Ok people, Animal Crossing: New Leaf. If your not playing it then you need to be playing it. If you are then good for you, you’re already amazing. I’m obsessed.
oh but I dont have a 3DS.
Bought it? Good, now lets find you some games.
Not convinced yet, read this rant/sort of convincing rambling on the story of the DS and why I think now is the best time to buy a 3DS.
If you have a DS you might be put off by the idea of another DS console. I certainly was, I have both a (very battered) DS lite and a DSi XL. The original DS was gimmicky but successful, too successful. Nintendo seemed to have done away with their seal of quality and the flood gates opened to cheap iphone app clones and other drivel that only diminished the quality of Nintendo’s product. (The ‘Imagine‘ series is one of the worst offenders) yes there are a handful of great games but, and this is touching on another topic, none of these great games appeared in high street shops for long. Go into Game, or Game Station (RIP) or HMV and you have row upon row of babysitting sims, horse riding sims, 10 level crosswords from newspapers and those inevitable 100 in one games of which only two are every any good. Very occasionally you’d get a great game like picross but it would be overshadowed by garish horses and demented renderings of 3D babies. Basically they were targeting impulse buyers (and their unsuspecting parents) who would want the £35 game that instant. Then once people took the game home, played it, realised how awful it was and sold it back to the shop we end up with a flooded used games section where these sorts of games are £5 and the very few quality games are still retailing at £30. I’m looking at you New Super Mario Brothers (wii). Released Five years ago and still selling for £30 second hand. I should note here that you can replace the words DS with Wii and 3DSXL with Wii U here, the story is the same.
The next problem comes when someone like me, 20 something, disposable income, lifelong nintendo fan sees all of these tacky looking games while they walk straight past the DS games to the ps3/xbox section. The same goes for the manfriend, 20 something, (occassional) disposable income, was never into nintendo only plays old spaceship games on on PC walks straight past the DS games to the ps3/xbox section following me.
Out comes the 3DS, suddenly theres a massive barrier to entry for these ‘Imagine’ type game developers. A new development process. I imagine these sorts of companies had spent a year or so building a framework. Then its just a matter of dropping in some generic horse related content, clicking export and tada a crap game, RRP £40. Suddenly they have to start all over again and only now after the DS XL has come out that these companies seem to be releasing their awful products to the masses again. But in that brief period, during which these companies were still picking up the pieces of their nefarious business plan that nintendo seemed to wake up and all of a sudden all the games for 3DS were brilliant. Animal Crossing has been at number 3 of the mixed console for a fair while, thats competing against XBOX and PS3 titles. Theres Kingdom hearts, Pokemon (black, white, black 2, white 2 and now X and Y) New Super Mario bros 2, Monster hunter 3, Kid Icarus, Tales of the Abyss, Mario tennis, Mario & Luigi Dream Team, Luigis Mansion 2, Etrian Odyssey, Donkey Kong, the list goes on.
Also Nintendo have recently changed their StreetPass mechanism for US and Europe so that you don’t have to walk past someone holding a DS, just a place someone has been, because we’re not as densely populated as Japan, so it makes the whole street pass plaza much more fun!
PS My animal crossing friend code: 1032 2440 9131