When Animal Crossing came out on switch, it kind of exploded. So many of my friends were playing this game and telling me to get the game. Not just once, but again and again and again and again. “Hey Bob did you get Animal Crossing? Not yet? When are you gonna get it? Get Animal Crossing or I will kidnap you and sell your liver to Tom Nook so he can discount my rent.” So I got the game and started playing.
The first thing I realized about the game is that it’s good. The graphics are good, and the gameplay is one of high quality. It’s premise is unique and very well developed. The second thing I realized was that, well, I just didn’t like it. Isn’t it weird, I recognized it’s good but I just didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t play much of Animal Crossing because after three days of trying really hard to like it, the game itself became miserable for me. How could a game everyone loves so much be so unenjoyable for me?
It all comes down to the type of gamer I am. The game I play the most is Super Smash Bros, an action packed game where you constantly beat the absolute balloons out of other people. I also played League of Legends, but not anymore because League is the worst thing to ever be created in human existence (although I will probably play it again because League just turns everyone into masochists). I love the Zelda franchise, and have played every Zelda game on the Switch including the mobile game that is Hyrule Warriors. I also grew up with Mario and Minecraft. I’d like to say that I enjoy games of all types, but that would mean I should enjoy Animal Crossing too, right?
I realized that all the games I mentioned earlier has one common factor: existence of combat. Combat is something found in probably 99% of games nowadays, but it actually brings more to the table than just explosions. The main thing combat creates is conflict, and this conflict is usually the center of every game, whether it is a conflict between you and a PK Fire spamming Ness, a turtle overlord that stole your princess for the 100th time, the Demon of Hyrule who is looking extra buff this time around, or with your own teammates in League of Legends. This conflict brings a level of emotion and intensity to the gameplay experience, making it enjoyable and sometimes addicting. Animal Crossing simply doesn’t have that. Yes, fishing is a severely distressing activity, and Tom Nook is probably a demonic overlord that will use all the bells in the world to take over Super Nintendo Land, but the game itself doesn’t actually have a conflict. No one tries to kill you or even harm you. The whole purpose of the game is to decorate your island and make virtual animal friends, but you can do that by either playing Minecraft or becoming a Furry.
But I get it. That’s the point of Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing where Creepers try to blow up your house will simply not be Animal Crossing. I think that’s why I was able to recognize this game as good, but not actually like it. The game itself does everything phenomenally. The creative freedom, charming characters, and cartoonish aesthetics are executed very well. It’s just…not for me. I just personally need conflict in my games, and without it I’m just bored. And I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way. A lot of game reviewers I watch always have a hint of unsatisfaction in their voice when reviewing this game, and it seems to be a trending joke that their girlfriends have tied them up to force them to give a good rating. So next time your psychopathic friends force feed an Animal Crossing game, tell them this: until Isabelle comes at you with on Lloyd rocket to pierce you in the eye with a fishing hook, Tom Nook won’t be giving out loans any time soon.
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