Animal Crossing: New Leaf Review

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Guest writer Jon Lee tells us what he thinks about the newest installment of Animal Crossing!

Welcome, Mayor, to your new town. It’s a little small, quiet, but in time it can become a bustling little metropolis. In your new town you will be able to set ordinances to guide your citizens between being early birds, night owls, public appearance maintainers, and money mongrels. You will also be able to construct public works  to improve the overall quality of your town, placing it in a location of your choice, and raising funds to complete the project. Your town will also include a small shopping district where Tom Nook will be your real estate agent; Timmy and Tommy run Nookling, a convenience store; Able Sisters, a clothing and accessories store, will be run by: Mable, Sable, and Labelle; and finally the town’s museum, where Blathers the curator, will gladly accept donations of bugs, fish, paintings, and dinosaur bones collected by you. Alas, your mayor days are not all work, you will also enjoy Tortimer Island, where Tortimer the previous mayor, will allow you to visit his tropical haven. Please enjoy your time as mayor, and welcome to Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Animal crossing returns this time to the 3DS as the fourth title in the series released in America. Fans of the game will recognize old characters, such as Tom Nook, his nephews, Able Sisters, Blathers, Phyllis and her sister, and the infamous Resetti. The game features new gameplay with the ability to go wifi and connect to the internet, so you can travel to your friend’s town across the world. Every town will have their shopping district in the same order from left to right.

Some of the newer features including instating an ordinance, creating public works in a specified location, the ability to share your house with those around you using street pass, and the ability to share customized clothing with QR codes that can be posted online. Sharing your house will mean other players will be able to buy items from your house, any time of the year for a higher fee, and it will be showcased in the Happy Home Showcase area behind the shopping district. Dream Suit is also a major new function allowing players to go to other towns without need of internet, though you can’t bring anything back with you. The player is now also able to wear a dress regardless of gender, buy shoes and pants.

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Customization and collecting is the games’ main selling point. By going to Able Sisters shop, you are allowed to make your own patterns, or even dress/shirt as a ‘Pro Design’ allowing you to customize not just the front and the back, but also the sleeves, allowing for more intricate patterns to go with your fancy hat and/or masks. Collecting fossils, bugs, paintings, and fish has always been a great experience, striving to complete the collection as some bugs and fish appear at only certain times or hours of the year, while paintings can only be sold to you by Red the Swindler, with the possibility of being fake.

Personally I have been playing the game for over a month, and I can’t wait to get up in the morning to start my day by… escaping my life by playing the game. My character has two sets of clothing, while in the town he has a jester hat, mask, and clothing, while on the island, he wears a wetsuit with a frog hat still with the jesturemask. The personalized dialogue between each the player and villager always makes me laugh as it varies between seasons, weather, and time of day. The random items in Nookling, and learning about the Able Sisters thought the games are always a joy to look forward to. Finally the ability to go wifi with the game makes the game feel a lot bigger and connected. Every town is guaranteed to be different even if some of the villagers might be the same.

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Overall the game is very appealing to all ages, with each anthropomorphic villager having his or her own personalities and house styles.  Its open ended town simulation allows the player to play at their own pace for as long or as short as they’d like. The one feature I would have liked in this game would be the ability choose where the villager’s house will be, but overall the game’s slow pace and self oriented goals allow for much more freedom.

10/10

The review was written by Jon Lee.

Edited by Nikki Yuan.

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