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Goodbye Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Chopper

Member
Feb 24, 2010
12,329
0
0
Chichester, UK
After 838 hours and 12 minutes my time with Animal Crossing: New Leaf has come to an end.

That's 650 more hours than my second most-played 3DS game. And with good reason.

For a little over a year, the town of Buckland has been my... special place. That's a term I hate, but it really has been my stress ball. My zen. My yang to real life's yin.

I run my own business, I have a partner, a baby on the way, rent and staff and the government to pay. A real adult, with real adult issues to deal with. This is a fact I have really had to come to terms with recently as I waved goodbye to my twenties. Life can be pretty stressful, as we all know, and nothing's better for alot of us, than to slip onto your sofa with a controller in your hand and take control of whatever fantasy you've slipped into your console of choice that evening. My console of choice of late has been my 3DS, and the game that swept me away from everything that actually matters has been New Leaf.

Having played Wild World to death, I was fully prepared to engross myself in Animal Crossing once again, and recreate the pure joy I experienced with the DS title a) in the realm of the new generation, and b) as a member of Neogaf. I had survived the lewd pre-release threads, my hype levels were through the roof and I waited up on launch night, desperately refreshing the eShop so that New Leaf was ready to play first thing in the morning. And as soon had I negotiated with Nook as to where my tent was to be erected, I was back in the zone.

I always enjoy tucking into a new game that I've been anticipating. Screenshots and hype trailers are great, but that feeling of actually starting up a game that you've been looking forward to for years is a feeling that we can all relate to. This was next level shit. The music was familiar, but different. The graphics were more beautiful than I ever imagined, yet gave me nostalgic pangs of late nights fishing and trading with university buddies. It was beyond glorious, and despite everything I had learned during my time with Wild World, there was a whole new surface to scratch.

Animal Crossing is not a skillful game. Some will argue that it is barely a game at all. Elements of skill creep into fishing, diving and bug catching. It can play a part in events and the accumulation of seasonal items. But this depends on your dedication to accumulating that furniture. It is by no means mandatory. Animal Crossing is celebration of the minutae. A world where a new animation, an extra digit in your catalogue, a new line of dialogue, or a newly coloured flower or item of furniture is your reward. Tricking the game into thinking that you don't want a neighbour to move in on your bed of hybrid roses becomes part of the game. So does establishing what your favourite neighbour's type of coffee is, finding out, to your detriment, where PWPs can and cannot go, discovering what customised patterns look good within the context of Animal Crossing, and what fucking well does not.

It's about dedication. About fulfilment. About love.

From the moment you start Animal Crossing, it's about reigning control on your environment. The material core of the game might appear to revolve around paying a mortgage to Tom Nook, but in fact it's just about maintaining that control. Once you're debt free and you've unlocked all the resources available to you, it's about claiming your town as your own and crafting it around the hilariously restrictive boundaries that Animal Crossing tends to inflict upon you.

There was a time when little else mattered, certainly at the beginning. There was a time when trading, fishing, catching, watering, tweaking and perfecting were the most important thing in my day. Buckland consumed me. My avatar here for a while was me sat on my favourite bench. But there was far too much to accomplish on my own.

ACGAF to the rescue! A fine, fine collection of people who are happy to help with whatever issues one might have with Animal Crossing, as a whole. I truly believe that, between us, there is nothing they (we) don't know or can't help with. The communal aspects of Animal Crossing are an often marketed highlight, but with a community like we have behind us, it becomes something truly special. I'm not going to pretend that I was the most active socialite in ACGAF, but that feeling of support amongst selfless "BF"s as we worked together to fulfil our own individual objectives is unmatched compared to any other gaming communities I have ever been a part of. Wonderful, wonderful people.

Every single day since launch (except, maybe, two), I have logged in, found my fossils, watered my flowers, moved this here, that there, traded goods, harvested fruit, caught some fish, gone to the island... The whole way, supported and informed and accompanied by people all over the world. We'd visit each other, chat, laugh, trade, run about, catch bugs, hit each other squeaky hammers. We would share our experiences, impart knowledge and enrich our gaming experience through the very nature of being human, without compromise. The sheer purity of Animal Crossing is not to be understated.

With ACGAF's help, I've been able to completely fill my catalogue, which is about as close to 100%ing Animal Crossing as I'm gonna get. There's more, as the pros will tell you. I don't own every villager's picture (I've seen it and it is glorious), just those who have been neighbours in my town. I don't have every gold badge, just those I have earned over the last year-and-a-bit (some of the requirements are ridiculous). Otherwise, I've seen it all.

A personal highlight was being visited by the internet hero of Animal Crossing, a guy called Liquefy, who wrote all the extensive FAQs over at Gamefaqs for the game, for a trade. The New Leaf economy is...unusual. Everything's readily available, as people are able to exploit the ability to "dupe" anything one can hold in their pockets. Value is in the eye of the beholder. It's all relative, hence I had something this guy wanted. I was amazed. Personally, I chose not to partake in any "duping", and simply offered currency and rare items in exchange for other rare items. Considering the scale of New Leaf's catalogue, I consider this a pretty massive achievement. Likewise, thanks to ACGAF, we were able to decifer New Leaf's complex gardening system, which allowed us to master and control which foliage grew in our towns. This has been massively important to me and my daily routine, which has started, each and every day (irl), with me checking on and replanting my flowers. An obsession I no longer need.

I have unlocked every PWP, the decorations that enrich your town. I literally own everything that's unorderable; clothes, furniture, gyroids. In fact, the gyroids are all on display in an immacualte exhibit that I created in my museum. All unorderable items are on display in my three houses. This includes all DLC and foreign event items, though there isn't enough space to display all the unorderable clothing too. And I have all the pictures of every neighbour that has ever stayed in Buckland.

I like to think that Buckland could represent something a new Animal Crossing player might aspire to. As I've mentioned, everything is unlocked, and the best of everything is readily accessible. I have spent hours upon hours planning the layout of the town. I swear, I could write a dissertation on why I have placed everything where I have. The plan was always to have a town where people could run freely whilst being unrestricted by bushes and enclosed pathways. Buckland had to represent traditional Animal Crossing values (ie. plenty of trees), whilst embracing the modern developments of the series.

Hours and hours of actual human time were dedicated to this vision.

But I'm done. I can't keep up with it any more. Moving forward, the only thing I can aspire to do is to keep in touch with my neighbours and prevent them from moving out, lest I invest hours upon hours (upon hours) resetting my game in order to ensure my town layout doesn't get fucked by a new arrival. There are better ways to spend my time. I have other games to play! I should eat breakfast instead of searching for fossils. I need to cut the chord now, whilst I'm ahead.

So here I am. Thank fuck for dream addresses. I dreamt of such a feature in my Wild World days. If you own Animal Crossing: New Leaf, do check out my Dream Address: 7400-2932-0644. Love what I've done. And try to find the 10 hidden gold roses..

Thankyou to ACGAF, particularly Niraj, bluepolicebox, eaudamonic, Koomaster, BGBW, kamikazekoala, Roto13, Wolfe and Frogstep. You are all awesome people.

I love Animal Crossing: New Leaf more than any other game I've ever played. It's a very special, personal game that I would urge any 3DS owner to play, love and come back to every day for more.

I'll come back one day. Just cos I'll miss the shit out of it. But not for a while.



TL;DR: I love AC:NL because it's an incredible game. But I've achieved all I wanted to, so I'm gonna say goodbye. This feels like a bigger deal to me than it actually is, I appreciate, but thisisneogaf, and I thought you might like to hear about it.

Edit: Pics by request:





 

sphinx

the piano man
Nov 21, 2006
15,738
0
1,360
Germany
first I'll say, congrats for enjoying a game so much. few people get in love with a game like you did.

After 838 hours and 12 minutes my time with Animal Crossing: New Leaf has come to an end

this is the reason I don't even watch trailers of popular games like this, pokemon or monster hunter. it's to protect my life.

it took me like 150 hours to 100% complete etrian odyssey 4 and was starting to feel remorse about it.
 
Feb 27, 2014
2,926
3
315
Well, that certainly provides some perspective on just what kind of commitment it takes to effectively exhaust the game and figure out its innards. I'm somewhere in the neighbourhood of 150 hours after a full year with the game (hardly ever looking anything up apart from verifying paintings as genuine) and only just unlocked the T&T Emporium, and while I've slowed down considerably, sometimes only logging in for a few minutes a week, I'm nowhere close to feeling finished with my very modest goals for my town. But I've visited enough Dream Addresses to know just how much love some players pour into the title, and soon I should visit yours as well.
 

ramyeon

Member
Dec 1, 2010
15,615
0
0
I played the shit out of this game. Hundreds of hours, time spent farming bells and stockpiling turnips. All my dream villagers in one village.

And then my SD card died and with it my village. Never had the willpower to start it up again. It was good while it lasted.
 

Rich!

Member
Dec 16, 2009
29,968
3
0
Aβydoς;121576222 said:
So much time you could've spend on better games ç_ç

Not sure what you mean by this, but the tone of your post is definitely not nice.

I've personally never been able to put much time into Animal Crossing but my sister has 300+ hours
 

Shizuka

Member
May 28, 2014
23,044
3
0
That's touching, good to know the game helped you when you needed it. I wish I got into the game, but as much as I try, I can't.
 
Mar 26, 2010
16,401
0
810
I may go back sometime, but my time as mayor just might be finished.

Wow. Has it been little over a year already .
 

Earthpainting

Member
May 7, 2006
5,407
0
0
I've been enjoying your sporadic Miiverse posts. I didn't nearly clock in as many hours as you, but I'll concur that New Leaf's been a good investment.

The only question I have is whether or not you had a physical or digital copy. If it's the latter, would you have played it as much if you didn't have the convenience of not having to switch carts?
 

NewGame

Banned
May 26, 2013
6,969
2
0
I'm still playing! Won't stop till the next entry! Good luck on finding something to fill your time with. :)
 

Starwolf_UK

Member
Dec 5, 2008
17,023
0
0
twitter.com
Taking a break (even if it turns out to be forever) is rarely a bad thing.

It is nice you chose to close the curtain yourself so you can go out happy and satisfied. If a corrupted save, broken SD card or other technical issues closed the curtain for you that would be a tragedy instead...
*reads replies*
And then my SD card died and with it my village. Never had the willpower to start it up again. It was good while it lasted.
I'm sorry :( SD card dying is what puts me off eShop versions for games like this. Yes, I know a cartridge can die and having to switch the game is inconvenient but I feel a bit safer.
 

Sammy Samusu

Member
Aug 3, 2009
19,285
1
0
Moga Village
You know your animal friends will die right?

*evil*

But yeah I played NL for a long ass time too but forced myself to stop because I had other things to do and games to play.
 

Samurai_Heart

Member
Oct 24, 2011
8,925
0
0
England
Aw no thank you for me in helping you complete collection ;P.
;__; probably contributed to why you're no longer playing that much.

But yeah play other games etc, hopefully will see you around for a while on Fantasy Life or another game =D
 

troushers

Member
Jul 3, 2009
578
0
0
Picked this up because it was in a bargain bin, never felt any urge to play it on Wii or DS, and didn't know what I had in store.

It's utterly charming. So many lovely touches in its presentation and feel, I can see myself easily playing it everyday for the next year.

Looked forward to waking up today because I knew my firepit would be finished and my house expansion would be done. I'm 35 years old, fer chrissakes.

There' something joyous in having a little corner of reality utterly shapable by your own hands, must be similar to the feeling when you're deeply into wood-carving or sculpture. I'd love to check your village out when I get home tonight, if only to see how far a town can go, and to see what I might be able to do in the future.

Thanks for this.
 

RiggyRob

Member
Dec 19, 2013
4,910
0
0
Kent, UK
www.youtube.com
You know your animal friends will die right?

*evil*

But yeah I played NL for a long ass time too but forced myself to stop because I had other things to do and games to play.

Worse than that, he's left Isabelle all alone.

Animal Crossing is the kind of game that I would have to devote my life to if I wanted to get into completionist mode - right now I've taken a very laid back approach by hardly playing it at all, but the good thing about having it digitally is that it's there whenever I want to go back to it.
 

Tenck

Member
May 5, 2011
10,299
1
725
I think the same thing every time i see someone with thousands of hours in MOBAs.

Should just not play any games if this bothers you. Unless you're a hypocrite, then by all means continue wasting time on vidya gaems.
 

Glass Rebel

Member
Oct 12, 2010
31,644
14
895
That's impressive, OP. The game has its appeal like Sims had back in the day but it simply wasn't for me. Maybe Tomodachi Life...?

Aβydoς;121576222 said:
So much time you could've spend on better games ç_ç

So many characters you could have spent on a better post ;_;
 

Vampirolol

Member
Mar 21, 2012
5,233
1
440
I feel guilty for playing this game only 40 hours. I want to pick it up again but it's been almost a year! Anyway I loved it!
 

Chopper

Member
Feb 24, 2010
12,329
0
0
Chichester, UK
Aw no thank you for me in helping you complete collection ;P.
;__; probably contributed to why you're no longer playing that much.

But yeah play other games etc, hopefully will see you around for a while on Fantasy Life or another game =D
Oh man. I'm sorry. There are loads of names I missed out. You, MicH, Robin64, fishfishmonkeyhat... The list is endless.
 

pikablu

Member
Mar 9, 2010
1,505
0
0
Great post. I've fallen victim to this game as well. I just can't let my poor Flurry move. :)
 

The Lamp

Member
Nov 6, 2010
17,181
5
0
Well damn.

I don't see how people could play this game for more than a month. What you call "purity" I call "sitting around on benches and showing online friends your stuff collection in silence". A game with no real risk or aim simply can't capture my attention that long.

But good for you getting your money's worth. Wow.
 
May 18, 2011
8,625
1
0
I love Animal Crossing and it's my second most played game on 3DS.
I left it alone almost exactly a year until I picked it up again a few days ago and I love it just as much as back then.
Now my town is a shining example of what can be achieved with the game, so I know that feel, OP.
838 hours though...I couldn't manage that.
 

Koren

Member
Mar 11, 2005
9,345
1
0
Bye, Chopper, it has been a real pleasure to meet you in the game last summer/autumn (assuming you'll remember me). You'll be missed, I'm sure.

I take this as a opportunity to say hello to all great people in the AC GAF community. I've been away from online play since months, unfortunately, for different reasons, but I'm still playing offline, and thanks to advices of GAFfers, I've been progressing on a regular basis (I don't want to look at the timer, I'm WELL over 500h).

I've avoided the AC thread (a real pity) because I knew I couldn't avoid spending time online should I follow it (and spending even more time in the thread), and I couldn't allow more than a few minutes worth of commuting time daily this year, because of work. I've been toying with the idea of joining back for the end of august, though...
 

Grizzo

Member
May 25, 2013
5,004
0
0
Brilliant post OP!

I have loved that game too. It's a shame I'm not as invested in it as I was one year ago at the exact same time. The OT was fun and I've enjoyed all the time I spent in other Gaffers' towns.

I just hope that the next installment in the series is gonna be even more complete and will erase some of New Leaf's issues. It would also be cool if it gave you an incentive to still play it one or two years later (like with new events or same events that don't go exactly as they did the year before) (Christmas, for instance).

I still play it from time to time but I've became overwhelmed by it. My mailbox is always full, as is my inventory and also my lockers, I have dropped many items on the ground because I can't resolve to selling some of them (the ones you can't order from the catalogue). There's bamboo growing everywhere and soooo many gyroids that I didn't bother digging up. Still, I love my town and my neighbors. They're just something about the way they talk, the way they move and the things they say that makes me smile every time I talk to them.

Maybe I'm gonna find the time and will to get my town in shape again, but in any case I did enjoy every second I spent playing it. That's the real beauty of that game.
 

Mr-Joker

Banned
Mar 7, 2013
14,983
2
0
In space
I know how you feel, I love the game but I also hate it as it sucks so much of my time.

I celebrated New Year with them and then put the game away with the idea that I will return, I am still yet to return.

Tomodachi Life is also starting to feel the same but at least with that game time actually stops whereas in Animal Crossing well time stops for no man.