the walking writer

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is one of my favorite games on the 3DS. I’m certain that I’ve spent the majority of my playtime with that console on New Leaf. I resisted buying it for a long time because I had played one of its predecessors and just didn’t get the appeal. I’m happy that I finally bought it because I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth from it. I have a few confessions from my years of playing it…

1. I haven’t checked on my town since Christmas.

Even though I feel like I’ve mostly done everything I want to do in the game, I still enjoy checking in with my villages and walking around my town. However, during the holidays, I didn’t have a chance to play much. So when I booted up the game, I discovered that Poppy, my favorite villager, was moving out the next day. Yes, she’s just a pile of pixels in the shape of an adorable squirrel, but I’m still sad to lose her. I wish the game had a vacation mode that would keep your town in stasis if you won’t be playing for an extended period.

I need to just get it over with already and start playing again. I wonder if the bamboo in my town has completely overtaken the empty spaces of land by now.

2. I can’t stand the jock villagers.

The jock villagers are really the only type that bother me, mostly because they call my mayor “ladybro.” Ugh. While all villagers are of a particular type, jock villagers seem to take their theme a bit too far, and their conversations are quite repetitive. I’m always annoyed when they move in, and I’m never sad when they finally move out of my town.

3. Tutu drives me nuts, but I still keep her around.

Tutu is a polar bear who is way too full of herself. Based on her dialogue, I actually thought she was a snooty villager until I checked and saw she is in fact a peppy villager. Even though she’s attempted to move several times, I stop her every time because she is one of my few remaining original villagers.

4. I’ve tried to place paths in my town, but I always end up deleting them.

I’ve seen some really amazing towns with beautiful paths and layouts. I’ve tried to do it in my own town several times, but I end up erasing the paths after a few days every single time. I think I’m just a bit too lazy to try to do the really complex paths.

5. I think my town is a random mess, but that’s okay.

I’m always impressed by the work and effort some players have put into their towns. I’ve visited some towns with neat themes that are fun to visit and inspiring. My town…is just sort of a conglomeration of random features. I can’t even decide on an orderly way to display flowers. As with The Sims, I’m not terribly great at planning layouts, but it’s still fun to play around with from time to time.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been out for more than a year now, but I finally picked it up only a couple of months ago. If you’re new to the franchise, you might be unsure of what to do each time you play. I’ve compiled a few essential tips I discovered when I first started playing. If you want to keep discovering stuff completely on your own without any help, I suggest skipping this post.

  • Check the beach every day. Sometimes, you’ll find a lost sailor asleep on the beach. You can also find lost items that must be returned to the owner.
  • Use the left and right buttons on the d-pad to quickly cycle through your tools. When I started playing, I thought I had to keep going to the menu to equip a different item. This will save you a lot of time.
  • You can use the up button on the d-pad to make objects, such as trees and buildings, temporarily disappear from view. This is useful for finding dig spots and playing some of the mini-games on the island.
  • Keep buying stuff every day in the stores on Main Street. To unlock certain future stores and upgraded versions of current stores, you have to spend a certain amount of money.
  • Storage is fairly problematic in this game, especially if you like to hold onto a lot of stuff. When you unlock the second floor of the museum, you can start storing extra stuff there. Most of the items in the game can be purchased again through through the catalog in the Nooklings store. Items that you can’t purchase again through the catalog include rare items like fossils, fortune cookie items, holiday items and so on.

My final suggestion to new players is to avoid the urge to time travel. Time travel in this game means adjusting your 3DS’ clock forward to move through the game faster. Yes, it’s tempting to want to see what your expanded house looks like or to participate in one of the game’s special events, but you’ll quickly run out of content this way. In addition, there are some negative consequences to this; your villages may move out and your town will probably be full of weeds. If you do limit yourself to playing the game in real time and only in small 30 minute periods, you’ll probably find yourself playing this game consistently for a very long time.

I’ve had my 3DS for about a year now.  When I first turned it on, I only half-paid attention to the system’s social feature, known as StreetPass.  Since I didn’t have any games that took really advantage of the feature and I wasn’t planning to take the console out of the house much, I just left it disabled.  A few days ago, I decided to take another look at the feature and finally turn it on.  I quickly discovered that I had been missing a lot.

So, if you don’t know, the StreetPass concept is pretty simple.  Basically, each time your 3DS comes near another 3DS (with the feature enabled), the two devices exchange some basic information, including your personalized Mii. The next time you turn on your 3DS, you’ll see the Miis that you collected waiting at your StreetPass Plaza gate.  After welcoming your new friends, you can play a variety of games specifically designed for the Miis that you collected.  By default, the 3DS console comes with a couple of games you can play with Miis, including a simple but cute RPG.  Last year, Nintendo also released 4 more games that you can buy together as a bundle.

The StreetPass feature isn’t just limited to games designed for Miis.  You can also exchange game information for many of the system’s other games.  For example, in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, you’ll download a copy of the other play’s character that will then show up in your game for duels.

For me, the biggest fun of StreetPass is just collecting and “meeting” more players whenever I’m out and about.  I’m hoping to eventually collect Miis from all over the world.  The StreetPass feature is a neat way to encourage people to go out more instead of just leaving their 3DS at home.