As I am done talking about my life on Bell Tree or other TBT related stuff, I’m going to move onto other personal stuff. We’re still in the Animal Crossing sphere, but today’s entry isn’t solely about ACNL, but it is about something related – the system it was made for. I’m talking about the Nintendo 3DS.
Although ACNL came out in 2013, the 3DS was set for 2011. The year it was released was also the year I got my first 3DS system. In fact, I got it on the day it was released. My mom pre-ordered two of them, one for me, and one for my brother. Even if my first town in ACNL was on a newer 3DS system, I had one prior to my second 3DS, which means that I knew what having a 3DS system was like back in the earliest days of 3DS history. I even got to see some of the processes and updates the Nintendo 3DS had, before the release of the best Animal Crossing game (and even Pokémon Black & White and Mario Kart 7). I didn’t know about when Club Nintendo, Nintendo Zone, and Swapnote were added since I missed those events, but I did know what the 3DS was like before eShop was even introduced. If you never had a 3DS before 2012 or 2013 (or even 2014), I can tell you what it was like back in the beginning.
My brother and I got our 3DSs on the day of the North American launch – March 27th, 2011. Back then, I was very close to my high school graduation. My first 3DS was black, and it costed $250 to order. Yes, it’s true that systems are at the highest price when they are first released, while being the least developed with a very few games. Throughout the whole time I had my first 3DS, it was pointless to own one. There weren’t very many games back then, no Pokémon or Animal Crossing, no special features. In fact, they didn’t even have eShop. If you didn’t own any video games (or good video games) for the 3DS, all you could do is play the Streetpass games, the Augmented Reality games (or AR games), or the pre-installed game Face Raiders (yes, they had that back then). There was no eShop, Nintendo Zone, theme shop and 3DS themes, MiiVerse, Nintendo Video, or Swapnote. There wasn’t even Spotpass. Streetpass games had very few (like one panel for Puzzle Swap and one game of Find Mii with level 7 being the maximum level for others’ Miis. I had fun back at the time, but you would not like that. Even I didn’t have as much fun as I did now.
If I can remember clearly, the only apps I had in the beginning were the 3DS game, 3DS camera, 3DS sound, Mii Maker, Streetpass plaza, AR Games, Face Raiders, Activity Log, Health and Safety Information, Download Play, and System Settings. They also had this White Knuckles music video, which was removed after the introduction to the eShop. One cool feature they had even from the start was the pedometer, where every 100 steps you take, it gives you 3DS coins (you know, the currency you spend to get the fortune cookies at the Nooklings Stores). Back then, the only things you could spend on were heroes for Find Mii, puzzle pieces for Puzzle Swap, and extensions to the AR Games. Because of this, I walked with my 3DS everyday to get up to 1,000 steps daily. My first 3DS, I had several steps taken. If I can remember correctly, I passed 200,000 before the introduction to the eShop. My third 3DS, I rarely used the Pedometer, and didn’t even get to 100 steps since I bought it. Later on in this story, I can explain why I didn’t do it as much.
Back then, my favorite game was the StreetPass Plaza. I tried to get puzzle pieces everyday to complete the panel, mostly by spending 3DS coins. I also did this to hire heroes to play Find Mii. I also liked the AR Games. Those were actually fun. They had target practice, golfing, and fishing (which is a lot like Animal Crossing’s, but had weird stuff like trash, UFOs, and Koopas). In the first wave, there were dragons to defeat in every game (even the fishing one). If you don’t know how AR games work, you should do some research on them. I didn’t really like Face Raiders. Since they had limited games I could play once a day, I spend time on Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 on the PC (I also did some kind of Math PowerPoint that was over 2,000 slides).
The 3DS started to pick up more interest after the introduction to the Nintendo eShop. One thing that changed was the removal of the White Knuckles video. When the eShop was introduced, the game of Excitebike was free, but only for a month. I got it while it was free as I waited to get a 3DS gift card. The first three apps I bought from the eShop were Puzzle League Express, Tetris, and Spot the Difference. My favorite of the three was Puzzle League Express. Even the Streetpass games were no longer fun.
Unfortunately, my first 3DS didn’t last long. At that time, Texas was in a drought (mainly due to the La Niña climate we had, 2014-2015 was El Niño). On the first rainy day in a long time, lightning struck our house, and on a chimney. This caused our house to catch on fire, and before it took oxygen, all I brought out were my phone, laptop, mouse, laptop stand, backpack, and chargers to both phone and laptop. My 3DS was possibly destroyed due to the smoke and water, so I got a second one in June 2012. I repeated the Puzzle League, Streetpass games, and AR games when I got it again. I also saw the additions that I missed (Nintendo Zone, Club Nintendo, Swapnote).
One year after I got a new 3DS, I got Animal Crossing: New Leaf. After buying it, I didn’t need to play Streetpass games or the AR games. I was happy with ACNL more than the others, and later became my most played AC game. If you want to know about my experience on ACNL on my second 3DS, please refer to the History of Westport and History of Belcroft entries. But after playing it for so long, it stopped working right. It was dirty, it won’t connect to the internet properly, the R Button didn’t work right, and the analog stick had no friction on my character.
Because I wanted to start a new town (and since my old 3DS is no longer useful), I bought a third 3DS, which was my first, and only, 3DS XL. I bought it only for one purpose, to create a town in Animal Crossing that I would enjoy the most, StarFall. Because I focused on my town, I never played what I enjoyed playing in the pre-eShop era. I also had the most Wi-Fi activity on this 3DS than any other 3DS. I stopped using my second 3DS as well when I had StarFall.
Even if I used my third 3DS for StarFall, I still went to the eShop. I also experienced more processes, like the introduction of 3DS themes and the theme shop. I bought a few 3DS themes too.
Well, that’s pretty much it. I probably might go over a broader subject in the next personal life entry. My lesson here is to not buy a video game system at launch. But at least I got to see the processes as the 3DS was upgrading.