Is Animal Crossing losing it's natural charm?

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Pufflehugs
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Is Animal Crossing losing it's natural charm?

Post by Pufflehugs » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:58 pm

Alright, I should probably explain what I mean because that title is absolute garbage. Be warned, this is a long post, hence why I put it under a spoiler.
Spoiler:
Basically, I've felt that over the course of the games, Animal Crossing has felt less and less connected to nature. Sure's it's always had and will probably always have it's fun and cutesy animal characters, but the environment the games take place in seems more and more artificial and less natural with each passing game.
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Starting off with the original N64/Gamecube game, this was the peak of naturality in the game's setting. It was quite literally acres of nature fun. While it did have it's man-made (or more accurately, animal-made) structures, it was vastly overpowered by nature. It even had an island filled with nothing but tropical nature at it's finest. Even the homes on the island give off a natural feeling, resulting in a very nice aesthetic. The game's music even compliments the natural environment. The nights were also fairly pretty.
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Next we have Animal Crossing Wild World for the DS. Being totally honest, I don't have very many memories of this game, since I found it was probably the least enjoyable of the four games. Now, I'm not saying that it's bad, but I just enjoyed the others ones more. And seeing as I could hardly find any screenshots of this game that were of any use to me, it seems like the internet agrees. From what I remember, this game did tend to lose a good portion of the natural feelings of the Gamecube game, which wouldn't return in later games. However, a couple of things that it removed did appear again later, so it's not really too much to blame. Additionally, the game's music doesn't have as natural of a feeling as the original game's, but it still felt nature-y so I'll give it that. Also, the nights were kinda lame.
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Now we have Animal Crossing City Folk for the Wii. One thing that I have to stress right now is that nights are made pretty again, I love that so much. But aside from that, not too much is really improved in the nature department from Wild World, aside from more lively bugs and town layers. Also, grass deterioration is the absolute worst thing ever. Aside from that, it's an improvement over Wild World nature-wise, but not by too much. The music is also slightly more natural than Wild World's, I suppose. And before it's mentioned, yes the city isn't natural at all, but at least it's cheery and completely separate from the main town.
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Last but certainly not least, we have Animal Crossing New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. While undoubtedly the best Animal Crossing game feature-wise, it's definitely the least natural feeling of all the games. This one is gonna have multiple paragraphs, so be prepared.
Starting things off, we have the public works projects. They are a really fun addition and I absolutely love them, but some public works projects just kill the natural feeling entirely. Pile of Pipes, Modern Bridge, Modern Clock and the signs to name a few. While there are a lot of public works projects that benefit the natural feeling, some even being more man-made surprisingly, but it's pretty much always either hit or miss with these. But no disrespect to public works projects, they are very fun.
Next up, we have the return of the island, something which I praised for being very natural in the original Animal Crossing. The catch? This island is a tropical resort. Certainly also very fun, but it completely kills the previous natural setting of the GCN island. There's not really much else to say here, so moving on swiftly...
And finally, we have Main Street. It's like the city from City Folk, only not as cheery and certainly a lot more connected to the town. But in it's defense, it is a lot more natural than the original city. Also not much more to say here.
So, is New Leaf completely devoid of hope for having enjoyable, natural experiences? Well, not completely. Like I said, there are some public works projects that compliment nature. But if you can't afford very many public works projects, you may feel dismayed and out of luck. Well, no worries my friend, because in late 2016 your prayers were answered.
That's right, I'm talking about Animal Crossing New Leaf: Welcome amiibo! The update that absolutely nobody asked for, and absolutely everyone loved! (If you don't love it, I will find you.)
If you've already played this update, you know exactly what I'm about to talk about: the campsite. A lot of good times were had here for me, and for good reason. The campsite is probably one of my favourite locations in the entire series. Everything about this area is so charming, from the campfire and hammock, to Harvey and his humble little shop, to the RVs parked in the camp. It's such an enjoyable little feature that I recommend you to try out the update if you haven't already, and it's certainly the most natural area in all of New Leaf. Solid 10/10 on that update.
So, what do you guys think of my observations? Do you agree with me that Animal Crossing is losing it's natural charm, or am I just being a crazy raving lunatic like I usually am?

Lamby
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Re: Is Animal Crossing losing it's natural charm?

Post by Lamby » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:32 pm

i don't think nature is a real aesthetic they're going for, at least not in the capacity you're thinking of. that's just a personal standard you're imposing on it. it's about a community, which is why each game increasingly reflects that social element. communing with nature really never had anything to do with it. how exactly do you link players worldwide with the basic setting in the original? it doesn't make much sense thematically imo.

i think it's more charming now and maybe you're confusing nostalgic feelings with actual game elements?

Triert
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Re: Is Animal Crossing losing it's natural charm?

Post by Triert » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:04 pm

i'm with lamby here

Pufflehugs
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Re: Is Animal Crossing losing it's natural charm?

Post by Pufflehugs » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:05 pm

I think you misunderstand me. I'm not saying the games are getting any worse, I think they're getting much better, but I still do miss the natural charm. I suppose my original post did make it seem like I'm a grouch who is against the push towards the more social side of Animal Crossing, which isn't true at all, I enjoy it. I just think the natural aesthetic felt pretty, and I won't deny that nostalgia probably has a part in that. Note that I said "natural charm" and not charm in general, I think the games do have more charm in general now, just not as much natural charm.

Triert
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Re: Is Animal Crossing losing it's natural charm?

Post by Triert » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:42 am

Nature, you're trying to say nature.

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Rajikaru
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Re: Is Animal Crossing losing it's natural charm?

Post by Rajikaru » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:54 am

The latest game is the most nature/"natural"-focused and thematic of all the games, and it's just a free to play mobile game.
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