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There’s Always Time for Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing has always been a bit of an anomaly for me. I was 13 when the original came out on the Gamecube back in 2002. I remember seeing the commercials for the game and thinking: “That looks like the dumbest game I have ever seen.” How could I not? The commercials had a bad sitcom vibe to them and the gameplay looked like nothing more than just walking around a lot. It looked stupid. It looked boring. It looked like the exact opposite of the kinds of games I liked: thrilling adventure and platforming games. However, a friend of mine got the game and insisted that it was good and that I’d love it if I gave it a chance, and oddly enough they were right. I wound up sinking dozens of hours into it without the slightest idea of why I enjoyed it so much. The original Animal Crossing was a huge departure from the norm for me, and its sequel, Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS, was also the last mobile game that I spent any significant amount of time in the last several years after it’s release.

With life getting busier and gaming time dwindling, I became convinced that there just wasn’t time for mobile games. If I had downtime, it would be spent with a proper game played on a console with a television screen. Despite really enjoying mobile games over the years, it was time to say goodbye to many of the series I’d grown to love; Animal Crossing: Wild World included. I had put away my DS and handheld games, and I honestly thought it was for good since my time was only going to become even more limited in the future.

It probably goes without saying that I had no intention of getting a 3DS, even after Animal Crossing: New Leaf was announced. As much as I loved Animal Crossing, the fact that a new one was coming out didn’t change my reality, still too busy. Then the weirdest thing happened, my brother got the game, and insisted that it was too good to pass up, that if I tried it I’d want it. Just like with the first game, I was convinced that I would never bother with the game right up until I tried it, and wound up getting it after doing so, though this time it sold me on handheld gaming in general instead of just itself.

Once I got the game, I was finding all kinds of little portions throughout the day to make progress in it. During breaks, spare minutes during lunch, and so on. I even found that I could still enjoy a movie at home with friends and simultaneously keep things moving in the game. In playing New Leaf I found that there’s always time to be found for Animal Crossing and indeed for handheld gaming in general.

You just have to be willing to look for it.

What is your experience with handheld gaming? Do you have time for it anymore or did it fall to the wayside for you as well?

5 thoughts on “There’s Always Time for Animal Crossing”

  1. I’ve never gotten along well with handhelds. I love console games the most and play them every day. I get rather upset if I go without them, so when I play handheld games, they are in addition to console games, which ends up cutting into my time. But, you are right, you can play handheld games when other things are going on. That’s not so simple for a console game. Next to impossible, really.

    And I never played the handheld “Animal Crossing” games. I played the one on the Cube and Wii, and I am going to sell the Cube one because the new one is the same thing with more features. And who knows if I’ll continue to play the Wii one, as when I have limited time for games, I don’t know if I want to spend it fishing and delivering packages. Perhaps a handheld “Animal Crossing” is the way to go, then, I can still spend my console time fighting evil.

  2. Having given up my DS several years ago, I didn’t realize how much I had missed mobile gaming until I got a tablet. Though it’s not quite the same thing as having a dedicated gaming device in hand, I love the fact that I don’t always have to be tethered to a TV to play a game. Plus, most of the games I play on-the-go tend to be very easy going (it’s not like I’m revving up for some FPS action while on the bus), so they provide nice respites from the world’s distractions.

    If they ever happen to bring a version of Animal Crossing to Android devices, I definitely make note to check it out.

    1. The mobility of handhelds is nice indeed. I was not a big handheld fan, but just recently, I started to really appreciate how convenient they are. I am having some problems going on lately, and having something so nice and portable to play has been relaxing, and I’m starting to really enjoy handhelds more than I used to. I even decided to splurge and get a 3DS, which I originally didn’t want, and I am having the best time with it. I haven’t had this much fun with a handheld before ever, but being able to sit anywhere and just relax is great. Not that it’s stressful that console games are more limited where you can play them, but that added flexibility has just been really nice right now.

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