Name: Animal Crossing review Category: Adventure Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1-4
Animal Crossing 10/10/2002
Learn Game Programming
DeVry's Game and Simulation Programming curriculum will prepare you for taking on various development roles in the game industry.
Game Art & Design Degree
Westwoods’s game art & design program will teach you everything you will need to know before you apply for a job in the game industry.
Nintendo introduces it's most innovative title yet!
Welcome to the world of Animal Crossing. This game is by far one of the most original, fun, and addicting games that I have ever played in my entire life. And that is no exaggeration, either. Animal Crossing just has this “way” about it that makes it extremely unique and definitely sets itself apart from all the other games out there. If you are even slightly interested in what this game has to offer, by all means, read on.
Graphics Animal Crossing is a perfect example of “graphics don’t make the game.” The game is very colorful and quaint, and just suits it perfectly. This harkens back to its previous N64 incarnation, which was released only in Japan. For instance, all small items you can pick up as well as all the tree trunks and vegetation in the game are 2D sprites. The game runs at a constant 60-fps (it better!) and never misses a beat. Each randomly-generated map in your town is made up of 30 “Acres” on a 5x6 grid. You run around through each acre with an overhead, isometric perspective, Zelda 3 style, such as when you reach the end of one acre, the camera automatically scrolls to the next. All of the villagers in the game are bipedal animals, which there are over 250 of them to meet and interact with. The animals as well as your own character are very low-poly and the textures can get very blurry sometimes. I wish they could have given you the option to design your own face, because your character resembles a very bland Raggedy-Anne and Andy, depending on if you’re a girl or a boy. In the end it really doesn’t matter, it’s what you can do that counts.
Sound The sound category is also very lacking due to it being a port of an N64 game, but again, it really suits the game. There are well over 100 different MIDI tunes in the game, each of varying genres and tempos. There’s even a white dog named Totakeke (a.k.a. “KK Slider”) that plays acoustic guitar on Saturdays at the railroad station. He has 55 different songs to choose from, and you can request your favorite song for him to play. After he performs, you get to keep the track to play it in your own home stereo (in the game, not in real life!). So even though the tunes aren’t Square quality, they’re still fun to listen to, SUPER-catchy, and don’t take much away from the game. When you talk to the animals, they all speak in “Animalese” which sounds like a mixture of English and gibberish. Some words are spoken, while others are blurred together. There is probably so much dialogue in the game that no one could ever see it all, so this is a way of getting around it. And if it gets too annoying for you, you can turn it off.
Gameplay The game starts out with you on a train, heading toward your new town. A cat named Rover comes up and asks you questions, and your answers to these questions tell how your game to be set up. (I named my town “HELL”, and this called for some really funny situations, such as when I got off the train, the monkey at the station said, “Hope you enjoy your stay in HELL!”) The main point of the game is to be a citizen of your town, and to interact with its villagers, any way that you choose. If you want to be a nice person, go ahead. If you want to be an asshole, you can be. Hence, the “Communication Game” moniker that the game has been dubbed. It also heavily uses the Gamecube’s internal clock to determine what day, time, and year it is. So whatever time and day it is in real life, it is also in the game. Special events can occur on certain days, and the game celebrates American holidays and your birthday too. You can do so much in this game that it makes my head spin. You can do all of the following and much, MUCH more: - order items from a catalog - chop down trees - catch bugs/fish - shop in a store - make friends/enemies - do jobs for people - plant flowers/trees - decorate your house - use an umbrella in the rain - mail/receive letters - listen to music & compose your own - play NES games - make/wear your own clothes - shake fruit from trees - go to different towns - invite others to your town - write on a message board - earn money & items What’s that you say? You can play NES GAMES?!?! Yes, there are many NES games that you can find throughout the game to collect and trade with your friends. For instance, on my birthday, one of the townsfolk gave me the full version of NES Donkey Kong. I was VERY happy. :)
Overall The thing that sets this game apart from the rest is just how addicting it is. It really is a new and fun experience, something that can’t be said about many games today. If you have 3 other friends, each one of you can make their own towns, and you can all interact with each other or visit each other’s towns and get your own houses there. So one could live in 4 different houses in 4 different towns, and interact with all of its villagers. Maybe now you see how infectious and fun it really is. This game stole my heart, as well as my soul. If you have 3 other friends and they are willing to play it with you, I would wholeheartedly recommend buying the game. If you are a loner, however, you can still enjoy the game, you just won’t have the majorly fun option of interacting with your buddies. I’m hoping Nintendo wises up and puts this game online, because it is really begging for it to be played that way. It is also a game that will sorely be tossed aside and defined as “kiddy” mainly because American casual gamers have their precious images to uphold. (would a 10 year old know what a mortgage is? I think not.) It took them 2 years, I believe, to localize the game, so don’t you think that deserves your attention? Pick up this sleeper hit, and enjoy it for years and years and years--you will not be disappointed. And with a Memory Card 59 packaged with the game, GBA-Link support, and E-Reader support, Animal Crossing is worth every single penny.