Animal Crossing: New Leaf Journal: Week 3

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I believe this is where I’m going to wind down my Animal Crossing: New Leaf journal, at least as a weekly thing (unless there’s some sort of demand for it to keep going; comment below). I’ve reached the point where things have begun to sort of level out and you have an idea of what to expect going forward. So join me one more time, and I’ll give my final thoughts at the end of the post.

The latest thing to happen is the upgrade of Timmy and Tommy’s Nookling Junction into a new “T&T Mart.” It has a snazzier look with a sliding door, a catalog machine for ordering items, and best of all: More merchandise available at any given time, including two fortune cookies per day, offering more chances to win some fun Nintendo-themed goodies.

Some of my latest acquisitions have been Samus’s helmet and boots, Link’s hat (with hair still inside) and pants, a Wii Balance Board (which, oddly enough, you can’t step on), a fireball bar from Mario, and some new Pikmin hats. A neat touch is when you put on the Zelda items, for example, you hear the classic chime from when you get an item.

There was also this:

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Regrettably, this Toad Hat counts as a helmet, so you can’t wear any other headgear with it. Which is disappointing, as being a steampunk Toad would have been kind of cool.

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A stop by the museum revealed a bit of concern from dear Blathers. Seems he wants to make the Subcon museum bigger, but lacks the bells to do so. This added a new public works project to the list, something my townsfolk have been craving more of, and I set right out to do it… once I finished up a little old business first, that is.

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I paid off my first home loan to Tom Nook, and he generously offered an expansion for my home; one I immediately accepted.

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I love how the furniture remains untouched, giving you an idea of precisely how much more space you have. Here is what my place looks like now, after having rearranged the furniture and setting a few more things out:

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So far, the Happy Home Academy likes what I’ve done with the place. I even put the fireball bar by the door for “security.”

As it would turn out, though, Blathers isn’t the only one who needed help this week…

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Shrunk is in town, and he wanted to open up our very own Club LOL location. He didn’t give a very persuasive argument, though, so I turned him down– more in the hopes he’d really sell it, but he decided to sulk around High Street instead. Bah. So I caved and gave him the green light, which led to this:

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…I totally did, too. Man, what a slacker. So then he lays this chestnut on me:

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It’s amazing how good an argument he can put forth when he doesn’t actually want to do any work, isn’t it? If I get “Go K.K. Rider!” out of this, though, I’ll call it even. Strangely, since getting the signatures, it’s been several days and not only have I seen no sign of Shrunk around, but no evidence he’s working on the club. If he doesn’t get on the ball, I might have to fund a police department or something to handle whatever squirmy elements he intends to introduce to my fair town.

Though to be fair, he did say that he wasn’t sure when he’d be able to open, and that he’d “try his best to hurry,” but wow. He’s the slowest businessman I’ve seen in these parts.

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Speaking of businesses, Kick’s finally opened up next to the Able Sisters’ shop. There, the little guy who would shine your shoes in the eponymous city of Animal Crossing: City Folk is selling various types of socks, stockings, shoes, boots, clogs, etc.

For the first few days, I didn’t find anything I wanted. Then I came across a great pair of hiking boots, but I didn’t have room in my inventory. I went to sell off my stuff, and this happened:

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For whatever reason, it almost seems as though the stores which opened after I passed the nighttime ordinance don’t adhere to it. I may have to test the theory by killing it, then restarting it again… for another 20,000 Bells. If that works, all I’m going to say is “not cool.” It isn’t cool either way, but less so in that way.

It all worked out, though, as I got myself a nice pair of black steel-toed boots.

Funny thing, though, is the reason I learned this. After Blathers added the museum item to the public works docket and I paid off my loan, I made my first visit to the mayor’s chair in City Hall to start on it. But before that could move forward, Isabelle had something else to tell me…

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Apparently, they wanted to hold a celebration for the bridge we’d finished last week! You’d think I’d have received a letter or a visit from Isabelle or something. This came up at about 11pm at night, but the people? They were ready:

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I’ll have to make a note to check in once a project has been completed from now on.

I mentioned earlier that I finally relented and joined the Happy Home Academy. Once I learned you could order certain items from other peoples’ homes, it became a no-brainer… especially after this guy showed up via SpotPass:

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Unfortunately, he has a lot of stuff you can’t order. On the bright side, you get to see the full potential of a Nintendo-themed room, and your house in general. More handily, Mr. Fils-Aime gave a guided tour recently; check it out:

My only question is if there’s a way to get that pattern of his face he has around.

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One thing you might have noticed in my pictures is the odd grass. After seeing what people had done with their towns in previous iterations of the series, I figured I’d make Subcon look a little more like its namesake. There is a plus in that you can run on the tiles, but a bit of a downside, too.

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As it turns out, items can’t land on these tiles for some reason– they’ll disappear if they have nowhere to bounce to. As a result, you at least need a setup like the one above for fruits to drop on, and even then, it’s all too easy to kick tiles away by accident.

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I even lost a balloon present by accident earlier when I dropped the package without realizing where I was. Incidentally, I’ve noticed that balloon presents in this one only seem to consist of balloon-themed items– kind of a letdown, but at the same time, my love of Balloon Fight makes them easier to enjoy.

Anyway, the whole pattern thing becomes a huge pain, which is sad, as that level of customization on your town would be great. I guess I’ll likely tear it down for a while, at least until I don’t need the fruit and such as much.

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Also this week: The Summer Solstice. Daylight all day and all night. The animals were going nuts. The funniest part was seeing shops closed in broad daylight.

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So that marks my first three weeks in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I might still update as I do things to make the whole thing a little more Subcon-y, but things have settled into a routine of sorts. I dig, I fish, I catch bugs, I sell them all or donate them to the museum. I fund public works, I fund a bigger house, and new businesses are appearing and upgrading as well.

Odds are, from here on in, it’s going to be mostly the same stuff, but with new people and new items and new things happening in a familiar mold. And really, that’s not bad.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf doesn’t stray so far from the formula of past iterations as to be unfamiliar, but the addition of being mayor gives it a new twist which keeps things fresh and feels empowering. You’re not just running around and doing things for your own benefit, but you’re doing things for your town, to make it a better place for your people. And that’s pretty cool.

Truth be told, this may be the best version of Animal Crossing to date (barring the obvious inclusion of NES games in the GameCube version, of course), and I recommend it highly, especially if City Folk felt a little too “samey” to you. The only question left is where Nintendo goes from here for the inevitable Wii U version.

Finally, I think I’ve said this before, but downloading the game seems to be the way to go. I generally prefer physical copies for most games if possible, but like nintendogs + cats (which inexplicably has no Nintendo eShop release yet), this is a game you want to keep handy to play for a short spell frequently without taking up the card slot that would be available for other games. Even Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, encourages downloading it for this reason!

Previously:
Animal Crossing: New Leaf Journal: Introduction
Animal Crossing: New Leaf Journal: Week 1
Animal Crossing: New Leaf Journal: Week 2

animalcrossingnewleafboxartAnimal Crossing: New Leaf will be released for the Nintendo 3DS on June 9th, 2013, at a price of $34.99 at retail and in the Nintendo eShop.

A review copy was provided by Nintendo of Canada.


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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.