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The Nintendo Switch launched on 3rd March 2017, ushering a new start and era for Nintendo. Out of all their IP's (Intellectual Property) Animal Crossing is one of the safest bets to make a return. Coupled with the fact that we've been without a new title since 2013 it's about time Animal Crossing makes a comeback. It's a franchise that sells by the bucket-loads and has become one of Nintendo's flagship franchises in breaking the so called mold between the hobbyist gamer and the casual gamer. But why do I and others love it so much? Well that's what I'm here to talk about, though I hopefully won't ramble on as much as Blathers.
I adore this franchise, I really do. Even though at the time of writing I haven't played it in an awfully long time. My town, I'm sure, is beginning to crumble without my admirable leadership, weeds and mold have likely taken a stranglehold and Isabelle is almost-certainly having a melt-down. Despite this, I still recognise why I love the anthropomorphic animal infested experience. I own the DS, Wii and 3DS versions of the game and that's probably more than many. There's a quirkyness, a magic spark that keeps pulling me back, a remarkable quintessential element found in many Nintendo games.
The best example of this would be with Let's Go To The City (Wii) - I loved it and I thought it felt just as fun and addictive the second time round, but then I started to get bored, very bored. I then eventually sold it with disgust that I had wasted my hard-earned cash on it. I started to miss it after a couple of months. Nostalgic thoughts then began to torment me. I then bought it back with a mantra of 'don't buy any future releases'. That clearly didn't work out as I bought the subsequent sequel on launch day (New Leaf, 3DS).
You can't really explain the quirky charm of getting in debt to a Raccoon, the relaxing toil of catching fish, the calm walks with friends. The game's habe always had a comforting aura - a feeling that you can't really put into trailers or discussion without doing it justice. I firmly believe it's an experience that has to be played to be understood as I've known skeptics to fall in love with it. The addictive gameplay is due to it being a life-sim going in real-time, probably the key to it's enduring popularity. Through this gameplay element - Animal Crossing is the only video game that has made me feel guilty for not playing, my beautiful hybrid flowers might be dead, my favourite villager may have thought sod it and moved. Although after a while it can become tiresome and you can wonder what the point of it all is - it is then you must think of it as a time-burner than a fully-fledged video-game.
Another aspect to the log-turning world of Animal Crossing is the social aspect. Yes. You heard - 'Social'. When I bought New Leaf so did countless people I follow on Twitter. So many were sharing and talking about their experiences each day. It was fantastic to see so many express their love and progress, turning Twitter into a haven of photos, FC's and trading. It's this community style aspect that the game excels at and it increases the longevity I believe.
All in all, I love Animal Crossing. It can become tiresome, it can become repetitive, but it's one of the most addictive, relaxing game-play experiences I have ever had. I salute the Nintendo oddity which became an all conquering titan of the casual gaming landscape.