First Impressions: Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

A lot of people have been waiting for the Animal Crossing mobile game.  Since it was announced, fans of the series have been waiting patiently for more information and well, now we know more. Yesterday, Nintendo's silence was broken during a Nintendo Direct where they detailed Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which will be released sometime in November. That is unless you live in Australia.

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Cosmetic Randomized Loot Boxes are Super Exploitative

I feel like everyone is in agreement about micro-transactions being bad for gamers. After all, allowing players to buy an advantage over other players, or flat out creating impediments, in games, that can only be surmounted through micro-transactions is, at best, irritating, and, at worst, horribly exploitative. But, to this day, there has been a hierarchy of these critiques which put micro-transactions which purely effect cosmetic aspects of the game lower on the scale of being reprehensible than systems which are more gameplay oriented. But, I believe there is an argument for these cosmetic systems being as bad, if not worse than their counterparts...

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Retrospective: Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley opens with a scene, in which you grandfather, on his death bed, hands you a sealed envelope which he instructs you to open, only when you've become exhausted with modern life. Very abruptly, the scene transitions to a dirty, factory-like office facility where hundreds of workers, including the player, toil away in cramped cubical, watched by security cameras. The player character opens their desk and pulls out the letter their grandfather gave them and realizes their grandfather left them his farm in Stardew Valley, in the hopes that your character would try and reconnect with what is important in life. Stardew Valley deals with this of this idea of freedom and what is important throughout the game and ends up being both, enormously fun and a meaningful critique of Western values.

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