Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and the 5 Stages of Grief

To Pete Herr The Grumpy Geek who said this would be entertaining to read since I was so vocal about this game at our Christmas Party:

I bet when you clicked on this article you were probably like “Woah! How does one pertain to the other?” Well I’m glad you asked. It’s been well over a week since Animal Crossing Pocket Camp came out and I’m a little addicted… and that’s putting it lightly. Since it came out, I’ve experienced (and am still experiencing) a wide range of emotions—some that I’m still trying to sort out. But then it hit me: nothing explains what I’m feeling better than the five stages of grief.

Let me weave you a tale. I’ve been in love with Animal Crossing since its release on Gamecube back in 2002, when I was young, and hitting annoying villagers with nets and sending hate mail. So when Nintendo announced a mobile, free to download game in October, I was ecstatic. I had just upgraded my phone and was ready to go. I was slightly disappointed that they weren’t releasing a new game for the Switch or 3DS (and yes I will upgrade whenever they decide to release one, I know shocker.) But I waited with bated breath as I checked Nintendo’s website for updates and info about the release date for the mobile game which still had the aloof release of “Late November.” However, imagine my surprise when I found out via Facebook from a friend that Pocket Camp was out. I immediately went to the App Store and downloaded it and voila! There it was in all her Animal Crossing glory and yet it didn’t take me long to realize that no matter the love and loathing I have for Pocket Camp it will always be a cheap imitation to the real Animal Crossing games.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp
Look! Even she isn’t having any fun

Denial:

At first I was absolutely thrilled that this game that Nintendo was letting us have was FREE. I would have gladly paid a $9.99 price tag or $19.99 (anymore and I would have rioted). What hooked me immediately was the beautiful graphics and the easy to use touchscreen interface. I couldn’t believe how sharp and crisp it looked, the graphics were so much better than I remember on my 3DS and the touch interface was so incredibly user friendly I was almost shocked ( I never used it on my 3DS). However, even in the face of all these updates it became apparent that this wasn’t the Animal Crossing I know and love—far from it in fact. But that’s okay because I started trying to ignore the screaming flaws in this so called “Free to Play” game. It was all I needed in the void that New Leaf left as I waited patiently for the next new game. (Whenever that’ll be).

Bargaining:

I quietly told myself that if I keep playing and tell everyone how good it is that maybe Nintendo will hurriedly release a new Animal Crossing title. I even spent a dollar of my hard earned money to buy a 24hr Newbie pack because… Yay Nintendo…

 

5 Stages of Grief
Oohhhh loookkk.. Wanna spend some real money? Tom Nook knows you want to.

Anger:

Anger is something that I hold onto for a while as I am stubborn and like to stoke the rage fires within me. It was a fire that burnt for a long time and got worse as I played. What started the slow smoldering rage fires within was the amount of material/ items that the villagers wanted in the game. Let me give you a little background: how it works is you collect said items to give to a villager and they in turn give you material. Sounds great right? WRONG! As you level and the villagers level, the greedier and greedier those little selfish piggies become. At times asking you to get the three of certain items which NEWS FLASH certain items only spawn 3 at a time like fruit… Which by the way if you want to harvest more fruit you have to BUY Fertilizer which costs REAL MONEY (You’re probably like, hold on a minute, Sam, can’t you just buy fruit and stuff from friends?). Why yes you can! Thank you for asking person reading this highly opinionated article. You can purchase certain items from friends, but the chances of them having what you need is slim and that also doesn’t solve the materials issue. Amenities and high valued objects take A LOT of materials, and if you don’t have the material and don’t feel like using Leaf Tickets (AKA Real Money), then you’re up poop creek and you have to play the waiting game which also stinks. Why? Because if you don’t make certain amenities for your villagers before they hit a certain level they’ll hit their level cap and won’t gain any experience until you make said amenities (which there are also four different that you have to make and have to level all four up to their max so you can unlock other amenities). Oh yeah, and the amenities take a LONG TIME to make, some take up to two days to make. Oh yeah and if you want to speed up that process that’ll be REAL MONEY.  I’m also annoyed by the lack of variety of Bug and Fish in this game which is a constant screaming reminder that no matter how much I tell myself I like this game, it’s not a TRUE Animal Crossing game and if I catch one more Olive Flounder I’m going to lose it.

Related image
LOOK AT ALL THE STUFF YOU CAN MAKE. Oh yeah it’s going to take 100+ hours to make and 100,000 bells and ALL THE MATERIALS

Side Note: Playing this game has made me into quite the hoarding penny-pitcher that even Mr. Crabs would love; I’m more stingy in this game with money than I am in real life. Now to be fair, you do gain Leaf Tickets in game as well from leveling and completing challenges, but if you’re impatient and not the Mr. Crabs type you’ll go through them in no time. Also, the selling aspect of this game is almost comparable to the prices at which GameStop takes games back in for trade—it’s downright criminal. I HAD to spend 10,000 bells on a special item for a villager and Timmy Nook was going to give me 490 bells for it…stupid trash panda.

As you can tell from the above rant I keep coming back to the rage fires.

 

5 Stages of Grief
I’ll never be able to have enough candy-canes to afford all the X-mas stuff. ;_;

Depression:

Depression is a strange animal for me because I’m not really sure I’m experiencing depression until I’m knee deep in it and everything suddenly all makes sense. I’m unsure if I’ve already experienced this emotion or not, I feel like I’m just starting to touch the surface of it. When I finally beat the game and realize how much time I’ve put into it, that is when I know the depression/pity sadness will hit me.

Acceptance:

I know I’ve already accepted this game with all it’s flaws because I haven’t been able to stop playing it. It’s been out for a week, and yet, everyday I faithfully log in and play it until I can’t play anymore (It may be the completionist in me that won’t let me stop until I’ve completed it 100%). Yet I’m still up in the air as to whether it’s a good game or not. It does give me a sense of accomplishment when I finish the Fetch Quests and when I level and maybe that’s all I need, something to fill my time with something that’s mind-numbing cutesy fun.

5 stages of Grief
With dead soulless eyes. We’re still having fun, right? Right?!

I look forward to your comments and grievances since I know I can’t be the only one experiencing this and let me be clear when I say that I actually do enjoy playing Pocket Camp. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be playing it. With that being said, I’m still not sure what I would rate it out of 10, but I thank you for sticking with me for this rant fueled article and they say that everyone experiences grief in their own way and that there isn’t a certain path or road through grief. Well my friends, this is my path of grief through Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Cheers Geeks!

Sammy B is well you guessed it, probably playing Animal Crossing Pocket Camp but she is also watching The Punisher. She is also sorry that she got fellow Geekiverse Geek Tuna addicted to Pocket Camp. Also Chrissy Teigen’s Twitter rants about Pocket Camp are pure gold.

 

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