Review by Stevewins123
"Animal Crossing - a Game for Only Little Kids? I Think Not!"
Hurrah! Animal Crossing: City Folk is finally here! Like me, I'm sure that there are some people who are really excited about this game, some that really think it's lame, and some that didn't know a thing about the game. To start with, Animal Crossing: City Folk is the third game in the series, and has its American release on November 16, 2008. The previous one (Animal Crossing: Wild World) on the Nintendo DS was released in 2005, and the original one (Animal Crossing) was released on the GameCube in 2002. Wow, Animal Crossing has been around for 6 years!?
Unlike your normal type of video game, the Animal Crossing series isn't really a series that you can beat. Instead, you just keep playing and playing and playing. This game is actually based on real life. When you first start the game, you'll be coming into town on a short bus with a driver named Kapp'n. On the way, you'll be asked some general questions such as your name, what your town's name is, your gender, etc. After you're done answering those questions you'll arrive in town, and will get off the bus. Your first stop will be at Town Hall, where they'll redirect you to your house. As soon as you stop at your house, Tom Nook (the city shop owner) will run up to you and will tell you how much it costs, and that you need to pay it off. He'll then tell you that you can work at his shop for a little while to make a tiny bit of money that will help towards paying it off. Although the profit is barely anything, this labour is forced. Luckily, it's easy. Tom Nook will make you do errands such as introduce yourself to everybody, get you to deliver some items to different people for him, plant flowers around his store, and other really simple things. When you're done work with him, whatever you want to do is up to you. At this point, you'll probably want to work towards paying off your house mortgage, so you can try and make some money. If you don't feel like making money, you can explore the game, design some clothes, visit the city, chat with neighbours, get some coffee, customize your house and character, decorate your town, and much, much more.
If you feel like paying off your mortgage and getting that out of the way, there are many ways to make money. Some of the biggest are fishing, catching bugs, selling seashells, and selling fruits. All Animal Crossing towns back onto a lake, and have a stream running through them. Those bodies of water have fish in them that you can catch, and sell to Tom Nook for money. If you prefer to get money from bugs, you can try to catch them and sell them to Tom Nook. Bugs will roam around all over your town. From spiders to butterflies to cockroaches, there's a wide assortment of different kinds, and they all sell for different amounts of money. For example, big, rare spiders might sell for thousands of bells, but small, common butterflies will sell for very few. Different kinds of bugs and fish also depend on what time of day it is, and what month it is. For example, some fish are only available in September, and some bugs are available year round, but only at night. The Animal Crossing series is one of the only series that incorporates real time into the game.
If you just want to make money the easy but slow way, selling seashells and fruits is probably for you. You'll notice that around your town are many trees that have fruits on them. Just go up to those trees, shake them, and the fruit will fall! Then, you can pick up the fruits and sell them to Tom Nook for 100 bells each. Seashells will appear at the bottom of your town on the shore where the lake is. Just pick them up and sell them. After a little while (less than a day) more sea shells will reappear so you can sell them again. Fruit reappears on the trees after a few days. One of the biggest (legit) ways of making money is by selling fossils. Every day, a few fossils will be hidden underground in your town, and will sell for a few thousand each. Unfortunately, there's very few that appear each day. If you don't need to make money, you can donate bugs, fish, fossils, and paintings to the town museum. When your donations are there, you'll always be able to go in and see your collection. Note that you don't get any money for donating to the museum.
When you've made enough money to pay off your mortgage, deposit it in the town hall. Then, you can go and see Tom Nook in his shop. He'll thank you, and will ask if you would like your house bigger. If you say yes, he'll increase your house size by the next day. He'll also tell you how much it costs, which will be much more than the first payment. It just keeps going on like this until your house reaches its maximum size. He increases the size, you pay. He increases the size, you pay. He increases the size; you pay, and so on. Eventually the mortgages will get quite large and will take a while to pay off. In the meantime, you could have some fun. Life in Animal Crossing: City Folk doesn't have to be all work! You can really be kept busy by your neighbours. They often talk to you, try to sell you stuff, and make challenges with you. For example, they might start a contest with you over who can catch a certain fish fastest. If you win, they'll give you a gift that you can put in your house. If you're playing at night and they're all asleep, you can still fish, catch bugs, plant flowers and trees, decorate your house, and more. There's never a lack of things to do.
A new feature in Animal Crossing City Folk that was not in any of the other Animal Crossing games is the city. In the other Animal Crossing games, you could only stay in your town, but in City Folk, there is a bus stop that can take you to a city outside your town. In the city, there's a plaza with a fountain in the center. Around the fountain are many stores that you can't find in your regular town. The stores are: Katrina's, Shampoodle, The Auction House, The Shoe Shiner, The Happy Room Academy, GracieGrace's, The Marquee, and Redd's Shop. You might realise that some of these stores are from Animal Crossing and from Wild World, but they weren't in store format. For example, The Happy Room Academy was in Wild World, but there was no store. Only letters in the [game's] mail were sent to you. You'll also recognise some of the store workers as characters from previous games. In Wild World, Lyle sold insurance and in City Folk he works for The Happy Room Academy. (I guess he went out of business...)
You're probably asking yourself what these new stores are and what they sell, so I'll describe them here. Katrina's is a shop where you can get your fortune told. Shampoodle is a store where you can change your hair style and color. You can also get a Mii mask on your character in this store. The Auction House is where you can bid on items that are there. You can also place items up for sale so that other people can bid on them. As soon as something is sold, the money that is earned is placed in your [in game] bank account. In The Shoe Shiner, you can pay for a person to change your shoe style or color. In The Happy Room Academy, you can ask them to rate the room in your house, and you can view a room that's featured that week. At GracieGrace's, you'll find extremely expensive furniture, some that's even more expensive than your house! At The Marquee, you can sit through a show by Dr. Shrunk. After the show, your character will learn an emotion. And finally, at Redd's Shop, you can visit his store but only with an invitation. The city is an interesting idea, but could have more stuff to do there.
Another new and useful feature that's in Animal Crossing City Folk is the menu toolbar. In Wild World, you'd have to click an arrow at the top of the screen to bring up the menu, but in City Folk, the menu toolbar is all at the bottom, making it much more convenient. Another convenient trick that's in City Folk is the ability to quickly switch tools. In previous versions, you'd have to go to the items menu to switch tools, but in City Folk, you only need to push on the D-Pad buttons to switch. This saves a lot of time and makes the game more enjoyable. The way the town is made has also changed back to what it was like in the GameCube version. In the GameCube version (and now in City Folk) the town can have multiple levels. In Wild World, the town was set to one level, but it's been changed back.
Another big change is that the four humans that can live in your town will no longer be squished into one house like in Wild World. Instead, everyone will have their own house like in the GameCube version. This is nice because then you don't have to fight over who gets what space in the house, and so that everyone has to pay for their own house upgrades. However, unlike the original GameCube version, the houses will not be all in one square, but will be scrambled around the town.
Animal Crossing: City Folk takes advantage of Nintendo's Nintendo Wi-Fi connection service. Instead of just playing by yourselves, you can also connect and play with people on the other side of the world! All you have to do is ask that person for their Friend Code, give them yours, and add each other. You can then go to each other's towns and play together. Some of the many things that you can do are: fishing contests, bug catching contests, hide-and-seek, tag, trading items, and more. To improve online communication, Nintendo is releasing a new peripheral called Wii Speak. It's a microphone that sits on your television and plugs into your Nintendo Wii. With it working, it will pick up sounds that are heard in the room and will transmit them across the internet so that the person you're playing with can hear them. If both players have Wii Speak, you can have a nice conversation over the internet. If you don't want Wii Speak, that's okay too. You can plug a USB keyboard into the Wii and communicate like that, or you could use the Wii Remote and an on-screen keyboard. Nintendo Wi-Fi is great if you ever want to play with someone else.
In conclusion, Animal Crossing: City Folk is an amazing and fun game. It's very addicting and is hard to put down because there's almost always something happening. Be sure to play on holidays and on your birthday so that you can participate in the celebrations that take place! Of course, this review is based on my own opinion. As Animal Crossing is either a game that you love or don't care for, you should take note of the activities I listed above. If the activities I stated before don't appeal to you, than this game probably isn't for you, but if they do, or if you liked any of the previous versions, than this game likely is for you. I wouldn't bother renting it, as it's a game that requires playing over time. If you do rent it, you probably won't get to experience much of what the game has to offer. Have fun!
- The city
- Wi-Fi and Wii Speak
- Separate houses instead of only one
- How it uses real time
- Multiple levels in towns
Could Be Better:
- More stores in the city
- Only 8 character town names
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/17/08, Updated 11/25/08
Game Release: Animal Crossing: City Folk (US, 11/16/08)
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