It’s been 2.5 years since Animal Crossing New Leaf has been welcoming players to a world of guitar playing dogs, bug infested vacation islands, hoarding items in homes, and chopping down other players trees. For 2,5 years it’s been a wonderful life for anyone who wants to escape the brutal place that is reality, and now New Leaf is welcoming amiibo into the fold, who are a bit more plastic than you and I, but make for an even more enjoyable virtual life. Though it will make your reality that little bit bleaker as your bank account is emptied due to your new collection of cards and figures… swings and roundabouts they say.
The new update is free for everyone who already owns New Leaf, and included with every new copy of the game released since the end of November. Look out for the words’ Welcome amiibo’ on the box if you have a hatred for downloadable updates. Some people throw up at the sight of an update screen, it’s an undocumented phobia.
The biggest inclusion in the update is new campsite, which holds up to two RVs a day, containing new animals and items. Other new features include the ability to hoard more items with a secret storage compartment, touch screen controls to rearrange furniture (last seen in Happy Home Designer), two working game consoles, daily missions which offer up MEOW coupons as rewards, and the ability to sit on rocks. Phew, that’s a lot for nothing, though of course there is a lot more available for those who pay something…
amiibo Town Infestation
The new campsite is the main addition, and the one which many will find slightly disappointing if they don’t own any amiibo. Each day a new RV appears at Harvey the hippy dog’s campsite for players to check out, and items can be ordered with the new MEOW coupons. For those with amiibo, there are fifty new animals that can come over and visit (summoned by the players pet ghost. It makes sense to me), plus the likes of Isabelle and Tom Nook can also take a brief vacation if you have their amiibo figure. Who knew everyone owned RV’s in Animal Crossing?
Non-amiibo owners are stuck with the event animals, such as the raver, Pave the peacock, and Zipper T. Bunny, who might not be an actual Easter bunny. It does offer the chance to obtain the special seasonal furniture all year round however, which is great for those who aren’t committed enough to play every single day. You can’t skip a day or two in life, so what makes you think it’s okay to do so in Animal Crossing? You can have your RV’s.
That’s still seventy-two Animal Crossing characters (50 cards in series five, six Sanrio cards, sixteen Animal Crossing figures), three Splatoon characters, and four The Legend of Zelda characters that are unavailable without cards and plastic. They are probably the main reason why the update is free and even exists in the first place, though it’s still a shame to see that empty RV spot each day. Free is a word thrown about so freely, such is life, real or virtual.
Another feature the amiibo-less miss out on is the ability to invite any villager to your town. Before the Welcome amiibo cards came to town, Happy Home Designer had 400 of its own to collect, and these can be used to evict the jerks and bring in the quirks of Camofrog, Ribbot, or any other frog you want. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a frog, go wild! I just really like frogs.
Virtual Games in a Virtual World
Then we have the 3DS and Wii U systems, which unlock two fully functioning games, harking back to the days of Animal Crossing on the Gamecube, with it’s unlockable NES games.
With the 3DS, you can enjoy the classic block matching puzzler, Puzzle League, which has all the features one would expect from a full priced version of the game, from story mode to endless. Puzzle League just so happens to be one of the best puzzle games on the planet, and the first time Nintendo has dug the game out on the 3DS. Swipes blocks left and right to match them up so they vanish from existence, it’s the best sort of cleaning there is.
The Wii U brings over the best bit of amiibo Festival, Desert Island Escape, without having to play said game. It’s a turn based strategy game which involves moving around an island over the course of a week with three unfortunate animals, in hopes of finding the parts to make an escape raft, or die trying! Animals have different abilities, so finding the best combination is the key to survival, so let’s hope your residents are a varied bunch, or you can just cheat a bit by rummaging through your amiibo card collection. Anyone can play these games, though these items only seem to crop up in certain amiibo characters RV’s, so good luck, I guess.
Other features aren’t as exclusive though, with the new daily missions providing structure for those who feel like they’ve done everything in their cosy little town. The missions can be as simple as catching a certain fish, or sending an envelope of cash to your future self, but they feel new when you’re earning MEOW coupons to purchase new furniture.
The ability to design home interiors with the touch screen also puts a twist on a familiar action, it just removes the need to push each piece individually with your own hands. If only we could do that in reality!
Amiibo or no amiibo, this update welcomes all, though not as equals. The world runs on money and plastic unfortunately… If you have it, prepare for some virtual V.I.P treatment.