked out for Christmas.

Snowman melting.

Snowman melting.

Biebs and I decided to test out the Wi-Fi connection last night.  I headed over to his town and met some new animals.  One of them even sent me a present already.  It’s much better than the DS connection, because all the animals don’t just retreat to their houses.  The towns are very much alive when you visit.    I cleaned out half of Nook’s Cranny, and Biebs and I got together for a photo op.

Biebs

Left: Matt - Right: Biebs

Online interactions are not rated by the ESRB.

"Online interactions are not rated by the ESRB."

For the record, we were comparing fish we caught!  And one last picture of the “Northern Lights” I snapped last night.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

Got City Folk!

Well I came home today and Andrea said she had a surprise for me. I figured she cooked me a nice homemade supper. Turns out she decided to pick up Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii!

I haven’t put a ton of time into it yet.  But so far it’s very similar to previous Animal Crossing games.  You just get to town, and you’re stuck working for Nook…AGAIN!  Doing all the exact same chores he had you do clear back on the Gamecube.  I was able to move my character from the DS onto the Wii though, which was pretty neat.  Although I couldn’t bring any of my stuff with me.

It’s easier to play than the Gamecube version, thanks to the Wiimote, you can just click and drag items around, and it’s a lot easier to type letters.  It controls pretty much exactly like the DS version.  The cool part is you can go online and visit other towns.  But even if you don’t have the internet, you can store your character on a DS and use that DS to travel to another person’s town on a different Wii.  So I could set it up to travel to my DS.  Put it in sleep mode.  Then when I got to my sisters’s house on her Wii, open the DS back up and travel to her town.  And visa versa to get back.  Pretty snazzy, and hopefully I get a chance to try it out.  As of now I’m the only person I know that has the game…so there’s really nowhere to travel to!

Christmas, Animal Crossing style!

Have you checked into your Animal Crossing town lately? It’s Christmas-time! The ground is blanketed in snow and they have the lights on the trees…it’s just so cute! Don’t forget to start collecting all the clothes so you can visit the reindeer dude on Christmas Eve and get the Xmas set of goodies!