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Animal Crossing New Leaf: The Search For More Bells

/ Jun 27th, 2013 No Comments

Animal Crossing New Leaf

[adsense250itp]With the release of Animal Crossing New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS on June 9 we are once again back to hopelessly attempting to understand Animalese, catching bugs, and paying off a never ending pile of debt (all much like in real life). Animal Crossing New Leaf provides a fun and user friendly experience involving new concepts as well as improving upon the old. The game continues the fine “life” sim tradition of the series by allowing players to entertain hobbies, see to the daily upkeep of the town (all while on a beautifully programmed real world clock, which takes into account time of day as well as season), and adds a few new twists as well.

Boasting 72 bugs and fish, customization of character all the way from shoes and socks to hair and hats, and enough fossils to wake up even Blathers with excitement, the amount of options in this game is nothing to sneeze at. In Animal Crossing New Leaf the player will be able to once again get their hearts content of fun hobbies around town while looking stylish in the process. Mabel and Able’s clothing store (along with the new accessories store run by their middle sister Labelle) will provide the player with options for clothing, including a variety or shirt, skirt and dress styles. Shoes and socks will also be open to customization, and the option for hats and glasses open up a whole different layer of customization altogether allowing the player to have an in game avatar that more closely resembles their own style (as opposed to past iterations option of fairly gender neutral dress).

Animal Crossing New Leaf

Animal Crossing New Leaf

Fishing, bug catching and fossil collecting still remain the same with the standard procedure for all three (nets for bugs, shovel for fossils and rod for fishing). The ability of the museum curator Blathers to both accept and IDENTIFY fossils is a nice touch allowing immediate gratification of finding a new fossil. As opposed to mailing it out, and awaiting its return as a fully identified fossil to add to your collection. Also, the ability to switch out your equipped tool quickly with the d-pad comes as welcome bit of game interface, as well it allows the player to switch from shovel to net and back easily(in addition to the other tools in the character’s inventory). Fishing seems to be notably improved to a more intuitive, and forgiving experience in terms of the time sensitive nature regarding attempted catches.

Moving away from the fun little quirks of the game, and into the nitty-gritty real stuff (or shopping), the game gets really interesting when you start to travel outside the safety of simply collecting.  In a game without boss battles, Animal Crossing New Leaf does a very good job of making a piece of furniture seem daunting, let alone a house payment. The main town (where players live, collect, etc.) has a recycling center where you can sell the majority of your goods as well as buy furniture and house pieces (sold by other members of the town). Meanwhile in the city there will be not only the previously mentioned clothes/accessories store, but also a goods store and many other surprises. Tom Nook’s own “Nook Homes” in which he mercilessly beats… correction, politely accepts hard earned bells in exchange for remodeling your home or improving it offers a lot more customization than previous games. Nook Homes has options such as fencing, door styles, and the ever popular roof colors. All of this interacts beautifully in a system of collecting and selling to earn bells (money) and then spending those hard earned bells to customize your world.

Wrapping up Animal Crossing New Leaf introduces the most exciting aspect gamers crave into their world, power, but not just simple power, unbridled power without a means of losing it. You are the mayor. This title comes with the power to shape the town how you see fit, whether that means maintaining a beautiful utopia of flowers where everyone smiles and says “Howdy Neighbor!”, or simply tearing the trees to the ground and creating a post-apocalyptic nightmare-scape in which you are a malicious dictator, the choice is yours. The active duties will boil down to deciding what is, and more importantly what is not, built in the town, which can be everything from a park bench to upgrades to a current building in the town or city. Players will also be able to create the town tune, flag and other little fine details as they explore the world.

The game boasts some overhauled customization, and between both its improvements on the old mechanics and its new additions, they make Animal Crossing New Leaf a must buy for fans of the series. For newcomers to the world? It is buyer beware in the sense that this game has A LOT going on and will definitely scare off the faint of heart if the sheer number options are scary. With so many choices it is definitely a game of slowly but surely learning one thing at a time, but when most major changes take an entire real world day to finish, you will have plenty of time to explore and immerse yourself into the world of Animal Crossing New Leaf.

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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