Weekly Blog March 21st, 2021: Animal Crossing New Horizons – One Year Later

Hello Internet!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy! I don’t know about you, but after a year of quarantine, I am ready for the vaccine. Doesn’t matter which one they want to give me. I’ll take any or all of them. Here in the United States, we are crushing our goals of vaccinations and it gives me hope that this thing will be coming to an end in a few months. Everyone just needs to show up when it’s your turn and get vaccinated. I’ll be in line jumping for joy. Anyway enough vaccine talk. Something bigger than the pandemic had its anniversary lately and I want to talk about it. But first, let’s quickly talk about the pieces I’ve published in the past two weeks. I’ll run through them fast so we can get ahead with this week’s Weekly Blog topic,

First, I published a Weekly Blog talking about “WandaVision.” The review is full of spoilers but just know that as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was a fan of this show. I loved all the wackiness and the powerful story surrounding grief and loss. Watch it if you haven’t already and then give the Blog a read. Then I published a Poem titled “Heartfelt.” Every now and then we all need a little note saying how much you are loved and cared about. Read this and think of your loved ones. Or think about me sending my love to you. I’m glad you’re here and I care about you. I also published a Poem titled, “Lonely Thoughts.” This poem comes straight from my heart. Life is hard and sometimes the weight of the world feels like we’re being crushed. We have to summon so much inner strength, but it’s hard to move mountains when the whole universe seems to be weighing you down. This past couple weeks I have also published the next two parts to my ongoing Dungeons and Dragons inspired series,  “A Slow Recovery” and “A Slow Recovery Part 2.” The group of adventurers have been let out of prison and have met with the rescued, Riffen. Now the group has to figure out the next few days as they prepare to travel North with Riffen and the Soulon Army to Frost Haven. Honestly, this series is one that I have the most fun with and really enjoy writing, so if you want to do me a favor, go ahead and give them a read. I’d really appreciate it. Last but not least, yesterday I published the third Character Creation Piece. This one focuses on Zoey Carter which older fans will recognize as the resident Telepath and Disaster Lesbian. It’s been awhile since we’ve gotten an update on Zoey and Allison, but who knows. I might have to find an excuse to continue their story. I know that is all a lot, but in two weeks, I can put out a surprising amount of content for all of you to enjoy. So check those out if you haven’t already. I’d really appreciate it.

Now for what we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s talk Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Animal Crossing: New Horizons launching on The Nintendo Switch. Like many I was clamoring for an Animal Crossing game on the Switch and I picked up my copy of New Horizons on the day it was released. I was a big fan of other Animal Crossing Games (Hence the three separate Weekly Blogs I wrote about the series prior to New Horizons’ release) and the inclusion of terraforming along with other changes, made me excited for the day I would finally have it in my hands. March 20th, 2020 I picked up the game and immediately went to work transforming this tropical island to my own island paradise. Now there’s not really a plot to speak of in Animal Crossing but New Horizons got something close. Basically the entire purpose of the game is for you as the island’s only Human Resident is that you need to make this place habitable for your Animal Neighbors by taking the islands natural resources and turning them into homes, bridges, inclines, and buildings. You then invite Animals to your island so they can move in. You turn the wilderness of the island into a more civilized place with a shop, museum, and tailors. You also chat with your Animal Neighbors, Fish in the streams and ocean, catch bugs, water flowers, chop wood, pick weeds, and collect seashells from the beach. To an outsider it might sound like a lot of nothing but chores, but to me and many others it is a relaxing life simulator where you get to befriend cute animals and pay off your debt to a Raccoon. Truly a paradise.

I recognize that this gameplay loop isn’t for everyone. Even though Animal Crossing: New Horizons seemed to be everywhere in March and April, destroying sales number after sales number, a lot of people played Animal Crossing to death. They blasted through the main story of the game and K.K Slider playing a concert on their islands while others were still crafting with just sticks, weeds, and rocks. Animal Crossing is a game that’s a bit of a slow burn. It’s a game that you play for a couple hours a day and then put it down, waiting for the day to pass so you can pick it up tomorrow. During quarantine, however, what else is there to do, but play Animal Crossing. People made their millions of bells, selling turnips on their friends’ islands. They invited their favorite villagers, expanded their house, and then they were done. They beat Animal Crossing and without a big update on the horizon, their interest dropped off. 

For me, it was a game I stuck with. Even during the valleys where there were no big events happening, I kept on playing. Just like with Animal Crossing: New Leaf, I was in it for the long haul. I was excited about terraforming my island and taking inspiration from Twitter and Reddit on all the cool stuff I could put on my island. I was excited about catching all the bugs, fish, and deep sea creatures. I was excited about digging up fossils and filling out my museum. I was excited about watering and breeding flowers. I was excited about wishing on shooting stars with Celeste, buying art from Redd, and helping Label kick off her fashion career. All of that kept me coming back to this game even when my friends stopped playing. I had so much fun doing all these things and I had fun when big events like Halloween, Turkey Day, and Toy Day Came along. After the festivities in late December, I then decided to do some major layout changes on my island. I spent the next month moving villagers around, tearing out paths, and moving around bridges and inclines. I re-terraformed almost my entire island and settled on a nice residential area for my villagers which made room for a new cafe, garden, campsite, sports complex, and dog park. During all this time I had eight or so villagers I really liked and the other two were just ok. But in the past couple months I think I finally settled on ten villagers I really like and they are Avery, Bluebear, Bunnie, Coco, Colton, Judy, Lily, Lucky, Marshal, and Reneigh. I have a great mix of personalities and interests as well as animals. Obviously both Bunnie and Coco are both Rabbits, but I love rabbits so I’m very happy to double up. Is there a chance this lineup changes if someone visits my campsite? Sure. But I really like the villagers I have right now and I still love talking with them and spending time with them. Really that’s what Animal Crossing is all about. Making friends with virtual animals and picking fruit. Simple as that.

Now while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I did something that I had never done in any other Animal Crossing Game. There are a few accomplishments I always fell short on, but I managed to realize this time around. First I managed to get every Golden Tool. In Animal Crossing there are specific tools that help you do tasks around your island. The five tools are Shovel, Axe, Fishing Rod, Bug Net, and Slingshot. There are also Golden versions of these tools that you get from achieving certain milestones in the game. For example you get the Golden Net and Golden Fishing Rod by catching all the Bugs and Fish respectively. I did that! I also managed to donate those bugs and fish to the museum alongside deep sea creatures, fossils, and art. I actually managed to donate all of it and fill up my museum, which again, is something I never managed to do in past Animal Crossing Games. To me it’s basically like 100% Animal Crossing and I did that. For a lot of people they get hung up on trying to collect all the pieces of Art. This is because Art is very rare and can only be bought from Redd The Fox. Problem is Redd only shows up once every two weeks if you’re lucky and he tends to bring counterfeit pieces to sell. You have to have genuine paintings or sculptures if you want to put them in your museum. This is where the helpful website Nookazon came in. I’m not sponsored or connected to Nookazon, but I do want to sing their praises because they are the reason I was able to get the art I needed as well as other pieces of furniture and DIY Recipes that I was missing. Nookazon is basically an independent marketplace where players can buy and sell unwanted items, DIYs, clothes, etc. There’s a lot of trust and goodwill which comes with it, but I found a ton of awesome people with beautiful islands to trade with and even though I ended up spending close to 14 Million Bells on Art, I was able to complete my Museum.

Honestly I’m glad that I found Nookazon so late into my year of playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons because if I knew about it from Day 1, I think it would have ruined the experience a little bit for me. Nookazon is just another way that you can pay to progress faster. I had a very slow burn with my Animal Crossing experience and I only really had to rely on Nookazon for my art collection. Everything else I had to do by playing everyday, completing tasks, and just hoping the right DIY shows up on the beach or the right object shows up in the store. Some people want a quicker, more direct route and I don’t have a problem with that. That’s why a website like Nookazon exists. But my fun with this game comes from the slow day-to-day stuff. Just like real life, each day can feel like it drags on and not much happens. But then you can turn around and look at a whole year, realizing how much progress you’ve made and how far you’ve come. My island has come a long way and I’ve enjoyed playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons for a whole year. How long will I keep on playing it? I don’t know. I’m not burnt out yet and I’m glad Nintendo is going to be updating this game for years to come. Right now Animal Crossing is a game I play once a day, but I’m sure that will slowly change to once a week or once a month or only when big events happen. It just warms my heart that whenever I return to my tropical paradise, there will be a whole neighborhood of animals excited to see me and talk to me. Happy Anniversary New Horizons!

Thank you all for reading that Weekly Blog all about Animal Crossing: New Horizons and it’s anniversary. I hope you enjoyed hearing about my experience with the game and my feelings on it, one year since it launched. If you did like that Weekly Blog, feel free to give it a Like. You can also leave a comment down below with your feelings on the game. Are you still going strong and playing everyday or have you given up on it? Are you someone you played a ton of it in its first month and haven’t picked it up again? I’d love to hear all about your island and your animal neighbors in the comments down below. If you really liked what you read, I hope that you will decide to Follow Me here on WordPress. I am building a positive and creative space here on the internet and it would mean the world to me if you’d love to join the community. Everyone who reads my stuff means the world to me and that includes you. Also I’m nearing 700 Followers, so you can help me reach that milestone. If you are new here, check out all the pieces I mentioned right off the back. That’s a great place to start if you are interested in reading more of the stuff I write.

Thank you again for your love and support and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Allen_The_Writer


Header Photo Credit to Animal Crossing’s Twitter Account
https://twitter.com/animalcrossing/status/1373258029467107328/photo/1

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