Amey & Claire reviews!

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Furrino Econ Writing Desk
Amey's rating: ★★★★☆

This is a rather good desk in my opinion, and unbeatable for the price. On mine, I use an All-in-one PC with several peripherals and a second monitor. It is holding up well after two months, with no notable sag. Assembly is easy (with two people), but the top platform is slightly 'wobbly'.

Seymac 10.2" iPad case
Amey's rating: ★★★★☆

This case is excellent for carrying and for handheld use. The built-in stand is also satisfactory. I did not care for the included screen protector, but fortunately it includes an alternative front compatible with any other screen protector you may use. It is less than ideal for using flat down on a table, such as to type or certain postures of drawing; the hand strap cannot be nondestructively removed, and the rotating back holds it up away from the table when lying flat and makes it unstable. Removing your iPad from the case is also not quick or easy compared to others.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Claire's rating: ★☆☆☆☆

The short version (click for an 11-paragraph rant): It's a painfully-mid game. Has a lot of genuine improvements to the series but so many decisions made this somehow much worse than any Animal Crossing game before. Every system in a vaccuum is not terrible, but when they're put in a life sim like this, it's hard not to get pissed off at its many ways it tries to retain you. You're more or less trying to get to post game for sunk-cost after a point and that's no way to enjoy a game.
You know it's bad when the switch made to advertise the game doesn't come with the game.

It's just too much of a chore compared to the older games. The concept is pretty nice: start on a little island, build up to something resembling the old games. But, the game just kinda fucks it all up very quickly. The game is a lot more proddingly slow compared to even New Leaf, it takes an unreasonably-long amount of time to get to the mid-game because every time something needs built or upgraded- unless it's in incline or bridge- it takes about two real days for those to finish.

You also only get two shops, and the general store only gets one upgrade. The DIY stuff is neat in a vaccuum, but it is extremely and bizarrely difficult to get very common resources like plain wood. It also does not help that getting DIY recipes are random and you can get repeats. The customization is pretty funny, though; it functions kinda like the armored horses in Oblivion where they're a different actor entirely, and you'd want to remember that because tools break fairly often without literally any real warning.

Speaking of things acting like Oblivion, most of the townsanimals are very generic in terms of dialogue. Lots of repeating strings, lot of pointless dialogue. The main difference is Bliv's systems make them goofy and endearing. Also, you an only get one new villager per open plot a day, and within a day, the plot will be taken over by a rando.

The advertised functions are post-game content. It's not good when your selling points are locked behind completing the main quest. Speaking of quests, there are two currencies*: Bells, the normal money of the game, and Nook Miles, a special currency that can be exchanged for special things, like functions. You get Nook Miles by completing quests and hitting milestones, but some of them aren't finishable without going online. The game will also give you unreasonable or impossible tasks at times.

It's around that last point where it occured to me that the game cannot be finished without having NSO. For instance, a milestone requires you to get every fruit in the game. You can go weeks without noticing that two spots on the milestone checker is completely empty: it turns out, to get those two fruits, you HAVE to play with another player on a different island. It cannot be done solo.

There is also some priority issues your character can have. Digging holes when you're trying to hit rocks, catching nothing behind them, picking up things you didn't want them to pick up. It'd be fine if it happened once in a while, but it happens a lot. Better hope it doesn't happen around a tarantula, or you actually go down and respawn at your house. Speaking of your house, it is pissingly-easy to accidentally upgrade your house when you didn't mean to, and while it's easier than the older games to earn money, everything just costs so much except clothes and flowers.

Relatedly, the shop's Hot Item is uncraftable because either you don't have the DIY recipe or don't have the resources, which would be fine if they didn't repeat recipes you already have or would be more abundant with resources. The Nook Miles shop also doesn't really update or restock, it gives upgrades, some fancier DIYs, plane tickets and Bell vouchers (you get 3000 Bells each). But after a while, there's no reason to use the Nook Miles shop- it's so bad there's a task where you have to spend NMPs to... get more NMPs.

There are good things, though. The game's cute. The house customization is better than the old games with accent walls, ceiling items and the advanced placement editor. Custom decals are easier to make and there's more variety of things to make. The Nook Miles Plane Tickets are useful for those tasks that are unreasonable (as long as you have points, which are hard to get when you really need them). If you have Amiibo or have online, you'll probably have more fun than me.

Oh yeah and there's a casting couch in the first room of Harv's photo house for some reason. I, don't know what's up with that, apparently it's not random, that's just what that room has by default.

Either way, the game's a time sink that just took out too much of what the older stuff made fun or at least playable enough. You're genuinely better off buying some Animal Crossing lego sets instead, you'll have a better time with it and you can invite Luke Skywalker to your place so take that Nintendo. Or just go buy a different life sim. It'd probably be better than New Horizons *I should note I don't have the DLC, but I doubt that'd improve the experience any.

I forgot to mention that you can place items on the island, which is a genuine improvement, but it's such a nothingburger positive.

Commercial Chef Microwave
Amey's rating: ★★★★★

With this purchase, I went out of my way to get a simple product. No "modes," LED screens, membrane buttons, or clocks. And it's great! On medium power, it doesn't explode my chili, and I have not yet had any issues with it whatsoever, after three years. As easy to clean as any other turntable microwave. The only relative downside I can name is that if you need more precision than about 30 seconds, you have to just count it in your head. A small price to pay for elegant simplicity and less light pollution in the home, in my humble opinion.


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