Review: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.

Happy Home Designer

 

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer is not a pure Animal Crossing game, but more of a spin off game…it’s useful to remember this. It sees you become an employee of “Nook’s Homes” an interior/exterior designer if you will. Animals will appear outside the shop each day and it’s your job to pick one customer and design their dream home. They may specify that you must include certain items (most characters unlock more furniture which is then added to your library for use in any home thereafter) but for the most part, it’s up to you. And you literally choose everything, from how the exterior looks, the floor plan, the flooring, lamps, windows and sofas etc. You unlock more design options as you go through the game, and can also design buildings in the town centre too.

Amiibo Cards

Want to design the home of your favourite New Leaf villager? You can leave it to pot luck and hope they show up outside the shop, or you can try your luck at getting them in Amiibo cards packs. The cards can be scanned on “new” 3DS/XL consoles, or via an Amiibo reader and the villager or character will appear onscreen! The Amiibo cards are the only way to unlock the option to design the houses of the shop keepers and other non villagers in the game. (Saharah for example) These exclusives are denoted by the fact that their cards are glittery. Scanning the villager Amiibo figure also reaps a little reward too!

Overall the controls are excellently done and the game strangely addictive, if a little repetitive. You aren’t rewarded for matching items so it can feel a little empty at times, as the villagers are always happy regardless of the type of interior you design for them. However the online feature that allows players from around the world to rate your work makes up for this a little. Limited in scope, but done well, this is a welcome addition to the Animal Crossing franchise.

Villager Amiibo

General Scoring

Gameplay. 8/10  Immensely fun, but a little repetitive after a while.
Graphics. 8/10  Great use of 3D and incredibly cute characters!
Sound. 7/10  Limited due to game type really.
Music. 8/10  Again limited, but the music stays with me after I save and quit the game.
Story. 6/10  Not much of a story, but there doesn’t need to be with the nature of this game.

Wildcards

Value for money 7/10  A little limited in comparison with other Animal Crossing games.
Network Features 8/10  I really enjoy the rating system and being able to look at other player’s designs.
Controls 10/10  Mapped really well, picking up and playing for the first time was easy.
Addictiveness 9/10  Relaxed gaming at it’s best.
 Innovation 9/10  Excellent use of Amiibo. Both the cards and the figure can be scanned in, in an innovative and immersive way.

Total Score = 80%



New Nintendo 3DS XL : Animal Crossing Special Edition.

3DS XL Box

After regretting not purchasing the limited edition Animal Crossing New Leaf 3DS, I was not going to pass up the chance to purchase the limited edition all new Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer version of the console!

3DS XL Faceplate

The package included the game as a download, and the console itself is a thing of beauty, with furniture pieces on the front and a mini house scene on the back.

New 3DS XL Inside

The “new” 3DS XL also has those lovely coloured buttons, and the extra grey nub thing (to give it, it’s technical name) and can read both Amiibo cards and figures. (More on those in my Happy Home Designer review)

3DS Data Transfer

Doing the system transfer was a little scary, but I followed the official guide which can be found by clicking here. And it was a pretty easy process in the end. An AC adapter is not included, so you’ll need to purchase seperately…Hmm Nintendo…Hmm!



Guildwars 2: Heart of Thorns. Feature Overview.

Heart of Thorns

 

You know the deal by now, no spoilers here, I just thought it may be useful to those looking to purchase the first expansion to Guildwars 2 (and those new to the franchise completely) to outline some of the new features that come along with the new story content.

A whole new world

Well, place, “The Heart of Maguuma” is a jungle region housing 4 open world maps. Within each map are 3 different levels or “biomes” the roots, the floor and the canopy. With this comes new races of creatures, new outposts and a new storyline which takes place after Living World Season 2.

The Mastery system

This system adds progression and rewards for characters who have reached level 80. Certain actions will reward mastery points which can be spent levelling up mastery tracks, these add new features, items or abilities to your character. Gliding or crafting a legendary weapon for example.

Revenant – A new profession

A heavy armour profession that channels energy and abilities from characters in Guildwars’ past, which you can switch between to harness the best skills for the situation you are in.

Elite specializations

A way for those who are level 80 to unlock new weapons, traits and skills. Each profession currently has the option of one specialization, the Elementalist’s being Tempest, and this unlocks shouts for these Eles.

Guildhalls!

Yes, like in Guildwars 1, only not really…so, so much better, but damn expensive to obtain. I shall type a separate post on these as and when I can.

Also, new content for PvP and WvW players (I don’t really explore this very much) and raids for those who want to play more challenging content in a group setting. (Again I will post more on these once I have experienced them more for myself) This is what I know of so far, let me know if I’ve missed anything. See you in game!