Wednesday 21 November 2018

Crossing to the New Life - What Do We Do Today, Friend? [Gaming]

Animal Crossing just wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t allow people to visit each other. Since Wild World that connectivity has been easy, but the options for what to do when you visit have been limited. Only in New Leaf did those options start to expand, and so I’m going to give new life to those options.

With New Leaf, you had the island and island tours that hosted four players. With this new game, what if those options were brought to the main town instead? That’s what Games Hire is for.

 Above is a focused part of the map, with labels of what everything within the shopping district is. Games Hire is just one of the places that allows a form of connectivity previously unseen in Animal Crossing. See, there used to be balls you could roll around in the Gamecube game, but ever since have been missing. Games Hire brings those balls back to allow a kickabout to be had between friends.

That’s not all Games Hire is useful for, as there are other things available to you. Markers are available to cordon off an area to allow smaller areas of play for those that want them. Exclusive equipable items such as a hammer and water pistol allow games to be played that you normally couldn’t, and you can even design mazes that fit around the town to race through.

Destinations is where you go to explore areas outside of the town. Kapp’n and his family run it, with Kapp’n acting as the sailor to the islands. At first, you’ll only be getting a small island to travel to, 30x30 spaces in size. This island is an open island where you can meet anyone to trade items with in person or just have a friendly chat. As you meet more people [and people you invite to your town count as well] you start to unlock more islands to explore.

These islands are larger in size, offering up varied island shapes and rare items. These islands can be explored with people you invite – either those at your town or directly to the island itself. Island villagers live on these islands and offer up their own games to play. One of the islands also has the observatory to visit, with Celeste being the owner of it.

Destinations is also where you’ll buy swimsuits, fishing rods and bug nets. I know it makes little difference, but a bit of variation never hurts, which is why each tool now comes in ten colours – plus the silver and gold special variants – allowing you to add a bit of personality to your toolset.

If you want to advertise your town without having people visit, Favoured Fortunes is where to go. Katrina’s here, telling her fortunes to visitors. Fortune cookies are found here, with a lot of Nintendo-related goodies just as in New Leaf. That’s not going to advertise your town, though.

Luna has brought her dream suite services, sharing half of the Favoured Fortunes building. Just as in New Leaf, you can set your town up to be visited in a dream or visit other towns while dreaming yourself. Unlike in New Leaf though, you have a second code available.

Allowing people to visit the town you manage is all well and good, but what if you could completely build a town and all the little things for people to visit as well? That’s what the second code is for. It allows a more complete expression of creativity, allowing every house to be customised and the villagers that live in them – if you choose to do so. After all, there were some crazy things that people did just to impress people with the Dream system, so giving complete control should allow them even more freedom to create those weird and occasionally spooky places.

But that’s not all. After all, isn’t connectivity the fun of Animal Crossing? You’ve got your friends and you want to explore somewhere other than the islands or play some games, so bring them to Favoured Fortunes and share a dream to all experience a different locale.

Codes can be added to a favourites list, with your codes being freely available to anyone on your friends list and their codes easily available to you. Any randoms you meet with will automatically share town pass cards with each other – thus sharing the dream codes, giving even more dream towns to quickly access. Any visiting friends can also use one of their codes.

The last place I’ll talk about in this post is the arcade. Just what does the arcade allow? Access to redesigned versions of most of those games featured in amiibo Festival. Board Game, Balloon Island, Desert Island Escape, Card Battle, and Quiz Show are all available to play, plus the Puzzle League game from New Leaf: Welcome amiibo.

Those are the multiplayer games, though a few can also be played solo. One thing I want this arcade to be is a place where new styles of play can happen. Which means sports. The villagers in your town make up the rest of the players, allowing for a whole community to come together to play games such as baseball, football, basketball and plenty of others.

Those four places offer a lot of things to do when communicating, but obviously there’s going to be the usual looking around the stores to see what’s different from a person’s other daily selection. And how you shop around is slightly different compared to past games, as has been hinted above.

That is for next month, where I’ll be detailing the rest of the shopping district.

Crossing to the New Life Series