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Animal Crossing

Castaway Paradise photo
Castaway Paradise

Castaway Paradise is the iPad's answer to Animal Crossing

iPad gamers, you might want to check this one out
Jun 20
// Brittany Vincent
I took one look at Castaway Paradise and I knew it would be perfect for me. Lately all I seem to want to do is live vicariously through my digital avatars across different platforms. The colorful atmosphere of Castaway Parad...
Fantasy Life photo
Fantasy Life

Level-5 is doing us a solid and bringing us Fantasy Life

It's no Yokai Watch, but it's still awesome
Jun 10
// Brittany Vincent
Level-5 is bringing its glorious MMO-inspired Fantasy Life to Western gamers, and it looks to be every bit of a treat. Combining Animal Crossing-like sensibilities with the role-playing and combat of an MMO, Fantasy Life is ...
Metal as hell photo
Metal as hell

Get stuck in the metal with this 17-minute tribute to video games

Make the gamers dance 'cause he's rock 'n' rollin'
May 31
// Brittany Vincent
What's more metal than a 17-minute instrumental medley featuring some of your favorite video game tracks? Anything Nathan Explosion touches, but that's beside the point. This impressive project was three years in the making,...
Animal Crossing: New Leaf photo
Animal Crossing: New Leaf

These new Animal Crossing: New Leaf plush toys are way too kaway-way

Especially little Isabelle, am I right?
May 21
// Brittany Vincent
Animal Crossing: New Leaf continues to haunt our dreams by serving up adorable new plush toys and mascot plush keychains, and we just eat it up like good little boys and girls. There's a few new goodies out for sale now, incl...
Super Smash Bros. photo
Super Smash Bros.

Female Villager revealed for Super Smash Bros.

Fear the pink hair
May 16
// Darren Nakamura
When Animal Crossing's Villager was revealed as one of the newcomers for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games on Wii U and 3DS, fans of the quirky life simulator were pleased to see the character bringing his bug net and slin...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing Drawing Challenge reaps creepy magic

What a troubling delight
Mar 23
// Jonathan Holmes
Animal Crossing: New Leaf was a lot of people's game of the year for 2013, but that doesn't mean that passion for the title has cooled now that we're well into 2014. Oh heck no. Kiseki Kokoro has challenged the Animal Crossin...
Animal Crossing GDC talk photo
Animal Crossing GDC talk

Animal Crossing is so successful because of its diverse team

7.3 million sales don't lie
Mar 19
// Steven Hansen
Almost half of the people that worked on Animal Crossing: New Leaf are women. When its director Aya Kyogoku started with Nintendo in 2003, she was the only female game designer there. A decade later and that's no longer the c...
inFamous photo

inFamous started as an Animal Crossing-like game

No photos exist, sadly
Mar 14
// Jordan Devore
Sucker Punch Productions has been making the rounds leading up to inFamous: Second Son's release a week from today, and speaking to GameSpot, co-founder Chris Zimmerman talked about the bizarre origins of the game that kicked...
Club Nintendo photo
Club Nintendo

These Club Nintendo Animal Crossing posters are 'dawwsome

It's a set of two for 500 Coins
Jan 31
// Chris Carter
I know people that are still playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Heck, I know people that are still playing old Animal Crossing games. Such is the staying power of this Nintendo franchise, and now, you can celeb...
Animal Crossing: New Leaf photo
Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Become Sandy Claws in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

A Christ-must buy
Nov 27
// Steven Hansen
Welp, now I feel bad I left my Animal Crossing: New Leaf town to squalor. I assume banditry is on the rise, everyone locks their doors, and floor is filthy with weeds. At least Shrunk's club is booming for the black market s...
Diva is a piece of shit photo
Diva is a piece of shit

Animal Crossing: Why Diva is a piece of sh*t

Promoted from our Community Blogs!
Nov 27
// medo44
[Happy Thanksgiving. --Mr Andy Dixon] This is my first informational blog post about the piece of shit, Diva.
Animal Crossing plushies photo
Animal Crossing plushies

Animal Crossing plushies are here to brighten your day

Also two different stamp sets!
Nov 06
// Brett Zeidler
JBox has added a ton of Animal Crossing: New Leaf merchandise for purchase, mostly in the way of plushies. Yes, Animal Crossing plushies. I know, I know, just take a moment to collect yourself and we'll continue. For wha...

Five new 3DS titles added to the million-seller list

Animal Crossing: New Leaf dominiates
Oct 31
// Dale North
Nintendo's latest financial results (April -- September 2013) list five new additions to their million-seller list. These 3DS games all did well this summer, but Animal Crossing: New Leaf did especially well. Joining it are L...
New Leaf contest photo
New Leaf contest

Caveat Crossing: Win a 3DS, New Leaf bedroom makeover

Damn teenagers
Oct 03
// Steven Hansen
Channel One News is putting on a contest wherein you can win a 3DS XL, a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and a bunch of Animal Crossing decor to makeover your bedroom with. That means you can finally get rid of that disgus...
Animal Crossing Zelda photo
Animal Crossing Zelda

Grab Link's Wind Waker shirt in Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Just scan these QR codes
Oct 01
// Chris Carter
In this morning's Nintendo Direct, it was really easy to miss a small bit of news regarding Animal Crossing: New Leaf -- Link's shirt from the beginning of Wind Waker is totally free! All you have to do is go straight to the ...

Attack on Titan X Animal Crossing: New Leaf

The ultimate crossover
Sep 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Attack on Titan meets Animal Crossing: New Leaf. The villager face on Eren killed me. Is Attack on New Leaf the best parody yet? [Japanator]
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Free Animal Crossing Plaza out now on Wii U

'I love flowers' -- Nintendo president Satoru Iwata
Aug 07
// Jordan Devore
While it's no Super Mario Bros. 3 on 3DS, darn it, the newly-announced Animal Crossing Plaza is cool in its own right. As demonstrated during this morning's Nintendo Direct, this free app gives series fans a place to congrega...

Rhymedown Spectacular: Pipes of Passion

The brains behind Jimquisition and Zero Punctuation get lyrical
Jul 24
// Jim Sterling
This week, both poems get pretty damn dark. Yahtzee talks of animals and crossings, while your ol' pal here tells a tale of passion and revenge.  There is a lot of emotion in these poems, and I think we all can learn a little bit about ourselves and the human condition, for God's sake. 

Animal Crossing: New Leaf sales surpass 500,000 units

Plus see how else Nintendo performed in June
Jul 19
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Good news, everybody! Animal Crossing: New Leaf has sold more than 505,000 combined physical and digital units. More than 20% of the total sales came from the digital sales, in fact. Nintendo says that internal sales trackers...
New Leaf orchestrated photo
New Leaf orchestrated

Animal Crossing New Leaf opening theme orchestrated

It makes me want to leave work and just catch bugs all day
Jul 17
// Darren Nakamura
The team that put together The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour are back at it with music from a Nintendo franchise. This time, the Star Pop Orchestra puts its strings and woodwinds to Animal Crossing: New Lea...

Everything I need to know I learned from Animal Crossing

Jul 13 // Jonathan Holmes
Responsibility isn't real The first thing that happens in most Animal Crossing games is an in-game tutorial where you are tasked to engage in a variety of "jobs" in order to learn the various systems. You'll have to write some letters, meet some talking animals, and do other odds and ends. It's the worst part of the game. Almost everyone hates it, including the player character. After all the tasks are completed and the player is "fired" from their job, they raise their fist in victory. Unemployment is a godsend. Making your own way in life, unburdened by the shackles of allegiance or subjugation to an employer is the path to self discovery and meaningful experience.  That feeling when you first step out of the tutorial with endless things you could do but nothing you have to do -- that's adult life. There are no prearranged missions or linear paths (though plenty of "grown ups" try to follow them anyway). Any semblance of prearrangement is just an illusion. Keeping that in mind can help turn a grueling chore into an exercise in freedom. It's up to you to find out what will happen next in your life. It's up to you to determine how to get there. Chasing shadows is a labor of love, and the key to riches So if Animal Crossing is about being unemployed, how do you make ends meet? How do you get the things in life that you think you need? The things that you want? There are many answers to that, but the richest Animal Crossing players I know got there by: 1) Accepting the fact that success is never assured 2) Knowing that those who enjoy the journey are most likely to arrive at the best destination You see a shadow in the water. It could be a Coelacanth (worth 15,000 Bells), but chances are its just a Sea Bass (worth 120 Bells). If all you want is to get rich, you may not bother to try to catch it, as it's not statistically probable to be "worth your time." Even if you do try to catch it, you may not succeed on the first try, or even the second or third. You may even pull up an old tire, which actually costs you money to dispose of.  This will be enough to drive some people to just do favors for other villagers for money, or worse, just go around shaking trees for loose change. These are the safer routes, the less strenuous, the less adventurous. Only those who truly love fishing will keep at it through all the old tires, through the hordes of Sea Bass, to achieve greatness in acquiring the world's Coelacanths, Napoleonfish, and Blue Marlins. Of course, spending more time fishing in the rain, and keeping an eye out for suspicious-looking fins never hurt, but only those are willing to let their bobbers hit the water in the first place will ever discover all the sea's mysteries (and the riches that may come with them). Authority isn't necessary in a world where mutual respect is standard In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, you're the mayor? You know what that means? Eh... nothing really. You "fund raise" on your own in order to put new guidelines in place for how long stores stay open, or not. You can pay for new landmarks to be built or for new businesses to open up, or not. You have the power to make changes in your community, but only if you've got the money to back it up.  As for "political" power or hierarchy, it's relatively non-existent. Other villagers may ask you to do things, or you may ask one of them to leave, but those power plays are never a sure thing, nor are they enforced by any sorts of "laws." That's because in Animal Crossing, everyone has gentle, surface-level relationships based on a culture where the boundaries of others are always respected. The worst thing you can do to someone in Animal Crossing is insult their taste in clothes, or bop them on the head with a bug catching net. Do that enough times, and they'll just leave on their own, remembering only the good times you shared with them.  I can only hope that someday the human race will evolve to be as naturally empathetic and civilized as the forest dwelling villagers of Animal Crossing. Just show up and don't be a jerk The amount of money, material goods, and wildlife you can acquire in Animal Crossing can seem endless, but in the end, it's all just a bunch of stuff. The feeling of success and fulfillment that comes from these achievements can be fleeting. Attempting to chase that feeling with more money and more stuff can lead to even more intense feelings of meaninglessness.  So what else is there? After your house size is maxed out and your catalog of fish is complete, what do you do? Maybe finding a place of affection in the lives of your peers will give you some feeling of purpose, but how do you do that? In Animal Crossing, you are powerless to invoke a witty rejoinder or hilarious anecdote about Shania Twain's distaste for mayonnaise. There is no banter. There are no popularity contests. You can get a badge for catching a lot of fish, or you can impress Gracie with your fashion sense, but that's not going to get you any friends.  The way to get others to appreciate you in Animal Crossing is much easier than all that. You can win the heart of just about everyone in the game, from that orange-headed cat down the street to that high-class pigeon in the cafe, just by showing up. You don't even have to say anything to them. In fact, most of the time you can't say anything. All you can do is listen, but listening is more than enough. If you make a point to give a friend some attention every day, and be sure to never do anything awful to them, they'll grow attached to you. They may do you special favors and tell you their innermost feelings, and they'll miss you when you're gone. All just for showing up, being nice, and being consistent. Those of you having trouble making friends would do wise to follow this mandate, as there is no one on earth who is immune to its charms. Time is inescapable  Time is the key ingredient to everything in Animal Crossing. It's the way to make friends, make money, and make your dreams come true. It's also your greatest enemy. Time is the only thing that can stop you from catching that fish you want. If you aren't able to put the needed time into looking for it in the time of the month that the fish is in season, you will fail at catching the fish. If your favorite villager is a cat with an orange for a head, it may be just a matter of time before she decides to move out. You only have the winter months to build enough snowmen to get the entire snowman set of furniture. Run out of time, and you'll have to wait until next year.  There's no stopping time in Animal Crossing. Every second you aren't in the game seeking a new opportunity is a second that you'll never get back. Some will try to speed up time, impatient for what may be waiting for them in the future. To them, the slowness of time feels like the enemy, though the real enemy is their own driving ambition. The passing of time is a blessing and a curse. It provides new opportunities as it takes others away. The way to best appreciate that process is to remember your past, be mindful of your future, and most importantly, savor every second that you pass through, as it's time you'll never get back again. If nothing is important, then everything is important Animal Crossing is about minutia. It is about stacking minute after minute, second after second, with moments of no real consequence. So why is it that people can't stop playing the game. Why are people choosing to "grind" for beetles in Animal Crossing over saving the human race in The Last of Us? Why has Twitter exploded with #acnl tagged tweets about meeting unattractive bears, getting fake-hair cuts, picking "perfect" fruit, and any number of other incredibly exciting, completely unimportant events? In addition to all the charms and concepts already detailed in the article above, Animal Crossing works to engage the player by setting the bar for stimulation so low that almost any event feels like a major milestone. Everything in the game, from the most expensive couch to the least valuable stinkbug is on equal footing in terms of how much mental real estate it may find in the players psyche. For me, getting the best stuff or angling the rarest fish doesn't mean a whole lot. My personal mission became catching a Banded Dragonfly. It was a calling that found value by my own standards and by my standards alone. The game didn't tell me it was important. I decided that it was, for reasons unknown. I spent hours on looking for one. I cursed fate when they eluded me. I felt lost and hopeless when they failed to appear, day after day. Does it make any rational sense for me to become that emotionally invested in capturing a fictional insect. Sure. In the grand cosmic scheme of things, catching a Banded Dragonfly is no more or less important than becoming the President of the United States. Either way, we're all on a giant rock floating through space, born to die, bound to intemperate reality through limitations of our five meager senses and slowly rotting, deeply flawed organic skull CPUs.  So if everything is equally unimportant, why do anything? Does anything have meaning? If so, how do you measure how much meaning? What's the difference between a "guilty pleasure" and  "breathtaking work of staggering genius"? Who are we to say what is important and what isn't? The answer is, things find importance based on how we choose to internally value them. As flawed as it may be, that's the only standard we have. Society will try to teach us otherwise, that becoming certain things (cool, sexy, rich, powerful, smart) are more valuable than just catching butterflies. That's a fallacy. There is no universally objective set of values that you can use to measure the importance of a life experience, and therefore, every life experience shares the same potential for importance.  [Flag by Kriven4437] I would have never been inspired to write this article if it weren't for the experience I had catching a Banded Dragonfly yesterday. This article may go on to inspire someone else to write something about what they value. Their writing may go on to be read by a president, or a queen, or a warlord. Their writing may change that warlord's way of governorship, which in turn could change the bent of world politics, which could lead to the death or survival of millions.  So the next time you're trying to catch a Golden Stag and someone tells you to stop playing that stupid game about nothing, tell them you're changing the world Kony 2012-style and to not cramp your style.
Animal Crossing photo
The Dao of K.K.
[Images by Sarah Thomas] Over a year ago, I annoyed a lot of people by announcing that the term "art game" is stupid because it is overly vague and easily misconstrued, worsens the ever increasing problem of class-ism in vide...

New Leaf photo
New Leaf

You need to hear this Animal Crossing: New Leaf cover

Take care of all your chores now, understand?
Jul 09
// Jordan Devore
Trips to the island in Animal Crossing: New Leaf will never be the same after listening to these Kapp'n covers by YouTube user misterrandell. Hauntingly beautiful, yet at the same time uplifting. He says he's been "totally o...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Rest this Animal Crossing bag on your hip, sirs

DJ K.K. looks better than you
Jul 07
// Jonathan Holmes
It's been interesting to watch Animal Crossing go from being perceived as a weird "kiddie" game that most people bought just for the old NES games to something appreciated by good looking adults across the world.  Case i...

The Villager pays a visit to Skyrim

Oh god no
Jul 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Such innocence and bloodshed, yet that smile never goes away.
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

The dark secret of Animal Crossing's Pigeon Milk revealed

Brewster's secret additive isn't what you think
Jun 29
// Jonathan Holmes
One of the more interesting bits of evocative minutia in the Animal Crossing series comes from the player's potential relationship with Brewster, the local coffee barista. It's hard to win the favor of this high cla...
Deals photo

Amazon discounts Animal Crossing: New Leaf and more

Slew of 3DS titles on sale now!
Jun 29
// Wesley Ruscher
[Update: Looks like Amazon has sold out on Animal Crossing: New Leaf, but other 3DS titles are still currently available. Better act fast!] If my Facebook feed has been any indication, then everyone (their moms included) alre...
Animal Crossing remixes photo
Animal Crossing remixes

Allow K.K. and Friends to touch your musical soul

Animal Crossing remix album by Ben Briggs and ectogemia
Jun 24
// Tony Ponce
Ladies and gentlemen, I am playing Animal Crossing for the first time ever. I scored a copy of New Leaf, popped it into my 3DS, and immediately fell deep into Tom Nook's financial pit of despair. I can tell this game is going...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

Only the lonely don't own Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Simon and Garfunkel would be proud
Jun 23
// Jonathan Holmes
Times are tough for those in certain circles that that don't have the new Animal Crossing. Depending on who you run with on the internet, your Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter feeds could currently be filled to the brim with pic...
Reggie's home tour photo
Reggie's home tour

Reggie's Animal Crossing home has his face on a bed

Cribs: Nintendo of America COO edition
Jun 21
// Steven Hansen
Have you ever wondered how the other half live? Wonder no more. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime gives an all access look at his Animal Crossing: New Leaf home in this adorable video. Plus, he drops some proper...
Wii Fit Trainer photo
Wii Fit Trainer

Japanese artists think Wii Fit Trainer is smokin'

Gotta love that bleached Michael Jackson skin
Jun 19
// Tony Ponce
The fourth Smash Bros. was only announced last week, but fans the world over have already contributed a wealth of art based on the three new characters. However, Japanese art community pixiv has taken a particularly big shine...

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