There is not many games that can fill up days, weeks and even months of your time and still make you want more but Animal Crossing is certainly one of them and with the new entry to the franchise there has been a lot of question on whether it will really be a New Leaf or an just the same old trick?
The base of Animal Crossing: New Leaf is that you move to a new town only to find out you have been made the mayor by a set of strange events. From the start line you are tasked with getting a 100% approval rating from the people in your town by getting you involved with the happens and other going-on’s in the town.
On the road to building your perfect town, you get to know every animal, clean out the waters, collect fossils, finding art, hunting down bugs, run errands and much, much more. Never before have I encountered a game that is so addictive yet so much fun, I could spend hours on end fishing and not even notice. As you progress there is more and more to do and every task is as rewarding as the last. There is even a little venture to an island paradise called Resort Island where you can go swimming, diving, collect seasonal fruit, bugs and sharks.
It is hard to believe that building a town would attract so much fans. Until you play Animal Crossing it is a mystery but once you have seen how brilliant it truly is you can see why. After ten minutes I was hooked; I had to make every villager happy, fill the museum and paying down payments, no matter how far you progress the game still feels endless but not in a bad way.
One of the best aspects of New Leaf is the freedom. From the start you are in control of everything, you can chose the layout of your town, chose the placement of new projects and perfect your own home, making it so easy to fall in love with your village. Designing a home is so much fun as you can change it to exactly how you want it, inside and out.
It is hard to forget about your duties as a mayor while you are on a fishing spree or busy with your new friends but you do have a lot of responsibilities, such as leading campaigns for new additions to the town and being a patron to the local museum. Not only that but you are the only donator. Making friends with your neighbours is as rewarding as making friends in real life, take the time to look after your friends and they will sent you on errands and in turn, pay you with presents.
There really is a whole lot of new in New Leaf, there is a few new activities like swimming and diving at Resort Island, a bunch of new characters, furniture and even clothing options so now you can chose which trousers to wear! Also, if you are a big fan of Nintendo and want a geek-tastic house, feel free to collect all the Nintendo related decorations, from Zelda, Metroid, Mario and more. Plus, for the long-time fans of Animal Crossing you can now group items to save having you from running to the store every five minutes and unload. With the new there is also a lot of old with the return of some character like Nook who is now a fully fledged estate agent.
One of my favourite things about Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the multiplayer, with a good group of friends you can have a great time, from enjoying varies great mini games on Resort Island to trading items.
After making all of your new friends, it is great to have them come over and see your town, but they can dig holes, cut down tress and generally wreak havoc, after a while and constantly cleaning this can been pretty annoying, which is why there is now a “Dream Version” where your friends can terrorise you as much as they want but makes no change to your town, allowing your friends to play their jokes without you getting annoyed.
Also, when wandering about with Street Pass on, you will pick up friends while their homes are stored in Happy Holes showcase across the tracks in the main street. It is great fun seeing different styles and decorating methods to get ideas for your home, if you see something you like then you can purchase it from them to add to your collection.
The main factor of Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the art style, it is so charming, sweet, simplistic and simple. A lot of scale has been added like bigger animals tower over the smaller ones and now they look better, fuzzy animals are now actually fuzzy. Your character is now taller and thinner, giving an over all great feel. The changing seasons are lovely, there is nothing like running through your town in the snow in the heights of winter.
With the 3D graphics brought into the franchise, it really is a welcome sight, with the 3DS there is a whole new depth added to the game that is amazing with the brilliant graphics and art style, now flowers and trees pop, cliffs sore above the beach below, houses have brilliant texture and a whole bunch more.
Everything seems so much brighter and well put together, you really can tell that this game has been cared for, I must stay that I love the item pouch, encyclopedia and letter tab. I like everything in its place and organised and there is now so much room freed up.
The presentation of the game really does help put you in the mood to enjoy every second of fishing, digging, helping, catching and finding whatever it is you need hours on end without feeling bored for so much as a minute. The beautiful and charming art style, well put together story and unhealthy addictive game play truly all goes hand in hand to make one my new favourite games.
To sum up
Once you have gotten into Animal Crossing: New Leaf there is no stopping you. I have stayed up all night simply to fish and catch bugs and not have one problem with it. If you are looking for a game to last and still have you addicted then I highly recommend you buy this title.
Version reviewed: 3DS