Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Animal Crossing Is Ruining My Life

Animal Crossing Wild World poster
The most adorable collection of polygons this side of a Katamari - Ben
It's been a rather exciting week for all involved here in Rhona-land! Went out for drinks that involved some rather questionable shots, went out and got my hair cut at an unreasonable time the next morning (I thought I was dying, I couldn't stop shaking. Stay in school, kids) and I have been introduced to a game that has slowly but surely taken over my life.

brain haemorrhage shot
Much like the liver disease from this thing. Oh god.
(The shot we have see above is a delicacy available from a bar in Edinburgh and is delightfully called a Brain Haemorrhage. Deeeeee-licious. Other shots include, but are not limited to: Ectoplasm, Flatliner, Devils Kiss and, most terrifyingly of all...a Slippery Nipple! Huzzah!)

The name of that game, dear readers, is Animal Crossing: Wild World. Now I know what you're thinking (well, not really. I'm not a mind reader...or am I?), but this is what I thought about the game prior to playing it: a pointless toy for people who couldn't handle proper games. It doesn't have a real point to it other than earning money and decorating your house and becoming friends with people in your town and stuff; that doesn't exactly tick all the boxes in my corner. I like games that have a point, e.g. save the princess, solve the murder, escape the laboratory and so on and so forth in that fashion. Games that have an actual purpose instead of just kind of dicking about. But oh dear readers, how wrong I was. I was definitely taken off guard by how much enjoyment I was able to derive from this game.

Animal Crossing Wild World taxi gif
The graphics are...charming.
I think the thing I like most about Animal Crossing is the individuality it offers its players. Everyone's town looks different, everyone will have different people living in their town and their interests will vary. In the town of a friend of mine everyone really likes collecting fossils and furniture, but in my town they're all about fishing and catching bugs. You can also go to other towns via wireless connections (the age we live in!) and you can talk to their people and make friends with them. Your people might move out and new people might move in, you never know! I know this all sounds very sad, but boo to you.

Animal Crossing Wild World mohawk
No-one better pee on that rug.
Customising your character is something I've had a lot of fun with, and I think mine looks pretty rockin'. A guy in my town, Pierce (an Eagle utterly obsessed with working out), gave me a Mohawk Wig and the friend who introduced me to the game gave me a pair of sunglasses, so my little character looks pretty damn cool [see right]. Learning the personalities of the people that live in my town makes for a lot of fun too: Pierce, as I've previously mentioned, is a big softy eagle obsessed with working out; on the other hand though, there's Whitney, a stuck up Wolf who doesn't appear to like me very much. Then there's Buck, a horse who's also obsessed with working out, and Freckles, a duck who just loves life. I had two new people move in as well: Lily, a frog, and Bones, a dog, both of whom seem very nice. Of course there's Tom Nook and the Able Sisters, but everyone has them. I think there's a few other people in town that I'm forgetting about, but those are the ones I can list off the top of my head. 
Animal Crossing Wild World Mabel gif
Oh Mabel, you're adorable.
But yes, back to the individuality part, because upon arriving to your town, the taxi driver asks you questions and based on those questions, the game determines what you look like. Similarly, if you go to the hairdressers, she'll ask you various questions and based on your answers, a hairstyle is formed; sometimes great, sometimes...awful. So it is all pretty unique to you, which I like a lot. You get to name your town too, a task that I sat and thought about for far too long and you can come up with catchy greetings for people in your village. Again something that I sat and thought about for way, way, waaaay too long.

Animal Crossing Wild World headwear gif
It's just not quite, me, you know?
You can get into contests with your villagers as well, and I tell you, nothing comes close to the satisfaction you feel when you return to Freckles with a Bluegill after spending 6 hours catching forty sea bass, twenty seven loaches and thirty eight carp. The satisfaction is second to none. You have a museum in your town too which you donate things to like fish and bugs and fossils if you decide not to sell them to Tom Nook, so it's pretty cool being able to build up your museum with all the various things you've caught and dug up and having a full museum. Essentially the whole game is a hoarder's paradise.

As the title suggests, this game has taken over my life at an alarming rate. This may be because I'm pretty much at the end of my semester and slowly spiralling into a cycle of nothing but work and thinking about going to the gym but then not going; or maybe it's because I have an addictive personality, who knows? Either way, the whole "Hey, let's fill the museum with all the fish/bugs/fossils/crap I ever find!" quickly turned to "I will search day and night for a sea-horse to complete my aquarium exhibit. I shall not sleep till my quest is over". I'm not overly obsessed with the decorating of my house, it's fun and all but I don't have to find the perfect rug to cover my floor. Yet. Only time will tell. Also, Tom Nook's shop (where you buy/sell things/get into debt) is only open till eleven (he's not got overnight staff), which means I have to store stuff in the house so that I have space in my rucksack to catch more things during restless nights of moth hunting.

To wrap up, I think you guys should play this game if you haven't already (this version came out in 2005, so you've had plenty time). Should this post rouse you to buy a copy (second hand, Wild World is like a fiver on Amazon), though, remember that your town and people will be quite different to mine, so prepare for your own adventure. It's a relaxing experience (the music is really sweet and the time in the game runs in real time, which makes for a leisurely pace) and living in real life, where struggling for money and having a million things to do are all too real problems, sometimes it's nice to escape to a world where you have lots of dough, a nice house and the only thing to do is fish and make friends with everyone. Cue the pitiful "Awwww" sound. But don't pity me, join me instead. You shall never leave.

Animal Crossing Wild World saving bed gif
I want to quit BUT I CAN'T.
That's us for today, folks! If you need a bigger fix of Rhona-Writings (semi-alliteration?), you can check out my blog here. Shameless plug dealt with so Rhona, over and out!

P.S. I met up with Ben for a few drinks the other week and somehow he made a .gif of me on my phone? How, we shall never know.

Rhona phone gif
Ben, how? Why?

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