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Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing amiibo photo
Animal Crossing amiibo

Wave 3 of Animal Crossing amiibo cards out next month


In Japan
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
Ah, the majestic amiibo. With Animal Crossing it has transcended a need for three dimensional form, reduce down to its utility: touch a thing against another thing. If that drinking game was enough to help you bear Animal Cro...
Nendoroid Shizue photo
Nendoroid Shizue

Cute ass Isabelle Animal Crossing toy being re-released


Nendoroid Shizue
Dec 16
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo partnered with Good Smile Company a couple years back for an Isabelle Nendoroid and followed that up with a winter uniform Isabelle. The original summer-suited look is getting a re-release next year. It will be available April 2016 for roughly $30 -- pre-orders are up here. She comes with a few different faces and some props.
Animal Crossing amiibo photo
Animal Crossing amiibo

Next wave of Animal Crossing amiibo head to Europe on January 29


More on the way, too
Dec 09
// Chris Carter
Nintendo of Europe has confirmed it -- the Mr. Resetti, Blathers, Kicks, and Celeste amiibo will all arrive on January 29 in the UK region.  This newest wave also includes Lucas, and nothing listed here will be a store e...

Animal Crossing amiibo Festival Drinking Games

Dec 05 // CJ Andriessen
Miller’s (Light) Crossing We start with a game for the lightweights among us. You know who they are, the boys and girls who begin to slur their words before they’ve finished their second drink. For them, I present Miller’s (Light) Crossing. This game keeps it simple by utilizing only the most basic aspects of the board game. For Miller’s (Light) Crossing, any type of light alcoholic beverage can be used. White wine, Zima, Bartles and Jaymes, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Redd’s Apple Ale… basically any drink you’d find in a Connecticut sorority house refrigerator. Take a drink when: You miss a special space Roll a one twice in a row Come in second, third or fourth in a bug catching/fishing contest You’re the last to complete the stamp square (or don’t complete it at all) Share a spot with another player (both players drink) It’s a Holiday Finish your drink when: You come in last place at the end of the game. Crazy Redd Solo Cup For those of us who can plow through a six-pack before we even start to feel it, I present Crazy Redd Solo Cup. This game goes a bit deeper into the amiibo Festival experience by adding the “excitement” of character visits. Throughout a single session of the game, you will no doubt be visited by a few characters, sometimes multiple times. These characters, should you land on their space, will offer up opportunities or games that can help or hinder you. For Crazy Redd Solo Cup, how you fare with those characters will either keep you sober, or get you drunk. For this game you’ll need step up the alcohol quality and quantity. Ditch the light stuff and grab a case of your favorite mass market beer. If it has a commercial featuring people in their 20s partying, a guy eye-fucking a Clydesdale, or some dude droning on and on about the water in Colorado, it's perfect for this game. Couple that drink with your favorite hard alcohol for shots and you're ready to go. Take a drink: If you fail to land on a special space Do not win the Phineas game If the number card you win from Katie is less than four If you get a number card from Dr. Shrunk If someone has a tarot card from Katrina and you help them by rolling their number Give money to Joan When you land on a Purple Happy Points & Bells space Somebody takes Bells from you Share a pink spot with another player (both players drink) Take a shot: If you go into debt. Share a purple spot with another player (both players take shots) Opposite Day puts you on a purple space Fail to roll more than six on Twice Dice Day Finish your drink: Sell your turnips at a loss When you come in last place at the end of the game. A Whole Lottie Alcohol For the heaviest of heavy drinker, we present A Whole Lottie Alcohol. There is a lot to remember with this game, so it’s best to have your designated driver around to remind you of the rules 30 minutes in when you’re long past shitfaced. For A Whole Lottie Alcohol, we’re combining some of the rules found above with new ones guaranteed to have your head in the toilet by the end of the night. Just like Crazy Redd Solo Cup, you’ll need to pair your favorite shot with a beer. Take a drink: If you go into debt and each day after you’re still in the negative When you come in second or third in a fishing/bug catching contest. If you fail to land on a special space Do not win the Phineas' game If the number card you win from Katie is less than four If you get a number card from Dr. Shrunk If someone has a tarot card from Katrina and you help them by rolling their number Give money to Joan outside of buying her turnips When you land on a Purple Happy Points & Bells space Somebody takes Bells from you Share a pink spot with another player (both players drink) Roll a one twice in a row Take a shot: If you go into negative Happy Points When you don’t roll doubles on Twice Dice Day When you come in last in a fishing/bug catching contest. When you’re the last to finish the stamp square (or don’t finish at all) Share a purple spot with another player (both players take shots) Opposite Day puts you on a purple space When you don’t collect the most candy (during October) Finish your drink: Anytime someone asks you why you bought this game When your character in the game takes a correspondence course. When it's a holiday. Finish everybody’s drink: If you come in last at the end of the game Now, if you don’t have an hour or so to enjoy any of the games I’ve listed above and you’d rather just get drunk as quickly as possible, I got you covered. In as little as five minutes you can get soused through Sunday with one of these drinking games that utilize the mini-games found in amiibo Festival. Wet & Wild World Balloon Island will probably be the mini-game you play the most after Desert Island Escape. This Plinko-style game is easy to play, tasking you with dropping a character onto a small island while bouncing off of balloons worth different points. The island isn’t that big, which means there’s always a chance you’ll end up in the water. Take a drink when: You end up in the water This game only lasts three rounds, so you want to make sure the liquor you’re drinking is strong. I mean really strong. So strong an old man would say this alcohol puts hair on your chest even though you’re a girl, strong. Are You Drunker than a 5th Grader? Quiz Show is both the most obvious mini-game found in amiibo Festival and the most poorly implemented. Not only do you have to know the correct answer to the question (which sometimes requires an encyclopedic knowledge of the Animal Crossing series), but you’re also required to time your guess correctly in order to have the opportunity to answer. Eventually the game breaks down to just four people fighting over one NFC reader, even when sober. It’s really a mess, but the Are You Drunker than a 5th Grader? drinking game celebrates that mess. Take a drink when: You try to answer a questions when it’s not your turn You don’t attempt to answer the question at all Take two drinks when: You get the answer incorrect You choose who takes a drink when: You get the answer right Because this game could have you taking north of 15 shots in just a few minutes, our lawyers have informed us we cannot tell you to play this with hard alcohol. Something about alcohol poisoning, criminal negligence, yadda-yadda-yadda. Instead, try beer shots. I suggest a higher caliber of beer, like a porter from your local microbrewery or one of those craft beers that thinks it invented hops. Just try not to spill too much on the Wii U controller, those things are expensive. Schlitz Family Robinson Desert Island Escape is made for one player, but when you get two friends involved it can turn into an easy co-operative drinking adventure. The object of the game is to find the pieces you need to make a raft and get off of one of thirty different islands. As you traverse these isles, you’ll find tools that will aid you in your journey. You’ll also find creatures that attack you, holes that swallow you up and bees that can sting you. For Schlitz Family Robinson, each player controls one character and you punish those who don’t pull their weight. Take a drink when: You fail to defeat a wild creature (or run away) You fail to catch a fish You fail to get some honey (or run away) You fail to get out of a hole You waste a step going onto a square you didn’t need to Finish your drink when You fail to get off the island As easily the most worthwhile game found in amiibo Festival, Schlitz Family Robinson is meant to be played over several rounds. Stick with your favorite beer or wine and get buzzed slowly throughout the night. This game isn’t a race to see who will be first to pray to the porcelain God, it’s a journey. *This is, obviously, a joke as there is no amount of alcohol that can make watching baseball enjoyable.
amiibo Festival photo
Fucked up, gonna get fucked up
Driving, sex, and watching baseball: what do these three things have in common? They can all be made better with alcohol.* The same can be said for board games. From beer checkers to battle shots, mankind has found fun and ...


The 'Nintendo in-print' Holiday gift guide

Dec 04 // Jonathan Holmes
Rhythm Zinegoku A quick disclaimer: I contributed a couple of pieces to this collection, as did former Destructoid editors Topher Cantler and Colette Bennett. I didn't get paid for my work though, and I don't get a cut of the sales either. In fact, I had to buy my two copies of the zine with my own bucks. You'll get no complaints from me about that, though. As a diehard Rhythm Heaven/Tengoku fan, this collection was a must-have for me from day one. Every stage from the first three games is represented in some way or another, so regardless of which is your favorite, you're sure to see plenty of familiar faces. The biggest star artist here is probably Natasha Allegri, creator of Fiona and Cake and Bee and Puppycat, though there are plenty of other contributors that fans of the series may recognize. The zine is currently out of stock, but it should be available for purchase again any second now, so keep your eyes peeled. [embed]322553:61380:0[/embed] Legends of Localization Book 1: The Legend of Zelda Clyde Mandelin is probably best known for spearheading the fan translation of Mother 3, so it's no surprise that he's partnered with Fangamer to create a series of books dedicated to examining the process of translation and localization. He's started off with the Legend of Zelda series, and it's not just the video games he's looking at. There is plenty about the Zelda board games, the breakfast cereal, and other bits of related merchandise that make up part of the franchise's massive history. Though these diversions into the obscure make for plenty of enlightening moments, the book does well to regularly return its focus to the original Legend of Zelda. So much was done to transport that seminal title from its first home on the Famicom Disk System to the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Western audience that played there, with much of that work inadvertently helping to spawn the lore and literal "legend" that makes up the series today. It's hard to imagine an invested Zelda fan being disappointed with what Mandelin and his team have produced. Nintendo Force: Iwata tribute issue Here's another one I contributed to, but again, Nintendo Force's sales numbers don't affect me financially in any way. I work for the magazine because it's really fun to share my interest in Nintendo's past, present, and future with the Nintendo fan community. This issue is without a doubt our greatest success in meeting that goal to date.  While we were all deeply saddened when Nintendo president Satoru Iwata passed away earlier this year, his passing did a lot to bring fans of his work together. Case in point, with this tribute issue, we worked our butts off to compile a detailed history of Iwata's career in game development, all while reflecting on exactly why he was such a great role model to gamers and game developers. I'm not totally happy with my personal output for this issue (there are at least two sentences on one page that still look wonky to me), but I have no hesitation in recommending every other page of it to diehard Nintendo fans (and I think I only worked on like four pages, so it's easy enough to skip over my stuff if you want). Splatoon Ikasu Artbook Splatoon has been out for less than a year, and it's already developed a larger fan base than some Nintendo franchises that have been around for ten times as long. While many were hoping that the game's popularity here in the U.S. would lead Nintendo of America to publish the official Splatoon Ikasu Artbook outside of Japan, it's looking like their hopes may have been in vain.  Thankfully, importing it is easy enough, and the only bits that really require literacy in Japanese to fully appreciate are the Twitter logs and comic strips in the back. My biggest gripe with the book is there are a ton of pages dedicated to showing off renders of clothes and weapons that are taken directly from the game. That feels a bit like a waste of space. That said, the bulk of the book's 320 pages are filled with rare or unique storyboards, character design documents, and visual plans that have plenty to offer Splatoon fans everywhere.  The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Nintendo Power manga Shotaro Ishinomori is most famous for creating Kamen Rider and Cyborg 009, but he's also one of the creative minds that helped shape the Legend of Zelda series as it moved beyond its first few entries. While we don't know exactly how influential his A Link to the Past manga was for the games that followed it, there are plenty of ideas that debuted here before going on to become mainstays of the Zelda series. The core story more or less follows the events of A Link to the Past on the SNES, but the manga also marks the first time the Zelda series depicted a fairy as a ball of glowing light that helps lead Link forward in his adventures. It's also the first time Link ever traveled under the light of a death-faced moon, his face hidden behind a Zora mask, while working to infiltrate a monster's fortress. To tell more may lead to spoilers, but trust that there are plenty of eye-opening ideas here, new and old, for Zelda fans to chew on.  Good Nintentions Jeremy Parish is one of the most passionate, well-informed video game experts in the industry today. He's been writing about games for over ten years, covering everything from level design analysis to current game news to charting the history of gaming as a whole. He's already put out a number of books, but Good Nintentions is probably his biggest and best work in print to date.  Though the title doesn't make it totally clear, the subject of the book is the Nintendo Entertainment System. Literally everything about the console is examined, from its inception, its eventual demise, and everything in between, including detailed descriptions of of over 200 NES games and their developers. Few are able to keep a keen eye on the past, present, and future of gaming as well as Parish, so those interested in any and all eras of the medium would do well to check out his work. Second Quest There's been plenty of chatter lately about the idea of a Legend of Zelda title that stars a woman. Second Quest, a Kickstarter-funded comic book from writer Tevis Thompson and artist David Hellman, gave the idea a detailed look earlier this year with a story that deftly turns multiple Zelda conventions on their heads. If "history is written by the victors," then it's fair to guess that the legend of Zelda, Link, and Ganon may be skewed towards demonizing the losers of those conflicts. Second Quest tells the story of a young woman who discovers that guess to be true, and in doing so, sets forth alone on a journey to the unknown.  Though the story doesn't technically star Zelda or Link (likely due to obvious copyright issues), Second Quest still manages to think on two characters, and many other Legend of Zelda mainstays, in multiple thought-provoking ways. Concepts of sexism, matriarchy, xenophobia, religion and myth as method of societal control, and other more sophisticated sociological concepts are explored, but not at the expense of telling a tense and thoughtful standalone story. While only those true Zelda experts will likely get more out of all the parallels between Second Quest and The Legend of Zelda series, the only real prerequisite to enjoying this story is an interest in lovingly crafted, hand-drawn fantasy comics.  [embed]322553:61381:0[/embed] A Guide to Village Life Animal Crossing is like knitting. Both involve relaxing, repetitive interactions with soft, warm materials that can eventually lead to the creation of something much more substantial. While the series has never gone the literal route of Kirby's Epic Yarn or Yoshi's Woolly World, any fan of the games will tell you that playing Animal Crossing can feel just as comforting as a putting on a hand-made sweater.  It's that hand-crafted feeling that makes Kari Fry's A Guide to Village Life such a perfect fit for the series. This 256-page hand-drawn catalog of the flora, fauna, villagers, and other Animal Crossing attractions is about as affectionate of a love letter as any video game could hope to receive. If you also love Animal Crossing, you'll find a lot to relate to here. 
Shopper's guide photo
'Buy my book!' ~ Jay Sherman
While much of modern society has moved on to the world of "electrons and information", there are two demographics that still eat up the printed page: kids and old people. Interestingly enough, these are also the two age group...

Review: Animal Crossing amiibo Festival

Dec 03 // CJ Andriessen
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival (Wii U)Developer: NintendoPublisher: NintendoMSRP: $59.99Released: November 13, 2015 (US), November 20, 2015 (EU), November 21, 2015 (JP, AU) Right off the bat you should know that you do not need to buy any additional amiibo figures to enjoy this Festival, but you will need at least one pack of Animal Crossing amiibo cards to experience everything the game has to offer. Players can use one of the two amiibo figures included with the game or one of several generic Villager characters. Sorry, your Villager amiibo doesn't work here, because that would make too much sense now wouldn't it. If you've read about this game already then you probably know about Desert Island Escape and how fun it is. It is fun, but it's also unplayable until you unlock it. To do that, you'll need to play through the board game portion of Festival several times, collecting Happy Points. The board game itself is easy for anyone to understand: players take turns moving around a game board collecting Bells and/or Happy Points. Landing on a pink square will reward you with these while purple squares will take them away. At the end of the game, Bells are converted to Happy Points and the player with the most points wins. The board game itself isn't that exciting and many will find it flat-out boring. This isn't Mario Party or Wii Party U where you compete against other players in mini-games. Instead, it's just you and up to three other people rolling dice, moving a few spaces and then watching a scene play out that either helps or hurts you. You can also play the game by yourself with three AI controlled characters, though the thought of someone doing that makes my soul cry. To its credit, I will say the amiibo Festival thoroughly adapts the Animal Crossing experience into a board game. Trademarks of the franchise, such as visitors coming to town and new residents moving in, add variety to the simple game play. When Redd visits, for instance, he'll sell you cards that you can use in place of rolling the dice. Phineas breaks out a roulette wheel to reward a player, Joan sells her turnips and Dr. Shrunk gives players a card while telling some truly horrendous "jokes." Holidays, bug catching contests, fishing contests and other Animal Crossing staples are present as well. [embed]323535:61348:0[/embed] There isn't really any strategy to be found in this game, outside of getting some choice cards from Redd, Shrunk, and others. The roll of the dice controls all, from deciding who wins fishing/bug catching contests to how much you can sell your turnips for. If you're worried amiibo Festival might contain some of the "unfair" star granting moments from the Mario Party series, fret not; this game forgoes those type of friendship-ruining shenanigans for something that is more about players enjoying themselves rather than competing against one another. At the end of each game, Happy Points are converted into Happy Tickets (where 100 points equals one ticket). Those tickets can be spent augmenting the game board or unlocking the mini-games. You are forced to choose between making the board game more interesting or accessing what could be fun mini-games, but allow me to make that choice for you: unlock Desert Island Escape and spend the rest of your points upgrading that game board. In my experience, it took five playthroughs of the board game to unlock all of the mini-games, and that was with the decision to forgo updating the game board and getting lady luck on my side to end one playthrough with 10 Happy Tickets. If you're wondering how long five playthroughs is, it's about six hours. You are given the option to set a time limit for the game, but less time equals fewer Happy Points. While one playthrough of the board game was of light enjoyment, several days of playing the game again and again proved to be tedious. amiibo Festival's existence as video game isn't as fully realized as it could be. As a digital product, the game can easily implement rules and conditions that could be too burdensome for a physical board game. Animal Crossing amiibo figures level up to unlock new costumes and expressions; also you can scan amiibo cards to move new characters into the game board town. Unfortunately, it doesn't take full advantage of being a video game. The scenes you watch when you land on a pink or purple square tend to repeat as early as your second playthrough and a lack of variety in the game board will become apparent all too quickly. The game also fails to include a suspend game feature outside of hitting the Home button. As I said above, you will need to purchase a pack of Animal Crossing amiibo Cards to experience the entirety of the game. The mini-games Mystery Campers and amiibo Card Battle require six amiibo cards to play while the other six games can be played with the three exclusive cards that come with it. The less said about most of these mini-games the better as I doubt many people will return to them after a single playthrough. In all honesty I can't tell you which one is worse: Quiz Show for its baffling execution, Acorn Chase for its reliance on a not-always-reliable NFC reader or Fruit Path for being... scratch that, Fruit Path is easily the worst. Instead of focusing entirely on the bad, let's talk about Desert Island Escape, as its obviously the one mini-game that had more than an hour of thought put into it. This single-player game has you controlling three characters that have been scanned in from their amiibo cards. The object of the game is to find the pieces you need to build a raft to escape the island before you run out of days. You also need to gather food and collect supplies to build tools that will help you on your journey. What I love about Desert Island Escape is how varied your experience will be depending on which amiibo cards you're using. Different characters have different skills. Cats are better at fishing, bears are great at gathering honey, bunnies like to sleep for a day and then move more than double the amount of spaces the next day. There is so much strategy found in such a simple premise that it almost feels like more development time went into this than the rest of the game. If you already own a lot of amiibo cards you will have a blast with this game because you can attack each of the 30 stages in new and interesting ways depending on who you're playing with. This game is so enjoyable, I'm hoping Desert Island Escape could somehow pulls a Captain Toad and end up as its own, separate franchise. As fun as that mini-game is, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is probably not a game you should buy. Had the board game been an extra feature or weekly activity in the next mainline Animal Crossing game (hint, hint Nintendo), it would easily serve as yet another feature that enhances an already rewarding experience. As its own thing, it fall short. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival isn't a bad game, save for most of the mini-games, it's just not interesting enough to warrant the long term investment needed to see everything it has to offer. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
amiibo Festival photo
More like 'bored' game, amirite?
Earlier this year, Animal Crossing series director Aya Kyogoku was asked why she decided to make Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival. She said it was because the team thought amiibo were cute and really wanted an Animal Crossing...

Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: Home Designer will offer a gaming storefront option soon


Keep these amiibo stocked!
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
I haven't really gotten into Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, but this new update that's on the horizon may sway me a bit. According to Tiny Cartridge, gaming items are coming, including kiosks for newer and retro Ninten...
amiibo photo
amiibo

PSA: Mewtwo and Animal Crossing amiibo go on sale on Amazon in 15 minutes


Mewtwo, Mabel, Tom Nook, and a 3-pack
Nov 13
// Brett Makedonski
Friends, Romans, amiibo-hunters: lend me your ears. The day is upon us for another amiibo release. It's a little bit of Smash Bros. and a lot of Animal Crossing. Mostly cute (like last time) with just a dash of badass. Mewtwo...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

PSA: Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is not a free download, it's actually a $60 bundle


Weird
Nov 11
// Chris Carter
Well, this kind of came out of nowhere, and I don't see a lot of people talking about it. Earlier this year during E3, Nintendo reps informed multiple outlets that Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival would be a free eShop d...

Video game ghost stories #3: Buried in the ground

Oct 31 // Ben Davis
~ I met all of my neighbors today. Most of them were really nice; I can already tell that Samson and I are going to be great friends. The eagle was a bit grumpy though, and the cat seemed full of herself. But I'm sure we can get along! A lot of them also have Gyroids in their homes. I tried to ask where they came from, but no one seems to know for sure. Buzz, the grumpy eagle, told me that he sees them in the ground sometimes when it's raining. Very strange... I'd never even heard of them before moving to this town. Aside from meeting the neighbors, I also got a job working at the raccoon's convenience store. So he runs the only store in town and manages all of the properties. It seems like he has as much influence on the town as the mayor. Maybe even more. He gave me a job and a place to live, so I definitely owe the guy. I'm not sure where I would be without him. ~ It was raining all day today, and guess what I found? As I was running late to work, I tripped over a lump in the ground. It was a Gyroid; Buzz was right! It was making this really weird gurgling sound and moving around every now and then like it was trying to break free of the mud. It had that sad, vacant expression that all the other Gyroids have. For some reason, I felt like I couldn't just leave it there, so I decided to take it home. ~ I got a letter in the mail today from Monique, the snooty cat. Apparently she's moving away soon. I've only been in town for about a week, so I didn't get to know her very well. The other neighbors say that people come and go all the time here, so it's not really strange for someone to suddenly decide to move out. Well, maybe someone a bit nicer will move into her place. In other news, that Gyroid I picked up the other day seems to be doing fine. It's still making that gurgling sound, though. I thought it was just doing that because it was stuck in the mud out in the rain, but it keeps gurgling away every so often. The sound mixed with its expression is a little unsettling. Sometimes it almost feels like it's trying to tell me something. ~ Today was the day that Monique was supposed to move out, so I decided to walk over to her place to see if she had left yet, and her house was gone! There was no sign of it anywhere. I got really confused, thinking I had walked to the wrong part of town, but her house definitely used to be right there. I remembered she lived directly south of the post office, so there was no mistake. Did they just bulldoze her house as soon as she left or something? Why would they do that? I went over to ask Samson what the deal was, and he says this kind of thing happens all the time. Whenever someone decides to move away, he gets a letter from them in the mail, and then a few days later they've left town and their house is gone. He thinks it must be Nook's idea to demolish old houses, since he owns the properties. It seems like a waste of money to build brand new houses for every new neighbor, though. Oh well. It's not really my problem. ~ It's been raining all week. I went to the post office today to deposit my rent and happened upon another Gyroid. Strangely enough, it was lying in the ground right where Monique's house used to be. This one was writhing around and making a horrible wailing noise, rather than the gurgling sound the other one makes. Wailing with that sad, empty expression... it sent a shiver down my spine. Once again I felt compelled to bring it home with me. I stored it in the basement next to the gurgling one so that I wouldn't hear the wailing all the time. They only seem to make noises when they see me. ~ Today was a big day! There was a sign near the museum saying that someone new was moving in soon, so construction on their house was underway. I also got a letter in the mail from Buzz saying he's about to move away. Things sure do happen quickly in this town. I went to say goodbye to Buzz, since we've been on good terms lately, but he seemed really distracted. I guess he has a lot to do to prepare for the move, so I can't blame him. I'll miss him, but at least I can look forward to meeting the new neighbor. ~ It rained again today. I had the sudden urge to go for a walk near where Buzz used to live, and guess what? I found another Gyroid, right where his house used to be. It was just like what happened when Monique moved. This one makes a hollow wooden sound, but it still feels like it's trying to tell me something. I took it home, of course. I'm starting to get a very weird feeling about these Gyroids, though. I keep finding them whenever someone moves. Could it be a coincidence? ~ Samson will be moving away soon, according to a letter I got in the mail. I can't believe he didn't tell me in person! I went by his house to talk to him about it, but he seemed out of it. It reminded me of how distracted Buzz had been before his big move. This is really sad news; I'm gonna miss that mouse. But it does give me a chance to settle some suspicions I've been having. I plan to camp outside Samson's house to see what happens tonight before the big move. ~ Oh my god. He killed him. Tom Nook killed Samson. I was hiding in the trees next to Samson's house, and around three in the morning, Tom Nook knocked on his door. When Samson opened it, Nook hit him in the head with an axe! I couldn't see what happened next, because Nook went inside and closed the door. All I could hear was the sound of an axe thumping. Next thing I know, Nook came back outside, dug a hole in the ground, and buried what looked like body parts. Then he stole all the furniture and disassembled the entire house with unbelievable speed and skill, and walked calmly back to his store with all of Samson's belongings in tow. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I ran back home. What just happened? I have to get out of town quick. Should I warn the other villagers first? A hollow wooden sound made me heart skip a beat. I looked in the corner and saw the Gyroid from Buzz's house, and suddenly it hit me. Nook had buried Samson's body in the ground outside his house. He must have done the same with everyone else. Is this how Gyroids are created? From the bodies of the dead? But why are they still moving and making sounds? Do they remember? My mind is reeling from everything that has happened tonight... ~ I must have passed out last night. I awoke to someone knocking on my door, and got up and answered it without thinking. It was Rasher, the new neighbor. He said he got a letter from me in the mail telling him I was moving soon. Was I being pranked? It took a moment for his words to register, but suddenly everything made sense. I didn't know what to say. I must have shrugged off Rasher in a haze as I stumbled back into my house. It must have been Nook who sent all those letters. No wonder Samson didn't tell me he was moving. It wasn't his choice. Tom Nook chooses who comes and goes in this town. And I'm the next to go.
Video game ghost stories photo
Happy Halloween!
Journal Entry #1: I moved to a new town today. It was a last-minute decision, and I didn't even have a place picked out, so it was a little scary. Luckily, a raccoon named Nook showed me some really cheap houses to rent, so I...

Happy Home Designer photo
Happy Home Designer

Nintendo somehow finds a way to make Animal Crossing even more adorable


This game has gone to the dogs
Oct 30
// CJ Andriessen
Millions of people love puppies. Millions of people also love Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. What happens when you put those two things together? Like chocolate and peanut butter, you get something spectacular! Here's...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

A lot of people are playing Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer


2.02 million, in fact
Oct 28
// Vikki Blake
Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer has sold over two million copies since its release in Japan on July 30, 2015. Yes, really. 2.02M, to be precise -- even though North America and Europe didn't get the spin-off title until l...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

New Animal Crossing amiibo are cute as hell


Resetti!
Oct 01
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo has revealed four new figures based on the Animal Crossing series for its amiibo toyline. The group, which includes Celeste, Mr. Resetti, Kicks, and Blathers, launches Dec. 17 in Japan. There's currently no word on w...
Inside amiibo photo
Inside amiibo

Dig into an amiibo card and this is what you'll find


RIP Walker
Sep 29
// Jordan Devore
In the name of science, Michibiku tore into a duplicate Animal Crossing amiibo card to see what the innards would look like. About what you'd expect, really: a little chip and not much else. "Surprisingly, the tech isn't that...
amiibo cards photo
amiibo cards

A full amiibo card collection will cost about $100 if you're a social creature


That's definitely a best-case scenario
Sep 25
// Brett Makedonski
Collecting amiibo has, to this point, been largely an exercise in madness. Nintendo has shellacked us with a flurry of figures from across several lines, brands, and degrees of availability. At least we knew what we were gett...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is getting new items in Japan


Next month
Sep 25
// Chris Carter
Starting October 1, new items will be hitting Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer in Japan. They're mostly Mario related, including question mark blocks, shells, coins, stars, and even the iconic end of level flag....
amiibo cards photo
amiibo cards

The first amiibo cards are up for pre-order


Animal Crossing Series 1
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
Amazon is now taking pre-orders for the Animal Crossing amiibo cards. Be strong. 100 cards are in Series 1 and they're being sold in packs of six for $5.99. Currently, Amazon is limiting orders to four packs per person, thoug...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

This gorilla wants to give you gifts in the new Animal Crossing


Do you trust him?
Sep 22
// Jordan Devore
I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry while looking at Louie. He initially seems funny in an off-brand Donkey Kong sort of way, but the longer I stare, the more unsettling his appearance becomes. He's headed to Animal Crossing...

Review: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

Sep 22 // Ben Davis
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS)Developer: NintendoPublisher: NintendoRelease Date: September 25, 2015MSRP: $39.99 Happy Home Designer puts the player in the role of interior decorator as an employee of the Happy Home Academy. It's your job to listen to clients' requests, fulfill their needs, and add your own bit of flair to their home designs. There are more than 300 villagers in need of decorating advice, and Isabelle will visit with requests to design public facilities around town. Each villager request will have a special theme to follow pertaining to their vision of an ideal home, such as "a tropical resort," "a forest of books," or "a bamboo playground." They'll bring along a few pieces of their favorite furniture which must be used in the design, but the rest is up to you. Design their yards, the exterior of their homes, and of course the inside as well, and try to fit the theme to make the clients happy. Isabelle will also drop by occasionally with requests to design larger public spaces, such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, and more. Many of these buildings have multiple rooms to decorate, each with their own set of requirements. These were the most fun for me, because I got to use items which I never wanted to use in my own home in previous Animal Crossing games, and the layouts were a lot different than what I was used to working with, so everything felt new to me. [embed]311329:60430:0[/embed] Every new request adds new items to the catalog of furniture at your disposal. Any of these new items are sure to make the client happy, although ultimately it really doesn't matter too much. They will be pleased as long as the furniture they brought along is used, and it's actually not possible to say that the house is finished until those items have been placed, so there's really no way to make any of the clients unhappy. This was the most disappointing thing about the game to me. I was hoping to be graded on my designs, with the ability to make clients happier with more thoughtful interior decorating skills or upset if their house turned out to be a disaster. In reality, they'll be just as happy if you take time designing a beautiful house as they will be if you walk in, unpack their boxes, and say that everything is finished without adding or moving anything at all. It's terribly unsatisfying, but I suppose it does give players the freedom to play however they like without the fear of upsetting any of the villagers. Fortunately, your designs can be graded by other players if you choose to upload them to the Internet via the Happy Home Network. Houses and public facilities can be rated by four different categories: cuteness, coolness, uniqueness, and the "I'd live here!" factor. If you find an interesting design online, you can visit that person's house to walk around and check it out before giving an assessment. It's a pretty neat feature and a good way to get some feedback, but it's not quite the same as having the game score your designs. That being said, designing rooms is still super fun, and easier than ever to do. Just drag, drop, and rotate furniture with the touch screen, add more items from the catalog, duplicate items with the L and R buttons, drag unwanted stuff to the trash can, and voila! No more slowly pushing and pulling furniture into place (but you can do that too if you want). Also, there are no bells to worry about, so the only limit to the amount of items which can be added to a room is the space afforded by the floor plan. Decorating rooms in Animal Crossing has never been simpler. There are also options to add ceiling fixtures, create your own custom designs, have Cyrus refurbish stuff, add background noise other than music, and more which can all be unlocked with Play Coins. Once a house or public space is finished, you're free to go back and visit it whenever to hang out with the residents or offer a remodel (although public spaces can only be remodeled after they have all been built). Villagers who have been helped already can be found walking around town, and new potential clients can also be found wandering around with thought bubbles above their heads. Finished public spaces will also be used by villagers, and their roles within the buildings can be chosen by the player (meaning you can decide which villagers are customers or employees). Happy Home Designer features support for amiibo cards. The game includes one amiibo card to start with, and more can be bought in packs for $5.99. The cards can be used to design homes for special villagers who wouldn't normally come by as clients. I got Lyle's card, for example, a higher-up at the Happy Home Academy, so I got to decorate my coworker's home. The cards can also be used to summon villagers to public spaces, so the town can be populated by all of your favorite villagers. That's essentially all there is to Happy Home Designer. Just design homes and admire the finished projects. But even for such a simple idea, I still find myself going back in to see which villagers are looking for a new home and how interesting their theme sounds. It's strangely addicting, and designing homes for some of the more offbeat villagers like the mad scientists, wrestling fanatics, and criminal masterminds is really fun. I just wish they had built in some kind of grading rhetoric for how well your designs resonated with the clients. There has always been a grading mechanic for your own homes in previous Animal Crossing games, where the Happy Home Academy would award points based on how well the furniture fit together, how everything was arranged, and so forth. It's strange they would scrap that idea for a game built entirely around the Happy Home Academy, but that's the way it is. I would recommend Happy Home Designer for anyone who really enjoys designing and decorating virtual spaces. If finding the perfect furniture for your house in Animal Crossing was your favorite part of the series, then you'll surely get some enjoyment out of this game. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Animal Crossing review photo
Comfortable living
Animal Crossing's home design feature was actually the thing that got me hooked on the series in the first place. Back when I was addicted to building houses in The Sims, one of my friends came over for a visit and broug...

amiibo photo
amiibo

Who wants a closer look at the Animal Crossing amiibo?


(a)Me(bo)
Aug 24
// Brett Makedonski
We've seen a fair amount about Animal Crossing and amiibo, but a lot of it has to do with the first use of amiibo cards. Well, when both Happy Home Designer and amiibo Festival release, they'll also get so...
Never coming here photo
Never coming here

If Chao Garden and Animal Crossing had a love child, it would be Monster Hunter Diary


Cameo by Tom Nook!
Aug 13
// Jed Whitaker
Today in "things I really want to be localized but probably never will," I've come across Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village DX, an upgraded port of a PSP game from 2010 that was developed by From Software, strang...
Forever A Loan photo
Forever A Loan

Are Animal Crossing amiibo cards worth $6 per six pack?


Walmart is listing them as such
Aug 12
// Jed Whitaker
Walmart is listing Animal Crossing amiibo cards on its website for $5.96 for a pack of six, so essentially a dollar a card. That isn't that surprising as they go for around the same price when imported from Japan, though...

Video game movies to watch this weekend instead of Pixels

Jul 23 // Jed Whitaker
Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) [embed]296492:59644:0[/embed] Whether or not you're a fan of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games, the movie based on the series is pretty decent. All the characters look and act like their game counterparts and even with the subtitles the movie still nails the games' humor. Sadly the film has never officially been released for sale in the US, but if you have a way to watch it I highly recommend it. Sweet Home [embed]296492:59645:0[/embed] Sweet Home had a Famicom game by the same name, which Resident Evil was planned as a spiritual sequel to. It might not be the best horror film but it is certainly worth a watch. Those who go in thinking the movie will be a Resident Evil movie will be disappointed, as this is more a haunted mansion story than a zombie story. The Sweet Home game influenced a lot of survival horror games and could be painted as the original survival horror game. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters [embed]296492:59646:0[/embed] This documentary follows Steve Wiebe as he attempts to take the world record high score in Donkey Kong from (at the time) current champion Billy Mitchell. While that alone may not sound exciting, the real life characters in the movie make it something special. The film plays more like a drama than a documentary, so much in fact that a scripted film adaptation has been said to be in the works. The documentary was also parodied in a South Park episode where Randy Marsh attempts to take a larger shit than U2 frontman Bono Vox. It's one of my favorite movies ever and highly recommended. Dead Rising: Watchtower [embed]296492:59647:0[/embed] When the free-to-watch Dead Rising: Watchtower was announced I wasn't too excited, and upon release I went into it with low expectations. Turns out it is a rather competent zombie film and has enough fan service to make Dead Rising fans happy. Frank West may not be the lead character but he makes many appearances throughout the film as part of a news program, dickish charm intact.  Animal Crossing (Dōbutsu no Mori) [embed]296492:59648:0[/embed] Does anime count? Well I'm saying it does and you should watch the Animal Crossing anime film that was released in Japanese theaters. The anime follows the same plot as the games; a new girl moves to town, is an indentured servant to Tom Nook, and befriends and helps the other animals in town. Animal Crossing's anime adaptation was never officially released outside of Japan but a fan dubbed version is out there somewhere. The Lawnmower Man [embed]296492:59649:0[/embed] What list of video game-related movies would be complete without The Lawnmower Man, a movie that is more relevant now than when it came out as it deals with virtual reality headsets. A dumb dumb lawnmower man in town is approached by a scientist to be his human guinea pig in an experiment using drugs and a VR headset, and this somehow turns him into a genius with magical powers... I remember watching the movie when it came out and being amazed at the cutting edge special effects, though today they look extremely dated. Strangely enough the effects were made by Angel Studios, which later became Rockstar San Diego and went on to make Red Dead Redemption, L.A. Noire, and Grand Theft Auto V.  Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World [embed]296492:59651:0[/embed] Whether or not you've read the graphic novel series you should give the Michael Cera-led Scott Pilgrim vs. the World a shot, as it may be the best video game movie out there. The film is basically oozing with references to video games from band names, to Zelda music, to epic fight scenes that would feel at home in any beat 'em up. Speaking of which, if you haven't already, give the game a try because it is just as good as the film and plays very similarly to one of the greatest beat 'em ups of all time, River City Ransom. -- These are some of the best video game-related movies I've seen and surprisingly I don't see them getting the credit they deserve. Also don't let me stop you from watching Pixels, by all means tell Hollywood you want more garbage Adam Sandler films if you so wish. I know I'll probably be watching Pixels sometime this weekend because clearly I'm a masochist, and I'm part of the problem. 
#StopSandler photo
Think of the children
This week the critically lampooned Pixels movie opens in theaters nationwide in the United States, and if you'd rather spend your time and money on movies that don't blow consider these other video game-related films. Don't worry though, this list won't just be the movies you've all seen before, because I'm so much cooler than that.

Bigger in America photo
Bigger in America

Animal Crossing amiibo cards get firmer dates, pack details


100 cards, different sizes by country
Jul 21
// Steven Hansen
The first set of collectible cards with amiibo functionality are releasing at the end of this month, July 30, in Japan in conjunction with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. In Europe the cards launch October 2 alongside t...
Nintendo UK Happy Home photo
Nintendo UK Happy Home

Check out 30 minutes of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer


With slightly out of sync audio!
Jul 17
// Jed Whitaker
Nintendo UK livestreamed the upcoming Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for thirty minutes to show off how the game is played and drop new bits of information along the way.  Happy Home Designer will feature ove...
amiibo > videogames photo
amiibo > videogames

Nintendo: New Animal Crossing games were made because 'we just wanted amiibo'


Egg to chicken, amiibo to game
Jul 09
// Jed Whitaker
In an interview with USgamer, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer and Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival creative lead Aya Kyogoku was asked if amiibo Festival was conceptualized as a game involving amiibo or if the ...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Fauxlusive: Nookling Junction dumps Trump


Dumpster behind store now super classy
Jul 03
// CJ Andriessen
Trump, the Republican frontrunner for the 2016 Presidential nomination, has had a bit of a rough week after NBC and Macy's both parted ways with the reality TV star in light of comments he made about illegal immigra...
AMAZING photo
AMAZING

Animal crossover: Oh my god KK Slider covering Outkast


Hey you
Jun 26
// Steven Hansen
Hey, what are you doing right now? Fuck you, because it's not as cool as what I'm doing right now, which is listening to KK Slider covering Outkast's "Hey Ya!" Now I'm listening to KK Slider doing Johnny Cash's "Hurt." Get on...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing gets its PONPONPON on


Stitches just blew her mind...
Jun 24
// Jonathan Holmes
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is almost here, but I'm not seeing much excitement for it. Maybe that's because it's a full priced game that looks to offer just a fraction of the features found in the previously re...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer debuts September 25


Also, AC: amiibo Festival announced
Jun 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Today, during Nintendo's E3 showcase, the publisher took some time to talk Animal Crossing. The decorating-focused Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is coming to Nintendo 3DS on September 25, the company announced just be...

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