NookLink Nintendo Switch Online App Announced

Nintendo has announced NookLink, coming to the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app in March where you can scan in Custom Design QR codes from Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer into Animal Crossing: New Horizons. When connected online, it’s also possible to talk with friends who also have New Horizons with the Nintendo Switch Online app, using the smartphone as a keyboard or for voice chat.

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More amiibo Cards dated

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Nintendo have dated the second series of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer amiibo cards for 29 October. Again the retail price will be ¥324 per pack of three random cards with 100 comprising the second series. Many cards pictured here.

Latest 3DS Themes

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The only theme confirmed thus far for this week is the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer Tanuki Housing theme which was initially free as an early purchase benefit. I’ll update this post later than normal due to flying normal post time. As always, I’ll add all pictures below…

Edit: the other themes are four Dai Gyakuten Saiban (Great Ace Attorney), Silent Siren ‘August night’, three Doraemon, two BLAZBLUE and My Melody x Suzy Zoo ‘Flower dance’.

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Latest 3DS Badges

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This week sees loads of new badges in Collectible Badge Center with Famicom era Kirby (four panels), all-new Splatoon (five panels) plus more Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer characters (obviously including Isabelle!) and furniture (three panels). There’s two free goes this week too, a free Baito badge (returning badges, not new) for every ¥90 spent and an exclusive Happy Home Designer theme for spending ¥180. As always, more pics after the bump!

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Happy Home Designer review

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After five mainline entries (N64, GameCube, DS, Wii and 3DS) it was inevitable that spin-offs would add to the list of what is now one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises. Fighting as Murabito in Super Smash Bros. and racing as Isabelle in Mario Kart 8 is only one part of the equation with the Wii U’s upcoming amiibo Festival and this here Happy Home Designer filling the gap in-between New Leaf and the next mainline entry which is surely now intended for NX.

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Whether Happy Home Designer offers enough content to warrant its (almost) full price-point will probably answer itself as this review evolves. First impressions must come first and the character choosing is more varied yet more simple then ever before. You now have more hairstyles at your disposal, the usual facial features and more importantly SKINTONES which is another sign that the NX platforms’ software will finally be gender and racially diverse.

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Surely not coincidentally: Nintendo build friendships between you and the characters that make up the first eight amiibo Festival amiibo with Takumi (Lottie) becoming as integral as Isabelle is to New Leaf. Gameplay mechanics are incredibly intuitive with not too much posing a problem to the non-Japanese player with the room designing controls similar to New Leaf but now even easier to operate (you now can even move the furniture with the stylus).

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The first room I designed was for Goldie who just happens to be one of my favourite villagers! There’s plenty of freedom with the designing as the character just gives you a loose theme and two or three pieces of mandatory furniture that you need to unbox first. The character often reacts either positively or negatively to what item you’ve chosen so it’s fairly easy going. When completed there’s an awesome cutscene with the character to even more awesome music! 

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As the game progresses you get to choose locations for the characters’ houses as well as design the gardens and later multiple rooms. Isabelle makes several appearances where she is now responsible for the village’s public buildings such as the town hall, hospital, shops, cafe, school etc etc. After finishing work on whichever public building then the next time you enter, the game’s characters interact within the surroundings in their usual charming (but get the fuck out of my way!) way.

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Repetitiveness is always a fear and one area that Nintendo have attempted to alleviate such stagnation is the ability to use StreetPass coins to learn abilities (such as clothes design, unlock several elements such as lighting, window design etc, the ability to create multiple rooms, re-design past rooms and so much more). These abilities are restricted to one per day although you can manipulate time at your own desktop (this also serves as the save function).

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Another addition is the amiibo functionality where you scan an amiibo card to design that character’s house the same as every character within the game. Cards are sold in random packs of three with 100 total cards in series one and three more series planned. This is one costly game if you wish to collect them all. Fortunately this is not needed if you care about content over collecting as there’s a fair amount of content before collecting every card is to even be considered.

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To those that have fast-forwarded to the final score then the ‘problem’ lies not in the lack of content but in the lack of variety. What Happy Home Designer delivers it delivers very well: the graphics and sound are both excellent, the presentation, gameplay and characters are intuitive and charming throughout. It’s almost like the game masters the art of foreplay but stops you at sex. As a spin-off compared to the endless puzzlers of yesteryear then it isn’t a problem; as a 2015 full-price release, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether it now is.

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7/10

Review by Bri Bri. For more information on Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer go to http://www.nintendo.co.jp/3ds/edhj/

Buy Japanese version, pre-order North American version or European version or buy packs of amiibo cards and help support this site!

Happy Home Designer badges

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Unsurprisingly today’s Collectible Badge Center update features Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer with fourteen panels of badges including all the popular characters from the game (Isabelle, Lottie, Goldie, Villager etc etc) plus a load of in-game items. There’s also three panels of pixelated beetles and one free go! More pictures after the bump…