Animal Crossing, what a sordid past we have had. Ups, Downs, and just plain old heartbreak. But now you're back in my life and I couldn't be happier to have you back. Oh, hello there dear reader, I didn't see you there... Well now this is awkward... I guess I'll just have to tell you why I love this game as much as I do. So if you've been hurt by this game series read on to find out if you'll fall in love again or if this is just another cheap attempt from Nintendo to cash in on your addiction to an amazing series. Oh, and if you've never played the game before in any iteration keep reading to see if this is the addict- I mean game for you.
For those that haven't played the game there really isn't any kind of story. You, a young person moving out into the wide world, arrive in a town that you name yourself. A nice tanuki by the name of Tom Nook usually offers you a house at this point in time and then charges you a huge amount a money for said house. But New Leaf is different, something that fans of the series will appreciate. This time after getting off the train that brings you to your town you are greeted by the villagers of the town and touted as the new Mayor. This is obviously a mistake but the animals, who will now be your neighbors, will have none of your backtalk. So instead of setting yourself up with a home, you go to city hall and apply for an ID card. An issue arises though, you don't own property. So now you're off to see Mr. Nook, who no longer runs the local shop, but a local relator instead. He sets you up with a tent until you can come up with 10,000 bells, the in game currency and then he'll build you a house. Once you're in your new abode you can get your ID and be allowed to sit at your mayoral desk. But now you need to get the approval of your citizens... Okay I'll stop there because this is becoming a walk-through. To explain in short, once you've finished the tutorial, which is what all that is, you can start making decisions as mayor.
Mayoral duties are an amazing addition to the game. Before you kept making money to improve your house, but now you have to save up to improve your town as well. Want a new bridge in town? Well you have to pick where it goes and then pay for it. If you're not made of money or just don't know how to make it, you'll be happy to know that all the public works take donations which your villagers will slowly pay off alongside you. There are also ordinances that can be enacted. Are you a night-owl? Well you can change up your town so people and shop are out and stay open later. Want your town to produce more money for you? You can do that too. The only catch is that you can only have one ordinance at a time and each one costs 20,000 bells. On top of the public works and ordinances you still have to take care of your own place. Nook still improves your house for mass amounts of money and you'll want the extra space for all the cool stuff in the game.
Nintendo had also added Streetpass functionality that I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing yet, but from what I've read you can see the person's house that you've passed and even buy objects from it at an inflated price. I look forward to having this experience and seeing other people's places. Speaking of buying and selling, New Leaf has more than just Nook's store, now run by Timmy and Tommy (Nook's nephews). It now has the Re-Sell building where you can sell objects and has a daily item that is always worth extra. For instance in my town socks are selling for extra money, whereas yesterday it was perfect cherries that would pay more. Re-Sell also works as a flea market where you can sell your objects for your own set price. The villagers do sometimes buy the items in the store, but more importantly they do put items there as well.
New Leaf takes the city living from one of the last games but refines it. All your needs are taken care of here on Main Street. Able Sisters fashion, Nook's Real Estate, Nook's Shop, the museum and more buildings that unlock as you play. Animal Crossing New Leaf is full of that kind of stuff, things that unlock as the days pass, making you want to turn the game on every day just to see if something is new. The museum is like it's always been, catch bugs and fish and donate them to the museum, find fossils and get them appraised by Blathers and then donate them too. Fill your museum and make your villagers happy at the same time.
Other places to go other than your town is the island that the town's old mayor turns into a resort. There you can play some mini-games or collect tropical fruit and bugs. This is also where the new wet-suit feature comes into play. Here on the island you can acquire a wet-suit that lets you swim in the sea and collect even more sea creatures then ever before in an Animal Crossing game. The island is also open to visiting random players once you've got a membership to the island meaning you can play mini-games against others or just meet up with players from around the world.
The visuals are much improved over the last games in the series and for those of you who are into AC fashion you'll be happy to know that you can now purchase and change your characters pants. Custom clothes making is still in the game and the variety of clothes have improved, allowing you to make your character much more personalized than ever before. The 3D effect is not necessary to the game, but really when is it? That being said it does work well with this game, especially on the 3DS XL which just happens to comes bundled with this game. Sound is what you'd come expect, the animals still speak in animal-ese and Town Tunes are still the same bit-music you've come to love.
This game is definitely a step up and for those that have felt burnt in the past I really suggest picking this game up. for those that have never played the game before I really do suggest checking it out if you're a fan of collecting things in games or a fan of The Sims. Let it be known though that this game isn't something that will take you're entire day away from you, instead it'll take chunks of the day. Fish for half an hour on the bus, or go around and some chores for the other villagers, play some mini-games on the island, water flowers... the list goes on. That's why this game is the perfect game to get digitally on your 3DS, you always have it with you and if you're running out of things to do you can play whatever you've got in the cartridge slot of you 3DS for another game to play. Animal Crossing to me is something, for me at least, that you check periodically and the bonus of not having to switch game carts or carry a game case makes this game even more accessible. Check out Animal Crossing: New Leaf, your 3DS will thank you for it.