Review: Animal Crossing – New Leaf

Animal Crossing has a become a staple Nintendo game that I can usually be assured that I know I will enjoy it.  New Leaf is nothing different in that regard.  It now stands as my 2nd most played games on my 3DS (2nd to Monster Hunter) to date if you check the built in Activity Log app on my 3DS.

So I started out with my misadventures on New Leaf with an introduction to Isabelle.  When you eventually get to town, you’re greeted by the locals there and welcomed in as the new mayor of you town (right train, wrong time).  Isabelle is your given secretary and helps you with the day to day mayoring.  She’s there to greet you every time the game is turned on to tell you if people need something or if a new person has moved to you town.  It’s useful if you’re the unobservant type like myself some days.  Later in the game you are able to enact ordinances through Isabelle like making the villagers keep the town free of garbage and full of flowers, or have them wake up earlier or later.  It’s a nice addition to the game.

This isn’t from the 3DS version, but you get the point. I just stick with the “Beautiful” ordinance since I hate fishing and getting a tire or can.  (That clothing choice though… hmmm…)

This isn’t from the 3DS version, but you get the point. I just stick with the “Beautiful” ordinance since I hate fishing and getting a tire or can. (That clothing choice though… hmmm…)

The main goal in New Leaf is to still have you town looking as nice as it can.  The issue this time around is that you have an added adversary: yourself!  You will have to battle yourself on what you want to do.  Money comes easy-ish if you want to grind beetles on the vacation island, but that could makes the game feel too short.  Don’t get me wrong I do that, just not everyday.

So there I am without a pocket full of money while I need to make my house larger but my villagers want a campground, a larger museum, lampposts, and a coffee stand.  That doesn’t even bring in the fact that a river will probably cut your town inconveniently in half and you’ll have to pay for a new bridge(or two).  Plus you can only do one of these “Public Works Projects” things at a time.

Other improvements (ignore the not English) include being able to sell multiple items and check multiple fossils at once!  This seems small, but holy moly it was a nice addition.

Other improvements (ignore the not English) include being able to sell multiple items and check multiple fossils at once! This seems small, but holy moly it was a nice addition.

I find myself battling between making my house larger so it doesn’t look like an episode of Hoarders while still trying to buy new stuff to make my house feel “complete”.  Lately I’ve just purchasing items and then reselling them because I’m running out of room like a fiend.  That and once you own an item, you can easily head over to the current version of T&T’s store and order it from the “catalog”.  It’s pretty sweet.  (Specialty items don’t apply here.  Store your Nintendo stuff in your closet.)

Anyone familiar with the older versions of Animal Crossing should be acquainted with Tom Nook.  For those that don’t know, Mr. Nook is the man who will improve your house for a premium.  The main difference in New Leaf is that this time he will ask you first if you want to improve your house and not just auto upgrade and give you the bill.  I feel they would have stuck with the previous method except this time they give you more choices.  You can now add rooms to your main unit (five in total), and then you can increase the size twice for each room.   You’re going to be spending millions on your house… no lies.

So the basic room runs you $348k.  The upgrade then goes to $498k and then to $598k.  It's pretty sick since you NEED the room.  Tom Nook is an extortionist!

So the basic extra room (4×4) runs you $348k (basement starts at $428k). The upgrade then goes to $498k(6×6) and then to $598k(8×8). It’s pretty sick since you need the room. Tom Nook is an extortionist!  (This is a camera photo, sorry for the grainy look, but this the official me!)

Multiplayer is… included.  I have to admit that it’s really only fun for griefing and going to the vacation island for the mini-games.  They are pretty fun for what they are.  They have one where you run around and smack a robot with a hammer… or you can hit your friends, whatever.  Mostly I use the island for farming money (beetles & sharks).

The day to day ensues in New Leaf and expansions are made here and there.  Public Works Projects are brought up and completed in time (mostly on your dime even though the townsfolk can and do contribute).  There are a ton of them and more unlock as you play the game solo and with others.  There is a ton to do in New Leaf and those who have loved the past Animal Crossings will probably find this to be the best version yet due to the ton of options you are given.

Final Score:

Overall: With the absolute boat-load of stuff to do all year round, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a fun time killer. You can load up AC: New Leaf for an hour and feel good about things you’ve done and log out for the day. It is yet another outlet for my “gottah do everything and get everything and make it just so” mentality that makes New Leaf work well for me as well as many in my circle. Some of my buds actually purchased a 3DS just to start playing this with us. If, however, you’re reading the review to see if New Leaf is so fundamentally different than the other iterations of Animal Crossing to see if this one will be THE version to sway you over, I’d say probably not. If the core mechanics of the game is what has turned you off in the past, New Leaf maintains a similar formula. New Leaf has improvements that I totally appreciate and think make the game more streamlined and there is a chance that it may bring you over… but this won’t sway a stalwart hater of the Animal Crossing genre, sorry.  After all, it is an Animal Crossing game for the love of it all.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig


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