iOS Love…

Today I decided to show my iOS games some love! I have many games downloaded onto my iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch (which I can’t find right now…ugh!!) and I have a tendency to play games on them for an extended period, then not play them at all for awhile! One game I love to play during the holiday season is Christmas Sweeper. Christmas Sweeper is a fun match-type game that resembles Candy Crush. The difference is, of course, everything is holiday themed! From the little tiles that you are matching to the cheerful Christmas music, this game always gets me into the holiday spirit.

level3
Clear all the black bricks to win!

Although I have beaten several of the levels, I decided to start with Level 1. It’s a new year, after all! The goal of the game is to clear all of the “black bricks” (they look like little blobs of chocolate to me) by matching 3 or more Christmas-themed tiles. The game starts off easy enough, but soon starts to present several challenges!

level6
It’s fun to match Christmas-themed tiles. 

As you can see in the screenshot above, sometimes you need to hit the black bricks more than once to make them disappear.

As you progress through the game, sometimes you will find that tiles are chained up! This can be quite tricky, as you need to line up similar tiles to unlock it, then line up tiles again to clear it!

level8
Things can get tricky!

You either earn 1, 2 or 3 stars on each level. The timer bar runs behind the stars and tells you how many stars you are earning. I’m assuming that when the timer runs out, you fail the level- I just haven’t encountered that yet! Yep, I’m that good LOL. There are several power ups to assist you, including a bomb and a firework.

Right now, I’m on Level 12. There are 150 levels in this game, so I’m sure the levels will really start to get challenging later on. Christmas Sweeper is a fun game you can play in short spurts, and you can download it for free on your Apple or Android device! You can pay to remove the ads, but they don’t really bother me enough to do so.

That’s it for tonight, everyone! See ya!

An Animal Crossing Kind Of Day…

I was feeling a bit under the weather today, so naturally I turned to video games as my source of entertainment to keep my mind off of how crappy I was feeling! First up, I played Animal Crossing: Wild World!

When I first started playing, I avoided the dreaded “insurance salesman”…

avoidlyle
Get lost, Lyle! I already bought your damn insurance!

I shook a space station out of a tree…

spacestationsilly
How is a space station hidden in a tree? Only the Animal Crossing gods can say for sure…

And Octavian gave me some great insight!

octavianadvice
Hmmm, interesting… and completely true!

I also meet a new villager in my town, Bree the mouse!

meetbree
Nice to meet you, Bree! 

Of course, since I was shaking trees, I got stung by bees several times. Kabuki not-so-kindly told me how terrible I looked.

kabuki1
YOU’RE offensive!

After insulting me, he had the nerve to ask me if I could find him some green furniture! I knew I shouldn’t do him any favors, but Nookington’s just HAPPENED to have a froggy chair, so I begrudgingly went and bought it for him. To my surprise, he had this to say to me:

So for now, all is forgiven. Just don’t insult me any more, pal!

As I was doing some fishing, Octavian caught my attention. Apparently, he was very happy that he came up with a new nickname for me.

octavianhappy
His facial expression is too adorable!

I took a break for a bit, then came back after 8 p.m. to catch a song by K.K. Slider.

senorkk
Not one of my favorite songs, but I still needed it for my collection, so thanks!

After I wrapped up my day in Wild World, I decided to move on to Doubutsu no Mori. It was snowing yet again, and I had 3 pieces of mail to sort through! The first two were from the Farway Museum, telling me they had identified an Apatosaurus head and a Triceratops body. That should fetch me some nice cash! The third was my first letter from the Happy Room Academy, telling me my house was too small and narrow and that you could get injured if furniture isn’t used properly. What gives?!

hhafirsteval
Why don’t you people buy me a bigger house then!

Ignoring that rude letter, I went to Tanukichi’s shop. He had two tools today! One was a net, which I immediately bought. The second was… a shovel. ENOUGH WITH THE SHOVELS! He also tried to sell me some nasty wallpaper, but I wasn’t buying!

Since I was out and about, I stopped by the train station to hear Totakeke play his music.

kketude
My first song in Doubutsu no Mori- K.K. Etude!

Since I don’t have a radio yet, I can’t play his music in my house. I just stored it in my dresser for now.

I also noticed that I had a new villager on my map, so I ran to her house to meet her! This is Kizzu (Astrid). She is very colorful!

kids
Her name translates to “Kids”. Maybe because of the baby head sticking out of her pouch?

I collected some fruit, ran by the dump and police station, and headed back to Tanukichi’s shop to sell my goods. By the time I sold my fossils and other random items, I had enough Bells to pay off my first house loan! Excited, I ran to the post office and made my payment.

Afterwards, I went back to Tanukichi, who thanked me for my timely loan payment. He suggested we upgrade my house since mine is a little on the small side, and he allowed me to choose my roof color.

roofcoloroptions
Here, I am telling him I want my roof to be black.

I’ll find out how much debt I have now once the expansion is complete! It should be done tomorrow.

Finally, I decided to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. I love this game, but I haven’t shown it any love lately. =( I blame the fact that I am trying to pay off my houses in the other Animal Crossing games, plus the fact that I’ve been bouncing back and forth between a few other games. Anyway, a couple weekends ago I took my 3DS with me to Best Buy and I knew I had received some StreetPasses, which meant I had new homes in my Happy Home Showcase to browse. That was my main reason for loading up my game and playing tonight.

When I first came out of my house, I almost felt disoriented! I hadn’t played this game in so long, I kind of forgot what I was doing.

thebeastemerges
Look at that bedhead! How long was I asleep?!

I ran into some of my villagers, who confirmed I had been gone for a long time indeed.

kattrumors
What kind of rumors, Katt?! Tell me now!

Why does it seem like longer than 4 months? I went into my house, which was decorated for Christmas… wow. These decorations are from LAST CHRISTMAS. At least I’m ready to go this season!

I felt guilty, so I walked around and talked to everyone I could find. I didn’t fix my bedhead, though. I had better things to do!

I headed up to the HHS, and Digby brought me in. I had 6 new houses to peruse, which was pretty cool! I even received a balloon from a person I had previously StreetPassed, and I saw an updated version of his home.

happyhomenew
It’s always nice to see how other people decorate their homes!

Afterwards, I decided to catch a song by K.K. Slider, as I had done in my other games. In a moment of total dumbassery, I completely forgot where I could find him! It took me a couple minutes to realize he was in Club LOL. Whew! Thought I was losing my mind there for a minute.

kkjongara
Uggh…. I’ve never heard this song before, and I DID NOT like it!

I was just about done playing, but I spotted Leif the Sloth sleeping behind a tree.

leifasleep
Wake up, sleepyhead!

I then saved and exited the game, only to find out I had a notification! Why didn’t that load when I first played? I loaded the game up again and got a letter delivered to me by Pete, and look who was sleeping a little closer to my house!!

peteandleif
Silly sloth!

With that, I wrapped up my game playing for the night. See ya!!

Catching Up!

It’s been a busy few days here, with yesterday being Thanksgiving and all. Hope all my U.S. friends had a great one!

With that being said, I played Doubutsu no Mori a couple days ago and didn’t write about it. Here’s what went on that day:

First of all, when I loaded my game and stepped out of my house, I was delighted to find out that is was snowing! This is the first time it has snowed in this game for me, so I was very excited! If this game follows the format of the other games, snow will cover the ground in early December. I paused in a couple locations to enjoy the snowfall and peaceful music for a moment before carrying on with my day.

My main goal for playing was to buy whatever tool Tanukichi had stocked, since I don’t have ANY! Turns out he had a shovel, so I sold some shells and fruit I had gathered so I could buy it from him.

multiplesale
Come on, give me a good deal! I need the money!

Selling the items in your pockets differs in this game compared to all the others. The major bummer is the fact that you cannot select multiple items at once- you are forced to click on them one by one! This is kind of a pain, especially if you have full pockets! One thing does that does make it tolerable, however, is that if you have multiple of the same item (say, 5 peaches) Tanukichi will ask if you want to sell all of them. See my picture above for an example- there, I had 3 of the same item, so he purchased them all at once.

After buying my shovel, I ran around town, hitting rocks and seeing if I could dig up some fossils! I found my first fossil pretty quickly.

I wasn’t sure what to do with the fossil yet. I had some paper, but the museum was not listed as one of my contacts. When I showed it to Tanukichi, he said he couldn’t buy it, but he would gladly take it off my hands anyway. No way, cheapskate! I decided to hang on to the fossil a little while longer.

I was walking along the shoreline collecting seashells, when I discovered a passed out seagull that could only be Joni (Gulliver)! I spoke with him, and he was telling me a story of being with some Americans telling jokes. At the end of our conversation, he gave me a present and then told me good bye in English! I was surprised to see that. He must have picked up some English words while traveling the world! =)

I was about to head to my house to save for the night, but as I was running home, something caught my eye. It turned out to be Hakkemi’s (Katrina’s) tent! I decided to get my fortune read by her… but it really didn’t make any sense at all. Sometimes she actually tells you something of value, but tonight it just seemed to be all randomized. I want my 50 Bells back!

I picked up a few “lost items” from the police station, then headed to my house. Turns out one of the things I picked up was a Famicom with Balloon Fight in it. Awesome! It was tough to collect all the NES games in Animal Crossing, so I am thrilled to have scored one so early in this game!

myroom
Awesome! My first Famicom game!

Today, I was busy decorating for Christmas with my husband, but I did play Doubutsu no Mori for a few minutes. It was snowing yet again, which I was very happy about!

My happiness lasted until I went into Tanukichi’s store, where I discovered he was selling a shovel. Again. Come on man, I already have one of those! I need a fishing rod so I can start making more money! Haha. Ah well, maybe tomorrow.

Since I still can’t fish, I ran around looking for the money rock, I shook fruit off some trees, and I also found a shiny spot that produced 1000 Bells when I dug it up!

I also received a letter from the Farway Museum, telling me to send in my fossils for identification.

farwayletter
Now I can make money with fossils too!

I had a couple fossils in my pocket, so I immediately sent them in.

identifyit
Is this too bossy? Something tells me they won’t really care…

After scavenging the dump and police station for random items to sell, I paused by my waterfall to admire the nighttime scene for a moment.

waterfall
So pretty!

I then went to my house and saved my game for the day. Good night everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing Jobs For Tanukichi!

I’ve been sort of busy the past couple days, and I haven’t had the chance to play Doubutsu no Mori. This was bothering me, because I really wanted to finish the jobs I had started for Tanukichi so that I could freely wander around my village and earn money as I saw fit. I just had a few more odd jobs to do, so I booted the game up tonight and got to work!

I left off on needing to ask a villager if they needed help, so I started running around to find someone. I immediately ran into a cute, pink alligator that I had not met before. Someone new had already moved in, which I thought was really neat! I’m not sure how many total villagers can be in your town at once, but I’m anxious to find out!

meetstrawberry
Her name is Sutoroberi, which translates to Strawberry! Cute! Her name in Animal Crossing is Liz. 

After a brief welcome chat with Sutoroberi, I finished up my odd jobs for Tanukichi. These jobs included running and errand for Tama (Purrl) and delivering an axe to Hyakupa (Tangy).

My final job was to post an advertisement for Nook’s Cranny on the town bulletin board. Hope they can read a little English! =) After I was through with that, I headed over to Tanukichi, who excitedly told me I was through with my part time work. He then quickly told me how much I still owed on my house, but that I could take my time paying it off. Wow, aren’t  you sweet?!

moneyowed
Is it just me, or does he look extremely shifty in this screenshot?

He then practically kicked me out of his store because it was after hours, and I did my little happy dance, because I was free!

Now that I was done working my part time job, the game started “for real.” When you are working, Tanukichi keeps his store open open, and all the villagers are awake and stay in the acre their house is in, no matter what time of day you play. Once you are done with your job, however, life in your village revolves around real time… which is why the shop was closed and I wasn’t able to purchase any tools!

tomnookshopclosed
Since I was already standing in there, couldn’t you have at least let me buy the shovel you had for sale? 

Since there wasn’t much else I could do for the night, I walked around and picked a couple weeds and woke up a few of my sleeping villagers so they could go back in their houses. I then took a nighttime stroll along the beach and filled my pockets with shells to sell to Tanukichi tomorrow.

beachwalk
The beach is always a great place to hang out, day or night! 

Afterwards, I went to my house and saved my game for the night. Can’t wait to play more tomorrow and start paying off my debt! Good night!

 

 

Starting My Own Village!

Last night, I played through the saved file on Doubutsu no Mori one last time, taking notes on the dialogue and running around chatting with the villagers. I went in a few of their houses, just for a quick look.

weirdroom
Um, this room is…interesting?

I came across a whole group of villagers who were all bummed out at the same time. Wonder what their problem was?

animalsallsad
Maybe they are sad because they know I’m about to demolish the town they’ve been living in for almost 15 years! =(

Once I felt I had taken enough notes, I went ahead and went to the title menu and selected the option to demolish the town. There’s no going back now!

sadalligator
She is really bummed that about my decision. Maybe we’ll meet again, don’t worry!

The town was erased, and the title screen booted back up. This time, when I pressed start, I was greeted by Totakeke, who told me how it’s cool to be on your own, but life is also better with friends. Right on, dude!

totakeke
He’s one cool dog.

After chatting with Totakeke, I began my train ride to my new village. A cat (we know him as Rover) started chatting me up, asking me tons of questions about what my name was, where I was going, if I had any money, etc. I was being nice, but I was ready for him to be quiet so I could get on with my new life!

rover
His name roughly translates to “strange cat”… yeah, you got that right! What are you laughing at, pal?!

Finally, I arrived at my destination! I was immediately greeted by Tanukichi, or Tom Nook as we call him. I had barely taken two steps off the train, and now he was pushing me to buy a house! Geez, so pushy!

tomnook
He’s bummed that I’m not picking this one. Hey, don’t rush me! I like to check everything out before I make my final decision on where to live!

After checking out all four homes, I decided on the one in the upper left corner. Why? Because when I played the village that was saved on this game, the character I played with came out of this house. So I guess you can say she sort of lives on in a way =)

myhouse
Me and my new house. Cozy!

Tanukichi, immediately wanted payment, and I barely had any bells to give him. He’s a reasonable raccoon, though, so he offered to give me some part time jobs at his shop. After a quick check of the map, I headed to his shop to begin paying my debt.

townmap
Weezey Village’s Town layout. Actually, it’s pretty sweet. 

I did a couple quick jobs for him, then he told me to go meet all of my new neighbors. You start the game out with six villagers, and I’m pretty happy with who I started out with.

I did one more quick job for Tanukichi, then decided to call it a night. I’m a little slower playing this game because I am using prior Animal Crossing knowledge and a translator to get through it. I’m having a blast, though! I’ll leave you with one last picture: my village has a cool little island with two connecting bridges. It’s really neat looking!

coolisland
I’ve never had this in any of my other games, so I’m pleased to see it this time around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The iQue Player… How Have I Never Heard Of This?!

While doing some research on Doubutsu no Mori, I came across a nice little post on The Bell Tree Forums entitled “A Guide to: ALL Animal Crossing Games EVER.” Please click here to check it out, it’s very informative! Anyway, I started reading and was of course familiar with every iteration of Animal Crossing until I came across “Doubutsu no Mori: iQue.” What? How had I never heard of this before? I read what the author had written on it, and I became intrigued. I decided to dig a little deeper and see what I could learn about the iQue player!

iqueplayer
The iQue Player was only released in China. 

 

Apparently, the iQue Player was released in China in 2003 as a collaboration between Nintendo and a Chinese-American scientist. In 2000, China banned home video game consoles, fearing they had a negative effect on the mental and physical development of children. PC games were still allowed, however! (By the way, China just recently lifted that ban- awesome news for gamers over there!) As you can imagine, because of the ban, there was a booming black market for video games.

This is where the iQue Player comes in. It looks sort of like a number of Plug and Play devices you can buy that have a bunch of games on them- and in fact, that’s sort of what the idea was with it. The console itself plugs directly into the television, and games were downloaded to a flash card. This was a loophole that allowed Nintendo to skirt around both the ban and the black market.

iquedepot
Gamers playing the iQue.

 

Originally, owners had to go to an iQue Depot to download their games, but later, Fugue Online was released. This allowed users to download games at home. All in all, only 14 games were released for the system, and they were all Nintendo 64 games. These games included Super Mario 64, Dr. Mario 64, and Yoshi’s Story. In 2006, the last game was released, and that game was… you guessed it, Doubutsu no Mori!

doubutsunomoriique
Pretty cool! 

It has been so interesting learning about a gaming system that I never even knew existed. A quick search for the iQue Player on Amazon gave me only one hit back, and it was pretty expensive, so it’s not something that’s widely available. It is set up to work on NTSC televisions though, which means it would work on my TV if I were ever able to purchase one! Downloading the games themselves might be a different story, unless I was somehow able to purchase a system with some games already downloaded onto the flash card. Games only work with the iQue player that they were first downloaded for, though, so no buying “used” flash cards with games on them! Still, it would be neat to own this system!

 

 

First Impressions: Doubutsu no Mori!

So yesterday after receiving and confirming that my most coveted Nintendo 64 game, Doubutsu no Mori (Animal Forest) was in working order, I decided to play for a little while! I was greeted with a cheerful title screen:

startscreen
Press Start Button! 2001 Nintendo! I can read that!

The welcome screen then appeared- this is where a villager from your town appears, says the time and date, and asks if you are ready to play. I was greeted for the first time by a hippo!

start
Oh man…. learning Japanese is going to be tough!

I thought about it, and I decided it would be best if I played the game that was already saved on the cart. That way, I could familiarize myself with the controls, the dialogue, and just get a general feel for the game. I selected the first name on the list, and I was ready to go!

firstlooks
This female character walked out of her house wearing a skull shirt- she and I would be friends for sure!

Like all of the other Animal Crossing games, I popped out of my house. I immediately felt like I was playing the Gamecube version of Animal Crossing, so that’s how I decided I was going to learn this game. I knew the two versions were pretty similar, so although I was guessing at a lot of their dialogue, I found that understanding what they were saying was not as daunting as I first imagined it to be.

famicomandroach
Cool apple tv, Famicom, and… a roach! Eww!

I peaked into each of the human players’ houses to see what they looked like. I was surprised to see that each house had one very large main room- no upstairs or basement like in Animal Crossing! I’ll miss having multiple rooms when I start my own town, but it’s not too big of a deal.

I talked to as many villagers as I could, and I’m pretty sure that one of them told me that it had been 374 months since they had seen me! Wait, what? The game has been out for 14 years, not 31! I noticed that the date was off by 13 days and the time off by about 30 minutes, but I guess I didn’t pay attention to the year at first. It was then that I realized whoever owned this game must have time traveled extensively, something I’m not very big on doing. I like to play the game “honestly” because I feel like time traveling is cheating. But if you do time travel, nothing against you! It’s just not really the way I prefer to play.

weeds
There is no way I’m going to pick all of these weeds!

I saved my game, then returned to the main menu. After a bit of trial and error, I found the option to correct the time, and I did so. Boy, was the game going to be confused!

yelloweyebrowguy
Hello, pig with yellow eyebrows!

One villager I spoke with said he hadn’t seen me in about 174 months…. that makes a bit more sense, I guess. I’m guessing that whoever owned this game played it enough to pay off their house and expand Tom Nook’s store, but didn’t really play much after that. Either that, or they never spoke to their villagers.

For awhile, I just had fun running around town trying to spot the differences between this game and Animal Crossing. One obvious cultural difference I noticed was that while the NTSC version of Animal Crossing had a wishing well, this version had a really cool shrine. I can’t wait to play through the holidays in this game and see how they differ from our holidays!

shrine
Is this shrine sarcastic like the wishing well is?

At one point, my husband was using a translator that he had on his phone, and we had a blast trying to translate everything. He took pictures of the words on the screen and the translations were sometimes pretty rough, but it actually was somewhat helpful!

I was getting ready to finish playing for the night, when I spotted a sweet dog villager (Goldie in the NTSC version, I believe) sleeping outside of her house! I woke her up, and she seemed quite embarrassed that she had fallen asleep outside.

With that, I returned to my house and saved my game for the night.

wartjr
I have this guy in my Animal Crossing town, and his name is Wart Jr.! However, his Japanese name translates to Sam! Hmm…

I think I will play the saved village for another day or two to get more acclimated to the game, then begin my own village. Thanks for reading!