Animal Crossing: New Horizons Update!

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On September 4th, 2019, the most recent Nintendo Direct presentation included another update on Animal Crossing New Horizons. New Horizons is the newest addition to the Animal Crossing franchise and will be released for Nintendo Switch next year. This brand new preview was better received than the last update when Nintendo revealed the games release date would be pushed back to March, 20th, 2020. However, things are looking up for fans of the franchise, because the new gameplay preview is chalk-full of some very positive changes. Not to mention the graphics look utterly beautiful!

The premise of New Horizons involves a brand new Deserted Island Getaway Package designed by Nook Inc. It is unclear whether players will be mayors like in Animal Crossing New Leaf, or just fellow villagers like in previous games. The Nintendo Direct began with Tom Nook introducing the promotional video of his new Getaway Package, implying that players will once again begin their Animal Crossing journey indebted to Tom Nook. The ‘deserted’ portion of the title is also consistent with the other games commonality that involves starting from scratch on a town. Or island, in this case. I was at first taken aback by an island setting, but it does seem like a natural progression for the game.

Now let’s talk about what there is to look forward to in this brand new game! Just like in previous games, players start out with tents sold to them by Tom Nook. Well now, these tents can be placed anywhere in the game, including on the beach! Players can also now place furniture items outdoors! This is a huge change, because in previous Animal Crossing games, most pocket items simply looked like small leaves, presents, or fossil icons when dropped outside. You’ll also notice from the picture below, there are more options for skin color and hair types. Previously, there were no choices for curly or textured hairstyles. The preview also revealed new lengths and shades of clothing! Flower crowns are available, too!

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As far as actual logistics go, players can now cross rivers whenever they want, instead of having to use bridges. Gardening gets a lot easier in New Horizons, too, with tree and flower relocation! The days of re-planting trees and flower seeds are over! Now, instead of waiting days for trees to grow, players can simply uproot the entire tree and place it in its new location. Switch_AnimalCrossingNewHorizons_04Speaking of trees, besides bearing fruit, when players shake New Horizons trees, they will drop tree branches for crafting! I will admit, I was a bit unsure about the crafting option being added to the game, as it seemed to be a reminder of the terrible Pocket Camp, but this newest preview made me less opposed to the idea. There are new recipes you can acquire to craft different tools and furniture. And players can purchase them from the Nooks, too. So crafting is totally optional.

Another big feature added to the game are Nook Miles. Switch_AnimalCrossingNewHorizons_08Similar to the CAT coupons and badges seen in Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nook Miles are tracked based on achievements and activities. Collecting these miles will help players unlock more recipes and special items. Other main facets of the game are largely the same, like fishing, planting, and bug catching. It is unclear whether or not fossils and deep sea diving will be part of the game play. But don’t worry! Just because this game takes place in a beach-y setting, doesn’t mean the only season is summer. New Horizons will feature the same seasonal changes presented in every other Animal Crossing game, complete with the cherry blossoms, mushrooms, and snowflakes we all know and love.

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Last but not least, the improvement I least expected but that was most in demand: PATHWAYS! That’s right folks, in New Horizons players will be able to design their very own pathways around their island! From the Nintendo Direct, it looks like the paths will be plain dirt. They are certainly not as fancy as all the custom pathways players used to painstakingly create by hand, but they are still cute! Maybe the AC team will surprise us yet again and add a customizing element in some way. My main question is: do these new pathways mean grass deterioration will be a thing of the past? I’m eager to find out.

All in all, I think this game looks phenomenal. I believe it has the potential to keep the classic Animal Crossing nostalgia alive with the contribution of a few new twists. I’m glad the AC team took extra time to improve the game further. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy and start building my own island! 

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– Jenna

Video Game Recommendation: Battle Chef Brigade Deluxe

Battle Chef Brigade is a game I recently discovered when at the store looking at Nintendo Switch games for myself. It originally came out in November of 2017 on PC, Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. I personally have played it on the Nintendo Switch and PC. 

It’s an original puzzle game with match-three elements along the lines of Bejeweled or Candy Crush, but so much more as well. For one, it’s also an action game!? I know, a puzzle game where you also get to hit stuff till it dies? I was super surprised too! 

How the game works is you’re training to be a battle chef, so not only do you have to cook up recipes (the match-three element), you have to gather your ingredients (the action element). 

Puzzle Elements

There’s different kinds of puzzles in this game, helping out Belchior, working in the restaurant, and actual chef-ing tournament matches. 

All of them have similar elements though, you’ll be working with orbs of fire, water, and earth and combining them to be higher levels. As you progress through the game, more types of orbs are added such as bone fragments! It’s up to you to decide if you want to cut the bone out or combine more of them to enhance your dish.  You’re given a number next to a star nearby to help you keep track of your recipe’s quality. The higher the number, the higher quality your dish will be!

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Helping out Belchior is my favorite because there’s no time limit, you can restart as much as you want, and it really makes you think (also he has a ton of cats, and they’re adorable). Each day it’s something different and it teaches you different techniques as you go through it to make your recipes even better for tournament matches! (You also get money, WOO). You get a certain star requirement you have to meet and you have to figure out how to arrange the ingredients you’re given to meet that star requirement.   

Working in the restaurant is really cool too but a little high-pressure because the faster you are, the more money you’ll earn, so you gotta think fast! You’re given a pattern ingredient arrangement, and you have to arrange the ingredients you’re given to meet that pattern. I think I’d like this part a lot more if it weren’t so fast paced! Still super cool, and again, HOORAY MONEY. We like money. 

Finally, there’s tournament matches (and practice battles)! These combine the action elements (which I’ll go over more next) and the puzzle elements. In here you’ll use all the information you’ve gained from helping the scientist and at the Hunter’s Guild and put it to use here! You’re given certain enemies where you have to include ingredients from and certain element types as well that dominate your recipe (fire, water, and earth). This is a little higher pressure but not too bad because you’re given plenty of time to collect food parts and to cook it before presenting for judging. You’ll be making as many dishes as there are judges, so use your time wisely! 

Action Elements

Battle Chef Brigade is a platformer action game when you’re gathering ingredients. You have three inventory slots to enhance your character when fighting. So you can choose to increase your health, mana or inventory, or you can buy abilities to use instead! 70230225_2389676034581621_579338457701154816_o

You can attack, run, jump and explore freely. There’s no turn based system here! I usually like attacking and running away so I don’t die! Mana and health recharge over time which I really like so you can just run away to regroup and try again if needed. 

During the day amidst helping people without puzzles, as mentioned earlier, there’s Thorn at the Hunter’s Guild. You meet with her daily to learn different skill abilities to better collect ingredients when you’re participating in tournament matches! I love helping her out because she’s super cranky but in an endearing way. She has some of the best lines in the game, so pay attention whenever she speaks.  

PC Versus Console?

I preferred the controls on the Switch over playing it on a computer. It felt super awkward on a keyboard and not very comfortable. It was hard to remember what button to press to do which action. Using a controller was a lot easier and more natural! 

The Switch also has the perk of being able to play on the TV with joycons (together), a pro controller or handheld! It’s super cool being able to play it on a big screen and then move to play in bed if you want, instead of being chained to a laptop or desktop. I find it relaxing to play before sleeping! 

Graphics and Voice Acting

The graphics are beautiful and the voice acting is well done too! It really helps immersion. It has a somewhat Avatar: The Last Airbender  feel to it in that it’s definitely anime inspired, but the characters still feel realistic as well. The backgrounds also look like they were painted in a watercolor style that I love, love, love. It’s soft but clear and just looks so beautifully rendered. 

The voice acting is also completely on point. I can’t imagine the characters having voices different than what they already have. 

Soon we’ll have Battle Chef Brigade available on the Switch for Open Video Game Play days (every other Friday and every Sunday in the Vortex for grades 6 through 12)  and for checkout. 

Keep an eye on our catalog for it! Place it on hold to make sure you get it as soon as it arrives!
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Ashe

eResource (Mango Languages) At Your Library!

Based on the title of this post you may be thinking, ‘eResource at your library? Britta, why are you just promoting something the library has, and not something different, like a book or video game review or some craft thing?’
Well my dear Watson, it’s quite simple: we have some pretty nifty stuff offered by our library. Some of you may already know about some of the eResources FPL offers everyone, and some may not. One of the majorly awesome resources we have, I wanted to bring to light: Mango Languages!

For those who don’t know, Mango Languages is a free language learning site and app where you can learn over 70 foreign languages including American Sign Language (ASL) and English as a Second Language (ESL).

IMG_20190715_150505 (2)[Also, no I don’t know why they repeat P and R at the end of the middle row, and beginning of the third. Also, apologies for the grainy-ness of the picture]

All you need to do to get access is create an account while on a computer at the Fountaindale Library – just an email and a password. Simple right? Yeah it is. Once you’ve done that (and of course gone onto that email account to verify that ‘Yes indeed, t’was I who created that account’) you have completely free access to learn whatever languages your heart desires. And no, you don’t need to remain on that computer or need to be in the library to continue your learning, once your account is with the ‘Organization: Fountaindale Public Library District’ you’re good to take your learning wherever you go! Feel free to download the free app, and input your information!

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Want to understand those K-Pop lyrics? We got you! Want to be able to hold a conversation with grandma from India? You’re covered! Want to help a relative learn English? Done!
This site even offers Pirate and English (Shakespearean) if you really want to pass your Shakespeare lit class, or weird out your friends.

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Britta
(Currently taking German)

DIY Board Game: August 27

Remember the simultaneous frustration and delight of playing Operation? Have you always wanted to make your own board game? Do you like working with your hands? Are you a teen in grade 6–12?

If you answered yes to these questions, come to our Do It Yourself: Board Game program on August 27 at 3:30 p.m. in Studio 300! 

We will be working together to build a board game based on the classic game Operation

Sign up today!

Quick Summer Crafts: Leftover Bottles and Jars

Hey guys, do you or your parents have any leftover glass bottles or jars (Mason or Baby Food) and don’t want to just throw them away. Here’s some cool crafts for you that shouldn’t take too long to make.

***Also! Some of these crafts may require adult supervision, or an adults help (like cutting glass), please have your adult/parent help you!***

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Idea 1: Bottle-based Centerpieces

Thankfully this one is pretty simple as you’re just decorating a bottle and filling it with items. You can go to your local craft store to purchase non-perishable flowers (or go to a flower shop/most grocery stores and pick up real ones). There’s no limitation to however you want to decorate your centerpieces; use lace, paint, ribbon, whatever you desire!

 

This is especially perfect for city dwellers. Learn more here.

Idea 2: Starting your own herb/flower garden
Maybe you live in an apartment, and don’t have space to plant outside. If you have tall, thick-necked bottles you can plant your own small garden right in your own window!
Herbs and some flowers can do well in the confines of a bottle, just try not go overboard and only put one plant in each bottle.

 

This one's super easy. Learn more here.

Idea 3: Make your own DIY Nail Polish Remover in a Jar
When I saw this idea, I was totally amazed! You mean I didn’t need to spend minutes on each nail scrapping and rubbing and getting frustrated at how I had to fight with my non-dominant hand to get nail polish off my dominant hand? Nope! With a simple “dip and twist” you got yourself a “cheat mode” for polish removal. For more ‘how-to’ descriptions past the photo you can go: here!

 

Learn more here.Learn how to make the night incredible here.

Idea 4: Turn them into candles/candle holders
Like with one of my previous posts, you can melt crayons and shredded wax and pour them into jars to create your own candles. Or, if you’re planning on spending some time outside and don’t want bugs to keep pestering you, you can use a larger bottle and pour some citronella oil in there; candle or straight oil is your choice. For more help, click here!

 

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Idea 5: Baby Food/Mason Jar Snow Globes
Obviously for the snow globes you don’t need to take a holiday theme, and can instead stick a small toy, or some landscape items in there instead. You can change up the glitter color and make it rainbow, or make it look like rain instead by painting storm clouds inside/outside the bottle and getting blue glitter.
For an idea of how to make the one displayed, I went to this blog: here.

 

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Idea 6: Glass Bottle Wind Chime
There are wind chimes, where you do not need to cut the bottles, like the picture first picture shown above. But if you do (like with the second picture above), remember, ASK FOR HELP. I’ve cut glass before and while people have simplified ways to do it, it’s still dangerous and can shatter regardless of how safe you think you are being.
If you’d like some how-to information to make one yourself, click here!

Britta

Anime Recommendation: Dr. Stone

Image result for dr stone animeAge Recommendation: 13+

Genre: Drama / Survival

# of Episodes: 4+ (Crunchyroll is currently airing new episodes on Fridays) 

Synopsis:

“Several thousand years after a mysterious phenomenon that turns all of humanity to stone, the extraordinarily intelligent, science-driven boy, Senku Ishigami, awakens. Facing a world of stone and the total collapse of civilization, Senku makes up his mind to use science to rebuild the world. Starting with his super strong childhood friend Taiju Oki, who awakened at the same time, they will begin to rebuild civilization from nothing… Depicting two million years of scientific history from the Stone Age to present day, the unprecedented crafting adventure story is about to begin!”

Commentary:

I can definitely see why this is one of the most popular anime this season! It’s action-packed and pretty serious with moments of humor to lighten it up. 

Dr. Stone is a survival-based anime in a world where humans weren’t around for 3,700 years. Nature has taken everything back and there’s only a few humans who’ve awaken from their stone slumber. No more smartphones, no grocery stores, no indoor plumbing! Civilization has to start all over. 

That’s where our main character, Senku, comes in. He’s one of the most intelligent main characters I’ve witnessed (feel free to correct me in the comments!) and is determined that we won’t be in the stone age for too long. Senku wants to save humanity, one person at a time.  

Check out Senku’s adventures, on Crunchyroll, today!