Real Talk: The gamer dad with a new Nintendo Switch (and Animal Crossing)

So here I was, all ready to do a ton of posts on KNN…and then my wife surprises me with a Nintendo Switch. Oh. And Animal Crossing.

This post will clearly be a Real Talk type story. We can call it a review of a device (the Switch) that came out a couple of years ago and another review of a game that has been out for months…Animal Crossing.

How did this start?

I’ve always been a casual hard-core gamer. What does that even mean? I don’t get into online stuff…but I love deep and violent games. Red Dead Redemption 2, Fallout, Assassin’s Creed…things like that.

I have always had a love for city and world builder games. I love (d, before EA screwed it up) Sim City, Cities Skylines, and the Civilization games.

My mother and law bought a Switch for herself a few months ago and got super into Animal Crossing. How into it? She bought one for my wife so they could play together. Ami was so into it, so she bought me one so we could play together. That is likely where the gifting of $200 video game consoles will end, so please don’t ask.

Animal Crossing has been around in our house before, a few years back. On the Nintendo 3DS we both played New Leaf. It was fun, but we stopped playing over the anxiety of not visiting our towns for a few weeks.

A super romantic COVID-19 era date with my wife.

The Switch

I’ve never seriously considered getting a Switch. There’s been a handful of games I’ve wanted to play, but I never really thought about it. I’ve been a PlayStation 4 guy for years, and before that, an XBox 360.

There’s one big thing the Switch has that I have wanted – the ability to not play on a TV. Ami and I both have our own Switch Lites. The Lite is $100 less than the standard Switch, but it can’t plug into the TV. It is a handheld console only. That might be one of the biggest sells for me.

With a kid and a job that keeps me busy, having something I can lay in bed and play at night is the best thing ever. The controls are great, the screen is a great size. I literally have no complaints about not being able to hook it up through the TV.

There are a ton of reviews out there for this thing, but if you are a parent that likes video games, a Switch Lite is a must.

How does Animal Crossing translate for a person that loves M rates games?

So, after experiencing some just…really violent stuff in video games, seeing this screen when I entered the settings was a little off-putting.

Get out of my face Tom. I am allowed to buy beer and rent a car.

Yes, the game is a little childish looking on the surface. You are running around with cutesy animals, crafting stuff on a log, and searching for seashells. I mean, it sounds like 2nd grade. But here’s the thing…it is much more than that. Yes, all of those things are still there, but it gives you a creative outlet with limitations. Limitations can be a good thing sometimes.

When you enter an open-world game or even a game like Cities Skyline, the world is huge. You don’t know where to go first, so you explore…and explore…and die…and do it again. It is fun, don’t get me wrong…but Animal Crossing will take that pressure off, while still giving you a creative outlet.

I didn’t know if there would be zombies.

You can go crazy and build a mega-village (is that a thing? I think I just made that up) or just live in a sleepy little town with a loan shark raccoon.

If you ignore a villager in your town for a week, it’s cool. They will ask if you want them to move out. If you tell them to stay you are best buds again, and you will likely receive a polo shirt from a hamster.

It’s also a game I can experience with my son. That says something. 99.8 percent of my games, he can’t watch me play. Animal Crossing, he wants to watch. He wants to see ‘Mini Mommy’ or Mini Daddy’ running around. He also wants us to cut down all of our trees…so no.

Conclusion

If you can get over the fact that yes, kids play these games, you can have a lot of fun with a Switch and Animal Crossing. Go pick one up!

This year has been…should I stay PG, yeah, I’ll stay PG…this year has been poop for a lot of people. A game like Animal Crossing can help. You are in a little stress free world, and you are super important in that world.

No, I did not proofread this post. It is almost 1 am, and I need more bells before turnip sales in the morning.

Oh, and if you want to visit Alex Hills, my friend code is 3558-3643-0310. Look me up!

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