Culture Feature

Raymond the Smug Cat and the Dark Underbelly of "Animal Crossing"

Raymond's popularity sheds light on a bizarre underside of the Animal Crossing fandom.

Nintendo

Raymond is a smug cat who highlights his heterochromatic eyes with hipster glasses.

He is essentially the same exact character as every other Animal Crossing villager with a "Smug" personality type, but again, and this is very important, Raymond is a cat with heterochromatic eyes and hipster glasses. As such, he has completely broken the Animal Crossing community.

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AOC, champion of the people and my personal president, is now visiting people's islands on Animal Crossing.

That's during her spare time when she's not fighting tooth and nail for her constituents, either by literally delivering food to people in the rain or by being the one sole naysayer to a bill that would pour funds into the hands of businesses while failing to cancel rent that many people simply cannot pay.

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If you're like many people (at least those with a Nintendo Switch) "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" has pretty much replaced your real life.

Between the ability to terraform your island and visit friends, there is no question this is the best Animal Crossing game yet. But to make the most of your new tropical home, you need Bells (the form of currency in Animal Crossing) and lots of them. As your island grows, items worth having become more and more expensive, and various improvements—including house expansions—begin to cost thousands of bells. While you're sure to know all the obvious ways to make bells (selling fruit, fish, and bugs), there are some quick and easy ways to make a lot of bells at once that you may not know about.

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CULTURE

Leif and Redd Bring High Culture to "Animal Crossing: New Horizons"

The latest Animal Crossing update is both expansive and free.

Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a gift that keeps on giving.

In the latest free update, two fan-favorite shopkeepers return: Leif and Redd.

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Culture Feature

Is It Possible to Defeat Tom Nook?

How do you defeat an invincible tanuki?

Nintendo

Final Fantasy VII would never have resonated so strongly if not for the murderous furor of Sephiroth, the silver-maned, bishōnen swordsman.

What type of adventures could Link have without the likes of Ganon to stand in his way? Who would Mario even be without Bowser?

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Culture Feature

Terraforming Changes How We Experience "Animal Crossing"

Can perfection and relaxation go hand-in-hand?

Nintendo

The experience of playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't just different from previous franchise entries due to the vicarious nature of living in a happy world during real-life quarantine.

The in-game mechanics are different, too, and I'm not convinced it's entirely for the better.

Of course I'm talking about terraforming—undoubtedly the biggest and most anticipated alteration to gameplay since the franchise's debut in 2001. In every prior Animal Crossing entry, the town that generated at the start of your game was the town you were stuck with. 2012's New Leaf gave players the freedom to determine where their house would be located, but that was the extent of town customization options.

Animal Crossing Terraforming Nintendo

Now, with terraforming, players can shape their Animal Crossing landscape however they see fit. Rivers and hills can be created and destroyed at will. Buildings can be relocated again and again and again. Save for two river mouths and the location of the airport and town center (all of which players select at the beginning of the game), any piece of land can be changed. This, in essence, turns your player into an Animal Crossing god, of sorts.

Admittedly, it's a bit silly to rail against such a well-implemented customization option that, on top of offering a feature that Animal Crossing players have been wanting for decades, is also extremely fun to use. At the same time, omnipotent power is a major diversion from the traditional Animal Crossing experience.

Animal Crossing is an incredibly personal game in the sense that every town is unique and almost every goal in the game is self-made. As such, no two players will have the same Animal Crossing experience. Some people might prioritize tending a perfect garden or decorating an ideal bedroom, while others might focus on completing item inventories or making custom outfits. But the one aspect that remained consistent across every prior Animal Crossing game was the feeling that you had moved into a pre-existing world.

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