'Tis a great week for gaming, isn't it? And, for the Animal Crossing addicts among us, it should be pretty freaking awesome. For the sad, strange readers who haven't been chain themselves to a monitor for the last few days, listen up: E3 recently brought word of the next installment in the series, albeit one primed and ready for Nintendo's white waggle box. But don't drop Animal Crossing: Wild World just yet -- there's still plenty of life in the game, even if you've paid off your house three times over and now get your jollies from planting pitfall seeds in front of your neighbors' doors.
That's a perfectly admirable pastime, sure, but Wild World offers plenty of snappy activities for a gamer on the go. In honor of this super special week and the new game on the way, Gaming to Go is adopting a slightly different format for your reading pleasure. You guys like lists, right? Well, buckle your seat belts, ladies and gents, and get ready for 5 Things You Can Do With Five Minutes in AC:WW!
The results to one of the most interesting questions we've heard in quite awhile has come in and gaming's greatest canine is apparently Parappa from the Parappa the Rapper games. While we'll cross the divide that separates Nintendo and Sony handheld fanboys and admit that the Parappa games are great, we're a tad bit upset.
As you may recall from our original post on this topic of discussion, we were heavily in favor of K.K. Slider. We also considered the dog from Duck Hunt. But, Parappa? Eh, we don't agree. What about you all?
Tough question for some, easy question for the DS Fanboy staff: it has to be K.K. Slider! Come on, people! Any other idea is lacking any kind of reasonable evidence to support it, in light of Slider's diligence to his job (he never misses a Saturday night show!) and his knack for sticking it to the man. Not to mention how great the little guy looks on a bath towel!
Actually, maybe we're willing to entertain some of the entrants. Like, the dog in Duck Hunt, for example. He's a pretty important mutt in the gaming world, so we can understand his inclusion. Oh, and Link's wolf form in Twilight Princess is another good addition. And let's not forget the Nintendogs themselves!
What do you guys think? What are they missing in this list? What were you surprised to see? Who should win?
Well, not all of it. This is more about the highlights, the big news of the year. The kind of stuff that we should look back to and highlight as being memorable in 2007. It's been one hell of a year; a roller coaster ride of hits and misses. So, grab your admission ticket, buckle yourself in and join us for this look back at the news of 2007.
NPD doesn't see fit to provide us just with monthly sales figures, apparently, as they also conduct research in their secret underground bunker. There, beakers full of bright, colorful liquid of an indiscernible nature and men and women in long white coats conduct experiments. Tirelessly disassembling current hardware on the shelves and occasionally injecting caged monkeys with unknown fluids, these vigilant smart types have come to a conclusion regarding the association between stress and video games.
According to the NPD, 63% of U.S. citizens play games. 30% of these gamers say they're playing more games than they did last year. Many also cite that games are a way to alleviate stress and help them unwind. We can understand it, because there is something almost zen-like in fishing in Animal Crossing: Wild World. Actually, just about everything in that game is calming and helps us unwind, even picking weeds.
Have a free hour to waste? Spend it reading The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing, a twisted tale put together by Chewbot and the Something Awful forums. It's a mixed media production -- consisting of text, screenshots, artwork, audio (radio series-style), and even a Flash animation -- broken into twelve parts.
Far from your run-of-the-mill fan fiction, The Terrible Secret is a captivating account of one boy's struggle to hold onto his sanity as he unravels the infernal mysteries governing the town that holds him prisoner. The story goes far beyond your typical "Tom Nook is a crook" plot, suggesting something much more sinister. Peek past the break for a larger version of the amazing promotional poster you see above.
This video of a sped-up Animal Crossing cleanup initiative highlights one of the weirdest design decisions made for the game: weeds. We get the idea of encouraging the player to keep up a daily routine, but by punishing you for not playing, after a certain amount of time you no longer want to play the game again. We have long since exiled ourselves from our town, out of fear of facing a weed-infested wasteland, full of cute, yet angry neighbors who hate us for ruining their shot at getting that glasses case over to Admiral.
Of course, two minutes of pulling weeds would not be entertaining at all to watch if Games Radar hadn't applied the basic principles of British comedy, as exemplified by Benny Hill: 1) speed up footage and 2) overdub "Yakety Sax".
It's difficult to imagine what steps Ubisoft will take to adapt Assassin's Creed for the Nintendo DS, what with the console game's "next-gen" graphics and mature themes, but the theorists at Penny Arcade took a stab at predicting its presentation, holding up a bloody, lacerated comic to demonstrate their prophecy.
We wouldn't be too upset with their proposed game, a marriage between Assassin's Creed and Animal Crossing. Not every console title can make as successful a transition to handhelds like The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword. Compared to some of the other multiplatform titles that've appeared on the DS -- Peter Jackson's King Kong and TMNT, for example -- the game sounds like a treat. We would be lucky if Assassin's Creed DS turns out to be half as good as this infantalized Assassin's Crossing concept.
Today, DS Fanboy has a nice little treat for all of our readers. We sit down and speak with Rich Amtower, who works in Nintendo's Treehouse division. Responsible for adapting Japanese titles to the English, French and Spanish markets, you can imagine he's got quite the difficult job to do.
That doesn't stop us from bugging him for an interview, though.
First of all, explain who you are and what your duties are with the company?
My name is Rich Amtower, and I work in the localization department. Our job is to take games made in Japan and make them feel like they were made in America, basically -- that means recording English voices if there are Japanese voices in a game, translating and rewriting Japanese text into English (and now French and Spanish), and doing whatever sorts of alterations need to be made so that when gamers pick up a title, they feel like they're playing something tailor-made for them.
It's been over a year and a half since I last visited Paradise, the colorful Animal Crossing town I once called home. I named it Paradise with dreams dancing on my glazed eyes, envisioning the whistle-stop suburb as something I'd one day build and transform into a picturesque city; grass green, girls pretty.
Despite my best intentions, Paradise never really was. Relationships, work, and other games took hold of my time, and a creeping anxiety thickened in me as remembered responsibilities built up with each day spent away. Those days turned to weeks, and eventually, that fog of worry precipitated, leaving a few minutes of light rain in its wake, taking with it my guilt and regrets.
I was at a crossroads in my life recently, and my therapist suggested that I return to Paradise before I made any big decisions. I spent my first afternoon back pulling weeds and chasing bugs out of the house, before flipping through this week's Paradise Press, our local paper, to catch up on town happenings. I was astonished to find that Paradise had been racked by scandal, tragedy, and financial woes.
As the Notorious B.I.G. once rapped in his chronicle of Brooklyn's decline, "Things done changed."
In a town that is run by Tom Nook and his corrupt mafia, there is nowhere to turn for justice and peace. In this town, things are so bad that even the folks that just visit occasionally, such as Pascal here, aren't safe. See, a picture speaks a thousand words, and the words that the above picture presents are a combination of "fishes" and "feed 'em to da." The fish here, of course, being the ever-dangerous shark.
GayGamer's Fruit Brute happened upon these three Animal Crossing cosplayers at Comic-Con, dressed as three of the franchise's most enduring and beloved characters: "Girl," Girl," and "Girl." He then persuaded them to allow him to take their picture, presumably by taking all of their borrowed glasses cases back to Hopper's house.
It's the details, of course, that make these costumes work-- much like the actual game, all of the fun is in the items. The be-K.K. Slider-'d Girl is carrying one of Animal Crossing's ubiquitous Presents, and they actually presented Fruit Brute with an authentic Animal Crossing-style letter.
Can you feel that magic in the air? It's Thursday, which means it's time we all got our game on. Sadly, I won't be able to make it to the session tonight (I know many of you were looking forward to stomping me in Game X, sorry), but the other staff will be on-hand to game it up with you.