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Animal Crossing mafia makes an offer you can't refuse

While upon playing Animal Crossing: Wild World, one might feel indebted to a Mafioso in Tom Nook as you work off a debt, running errands for him and perhaps fearing the impending doom that awaits you at the bottom of a deep river should you neglect those duties, the reality is that Animal Crossing is very much without that 'old world mob' flavor. Leave it up to folks to try and reverse that, though.

With a slogan like "you hit me, we hit you," one would feel that performing the general run-of-the-mill mob tasks demanded from such a criminal organization could very well be performed in the game, however due to the nature of the game, we feel that waking with a horse's decapitated head is far worse than the likely scenario of decimated trees and hole-filled lawns throughout the town that one would suffer should they cross this mafia. Still, it's an original idea and for a game like Animal Crossing: Wild World, we're glad for every, and any, excuse we get to play it on a regular basis.

Nintendo celebrates Star Fox in Animal Crossing

K-Man, whom you may remember from a previous Animal Crossing update, recently wrote in to us documenting his latest free gift from Nintendo. The fact that Nintendo would keep giving away free gifts in the game to keep players active in the game as well as one of its players constantly maintaining their town just reiterates how awesome a game this is. The latest gift given our by Nintendo is none other than an Arwing. The letter from Nintendo reads:

"Dear K-man,
Star Fox Command stats are live! We were going to give you Slippy, but take this instead!

Congrats on the free gift K-Man and all you other readers out there should make sure you let us know how your town is doing. We're always watching, always listening...

[Additional thanks to Reeve, who tipped us off, yet failed to include pictures.]

AC: Wild World passes 3 million mark in Japan

There's a reason why keep continuing our coverage of all things Animal Crossing. Partly due to the game's immense variety of activities available and also in part to the wonderful Wi-Fi aspects, it's no surprise that Animal Crossing: Wild World has sold 3 million units in Japan. In case you are unaware, only 19 other games have done this previously, dating back as far as the original Super Mario Bros. for the Famicom.

Are you keeping at it in Animal Crossing? Reeled in all the fish, caught all the bugs, and dug up all the fossils?

[Via N-Sider]

Nintendo documents Toys 'R Us goodies

We just can't stop covering this game! We love it and we aren't afraid to admit it. Our parents forbade that love, but we eloped and now they're forced to accept it.
With the recent partnership between Toys 'R Us and Nintendo, there has been plenty of reason to keep plugging away in our towns (well, maybe not for some).

In an effort to save you time and some of your life span as sunlight undoubtedly causes you pain, Nintendo of America employee Chloe felt she should document what exactly the 6 free gifts available are at your local Toys 'R Us. So maybe you've been holding back, thinking that dangerous star in the sky is not worth enduring for fabulous free gifts to place in a virtual home. Well, maybe this list of available gifts will change your mind:
  • Green Pipe
  • Flagpole
  • 1-up Mushroom
  • Starman
  • Fire bar
  • ? Box

Nintendo celebrates summer nights in Animal Crossing

When logging into Wi-Fi with his copy of Animal Crossing: Wild World, reader, and from what we're told one excellent basket weaver, Kev received a pleasant surprise from Nintendo HQ in the form of a letter and attached gift. The letter read:

"Dear K-Man,
Nothing says summer like camping and playing Animal Crossing under the stars! Now go outside!
From Nintendo

The attached gift was a sleeping bag. Kev, being the excellent and most-organized tipster he could possibly be, also attached some pictures of said sleeping bag. He apologizes for the quality of his webcam and adds the question "is it just me or does that look like a Master Chief sleeping bag?" We're stumped because, frankly, we've never heard of this Master Chief.

Click the link to check out more pictures in greater sizes.

Continue reading Nintendo celebrates summer nights in Animal Crossing

Reader reveals Toys 'R Us woes

Charlie Staats, one of our most handsome readers, recently sent in a sorrowful tale of loss and regret. It also involved a talking dog obsessed with produce. To say the least, we thought it was a magnificent read.

Aside from his included tale, Charlie spoke of things grounded a bit more in reality, namely arriving at a local Toys 'R Us to acquire one of the free goodies that are available via download. Instead, when following the steps on the sheet while in the store, he received a bottle sans item. When asking an employee "Hey, what's the haps, man?" he was greeted with a response that informed him another store in the local area was also reporting the same issue of bottle sans item.

Any of you have the same trouble as our handsome hero Charlie? Completed the steps with ease and find the possibility of anything otherwise remote?

Animal Crossing gift available for download

Nintendo and Toys 'R Us are teaming up to hand out some virtual gifts through Animal Crossing: Wild World. The gifts available, which are implied to include Mario in one way or another, number six, however only one will be available to download per town. You'll have to trade for the others. The process with which to acquire one of said six items goes:
  1. Insert your Animal Crossing: Wild World Game Card into your Nintendo DS. Power up.
  2. Purchase Bottle Mail at Tom Nook's Shop.
  3. Write a message and release your Bottle Mail into the river or at the beach. Save and end your game.
  4. Visit the specially marked Animal Crossing: Wild Word promotion in the video-game section of your nearest Toys 'R Us July 23-30. At the main menu, tap Tag Mode.
  5. Watch and wait for something to arrive in your town!
  6. Restart your game and comb the beach for Bottle Mail containing a special rare item!
Let us know what you get!

[Thanks BPM Omega]

Japanese software chart, 22-28 May: Mario madness

Giving his competitors a veritable butt-stomp, Mario finds himself at the very top of the Japanese software sales chart this week -- nearly 900,000 people donned their rose-colored glasses and marched out of a store with a copy of the portly plumber's retro adventure.
  1. [DS] New Super Mario Bros.
  2. [DS] Brain Training 2
  3. [DS] Brain Training for Adults
  4. [PSP] Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable
  5. [DS] Tetris DS
  6. [PS2] Kimikiss
  7. [PS2] World Soccer Winning Eleven 10
  8. [DS] English Training
  9. [DS] Animal Crossing: Wild World
  10. [PS2] Jikkyou Powerful Major League

Nintendo losing their Touch (Generations)?

If Nintendo's desires are realized, it won't be too long before the image of Grandpa hunching furiously over his DS Lite and murderously screaming "Blue" joins that of the bespectacled nerd in the ranks of uninformed gamer stereotypes. In an effort to reach out to those who would normally shy away from electronic devices and their confusing beeps and boops, several forthcoming and readily available DS games have recently been shoved under the Touch Generations banner. The range highlights Nintendo's popular "non-games", titles that are meant to be approachable by any person, regardless of their previous gaming experience.

In North America, games like Nintendogs, Brain Age and Sudoku Gridmaster seem to gravitate towards the label quite naturally, but it seems that the selection differs significantly from that of other regions. Anthropomorphic neighbour sim, Animal Crossing: Wild World, slots right in with Electroplankton in Europe, but the choices of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Trauma Center: Under the Knife seem to fit in less comfortably. The latter two titles are far more traditional, with linear stories, clear conditions for success and failure and, in the case of Trauma Center especially, a more pronounced difficulty level that requires intricate stylus strokes--lest your patient's internal organs become reduced to a bloody mush (technical term). In other words, all the stuff that the mythical casual gamer doesn't want.

The Japanese selection is almost the exact opposite, filled with English trainers, dictionaries and travel guidebooks. If you looked up "game" in one of those dictionaries, you'd likely find a description far removed from most of these titles. It raises an interesting question, then: What constitutes a game that, according to Nintendo's mantra, anyone can pick up and play? Is it a game that almost exclusively relies on intuitive touch screen controls? Or is it something with simplistic gameplay mechanics? Perhaps it's not even a game at all. Nintendo's pretty clear about the kind of people they're chasing with the DS and the Wii, but things seem less vivid when it comes to matching specific games with specific audiences. With games being such unique and often personal experiences, it's doubtful that the line between hardcore and casual will ever become especially obvious. 

AC: Wild World keeps on trucking out the holiday gifts

Looks like we're batting 0 for 2 on news outside of the LA Convention center last week as another trusty reader, well aware of our fascination with all things Animal Crossing, sent us an email that was both informative and painful to read. Informative in the way that Mother's Day was another occasion where Nintendo let loose another holiday gift for all those Wi-Fi-connecting Animal Crossing: Wild World addicts out there and painful in the way that we failed to obtain it! His email reads:

"Hi there,

I'm not sure if this was something sent out over WiFi connection, but I opened my gates yesterday (Mother's Day) just in case.

A letter in my mailbox was waiting today. It reads:

"Buy low, sell high, and call your mom on Mother's Day. These are the keys to a regret free life. - Nintendo"

A dafodil was attached.

Just wondering if all the post-E3 stuff obscured this ostensible WiFi goodie. :-)"

Now, as awesome a reader as you are to let us know what we all missed, I must ask you just exactly where are the pictures man?! Hook it up!

[Thanks NotAwesome! Image courtesy of Hallmark]

Animal Crossing: The Movie

Apparently an Animal Crossing movie is in the works and slated for a Japanese release in December. The proposed director, Jouji Shimura, is known for his work on titles such as Master Keaton and Shin Angyo Onshi. No release date for America is set and the animated feature is supposedly to remain true to the game's source material.

Animal Crossing bundle drops price

If you've yet to acquire a DS and/or the wildly-addictive Animal Crossing: Wild World, we imagine a daily conversation with yourself, that could last seconds to hours, we honestly don't know, we're not you, would go a bit like this:

"You know what self?"

"What's that brain?"

"I was just wondering why you haven't bought a DS and/or Animal Crossing: Wild World yet. The console really is the tops and I've heard nothing but great things about the game. I imagine we'd both have fun playing it, what with you wielding the stylus to do things a body enjoys doing such as fishing and me making clothes and such, doing the things a mind enjoys doing."

"Yes, but all my money is going towards Momma's insulin..."

"Look, she's old, she doesn't need to live anyway, why if she were conscious I'm sure she'd ask for death. Just do it, go turn on your PC and order the Nintendo DS Animal Crossing Bundle, it's only $129.99!"

"But what about my dad, I'm sure he'd be upset..."

"Relax...he can make his own character in the game."

"Oh, OK then!"

In other words, the price for the Nintendo DS Animal Crossing Bundle has dropped twenty bucks and has become that much more attainable.

Beneath the surface of Animal Crossing

Kudos to 1up and Nadia Oxford for posting a truly excellent article that examines how the personality traits of Animal Crossing players are reflected (and distorted) in their endearingly constructed and personalized towns. The findings point to something quite sinister, with many suspicious objects and design choices littering each of the four towns that the author pays a virtual visit to. As with anything overly cute and seemingly free of worry, there's just something not right about these towns. Take for instance, the many mysterious and seemingly innocent holes that litter the landscape in one town.

"I asked about the holes, and No. 1 assured me that they were his roommate's doing -- maybe he was digging for a mole cricket and didn't bother to fill them in. I answered in the affirmative...but, unbidden, an image came to mind of the town ablaze, its screaming animals attempting to flee the inferno, only to be barred by a man-made moat."

Or how about the subject that, in real life, often works in the presence of children, and yet has a town overrun with foul-mouthed citizens donning considerably rude articles of clothing? It's interesting to note the differences and similarities between the player and their in-game representation, especially in this case where said representation is an entire, socially (dys)functional town.

Games such as these often allow us to express ourselves in ways which suit our personality, but also in ways that don't. With no real repercussions to worry about, we can often get away by acting out of character or trying an approach that we'd normally attempt to avoid.

How do you and your Animal Crossing denizens match up?

Animal Crossing Contest: Giant Miyamoto for the win

When I showed this entry to fellow DS Fanboy blogger David Hinkle, he responded with, "That is the winner. That wins SO HARD." My thoughts exactly. Read all about Miyamoto's monstrous rampage through Tokyo in a full page from the Fanboy Times here.

"Next time," Miyamoto said, "I'll have to try and control myself when I transform into a 300 foot tall monster."

Congratulations, Josh Cox! Your prize will embark on its journey to you shortly. As for the rest of you guys, thank you once again for participating. I'll try and get another giveaway going soon.

Animal Crossing Contest: A guest appearance

That's right. One of the entries for our Animal Crossing contest came from Aaron Griffin--the guy in the photo! This is the hardcore fan that pulled a Bjork, shook Miyamoto's hand and was constantly displayed on the monitors of everyone that entered the contest. Aaron writes:

I've been around your site in the past, but somebody alerted me to this contest on my blog. I was flustered for a moment, then I thought "DUH! I should enter!"

Check out Aaron's amusing meta-entry by clicking here. [Animated GIF, 2.84MB] Thanks for entering and for being a good sport, Aaron.

Next up: The winner.

Next Page >

Gaming to Go!We debate the hot topics!

This Month's New Games

Name Date
Bleach: Dark Souls
Oct 6
Legend of Kage 2
Oct 6
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
Oct 6
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Oct 6
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Oct 14
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FIFA Soccer 09 Oct 14
Populous Oct 14
Rock Revolution
Oct 14
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Oct 21
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Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Oct 21
Away: Shuffle Dungeon
Oct 21
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Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
Oct 21
What's Cooking? With Jamie Oliver Oct 21
MySims Kingdom
Oct 28
Ninjatown Oct 28

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