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The Gamer Guy’s Guide to Manly Gaming: Animal Crossing

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chris-littlechild - June 19, 2013

Because ‘manly' doesn't always mean striding about like an emotionless renegade awesome-bot, finally learning to cry only when your ass is being lowered into the burn-y, burn-y steel (poignant thumbs up optional). Almost always, obviously, but not quite.

Because occasionally we aren't the T-800, and it's important to get in touch with our feminine sides. When our ladyfriends want to indulge in long conversations about feelings and where this relationship is reallygoing, we want to be able to say, "Damn right I want to watch Lifetime TV, the most wondrously not-shit-at-all of all networks, with you. It doesn't make me projectile vomit furious fury-bile like that mad bitch from the Exorcist at all."

Someone once said that a little mano-a-womano gaming is good for a relationship (unless they didn't, we're just BSing here after all). What better game for you and your eBay Thai bride to share, then, than Animal Crossing? Nintendo's quirky life-sim is just the kind of compelling little oddity that even the dudeliest of dudely dudes can find themselves being sucked into.

The premise is that our terrifying little doll-faced dwarf-man/woman moves into a charming(ly batshit crazy) little town, and must make a life for themselves. The fact that the other residents are bizarre, lumpen anthropomorphic animals doesn't even seem to faze her/him, so it's safe to conclude that we're dealing with a remarkably liberal, metrosexual sort of guy right here.

On your arrival, that nefarious mofo raccoon Tom Nook will construct your home (thereafter declaring you his 'bitch for life' and shafting you with a loan to repay that could bankrupt several European nations. The massive furry bastard). From there, the world is your peculiar,slightly camp-looking oyster.

You can opt to focus on fishing, catching bugs and digging up buried fossils; all of these will contribute to the town's museum. You can trade with other players to collect ‘foreign' fruits (one of the many types of fruit in the game will be native to your own village. Others, when sold, will fetch several times more), grow them and fill your domain with cash-tacular orchards. You can focus on developing your home into a huge, glittering, blinged-out mansion, like the one the new Kardashian-spawn is presumably shitting itself on the carpet of as we speak. You can do what the hell you want.

A cutesy image spoiled only by that guy on the right. He looks like the sort that cruises around public parks at night. With his dick out.

It's oddly engrossing. The franchise has always been governed by the console's internal clock, meaning that everything passes in real-time. Real-world holidays are celebrated in the game, in its own my-neighbor-is-a-transvestite-goat-called-Maisy-in-a-cocktail-dress sort of way. The passage of time sees new shops and other amenities being built, animals moving in and out of town, plants growing, various events occurring...

It's an effeminate-looking, relentlessly cheerful take on the Sims. You can't laugh in fiendish schadenfreude as the poor fool you created gets drunk, pisses himself and passes out on the kitchen linoleum in a huge puddle of shame, depression and urine in this game. Lest we forget, Animal Crossing also looks about as masculine as Elton John cavorting about the sands in bollock-bulge speedos (and those dumbass spangly spectacles he insisted on wearing in the Eighties). In the little-and-often stakes, though, it's just as addictive; the kind of experience that really is made for all ages.

Header image: thetanooki.

Other images: videogamesblogger.

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