Welcome amiibo Expansion Out Now for Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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The long-anticipated update for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Welcome amiibo, was dropped today by Nintendo in the midst of a mini Nintendo Direct. So far, there are some neat additions worth mentioning.

First off, you can invite certain villagers to your town thanks to the amiibo cards they’ve been releasing this year. For me, I’ve been picking off the ones I want from eBay, and I couldn’t be happier. Why? Because, you remember that villager you loved who moved away? Well, you can invite them to camp in the new RV campground and then convince them to move back to town.

No, they won’t remember you from before, but you’ll still have your old friends back. That means I’ll be welcoming back Chèvre, Rodney, Bunnie, and others as I can.

Also, there’s a form of currency available for completing tasks around town, and those MEOW coupons are good for goods in the campground. There’s furniture there that can’t be had anywhere else, so it’s worth checking out.

Also, there’s a new upgrade thanks to your loan sharks friends at Nook Homes: a super secret storage space in your home, perfect for hoarding away the things that inevitably fill up your house. At less than 200,000 bells, it’s positively a deal.

More than anything, though, this update gives you new reasons to go visit your old friends again, just in time for the fun of fall and the coming snows of winter. Remember, it’s almost aurora season, and you can build snow people again and… why did any of us ever stop playing this game anyway?

Welcome amiibo is a free update for Animal Crossing: New Leaf and is available now through the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

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Normal Service Resuming. Eventually.

Bluntly put, this semester has been killing me. I’m actually teaching the load of three people, so free time has been at an absolute premium. That has meant both of my blogs (this and Evi on the Inside) have suffered, but I hope to get back into regular writing again this month.

Stay tuned. There are plenty of games to talk about.

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Criminal Girls 2 Thoughts

CG2_Party-Favors_LogoCriminal Girls 2 is a funny game. It’s the kind of game many people don’t want to be caught playing, as prurience is kind of a central feature. I’m okay with that. It has solid gameplay as well, so no complaints there. I think my only real issue with it is just how tropey the whole thing winds up being, causing an entirely different kind of eyeroll.

What we have on our hands here is a dungeon crawler, one that’s definitely improved its art off of the first edition. Also present is the punishment section, something that goes far enough to make me uncomfortable. You see, you’re correcting some damned girls (that is, girls that are damned, not an adjective of frustration) for some reason or other that makes little sense and probably doesn’t need to.

The battle system is slick, and the gameplay is fine. There are boobs that are nice to look at in an animated kind of way. But I begin to have problems with the dialogue, the interactions. And that goes from right at the beginning of the game.

We show up not knowing who we are or what we’re doing in what is a nicely appointed waiting room from hell. There’s a voice over the radio talking about what to do and filling us in with context in the guise of amnesia. What bothers me right from the start is how we’re told to act like a man: to stand up straight, to speak confidently, all of these things. It’s both a complete trope to almost every anime, the school boy who needs to grow up but hasn’t yet, but it’s also really quite irritating to someone like me: I’m gender non-binary and I get rather pissed off when someone tells me to act like a man.

It also means that this game is going to have a rather narrow natural audience, and I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, that’s what bothers me even more: it’s a game for heterosexual males based on the dialogue, and it’s a game on the Vita on top of that. How’s that for shrinking your audience? It’s the heteronormativity of it, that doesn’t need to be there, that bothers me oh so much.

I’m also not one for bondage or the type, so the punishment sections of the game actually make me uncomfortable. I know they’ve been cleaned up a bit for localization, but still: I’m the kind of person who sought out fruits and vegetables in Minecraft because I didn’t want to kill animals. I don’t really have that streak in me.

Apart from that, though, I do love a good dungeon crawler, and underneath all of the packaging, Criminal Girls 2 is actually quite good at that. Also, one of the girls is not quite what she seems, something that adds a bit of intrigue along the way.

It’s a fun game, but one with a very narrow audience. And a narrow audience on the Vita is quite a slim affair indeed.

Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors is out now for the Playstation Vita from NIS America. This game was reviewed courtesy of a review code by the publisher. As always, with games I enjoy, I purchase a copy for myself to actually play rather than review.

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Forza Horizon 3 Demo Offers a Glimpse of an Amazing Game

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It would be an understatement to say that I’ve been looking forward to Forza Horizon 3. Very much have been. But the way they’ve been describing the game, I’ve been just a little bit worried about it.

There seems to be too much focus on online, both in play and also in hiring and firing your friends to help you run the Horizon Festival. My friends generally don’t play video games, and definitely don’t play the ones I do. This would be an issue.

If the demo is anything to go by, though, my fears are completely groundless. What we have here is something that feels amazing. Granted, I might be the only person who didn’t find Ben to be a completely annoying git in Horizon 2, and there is just that little bit more quiet in this version as a result, but Scott is still running Horizon Bass Arena, and now you can be something other than a white dude extra from a Fast and the Furious film. Yes, that’s right, you can choose (a bit) what you look like.

Nice.

The game is out in less than a week. I have a lot of grading to do this semester, and this will be a nice break between the more punishing essays I have to read. I. Can’t. Wait.

Forza Horizon 3 releases for the Xbox One and PC 27.September. If you buy the deluxe version, you get early access on 23.September. I would have liked that, but they wouldn’t let me preorder a physical copy that way…

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What Gives, Gamestop?

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I’m a regular at my local Gamestop. Which makes the fact that they screwed me the other day all the more egregious to me.

Normally they try to push their gameplay guarantee, where they’ll replace your game with a new copy for a year if you mess yours up. I treat my discs and cartridges rather well, so I don’t bother.

I picked up a preorder yesterday and ordered a couple of more games that I know I’ll want and might not otherwise be available. And they automatically added the $3 charger per game to each one. I didn’t notice it until I left (the $ amount didn’t immediately jump out at me), but seriously.

I don’t know if this was just one of the regular employees mysteriously being a jerk to me or if this is their latest idiotic corporate policy (the bit where they make employees use a tablet to tell me all of the things I already know from having their app is maddening), this is the kind of thing that will push me to get my games from Amazon instead.

Watch it, Gamestop. Thin ice, this.

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Minecraft Edition Xbox One S Released

xboxones_500gbconsole_minecraft-favorites-bundleMicrosoft announced yesterday a Minecraft-themed Xbox One S bundle. It includes the standard white 500gb system with a download code for the game that also bags you a bunch of goodies, including texture and skin packs.

You can also transfer your Xbox 360-edition worlds to the Xbox One version, something that should get the late adopters from last generation on board.

The bundle is retailing for $299 and is out now.

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Criminal Girls 2 Out Now, Thoughts Coming Soon

CG2_Party-Favors_LogoCriminal Girls 2, the sequel to the Vita’s naughty dungeon crawler, is out now. I’ll have a review of it up shortly, but I haven’t gotten far enough in the game yet to write everything I want to write.

This is a bit of a saucy one, where you are taken anime-trope girls that have gone bad and “correcting” them as you fight through some baddies. It’s over the top. Gloriously so.

It’s out now for the Vita.

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