Matt Gemmell

My new book CHANGER is out now!

An action-thriller novel — book 1 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon


Gaming 2 min read

What the hell is happening to me?

So I’ve been playing a fair bit of Animal Crossing: Wild World lately. Quite astonishing how much it can grab you; I actually wake up in the morning and wonder what’s going on in my little town (and usually switch on the DS just to check). The idea of tying events to the system clock in real time is an act of evil genius. I even got my gift from Nintendo this weekend for Easter; mine was a Mario pipe with a piranha plant in it. I assume everyone got the same thing.

Anyway, a couple of days ago (Saturday), I went to visit Wolfgang (one of my townies), only to discover that he was leaving. House all packed up into boxes, saying his mind was set, and so forth. And I was gutted. Utterly fucking gutted. He was my favourite guy in the town, with all his constant irritation, bizarre letters about picking his nose with the pen, saying “snarrrl” all the time and just being a blue wolf. It killed me that he was leaving.

Now, this is a computer-generated character. It’s an assembly of character traits, tag-phrases and random numbers. Wolfgang is most assuredly not real. And yet I was actually depressed that he was leaving town. This tells me that either (1) there is something wrong with me, since I now seem to be reacting to games like a Sims-playing girl, and/or (2) Nintendo are quite possibly the most dangerous company in all the world. This thing is unbelievably compulsive. Parents, keep your children the hell away from Animal Crossing: Wild World. Especially if they’re at all emotionally fragile (like me, seemingly).

Incidentally, Wolfgang decided to stay in the end, so it’s all good. It might have been due to my repeated conversations, letters and gifts during that Black Saturday, or it might just have been on a whim of the game. But my world is once again intact for the moment.

Lauren was so alarmed by this personality change that she took decisive action, as any dutiful girlfriend should. I drove out to visit my mother on Easter Sunday, and when I got back I found a bag on my desk from our local Chips (literally just around the corner - ace), containing a copy of Metroid Fusion! Much manly X-Parasite blasting duly ensued, and I feel a bit more balanced now. I’m also looking forward to Hunters with renewed enthusiasm. And I have quite possibly the greatest girlfriend in all of history.

But all is not entirely well, because let me tell you: I am fucking desperate for a DS Lite. I need that thing. I am this close to importing one, but the thought of doing so fills me with fear. I’m aware that new DS hardware = new Friend Codes for everything, but I don’t care about that. I’m also intellectually aware that DS hardware is region-agnostic, and that the firmware runs in multiple languages and can readily be set to English no matter where you buy the thing. I’m just worried that using an imported machine will give rise to problems later on, like not being able to play Hunters with those using official US/Euro machines. Is that just paranoia? Anyone who knows more about it, please post a comment, because I’m seriously lusting after that little iBook of a handheld console (the white one, of course - the two shades of blue are god-awful to my eyes). I know I’ll need a stepdown transformer for the power supply/charger, incidentally.

That’ll about do it for the gaming news at the mo. Time for lunch, and then some Metroid. And perhaps just a tiny bit of fishing.