Fri - January 13, 2006

Animal Crossing Gold

If you own Animal Crossing : Wild World you should make sure that you go online at some point during your play today. You don't even have to visit another village, just open the gates to yours in Nintendo WFC mode. You'll find that Iwata-san has left you a special New Year's greeting. And no, I won't spill the surprise. You have to see for yourself.

Posted at 04:36 AM     Read More  

Wed - December 7, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 1

Some people have mentioned that they find it strange that the new Animal Crossing : Wild World has so much in common with the original GameCube title. There are three schools of thought here:

1 - Nintendo went with a "ain't broke, don't fix" philosophy.

2 - They figured that moving to (the ultimately more satisfying) handheld platform was change enough.

3 - All of the really wacky ideas are being saved for Revolution.

Of these three, I think that number 3 will end up being the closest to the truth. The "inclusive" nature of the Revolution controller is begging to be paired with an addictive-yet-non-traditional game, and AC fits the bill to a tee. And Miyamoto specifically used the events surrounding the AC:WW release to drop the bomb that there is another secret to the Revolution, one that will change the way we interact with "sandbox" games like AC. Apparently we will all find out what the big secret is at E3 2006.

See you in the forest tomorrow ...

Posted at 10:16 PM     Read More  

Tue - December 6, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 2

When people are visiting your town you can have the former police dogs Booker and Copper toss their sorry asses out at any time. This is useful if it looks like the cretins are going to cut down your money tree or something.

Posted at 11:15 AM     Read More  

Mon - December 5, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 3

A few days ago it was noted in These Very Pages that the best way to get equipped with a DS (assuming that you don't already have one) for the impending awesomeness of Animal Crossing : Wild World was to buy the Mario Kart DS bundle. Nifty red DS, racing decals, and a free copy of the best kart racing game ever - what more could you want?

How about a free copy of AC:WW as well? This week only at Zellers you get a bonus copy of the new Animal Crossing game along with all of the goodies noted above. You will be set for WiFi heaven and all sorts of gaming goodness that should get you right through the winter - one box, mucho fun.

You're welcome.

Posted at 11:20 AM     Read More  

Sun - December 4, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 4

January 2 is "Be Nice To Nook Day".

Posted at 08:08 PM     Read More  

Sat - December 3, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 5

People are asking: What about NookEx? What about the fabulous parcel service where you could ship stuff to another village via the secret password? Will I still have the heart-warming experience of being yelled at by the evil raccoon when I type my delivery code wrong?

The answer, of course, is that Nook - thankfully - is out of the courier biz. In Animal Crossing : Wild World you can just walk over to your buddy's town and deliver the goods yourself. No more "vCTbFPFQciYmWC Zk&TnDUgljJ&jb" or "1mWYg6IfB@&q758XzSKd6Tuj7Lts" ... and really, I don't think anyone will miss it.

Posted at 02:07 PM     Read More  

Fri - December 2, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 6

In the previous incarnation of Animal Crossing there was a monthly raffle over at Nook's store. You got tickets when you made large purchases and at the end of the month you would put your tickets in the big drum, Nook would give it a spin, reach in his filthy money-grubbing arm, and draw out winners for insanely hard to get items like an NES console. This was great fun, except for those months where you forgot about or were late for the lottery draw and on those months where you did remember to get to the draw in time only to see one of the other assholes in town walk away with the prize you wanted.

This pretty much sucked.

Thankfully, that system is now gone and has been replaced with a "loyalty card" program. Every purchase you make at Nook's now gets you points, and you can save up your points to get hard-to-find or one-of-a-kind items from Nook's rewards catalog. Instead of "CLub Z" we now have "Club Nook" ... and no doubt some wildly rampant disposable consumerism in the quest for big pile of points.

Posted at 10:32 PM     Read More  

Thu - December 1, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 7

There were a lot of things that used to drive me mental in the original Animal Crossing. Topping that list may have been the fact that some other asshole in the village would own a piece of rare furniture that you were dying to get, and you would have to see it and burn up a little bit more every time you popped in to visit the loser of some inane errand.

Now you will at least have a chance to get your mitts on those items without waiting months for Nook to get the damn thing in at his store. In Animal Crossing : Wild World there is a "Flea Market Day" every other month where all of the animals have tag sales and sell off some of their possessions. If your haggling skills are up to par and you are willing to paw through all of the crap that your neighbours will be selling, you have a chance to finally get that one crucial item you need to max out your household karma.

Mmmm ... shopping.

Posted at 10:25 PM     Read More  

Wed - November 30, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 8

Besides the regular WiFi functionality - wherein you use the nearest wireless hotspot (your own, the neighbour's, the one down at Starshmucks, whatever) to hop in a cab and visit the towns of your various cronies - Animal Crossing : Wild World also boasts something called "Tag Mode". Akin to "Bark Mode" in Nintendogs, it allows you to put your DS to sleep and take it along on your daily real world travels while the game constantly scans and searches for other units that it may come within range of. If your DS does find another DS that is also in tag mode, information about the towns will be exchanged, and future interactions between the towns will occur even if you never actually encounter that person in meatspace.

Posted at 01:10 PM     Read More  

Tue - November 29, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 9

There is an insurance salesman in the game. And yes, you can buy insurance from him. Against what, however, is still a question. No one at Nintendo is talking.

Posted at 10:04 PM     Read More  

Mon - November 28, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 10

For those of you who might be interested in Animal Crossing : Wild World but don't yet own a DS, there is an awesome package on the market as of right now. The special "Mario Kart" edition features an exclusive red DS, with flames and racing stripes, plus a checkered flag wrist strap and a copy of Mario Kart DS. Besides saving you a few bucks and having the head-turning red handheld, it also gets you online right now with Mario Kart DS - race with mopes around the world through the magic of WiFi while you wait for the next 10 days to crawl by.

It's an investment.

Posted at 09:38 PM     Read More  

Sun - November 27, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 11

One of the best - and at the same time most vexing - things about the GameCube version of Animal Crossing was the holidays. You had to play your weeks around whatever was going on in the forest, sometimes burning vacation days or just straight-out playing hookie from work so you could get a special item at a certain time on a specific holiday.

Now, of course, those problems are a thing of the past because Animal Crossing : Wild World is for the Nintendo DS, and is completely portable. Now all you have to do is sneak out of whatever boring meeting you are in (tell them you need to go to the can) in order to make a timed appointment in the forest. The downside, though, is that everyone will think you have chronic diarrhea because there are a LOT more holidays and festivals in AC:WW. And trust me, you aren't going to want to miss "New Haircut Day".

Posted at 09:30 PM     Read More  

Sat - November 26, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 12

Texture and pattern editing in the original Animal Crossing could be a bit of a chore - people are used to using a mouse on their 'puter to do these sorts of things, and cursoring around with a D-pad was more than some people were willing to put up with. I once struggled for almost 3 hours with the pattern editor to get a passable picture of my dog for the door of my house, but I am guessing that there are others out there who would not be willing to make that sort of an investment.

That speed bump will forever be a thing of the past with the release of Animal Crossing : Wild World. The touch screen and stylus on the DS will beckon to the player, almost demanding that they poster their town with the ravings of their fevered visual imaginations.

I am already coming up with some Very Bad Ideas.

Posted at 03:42 PM     Read More  

Fri - November 25, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 13

The new Animal Crossing web site is up and active. If Nintendo holds true to form, you can expect a little bit of info to be added on an almost daily basis between now and the launch. Oh - and speaking of the launch, you will notice that the countdown timer on the desktop does not match the countdown here. Don't sweat it - they are counting until release date. I am counting until it is probably at all possible to get the damn thing in your hands.

And, for all of your hardcore "old school" AC types, you will be glad to know that the old web site is still alive as well . Calm down.

Posted at 03:15 AM     Read More  

Thu - November 24, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown - T minus 14

Today's Animal Crossing : Wild World tidbit is no secret at all ... this Animal Crossing will be on-line. The new AC hooks into the "Nintendo WiFi" service, giving you free on-line play anywhere you can find a hotspot. At home, at the coffee shop, anywhere there is wireless ... if you can get a signal, you can go beyond your village into the great beyond. And, if you throw open the gate to your town, other mopes can come over and jerk around with you.

The connectivity is pervasive, as well. The animal residents of your local burg will continue to visit and interact with the animal residents of towns you have visited in the past, even if you never get a chance to visit those villages personally ever again. Eventually a self-populating network of NPC communication is set up ... so an object that you give to one of your game neighbours may be taken to a town that you have visited, and from there get taken to another town, and so on, until the "Maple Leafs Suck Ass" poster that you made for your town bulletin board ends up on the wall of some guy living in Bulgaria.

Much boggling ensues.

Posted at 12:41 AM     Read More  

Wed - November 23, 2005

Animal Crossing Countdown

There was a shitload of response to the repostings of the Animal Forest Diaries ... apparently there are still a lot of people who have not yet dabble in the joys of a virtual life with neurotic bipedal animal neighbours. For all of the people who wrote wanting more info, who were suddenly jonesing to try it out, the countdown is on. In a mere 14 days Animal Crossing - Wild World will hit the streets, bringing all of the joy and angst of the forest to the Nintendo DS - a 100% portable virtual life that you can obsess about anywhere, anytime, without having to bail from meetings and dates and stuff to make a real-time appointment with your digital buddies.

14 days ... two little weeks.

In honour of the impending event, and to try and kill some time during the interminable wait, These Very Pages will have an Animal Crossing - Wide World teaser factoid every single day until the blessed event on December 5th. Stay tuned for a fortnight of fun!

Posted at 08:51 AM     Read More  

Sun - October 2, 2005

October is ...

Adopt-A-Dog Month.

Posted at 07:09 AM     Read More