Borderlands First Impressions Review

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Borderlands is a game series known for being absolutely hilarious. You are a person who has gone to a place called Pandora to hunt for a mysterious “Vault” full of unknown treasures. The first thing you meet is a little robot named Claptrap, who helps you start off your adventures in Fyrestone. Then, a strange lady starts to speak to you, saying that she will help you find the Vault. It is up to you to meet the people of Pandora, and start your adventures on the planet of Pandora.

I have played this game for almost ten hours at this point, and I would say that I am around a quarter or so of the way through. Maybe a bit more, but it tends to take me a bit longer than average to finish games. I am enjoying it, even though I usually don’t play FPS games. The gameplay is fairly simple, and even as a person not skilled at FPS games I was able to pick it up and go pretty easily. This game has actually made me better at other FPS games, just by being able to practice in such a relaxed environment.

The world of Pandora, aka the Borderlands, is chock full of unique characters. I guess you could say that a lot of the characters you meet would be the “villains” of other games, but in this game they are the main NPCs. One of the first people you meet is Dr. Zed. He is honestly one of my favorite characters, next to T.K. Baha, but he is a doctor who has some…unconventional practices. He got his license taken away, and now he spends his time cutting up the corpses of those Vault Hunters who don’t manage to make it to the end of their trip. He has plenty of business, as no explorer has made it to the end yet. T.K. Baha is a weapons inventor who lives on his own and is missing a leg, and who lost his wife to the skag/wild dog Scar. There are many other characters, but these are the first two you meet, and are therefore not spoilers. But these two characters show you just how wild this game can get.

Overall, I have had a pretty positive first experience with this game. I am definitely planning on finishing this one.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 controllers.

10 Things I Want to See in Animal Crossing for the Switch

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Finally, we are coming to the end of the Animal Crossing saga on Bri’s Book Nook! After going through all of the things that I didn’t like about the previous Animal Crossing games and all the things that I loved about the previous Animal Crossing games, I am ready to discuss what I am looking forward to/hoping for with the Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch release! Nintendo SAID that the game would be released sometime in 2019, but here we are, in April, without so much as a basic gameplay trailer. They have more of a trailer for Pokemon Sword and Shield that were just announced in February and aren’t supposed to be released until “late” this year. But I digress. Here we are, I’m still hopeful and excited, and here are things that I would like to see in Animal Crossing Switch!

1) A way to play Island multiplayer games with anyone without needing a Friend Code.

A Club Tortimer pass allows you to join islands and play minigames with random people from around the world. I know Club Tortimer exists in the 3ds version, but most people never got the 50 medals or never had the Club Tortimer pass appear in the island store. For example, I played the game for over 200 hours and only remember seeing the pass at the island store once, buying it, and never getting to use it.

If this was included in the Switch version once you pay the more reasonable amount of 1000 bells to unlock the island, more people would definitely use it. Nintendo parental controls can have the option of turning this off in the game if they don’t want their little kids to play with strangers, but the teen and adult fanbase should not have to resort to online forums in order to find people to play with.

2) A cool way of traveling to other people’s towns, like the hot air balloon idea from this video.

Each Animal Crossing game has had a cool way to travel to another person’s town for multiplayer. Whether it be a gate or a train, it was always a little fun cutscene to look forward to. In this Animal Crossing imagined video, the idea of having hot air balloons be used to transport players was brought up. I think this would be amazing, fresh, and something that players wouldn’t expect. Something awesome for this awesome new game that players have waited 7+ years for!

3) Igloos and tents for the villagers to live in during winter and summer!

I mentioned this in my Gamecube Love comments, and I will say it again. Allowing the villagers to live in their own little vacation tents during the “vacation” seasons was one of Animal Crossing’s cutest concepts that they never truly brought back. The campers from the campsite could even be included for the fall and the spring, it just makes the animals feel as if they have lives outside of their tiny houses!

4) Theater for in-game plays, movies, and KK Slider shows.

I never liked having KK Slider in the nightclub, but the coffee shop is definitely too small for such a star. Having a theater in-game would allow you to hear KK’s music on a proper stage! It could be a small concert on Saturdays, but it would still be in a proper hall. The game could also include clips or the Animal Crossing movie from 2006 in full to watch in the theater with your friends. Or the animals could put on little plays from time to time as a way to bring even more life to the village.

5) Options for your best friends to buy vacation homes in your village or on your island. 

I would love if my friends who visit my town often enough could buy a vacation home. They would be able to then use their own furniture or have furniture from my Nook store sent to that home so that they could decorate a little place for themselves to stay when they come to visit me. It could be locked behind some sort of visit number wall, like 10 visits and then the option becomes available. And of course, both parties would have to agree on a location. But it would be a cool little inclusion!

6) Villagers with original personalities. 

AI has improved so much in the nearly 20 years since the first Animal Crossing game was released in 2001. Nevertheless, I think some of the best personalities I saw were in the Gamecube version of the game. The villagers would hold grudges against one another, would have best friends, would have stories as to why they were lending items everywhere, and were generally sassier. Now, even the “Snooty” or “Mean” villagers are nice. I hope that the villagers’ original attitudes are included in this new version so that they can feel more alive instead of perfectly happy carbon copies of one another.

7) The inclusion of a new city with new shops.

I loved the city in City Folk, and I loved the new shops in New Leaf. Now, I hope that these new shops are incorporated into the Switch release, along with a few other ones, in the form of a city you can travel to by your own custom car. One new shop example would be an ice cream parlor where you can sit with friends, listen to KK Slider on an old jukebox, and buy some ice cream and other sweet treats. Or, it could be like a Japanese restaurant where everything is in Japanese and you can order traditional Japanese foods.

8) Allowing the player to customize their car to the city, boat to the island, and hot air balloon to other player’s villages. 

You could customize your van in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, so I hope that the creators of the Switch version are planning on allowing you to customize your modes of transportation in this game. It would be such a neat little feature to choose from predrawn patterns and just add color or to be able to design your own car’s patterns.

9) In game multiplayer voice chat!

The Wii version had WiiSpeak, so there is literally NO excuse for the Switch version not to have some sort of voice chat almost 10 years later. You can use voice chat in Warframe, so I highly doubt that the creators of Animal Crossing would be foolish enough to allow this game to come out without adding options for voice chat.

10) Be able to draw your own patterns/designs for furniture. 

Some people have already figured out how to draw their own designs for furniture, so I am hoping that the creators will just make this a general feature. It would be fun for all ages, as those who don’t draw would be able to color their furniture to match the room, kids could make their drawings come to life, and artists would be able to truly customize their houses from top to bottom. This is probably the easiest feature to implement as other games already have the ability to design clothing, so the creators really should do this!

 

Thank you for reading, I hope Animal Crossing is announced for the Switch soon!

Things I Love About Animal Crossing Part 3

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I’ve given all the things that I had to complain about for each Animal Crossing game that I’ve ever played. Now, as we get (hopefully) closer to the announcement of the Animal Crossing Switch release date, I am going to talk about all the things that I loved about each Animal Crossing game!

Animal Crossing New Leaf

“Animal Crossing: New Leaf” review | stefanb33

Multiplayer

This was the only Animal Crossing game that I actually was able to play multiplayer in, and I loved it. Not only could you play multiplayer with people close to you through local wireless, but you could play multiplayer through Wifi with people anywhere in the world. And yes, the DS version also had these things, but the wifi multiplayer was hindered because the DS lite could not connect to certain Wifi routers. The 3DS was able to connect to nearly any router, so most Animal Crossing fans were able to play and have fun with each other.

I spent almost an entire summer in the Animal Crossing Community forums. I found people to play with on there, made friends, and even worked for a little online business that would give people in-game items that they wanted for free. I was playing the game so often that I gained around a million bells on my own, then I gained around 5 million bells in gifts from people who were happy for their free items. I could do anything that I wanted in the game with this money, had all the buildings in town and a fully upgraded house.

I wish that I hadn’t deleted that town, I really loved it. But I am going to be playing the game over the summer again, and hopefully I will amass a town of the same size again before the new Animal Crossing comes out!

Island

The island in this game grew on the idea of an island from the Gamecube version. Rather than a small pixely GBA island, the 3DS version includes a full resort. You can go swimming, fishing, bug hunting, and farming for fruit. It is so much fun to listen to the island music and catch the expensive fish that swim in the waters there. Then, there are minigames. The minigames are the best part of playing multiplayer with other people! There’s a minigame where you hunt a number of bugs, or catch a number of fish, or chase a little lawn mower while beating it with a toy hammer. They vary day to day and hour to hour, so you can have hours of sheer fun in the minigames. I wish that this version of the island had been in every Animal Crossing game, but the inclusion of it in this one was what made the game memorable for me.

The Town

This game also has a bit of a town like City Folk, even though you don’t have to take a bus to it. You just cross the tracks and you are there. This game has the coolest stuff in the town though. You have the museum, the Able sister’s shop, Gracie’s fancy shop, the Nook general store, and the Nook house store. On top of that, you have the store where you can change your hair, a little night club that plays both KK Slider songs and upbeat EDM songs, the Dream center where you can visit other people’s towns (even strangers’ if they opt-in) and see how they decorate, the shoe store, the fun photo booth, the garden store for plant-related items, AND the fortune teller shop. All of these are unlocked throughout the game, some being unlocked in the first week while others being locked behind certain achievements. It is definitely cool to see your complete shop, whenever you are finished with it, and to be able to access all the cool stuff that they had to offer. It was a really nice touch.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer

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Ability to see all the furniture

There is never a time in the Animal Crossing games when you can see all the furniture that the game has to offer. Nook’s store cycles through furniture and you can only keep a certain number of items in your storage. This game actually helped me to decorate my house in the main Animal Crossing New Leaf game because it allowed me to see how certain pieces of furniture would look in my house. Now I would know what to keep an eye out for in my local Nook store to complete my collection. It also helped me to figure out how I could design my rooms. I was never much of an interior designer in the games, but after playing this one, it inspired me to redesign my own personal house. Definitely a win!

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

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Animal Crossing on a different platform

Animal Crossing has always been a Nintendo-only game. I have never played an Animal Crossing game and will probably never play an Animal Crossing game on a non-Nintendo system. This game allowed people who did not have a Nintendo system to get somewhat of a feel for Animal Crossing games. Sure, it wasn’t the best representation of those games. But for someone who has never actually played a main Animal Crossing game before, they could still have a lot of fun with it. I know I had fun with it for the first week or two. I don’t even know what’s been added since launch so it might be a lot better now. But this was a nice free introduction for those not quite willing to put down around at least 100 dollars even for the old Wii plus the Wii Animal Crossing game.

Alright, one post left to go! Tune in next week to see things that I hope are added or kept in for the Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch version!

Animal Crossing (All Versions): Things that I Disliked Part 1

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I haven’t spoken about Animal Crossing in a while, but it is my absolute favorite game series. I have played every single game except for Amiibo Festival (which doesn’t really count as an Animal Crossing game in my opinion). I know which parts of each game that I liked, and parts that I disliked, and parts that I hope will be in Animal Crossing for the Switch that is supposed to be coming out later this year. For the next 3 Video Game Tuesdays, I will be focusing specifically on Animal Crossing, and going through these topics on all the games. The first one is all the stuff that I didn’t like about each individual game. This one will be split into two parts, with the second part coming tomorrow, since it is so long!

Animal Crossing Gamecube

Animal Crossing - Animal Crossing Wiki

This was my first Animal Crossing game and is my favorite one. There are so many good things about it, but it definitely had its flaws.

Fossils

In this game, you have to mail all your fossils to an outside museum to be analyzed and sent back to you. This means that you have to pay the postage for every fossil sent, and it was just too long of a wait for my impatient self. I never put more than 2 or 3 fossils in the museum at a time.

Number of villagers

This will be both in my likes and dislikes. You could have a lot more villagers in the GC version than you could have in later versions, which was both a blessing and a curse. It was hard to keep up with all the villagers, and sometimes I forgot that I had villagers and so they would move away.

No multiplayer

Even though you could have multiple people living in the town of your console, there was no way to play together in minigames through splitscreen. The villagers might mention the other character but that was it. The only way to go to another person’s town was to put their memory card into your console, and I didn’t have any friends who played the game, or even had a Gamecube, so I had no one’s town to see.

Not much to do

Sometimes, after you’ve watered all the flowers, did errands for a bunch of villagers, fished, caught bugs, shopped, and decorated to your heart’s content, you just got bored. Sure, there’s a lot to do, but I remember thinking “Man I am out of things to do” and switching to one of the newer Animal Crossing games. A lot of things were time-locked as well, the special events at least, so if you didn’t play at those times, you didn’t have the chance to participate.

Animal Crossing Wild World

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Game) - Giant Bomb

Barebones Animal Crossing Game

There is very little to do in this game. There are no more ways to ask the villagers for errands, they would have to walk up to you by chance and ask you. You can fish, catch bugs, and do decorating and digging but you really have to create your fun.

Few Events

This Animal Crossing game took out all events related to religion. No Easter Bunny, no Christmas events, nothing. They had some generic events, but they were so infrequent that it felt like you would go weeks in real life before happening to come across an in-game event.

Wifi-Locked Stores

There were parts of the game that you could only get if you had connected your DS Lite to the Wifi and traveled to another person’s town. Then, the person had to do stuff in your town, such as buy from the Nook store to upgrade it to the full department store. This was hard because some people didn’t have wifi, and some people didn’t have Wifi that the DS could connect to, like me. Also, as a kid, unless I was going to play with a stranger online, I had no one to play with. So I never got to access these parts of the game. Now that the Wifi servers for the DS Lite have gone permanently offline, anyone who gets the game will technically never be able to complete it.

Hackers

The Action Replay was a card that people got to change their games. It was an easy thing to get, some people got it for their kids to turn off Mr. Resetti in the game. Either way, it was easy to hack the DS Lite, and if you played a Wild World game with a hacker, they could mess you up big time. They could hack rocks or buildings to block your house in so that you could never leave home on that save. They could mess up your entire town and then leave, forcing the game to save, and permanently destroy it. They could even permanently brick your DS Lite, making it impossible to use it at all. This may have nothing to do with the game, but the fact is that WW became a way for hackers to mess with a lot of people. You had to be really careful, which is why I am kinda glad that my DS couldn’t connect. I couldn’t randomly connect with a stranger online and have my DS ruined.

Animal Crossing City Folk

The Top 10 Things the IGN Nintendo Team is Thankful For - IGNF’ing Grass!!

Oh my god, what the heck were the developers thinking?? In this game, the grass was supposed to wear down if you ran. But it was way too fast, so even if you walked speedily, your whole town would have huge dirt patches. You had to slow walk everywhere. Snow only lands on grass patches, so if you wanted a pretty town in winter, you better CRAWL everywhere.

Redd

Redd was in the city rather than appearing in town from time to time, and a few other characters were in the city. This might be a pet peeve, but it was kinda weird for seedy Redd to have a store, I preferred the tent. It just fulfilled the look.

Auctionhouse

The Auction house literally does nothing? I don’t even know why it was there, I never had enough friends coming over for it to do anything.