Friday, November 20, 2015

A Thought to Chew: Why Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival is Mediocre

I like doing this little articles for mastication because they aren't hefty. Those lists, while great, take an exceptionally long time and I'm not even close to a point where a couple hours of work will pay off. I mean, I genuinely expected a little more than four views on my last list, while my other "A Thought to Chew" articles have fared pretty well. The last Animal Crossing one, despite a hacky otaku preach (which was tacked on there for some reason) making me want to disown it at points, has almost 100 views which, considering the small size of this blog, is actually really well.
I don't do this for views and I don't do this for money. There's no ad-support on this entire thing and there will never be. I just feel that these articles are a great way to express my opinion while serving as a reminder that yes, I am alive.
With that out of the way (I'm noticing a pattern of tacking things onto articles), let's talk about the game that nobody on the Internet seems to like.
No, it's not Ethnic Cleansing, unfortunately. It's Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, lovingly dubbed amiibo hell.
I like viewing things from a positive angle, but I feel like all of the issues with the game are worth addressing.
It's a charming game, no doubt about it. I mean, it's Animal Crossing. Who doesn't love Animal Crossing? This blog is basically becoming exclusively Animal Crossing related at this point.
The graphics are clean and fresh. However, instead of provoking awe, it just makes me genuinely want a real Animal Crossing game for the Wii U.
Unfortunately, its game play can be summarized by the loathful pun from the IGN review: "Bored" Game. Even I know that puns have limits. Still, it's pretty true. Party games are split drastically into two lines: good and bad. There's usually not much of a way to predict, but while Mario has a zany cast of strange characters, Animal Crossing doesn't have as much variety in the same sense. Yes, every character does have a memorable personality, but none of them have any semblance of individualistic traits: they're all friendly and cute. Yes, it makes the series great, but in a context such as a party game, the characters need to be fleshed out with more uniqueness.
Secondly, I'm concerned about replayability. I feel like, in general, party games are trapped as "social games": you pull 'em out for the party and when it's done, back into the dusty shelf it goes! While games like Mario Party offer hundreds of completely unique minigames and Warioware uses short snippets to keep you on your feet. Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival does not. The closest we get are some admittedly adorable little "diary entries" which, while oozing in that Animal Crossing charisma, become so frequent that they lose meaning.
In addition, it just seems to go on. Like, go on and on, forever, especially when Dr. Shrunk shows up, extending each turn to a solid 2.5 minutes long, telling one of his classically awful jokes before giving you a card and a shuffle. Again, cute but looooooong.
Lastly, the amiibo issue. I applaud that they fully utilized the amiibos for once, and making them essential to the gameplay, at the very least, gave them a purpose. Realistically, though, who's gonna use them? They're essential but there's nothing special about them. None of them have any pros or cons and serve merely as a difference in sprites which doesn't seem right.
What do I know, though, right? Opinions are, by nature, opinions. Either way, I'll just wait another few years until Animal Crossing: The Newest of Leaves comes out.

For the last article where I CREATED MY FIRST VIDEO, click here.
For the last A Thought to Chew, click here.
For the last list, click here.
For the last interview, click here.

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