Animal Crossing Is the Most Chilled Out and Exciting Game of 2020
The biggest video game news of 2020 has landed this week, and it's about the relaxing animal life sim.
Animal Crossing is a kind of different video game. If you've never played, it is a simple life sim where you hang out in a small village of animals. You chat with them, catch bugs, pull weeds, and try to pay back your debt to the local business/raccoon Tom Nook. Yet, the series' latest iteration is shaping up to be one of the most exciting games of 2020.
The game gives you a tight-knit community free from social stresses, a laid back work-life balance, and even an achievable way to pay off a mortgage and become a homeowner. Essentially, this is some pretty big wish fulfillment for millennials.
Animal Crossing: A Primer
Animal Crossing debuted as a Japan-only release for the Nintendo 64, called Animal Forrest. This game never saw the light of day in the west and was instead improved and reworked as the GameCube's Animal Crossing. This was a moderate success. However, something about the tone and timing of the follow-up game, Animal Crossing Wild World, really gave the series a special place in fans' hearts.
Wild World came to the Nintendo DS when that console was beginning to become huge. It is easy to forget just how prominent the DS was. It remains one of the best selling consoles of all time, and it had a massive audience of people who don’t typically play video games. This made it the perfect place to drop a chilled out life simulator starring a cast of colorful animals.
Animal Crossing has had a large and diverse fan base ever since. New Life and City Folk followed Wild World for the Wii and 3DS. New Lead introduced a lot to series, including further town customization by making the player mayor. New Horizons has done away with the bureaucratic power of the player, but it has expanded this general theme.
What's Special About Animal Crossing New Horizons?
New Horizons is due to release on March 20th. The first details were revealed at E3 2019, where it was delayed from its original release date until March. That was the last bit of news about the game until Feb 19th, when Nintendo dropped a Direct video detailing some of the new features of this game. While to an outsider to the series features like jumping over a river or climbing up some stairs seem minor, Animal Crossing fans have been over the moon about it.
New Horizons is the first Animal Crossing game to release since 2012, excluding mobile and spin-off titles. This in itself has made it pretty highly anticipated. On top of that, it is almost a perfection of every aspect of the series so far.
Town customization has been seriously ramped up, with players able to landscape almost anything on the map by adding ramps, height, water, just about every aspect of the town can be moved and planned. Many players are already figuring out how they can make their perfect towns... or turn it into a bizarre social experiment.
The real joy of Animal Crossing is how quiet and peaceful the game can be. While fans sometimes paint it as an epic story featuring a conniving raccoon landlord, it's actually a relaxing thing to play. New Horizons is the most polished version yet.
It releases the same day as a Doom sequel, which is about 'rip and tearing' your way through an army of demons in hell. Yet, a game about loan repayments and hanging out with frogs is the bigger draw.
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