The Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer Turnabout Success

Animal Crossing is a series of games known for disregarding many of the established criteria in video games. This series has no particular ending, set objective (aside from whatever you choose to pursue), or even antagonist (unless you count Tom Nook, but according to some he is only severely misunderstood). I had my start on this series back in 2002 when Animal Crossing: Population Growing released on the Gamecube during September, and needless to say I was hooked. The freedom I enjoyed in this game was different to the one experienced in many games before Animal Crossing had existed, but that gave it a very unique feeling. Of course, as with many other gamers who purchased the game, I had my doubts on whether this quirky Japanese title would sell enough copies to warrant a continuation of the series. This fear was justified by the fact that this was the year when Vice City became the top dog in gaming.

Violent games were everywhere during that generation of games, and then there was Animal Crossing. An adorable game where you fished, caught insects, collected fossils, mailed letters to your animal friends, spoke to those same animal friends, and in general just spent time getting chased by bees while trying to make money for your house. The series defied those concerns by actually becoming one of the Gamecube’s system top sellers. Animal Crossing actually sold nearly 2 million copies, and ensured itself a healthy string of sequels which continue to this day. But, fears arose during this years E3 presentation when it was announced that 2 games in the animal crossing series were coming out, and neither were the much hoped for New Leaf version for the Wii U. Instead, gamers received the announcement of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, and Amiibo Festival which (perhaps due to the underwhelming reaction of the overall E3 presentation) were met with mixed reactions. A lot of fans of the series were not sure what to make of the game, and the other half were frankly pretty excited. However, once again Animal Crossing shows us how it is truly the Rocky Balboa of gaming by managing to once again beat all odds with AC:HHD.

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer has been out in Japan for almost 2 months and has already sold 1.2 million copies in that country. I will be the first to admit that if you read one of my first articles in this blog regarding the E3 presentation; you will notice that I had very little (if none at all) faith in this game. Yet, I have been pleasantly surprised by the success and positive reactions that the gaming community in Japan has had to this new itineration  in the Animal Crossing series.  It is amazing to see the weight that this series now carries in the video game world, and Animal Crossing has literally carved its own niche in the gaming world through sheer willpower. Nintendo was right in placing their bets on this series (something very surprising considering the rate of games that never leave Japan). But, does this mean that I changed my mind/opinion in regards to Happy Home Designer? Not at all actually, quite the opposite.

I will not buy Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer when it releases tomorrow, nor am I excited at all for this game. I do have some newfound respect for the IP in general, but reading some of the reviews and seeing the trailers pretty much confirmed that this game is not the Animal Crossing for me. I admit that it has defied my expectations and will probably sell a decent if not vast amount of copies when it is released on the west, but if I wanted to design homes for other creatures to live with then Sims 3 or 4 will provide much more freedom in this regard. Simply put, while the Animal Crossing main series has carved its own special place in the gaming world due to its particular premise, games like Happy Home Designer don’t feel as unique for me. I have been playing simulations for years and as such The Sims series has been my go to place for this type of genre (the designing and building type of game). I’ll be missing out for sure, but don’t worry about me at all.

I’ll be right here raising a glass for those comrades who are at home enjoying their copies, decorating their villagers houses, and torturing the ones they don’t like. I am proud to congratulate Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer in its achievements, and will apologize for doubting its namesake. I’m going to sit back and wait for the next game in the main series until then; though I should have known better than to doubt the power of AC (get it?).  Nintendo, you might screw things up as much as you achieve success, but you have defied my expectations once more, and Iwata I hope you are resting in peace (I know it took me a while to say my good-bye).

AnimalCrossing_HappyHomeDJapan3DS

P.S.

I had to say this game really surprised me. I’m happy to see the ability that Animal Crossing has to bring gamers together and despite not partaking in this game it’s a good thing to see spin-offs that aren’t Mario.

***Disclaimer***

Pictures belong to their respective owners and this blog is copyright to the owner.

Lawfully Conscious Animals in Skyrim and Other Fun Glitches in Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim came out nearly 4 years ago on November 2011. I was an avid player of the game and will never forget many of the truly epic moments that inhabit this game world, and I’m sure many other gamers feel the same way. It was the truly epic tale of how the Dragonborn returned to his homeland by chance, and ended up fighting Alduin the Nordic god of destruction in order to save the universe itself. Of course, no moments in Skyrim could compare to the fun that was possible in part thanks to all of the glitches I encountered or accidentally triggered due to experimentation.  One of the best ones of course being the animals in Skyrim being able to report your crimes, and as a noble rogue this was of course quite the issue when  trying to rob every one of their valuables.

Yes, you’ve heard me right now most players actually encountered this glitch fairly quickly as nobody could understand why their bounty was increasing exponentially despite the fact that there were no human witnesses around. This was especially egregious when my particular encounter with this glitch was actually transforming into a werewolf in front of a horse that proceeded to report my crime to the nearest guards and suddenly I was now a wanted man. Now, I want to mention that there is no in-game explanation as to why this happens and it is strictly an issue with the engine utilized for the game. But, as with most things gamers create a lore behind any subject to explain almost every illogical event. I have heard everything from clerics doing divination to monks using clairvoyance on the minds of animals (this raises multiple other questions such as why would they do this on a regular basis?), but my favorite one will always be the idea that every keep has at least one guard who is fluent in animalese (the language popularized by the series Animal Crossing). This might appear far-fetched at first, however we must keep in mind that Skyrim has a Wizard’s College in Winterhold that while never specifically mentioned by the guards as having attended it is my suspicion that this is because the college has a stigma attached (and nords are naturally suspicious of magic). It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the college indeed taught the language of animals with guards learning it to boost their chances of getting hired. Now can anyone imagine how those conversations would go?

Horse: I’ve just seen a man transform into a beast right before my eyes!

Guards: Can you describe the perpetrator?

Horse: *Proceeds to give an accurate description of a man down to the minute details*

*** A few days later***

Guards to PC: “Wait… I know you.” (these words are very familiar to everyone who played this game)

The second glitch I encountered in Skyrim had to do with a man who transformed into a werewolf during the quest: Ill Met by the Moonlight, since I was an avid bow user with a minors in daggers it was almost a no-brainer that I would use arrows to solve most of my problems. When you’re doing this quest there is a part where you go visit a man in jail who transforms into a werewolf and escapes by climbing out (you can see it here). But, for me this didn’t trigger so in my utter confusion I proceeded to kill the thing by slowly whittling away its health an arrow at a time (this was made possible by the fact that I had stolen half of Skyrim’s arrow supply from every guard in the keeps I had visited). By the time I had finished the werewolf looked like a more beastly version of pinhead. Now, you might be thinking “didn’t this break the quest?”, and to that I will say no. It did not break the quest at all and in fact the quest was further broken by the fact that when I arrived there the wolf was already fighting the hunters sent to kill it. I became even more confused and started attacking the hunters because of the disorienting effect of having killed the wolf beforehand. When I killed the hunters the quest was completed and I left to receive my reward. But, I didn’t stop there because the cave called for me and inside was the wolf which was then killed (again), and the quest gave me the second reward as well! You’re hearing right folks, days after the game came out I had accidentally discovered one of the most notoriously beneficial exploits in the game without any input from the internet. I wasn’t the one who reported it first and that credit goes to whoever was smart enough to let the internet know of it, but I’ll always remember discovering this glitch before most people, and being impressed that they didn’t patch it out to this day (I went and repeated it in my last play through) (the wolf did leave the prison so at least that was fixed).

The third glitch explored during my original session came in the form of horses being able to climb close to 90 degree angles in the mountains because logic…Skyrim Physics horse

Everyone who played Skyrim will remember this glitch fondly for the unnecessary amounts of deaths and laughs that were had by jumping off a cliff and letting the horse hit the ground only to allow your survival. The horses would literally cushion your fall and prevent you from dying depending on the height. The physics in the game made this hilarious to observe and while it might have been a bit cruel, those were the best 1000 coins spent in the game ever. Rest in peace horse, I never did name you…

The fourth glitch i encountered came in the form of giants, now for anyone who knows enough of the game nothing more would need to be said. I traveled all the way to my first giants camp and was confused by the optical illusion caused by the distance which made the enemy look unusually small. I should have realized that anything that looks my size at that distance was unusually tall because the floor was shaking when he approached. I wasn’t fast or smart enough to avoid this from happening to my character. The best part came from the fact that I had not saved for a while before this happened, and lost quite a bit of progress since all I was doing was exploring the outside world (Thankfully the auto save mitigated some of the loss). Now for your enjoyment here is a clip of what happened to another guy similar to me.

The second to last glitch that was found during my exploration of Skyrim came in the form a dragon who flew backwards, and while this dragon flew backwards it’s health was also extremely quick at recovering once it died. This meant that if you managed to kill the dragon it would heal completely thus rendering it completely immune to death while your arrow/potion count went down drastically. Yes, in Skyrim you could encounter the “backwards flying dragon” a demonic entity whose sole purpose in life was to try to kill you without any means of defending yourself.  It was a bit hilarious in hindsight because all of my friends tried killing it too and nobody could figure out what to do in order to beat it during that time. We eventually gave up and kept on with our journeys, except for me because the glitch finding became too much after I encountered one final bug.

For visual reference take a look at this video:

This final bug was one from the quest titled : Blood on the Ice. A quest so infamously glitched beyond belief that anything could pretty much render it impossible. I don’t know what I did wrong, but I suspect that it never triggered because I went into a place that required a level 100 lock-picking skill to enter and raided the store of the guilty party. This meant that I had unknowingly solved the quest before it even started thus it never triggered for me. This had a lot of repercussions though because I couldn’t finish the quest that meant the title of thane of the keep was unobtainable. This also meant that I wouldn’t be able to own the house in Windhelm and some of the achievements were now out of my reach. I just gave up, the game had beaten me almost as badly as I had broken some of its quests. I couldn’t take it anymore and stopped playing altogether.I hate to say it, but:

I used to play Skyrim until an arrow glitched into my knee…

Skyrim will always hold a dear place in many gamers hearts. It was an epic game that came out with a lot of glitches which made the adventure that much more fun. But, sometimes enough is enough and there will be blood on the metaphorical ice. I placed down my copy of Skyrim and did not play again until 2014 in which I got all of the achievements for the base game and the first expansion. This time I did kill the BFD and completed Blood on the Ice thanks to the modding community and their fan-patch. They are the real MVP of this game.

Here is a compilation of several glitches in Skyrim that I did not find myself, but still deserve recognition.

**I wrote this article while getting over a serious writers block, sorry I haven’t been actively posting in here, and it’s due to all of the changes that are going on in my life at the moment only a little bit further until I am in a new place and command. Hopefully when I finally settle in I can get back to writing more regularly**

***Disclaimer***

I do not own the pictures or the videos on this article they belong to their respective owners. I am only the owner of the blog.