Title: Animal Crossing New Leaf
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development, Monolith Soft
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: November 8, 2012
How we got the game: I bought it when it came out many moons ago
If you know me, then you know Animal Crossing is one of my favorite games ever. I recently got into the mood to play Animal Crossing New Leaf again and realized the only Animal Crossing game I’ve reviewed on this site is Happy Home Designer. So, I visited my New Leaf town, which is apparently called, “Kalos.”
Like the Animal Crossing games before it, New Leaf isn’t too different in gameplay. You have your human villager move into a town inhabited by various animals. The goal is pay off the debt on your house, upgrade said house multiple times and paying off that debt, all the while decorating your house, collecting various items to boost the town and make friends with your many villagers.
The shops can upgrade depending on how much money, or bells, you spend there. There’s a general store, garden shop, clothing and shoe store, the post office, and more. Some of these shops don’t open until you meet certain other requirements in the game, though none of it is hard.
You’re also mistaken as the new mayor of the town so you can do some extra stuff – like created public works projects or put certain ordinances into effect. There are four ordinances – beautiful town, night town, early town, and bell boom town. Beautiful means no weeds will appear and your villagers will water and plant more flowers on their own (even if you stop playing your game for a while). Night owl and early bird are as it sounds – villagers and shops will either wake up and go to bed earlier for the early bird town or they’ll stay up later and wake up later in the night owl town. Bell boom makes everything more expensive, which in turn allows you to make money faster.
I personally have the night owl town on so I can go to my private island at night and collect the various beetles and sharks. I make anywhere between 100,000-200,000 bells per trip.
The public works projects are fun as well. Granted, the villagers don’t do much to help it out – it’s basically more money for your to put into the town yourself. Still, it adds more depth to the town. You can add a fountain, benches, and best of all, bridges. Each town layout is large and there’s only one bridge connecting the two halves over the river that splits them up. I personally picked a town map with a bridge on the right-hand-most side. Now I also have a bridge in the middle and on the left to make it even.
While I wish the villagers did more and had more of a variety when it comes to personalities (even though there are a decent amount of personality traits), I find them amusing all the same. I love each and every one of my villagers and will not let any of them leave until I get their picture. Then they can move on so I can collect more villagers.
New Leaf also has “Welcome Amiibo” which I haven’t used. There’s a campground where you can visit certain NPCs in a trailer and buy some of their stuff. You can also put an Amiibo in and they can become a villager in your town. New Leaf allows nine villagers in your town, but you can have ten if it’s from an Amiibo.
I haven’t tried this yet because all my Amiibos are still sealed. Someday, when I open them, I will add Boo into my town or something.
As always, the graphics in this game are great. On the 3DS (I play on the 2DS XL), they’re crisp and bright. The water rippling in the ocean and river are satisfying, the flowers sparkling when watered are great. Everything about this game is aesthetically pleasing to me and the various themes of furniture and such are too much though I’m determined to get it all.
The music is one of the best parts of this game, I think. There’s a new song every hour and it’s so relaxing and calm. I love playing this game whenever I’m stressed or having a rough week. It’s easy to get absorbed into this work and not feel better afterward.
There’s always something to do in this game even after you “beat it” and pay off all your debt. There are so many things to collect – furniture, clothes, bugs, fish, fossils – and the villagers especially are the most fun (and difficult) to collect. I’ll be going back to this game forever and forever.
Animal Crossing New Leaf gets…
5 out of 5 lives.