Animal Crossing has always been a bit of an anomaly for me. I was 13 when the original came out on the Gamecube back in 2002. I remember seeing the commercials for the game and thinking: “That looks like the dumbest game I have ever seen.” How could I not? The commercials had a bad sitcom vibe to them and the gameplay looked like nothing more than just walking around a lot. It looked stupid. It looked boring. It looked like the exact opposite of the kinds of games I liked: thrilling adventure and platforming games. However, a friend of mine got the game and insisted that it was good and that I’d love it if I gave it a chance, and oddly enough they were right. I wound up sinking dozens of hours into it without the slightest idea of why I enjoyed it so much. The original Animal Crossing was a huge departure from the norm for me, and its sequel, Animal Crossing: Wild World on the Nintendo DS, was also the last mobile game that I spent any significant amount of time in the last several years after it’s release.
With life getting busier and gaming time dwindling, I became convinced that there just wasn’t time for mobile games. If I had downtime, it would be spent with a proper game played on a console with a television screen. Despite really enjoying mobile games over the years, it was time to say goodbye to many of the series I’d grown to love; Animal Crossing: Wild World included. I had put away my DS and handheld games, and I honestly thought it was for good since my time was only going to become even more limited in the future.
It probably goes without saying that I had no intention of getting a 3DS, even after Animal Crossing: New Leaf was announced. As much as I loved Animal Crossing, the fact that a new one was coming out didn’t change my reality, still too busy. Then the weirdest thing happened, my brother got the game, and insisted that it was too good to pass up, that if I tried it I’d want it. Just like with the first game, I was convinced that I would never bother with the game right up until I tried it, and wound up getting it after doing so, though this time it sold me on handheld gaming in general instead of just itself.
Once I got the game, I was finding all kinds of little portions throughout the day to make progress in it. During breaks, spare minutes during lunch, and so on. I even found that I could still enjoy a movie at home with friends and simultaneously keep things moving in the game. In playing New Leaf I found that there’s always time to be found for Animal Crossing and indeed for handheld gaming in general.
You just have to be willing to look for it.
What is your experience with handheld gaming? Do you have time for it anymore or did it fall to the wayside for you as well?