Animal Crossing New Leaf: Welcome amiibo – Four years on and still k.k. kicking

For a series which could have been ready for a new title has seen an expansion to one of its most popular games. Animal Crossing: New Leaf has been one of the most beloved handheld games behind the Pokémon series and finally it is receiving amiibo support after showing success with it in its other two titles: amiibo Crossing & Happy Home Designer. 

The Nintendo Direct started off with a hippie/Cheech & Chong looking figure (Hisashi Nogami) who has been represented in the game as a dog called Harvey. Set in a picturesque autumn forest. Welcome amiibo was the main point of this Direct and it is now available on the eShop! Harvey was joined by beloved artist K.K.Slider.

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How it will work is with the New 3Ds, you have your system ready and place the amiibo on the bottom screen. With the 3DS, XL and 2DS you will use the NFC reader from Happy Home Designer and place the cards and characters on there. Make sure the NFC reader is kept close to the 3DS/2DS when doing it.

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Wisp is now back in the game and if you rub a lantern they will appear. 50 animal crossing villagers are returning to the game such as Rex, Carrie, Ketchup, Wade, Boris and Sylvia and will be installed through new cards. Wisp will be replaced by one of these characters who you can then ask to move into your village.

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In the game there is now space for RV’s which the new villagers travel in. Inside you can purchase any item you like and these cannot be purchased in the shops. The way you buy them however is with Meowcoupons. These are environmentally earned and are a mutual exchange of wealth (you thought you owned everything huh).

However, as you are buying lots of new items, there is now more storage which you can access at any time. This is through Tom Nook and is called the secret storage or an invisible closet. You can now organise your furniture with the Happy Home Designer mechanic which should make designing a lot easier. This also means you can order giant furniture!

For regulars of the game who like playing with people and friends, if you don’t like what people are saying you can now turn off the chat. You also don’t need to talk to any Kappa’s and can go home straight away! It’s all about that better experience for everyone.

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If you haven’t played in a while (and not kept up with your mayor duties shame on you) you can now sell your town! This way you don’t have to start fresh and stubborn as he may be, Tom Nook should give you a hefty amount of bells for your expense.

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You can still invite more characters into town believe it or not such has those from the four amiibo card series’ which means you can select who you want in your town but, they won’t be arriving in RV’s. You can ask them to stay though. If you want to be more intimate with your villager friends you can now take selfies with them and change how the look and their expressions. It really is the game that keeps on giving and is increasing more and more adorable.

 

Animal Crossing characters aren’t the only ones in the game, now there will be Sanrio, The Legend of Zelda and Splatoon members! These are through the Sanrio amiibo cards (loving that Hello Kitty merch), Splatoon amiibo and all and upcoming Legend of Zelda amiibo. You can meet Epona, pig Ganon and Wolf Link in the game and even get clothing from the game including a Breath of the Wild tunic. I know I’ll be dressing my character and house in all the TLOZ merch I can get.

Callie and Marie will both be in the game as well as squid characters! The amount of stuff is now overwhelming. Finally it looks like there will be mini games including an Animal Crossing Puzzle League like the Pokémon game. It’s a bit of a Candy Crush style game.

I hope you’re as excited as I am for all this Animal Crossing content which you can now download from the eShop!

 

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The Wii U: It’s not so bad is it? (Five things I like)

Now most of you might not have played on the Wii U and you probably hold a valid opinion as to why, I mean where are those titles we truly deserve on the console from Nintendo? To be fair if certain titles did come about then we probably would view the machine more fondly and appreciate how the tablet worked well on this bit of Super Mario 1080p Galaxies. However, some of our much loved characters remain absent and the dainty Wii U slows begins to collect dust, but what are the positives from having one?

Viewing experiences

Now this might be a feature of modern gaming systems such as the Xbox One, PS4 and PC but, I felt it was important to mention. With the Wii U you get Netflix, YouTube and internet (in which you can watch movies online). With a good TV any of the consoles would do fine and so I feel the Wii U stands up amongst the rest. The only downsides are not having Spotify like the PS4 or Amazon Prime like the Xbox One. However I enjoy using this as everything you have is layed out nicely on the tablets screen and with the stylus you have precise control. The Wii U is just another easy step to a great home entertainment system.

The Tablet

The Wii U tablet was definitely one of the main selling points when the console was first announced. The benefits of this controller is that with the majority of games (excluding Splatoon and Starfox Zero) you can play them without actually having the TV on. Other people who share the TV can watch whatever they want, all you need is your Wii U plugged in and ready to go. The problem with that is that it makes it just sound like a handheld you can’t travel far with. Something Nintendo are supposedly looking into with the NX.

The eShop

This is a feature by Nintendo that you can either love or hate. The eShop or virtual console enables us to pay out a fairly resonable price (depending on the console) to play some of our old beloved games. Now Nintendo is not unfamiliar with constantly re-releasing the same games (GameBoy, GBA, Wii) but it is nice to have everything wrapped up in one nice place. The eShop came about with the Nintendo 3DS but you were able to previously purcahse old games on the Wii shop. With a 32GB hardrive, you can store a lot of these games on your console. It’s a pretty handy device and more keep getting added each month. A tonne of Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, Donkey Kong and Metroid games are on there so you are spoiled for choice. The consoles that are on there include the NES, SNES, N64, WII and the TurboGrafx-16. There is also Wii U content where you can buy the games as well as DLC. Seeing as the Wii U doesn’t have an online subscription like its rivals, you will not receive free games each month. You can however, download demos from the eShop. The only major disadvantage is that with handheld ports from the GameBoy and DS, they don’t really present well on television screens.

Peripherals and add-on content

Unlike the 3DS which is constantly changing and getting new models, the Wii U has stayed as a solid machine that changed its colour once. However, one of the big additions was amiibo. amiibo really appeal to collectors as they are figurines that interact with many of Nintendo’s Wii U titles. You get new add-on contact like character skins in Yoshi’s Wooly World and Mario Kart 8, but they also add enhancements to your characters in Super Smash Bros. This is where the amiibo really first took off. If you’re a collector like me then they appeal in a different way it’s great to have all of your favourite Nintendo characters (especially now there’s Waluigi). On top of this you can get different cases for your controller and sweet question block carry cases for the amiibo for easy transportation.

The games

Of course, what more do we love about consoles than the games we play on them. Now we might not have the Mario title we were hoping for and we have to wait til March until we get The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which may not even get much attention to this console, but there is a good line of video games.For me some of my favourites include the next installments to Mario Kart and Smash series’ which remain solid games for years. Smash for instance remains that good that it may see a port to the NX. Other popular titles include Super Mario Maker which has been one of the most creative titles Nintendo has put out in years and enables you the player to recreate or re-imagine memorable Mario titles. Super Mario 3D World is one of my favourite games as it shows a nice blend of 3D and classic Mario hunting and platforming. The game does re-hash a lot of the same enemies and does over-use the cat suit power up until it is saturated, but as a collecting Mario game, it is probably the best in 10 years.

There’s plenty of other games such as Yoshi’s Wooly World, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Splatoon (one of the most fun and creative shooters in such a long time) and Pokkén Tournament. Where Nintendo does slip up is titles such as Starfox Zero for its difficult and hard to use controls and inability for us to use both screens at the same time. Kirby’s Paintbrush also changes the series but really takes away the ability to use anything but the stylus like early DS titles.

Ignoring the negatives, I believe the Wii U is still a fun console that provides hours of entertainment, nostalgia and viewing credibility. I’d say as the Wii U does not have much shelf life left, get one before they’re gone!