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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tomodachi Life

Hello, everyone!  What's happening in your world today?  Have you recovered from Black Friday yet?  I know that it was certainly an interesting experience working it.  I guess in some ways though, it wasn't as bad as I thought that it would be.  Part of it could have been because I worked the closing shift that day though.  People tend not to hang around the store much when you run out of sale items.

Anyway, I decided that I would spend the day doing absolutely nothing today.  In fact, I wanted to use this blog entry to talk about one of the latest obsessions that I have gotten swallowed up in.

And yes, I will take full credit for it.  It's my own fault for allowing a video game to sucker me in...again.

I guess I could consider myself to be somewhat of a video game addict...or at least I was one during the golden age of the Super Nintendo era.  At that time, all of my extra money went towards renting video games from the local convenience store, and playing until my fingers were numb, my neck was stiff, and I was seeing images of Mario, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong invading each and every one of my dreams.  It's a wonder I even managed a near straight A average in school, my obsession with games was that intense.

Over the last few years though, my love of video games definitely took a back seat.  Sure, I still love Mario games and have nearly every single one downloaded onto my Nintendo 3DS, but I just don't find that the majority of new games hold my interest as much as they used to. 

At least until now.

You see, a couple of weeks ago at my workplace, we had our annual Associate Appreciation Event, where we could get an additional discount on any three items in the store we wanted.  I had already spent two tickets on items that I needed to get, and I had one left over.  I headed down to the 3DS section of our store, deciding that I would pick a game for my third purchase.  I was torn between two games, and had to make a split second decision between "Yoshi's New Island" and "Tomodachi Life".

I should've picked Yoshi...

Of course, that is not saying that Tomodachi Life is a bad game.  Far from it.  It is probably one of the better games that I have played.  Problem is...I play it too much! 

I confess.  I love games that deal with simulations and sandbox style gameplay.  I played the simulation games on the old UNISYS ICON computers that we had in our elementary schools when I was a kid.  I was obsessed with Sim City.  And, well, if I had an XBOX 360 or PlayStation 3, I probably would have jumped on the "Minecraft" bandwagon by now.

But "Tomodachi Life" is so much more. 

In this game, you have control over a whole island.  You can decide whether to add people into your island by yourself, or you can decide whether you will import characters (known in the Nintendo world as "Mii"s) from other people who have implemented the StreetPass feature on their 3DS consoles. 

You start off by creating "you".  A lookalike of yourself.  Amusingly enough, the game will refer to you as "Insert Your Name Here"'s lookalike!  Then you create characters or import characters into the game so that your lookalike will have people to interact with.

(There are even codes that you can implement that will allow you to have celebrities move into your building.  You could literally have Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell move into your building and be next door neighbours - probably one of the only ways that would ever happen!)

You have to also take care of your "tenants", so to speak.  There is a food store where you can feed your characters (and you will also learn what foods your characters love and hate in the process).  There are clothing and hat shops where you can dress your characters.  There are interior shops where you can give your character's homes a new look.

And if you achieve a certain amount of goals, you can open up more places on your island.  For instance, if you have two Mii's falling in love, it will open up an amusement park and cafe.  Or if you teach your Mii a new song, you can open up the concert hall to have your Mii perform it to a crowd.

You just have to listen to what your Mii's want.  Usually if a Mii has a problem, they will have a black thought bubble over their apartment windows.  These problems can be simple such as feeding them, buying them a new outfit, or tickling their noses with a feather to help them sneeze.  I'm not kidding either.

Sometimes though, the problem may involve giving them cold medicine to clear up their sinuses, or giving them stomach medicine to soothe their upset stomachs, or giving them a fan to cool off.  And those items you can only get by helping Mii's with basic tasks.

Sometimes you will see an orange bubble.  This means that a Mii wants to be friends with another Mii in the building.  And sometimes you have to give them advice on what to talk to them about in order to help the friendship along.  If you are successful, they become friends.  If not, you can try again.

Pink hearts mean that a Mii has fallen in love with someone else in the building, and you may have to help them express their feelings towards their crush.  You may even have to plan dates for them, or plan a proposal for them.  If successful, they will start dating, and maybe even get married.  If not...well, be prepared to be forced to cheer them up.

(NOTE:  For some reason, the game code does not allow same sex couples to fall in love, which caused quite the controversy when Tomodachi Life was released.  To be honest, I wish that they would have considered it, just to make the game seem more true to life - though I hear game developers are working on another version to remedy that.  Time will tell.)

Anyway, this game is a fun one to play, and I like it a lot.  I like it too much!  I need Tomodachi Life rehab!

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