Animal Crossing: New Horizons has celebrated its one year anniversary since the game released on March 20, 2020. New Horizons went on to become the best selling Switch game of 2020, selling 11.77 million copies, and the predominant game of choice that got people through the pandemic. Although Nintendo celebrated the video game’s anniversary last month, complete with a one-year cake, my one-year with the game is actually this month when I first received it as a birthday gift last year from a friend. In honor of my whole year of playing New Horizons, I list my favorite villagers.
Being a gamer often means you’ll discover what types of video games you enjoy overtime. There will be genres you’ll most likely play each and every time, and others you’ll prefer to steer clear from. After playing a wide range of games in my short tenure as a gamer, I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. One of my biggest weaknesses are platformers. I’ve never been good with wall jumps or timed jumps that make up most Mario games and others of that type. This is why I mostly avoid them for fear of never really finishing the game, or if I have finished one, it’s almost always with a bit of help from the gamers in my life who are better at these than I am. But when faced with a game that has been given to me as a present, I’m more inclined to try and finish it. This is my current situation with Ori and the Blind Forest.
Originally released in 2015 for Windows and Xbox One, Ori and the Blind Forest became available to play on the Nintendo Switch in 2019. Like all other games that first come out Ori and the Blind Forest was a critical hit and a must-play. The images released from the game were beautiful and reminded me of a well-drawn, animated storybook come to life. When I heard Ori and the Blind Forest was a platform-adventure game, the word “platform” alone was enough to give it an immediate pass. I already knew where my strengths in gaming were and platformers, along with puzzle games, weren’t one of them. Then this past Christmas my older sister thoughtfully gifted me with two highly regarded games, and if you guessed Ori and the Blind Forest for the Nintendo Switch as one of them, you’d be right.
Whenever someone in my life spends the time and money to give me a game I may not necessarily have asked for, but knew it would be a worthy one to have in my backlog, there is a strong desire on my part to play and beat the game. If I don’t there’s a sense of guilt I feel for letting a game go neglected after a friend or family member carefully picked it out just for me. Granted I have just way too many games to play now, but it’s a concerted effort to try and prioritize the ones I received as gifts.
Over the past month I’ve been adding a few hours into playing Ori and the Blind Forest. As I expected the game itself is a beauty to behold from the first and very emotional opening scenes. The story follows a guardian spirit named Ori, with the assistance of a small orb called Sein, who is tasked with restoring a dying forest back to life. As Ori you collect valuable upgrades scattered throughout the forest that will help you along on your journey.
Despite playing on easy mode, because I can’t imagine trying to tackle this game on normal or higher with my poor platformer skills, Ori and the Blind Forest is still a challenging game for me to get through. Again, playing a game where the majority of it requires me to get from one high platform to the next with careful and timed jumps is my worst nightmare. What might probably take a better player about 2-3 minutes to make the jump, it would take me 20 minutes or an hour to finish one section. Once I achieve one hurdle in the game I’m pretty much ready to call it a day.
As frustrating as playing a platformer like Ori and the Blind Forest is I’m willing to try and beat this one, albeit very very slowly. When I’m not about ready to tear my hair out after Ori dies for the umpteenth time or I can’t make a somewhat complicated jump, it is a beautiful world to spend time in. It’s a small consolation for someone like me who has a steep learning curve with platform games.
Have you played Ori and the Blind Forest? What do you love or hate about the game?
If there is one video game I’ve played consistently without fail, even with all the other games I’ve played in between, it’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. From checking the Able Sisters shop for new clothes to hoping a villager will give you a DIY recipe you don’t have yet, there’s something enticing about this game that’s hard to ignore. After focusing many months on unlocking new island features and expanding my character’s house to the maximum rooms it’s allowed, the time has finally come to design and decorate the island I envisioned. However, where to get started and what I actually want to do with it has been the biggest challenge of playing this game so far.
Summer vacations are looking a little different this year. It’s around this time that most people would be jetting off to an exciting country, or hitting the road to spend a weekend at a beach side town. But with the novel coronavirus, everyone the world over has been forced to put the breaks on those plans. While vacationing anywhere this summer is not ideal or even possible, I’ve been turning towards gaming for a sliver of that escape vibe, and Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s summer update has made spending time on your island that much fun.
Spending most of your time at home, until it is deemed safe to resume life somewhat normally again, means you’re no longer figuring out what to wear each day. Your outfit of choice when you’re working from home is either your PJs or sweatpants. When your every day clothes has been reduced to whatever is comfy at home, unless you have to show your face from the waist up for a video conference, there hasn’t been a lot of need to “dress to impress” these days. Although the pandemic has temporarily taken the stress out of deciding what to wear before leaving the house each morning, I do find myself longing for a time where I was able to wear my prettiest dress to a party or donning a favorite sweater and jeans when I went to the office. The fashion deprivation I’m currently going through has led me to live my best stylish life through Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
There’s always a bit of hope when one thing ends and another begins. That has always been my world view anyway. I try to see life from the lens of optimism, even in the face of crushing struggle and heartache. When 2020 arrived a global pandemic that brought a sinking economy, massive job losses, and the worse public health crisis anyone has ever known wasn’t exactly what people had in mind. I had hoped that the start of a new decade would bring about a world of possibilities. Instead, most of us of are staying home and wondering when this will all end.
What I miss the most since the pandemic started is being able to meet up with my friends and family without any fear of contracting a deadly virus or giving it to someone else. Many of us are longing to hug each other or picking a restaurant to dine in at. Though these things are temporarily off limits, one thing I am forever grateful for having is an Internet connection.
Between news stories about the number of coronavirus cases rising or the deaths that have resulted from COVID-19, there have also been stories about the hottest item to own right now while you’re currently sheltering in place —Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The video game that has taken the world by storm, and was reported last week to have sold a whopping 13 million copies in 6 weeks, New Horizons is emerging as a welcome respite from our dark reality.
The itch to travel and escape to a different city or country typically hits me between the spring and summer months. I’m always dreaming of new places I haven’t visited or explored yet. Sometimes I may even get nostalgic for the ones I have been to and decide to plan a trip there again. But current events being what they are right now, travel anywhere in the world is out of the question at the moment and maybe for the rest of the year. How the remainder of 2020 will look like in the next 5 or 9 months depends on how soon it will be considered safe to resume normal life again. While I can’t hop a plane to my next exotic destination any time soon, I’ve taken solace in video games for a bit of escapism. The game I have returned to lately is The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Each year gamers will compile a list of video games that will end up on their must-play lists. Some games will stand out more than others based on taste and personal preferences of what people have played and enjoyed in the past. Whether you prefer playing in immersive open world settings or rather spend hours shooting up enemies in an action packed first-person shooter, the year is rife with something that will strike a gamer’s fancy.
This week I’m joined by guest blogger Brandon Koebernik of Apex Shadow Designs. Brandon is a passionate gamer as well as a TV and movies enthusiast. Together, we will be listing the video games we’re most excited about!
It’s a new year which means it’s a chance to get started on the things you have been meaning to do, but have been putting off. For a gamer it may mean finally playing some games that have been sitting on your shelf for a while. In an attempt to fit more gaming into my schedule, here’s a quick little update on what I have been playing during the holidays and into the start of 2020!