Long, seemingly-arbitrary story to follow. Skip to the last paragraph if you don't feel like reading...
Back when people just started uploading Minecraft content, I was Immediately intrigued by how unique and unexpected it was. Like everybody else, I kept looking up videos and people started growing and eventually picked up steam. I had watched it grow from some random thing into a success. I read and saw all these interesting stories from all types of people saying different things, both good and bad, and kept following to see for myself.
I played the free web browser demo and pirated it and found out it couldn't run on my laptop and decided to give up trying to play it. But just because I couldn't play it didn't mean I couldn't experience it so I kept watching it frequently. It was at that time I gave up watching things like CoD commentaries and ended up with a large chunk of my subscriptions being Minecraft related.
Then it was announced at E3 that it was coming to Xbox 360. I was so exited to finally be able to survive in, explore, and evolve my own world and experience things like getting blown up by creepers and finding my first batch of diamonds. I waited eagerly...
Once I got it and finished the turorial, I made my own world and finally started my first world. Since I had watch so much Minecraft before I already knew the basics. So I started gathering materials and set up my house on top of this hill close to spawn. After the first night, I started deforesting, eagerly contemplating my next course of action while referencing my huge collection of Minecraft videos I had watched. All was well.
But, eventually, I started to slowly realize that I was constantly getting bored of what I was doing and kept switching between multiple tasks. I had started to wonder, almost worry if this game had the longevity and praise everybody made it out to be to keep me interested, like much of the criticism claims. But once my friend finally got it, we started playing together. He was mostly just building random large-scale structures while I was collecting materials and exploring.
We had both started talking about the worries we had with the game and we both felt Minecraft was a little overrated and not as legendary or revolutionary as people made it out to be, but was a simple, fun, almost therapeutic break from the ordinary and, somehow, managed to keep you wanting to come back for more. After this discussion we went silent and kept busy. While chopping down a tree I was listening to the calm, relaxing music and thought to myself, "Man, this music really reminds of the early morning music in Animal Cross..." It was at that moment when a rush of euphoria, an explosion of nostalgia, like a light bulb flickering on, when I had finally come to a realization about all of my feelings, thoughts, and criticism about Minecraft:
MINECRAFT = ANIMAL CROSSING!
Everything about it instantly started connecting. Everything from the music, the mediocre, yet charming visuals, the fun of multiplayer, the sense of accomplishment, the stories and memories formed, the stress-free and happy feelings you get when playing it, the idea of no goal or objective, the different type of people from all age groups that play it, even the mundane activities of chopping down trees, gardening, and fishing.
Other than the survival and combat aspects, This game is everything good and bad about Animal Crossing and I love them. I get the same amount of enjoyment out of both titles and get excited when updates to both titles get announced. I tell all my friends this and they all agree with my analogy. I was always amazed how nobody else seems to think this and felt like asking around on these forums:
Is Minecraft like a spiritual successor to Animal Crossing or is that not an accurate analogy?
EDIT: Just to clear things up: I don't mean similar in gameplay. Try not comparing the gameplay directly, just the aspect of simplicity or joy you get out of putting time into these titles.
I disagree strongly. Maybe you could get that illusion on peaceful, but nowhere else. I spend most of my time in Minecraft exploring dark, monster filled caves scouring the walls for minerals while keeping my ears open for the sound of approaching creepers. When I'm on the surface, I'm creating tools or constructing houses, or exploring for temples and treasure. Don't really get an Animal Crossing feel at all, personally. Also, PC version is the way to go. So much more to do.
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Minecraft makes me feel like I'm three. Playing with blocks and afraid of the dark.
The only similarity I can find is the high addiction-level and lifespan. Otherwise, there are exactly zero similarities:
- Both games are a totally different genre. Minecraft=Sandbox Adventure/Survival/RPG. AC=Sim
- Minecraft lacks any gardening, unless you find placing flowers within a 8x8 fenced area worth gardening. Farming =/= gardening.
- Animal Crossing lacks any trace of adventuring, unless you think walking from the North to the South of your village is highly exciting.
- Minecraft lacks intelligent animals. No kidding.
- Animal Crossing never has any updates, so makes me wonder how you can be excited about any. Unless you mean the new info Nintendo gives every now and then.
- Animal Crossing simulates the real life with a flair, while Minecraft simulates a world with monsters, imagination and much more.
Don't get me wrong, because I love, played and still play both games (played AC Wild World) to death. But Minecraft is in no way a successor. Not even close.
The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
You think that Minecraft: Adventure! Mining! Combat! Magic! Farming mobs with stunted AI!
and Animal Crossing: Walking. Talking. Wasting Bells. Cursing Tom Nook.
can be one and the same?!?!?!?!?!
All I'm saying is that for Minecraft to be AC's successor, you'd have to:
1. Put all the time spent into world generation and thinking of new ideas into mob AI.
2. Make creepers with Tom Nook's face or vice versa.
Lastly, If you HAD been watching minecraft 24/7, you would know that half the game happens in normal or higher difficulty, not peaceful.
Oh god, I haven't played Animal Crossing in forever...
My friends have gotten bored of Minecraft before, then I created a Bukkit server and the plugins gave the game a fresh coat of paint. Unfortunately, painting a shack doesn't change the fact that it is a shack and people got bored again. I can see the connection to Animal Crossing in that people get addicted then get bored of it. Unlike Animal Crossing however, there are so many ways to get back into playing Minecraft (adventure maps, PVP or RPG servers, large building projects, commentaries and let's plays, etc.)
Well, I guess calling it a spiritual successor is saying a lot, but the way I meant it was that it doesn't have to BE the same to FEEL the same. If you want to play it like some crazy survival action game or a building game you can, but I feel it's hard to deny the shear happiness and joy you can get out of wasting many hours into both titles.
So I guess it's my fault for not explaining that I wasn't comparing gameplay directly, but it's still nice to see that most of the replies are just flaming me for my personal analogy.