Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Not Your Typical Farm Sim

Last month I was able to get back in the groove and churn out my goal of 2 posts per week. And then Animal Crossing: New Leaf came out for the Nintendo 3DS. As addicting as they are, I never got into "life simulation" games like Farmville and Harvest Moon because I found all that planting and building with no end goal in sight to be tedious. Give me some good ol' real-time fighting, plus something resembling a plot (aka Rune Factory), and I'm all over it. So when K told me that he wanted to get the latest Animal Crossing game for us this month, I was highly skeptical. Plus, the art design is so simplistic and kiddy and the humans look kinda bug-eyed. However, it's apparently the highest-rated title in the series so far and everyone on the Internet is going gaga over it, so I decided to give it a shot.

Animal Crossing vs. Rune Factory
Animal Crossing and Rune Factory may both look cartoon-y, but I still prefer the latter's anime style. >_<
You're basically a human mayor in a town populated with anthropomorphic animals, and you can do things like plant trees and flowers, catch fish and bugs, work on your house, and start public works projects. In other words, all the typical farm simulation gameplay. However, the main thing that will give this game some longevity in my hands is the social aspect. You can visit other player's villages to sell your fruit for way more money, buy stuff that isn't available in your shops, and have a higher chance of catching rare creatures to put in your museum. It's like 4-player Gears of War, but with fishing rods instead of rifles.

Animal Crossing New Leaf - beach time with friends
Beach time with my homies
Another thing that's unusual to me is that time passes in the game at the same rate as in real life. In other words, if it's 9 pm in the real world, it's 9 pm in the game. The sun will have set, nocturnal creatures will come out, and the house lights will be on. Unfortunately, that also means that some of the shops will be closed, so as town mayor, I had to pass an ordinance to make my village have "night owl" hours. After all, I can't really play till Dexter is asleep.

Night time and rain in Animal Crossing: New Leaf
The real-life time creates a perfectly synchronized hour in Animal Crossing
I haven't been playing that long, so I'm sure more activities will unlock in the future. So far, though, it's pretty fun. Hours can slip by before I notice the time. O_O So I'm taking a break from digital town building to do something in the "real world," aka write this blog post. :) If you're looking for a casual yet social game to try out, consider Animal Crossing. And if you already have it, email me so we can trade friend codes!


lilirious said...

I used to play animal crossing a LOT.. crazy amounts of time would vanish just like that.. then i'd find weeds in my town.. then people would be mad at me and complain that I never wrote them.. :( Don't have a 3DS just yet, but this is one of the games I'm really looking forward to :D

A Gamer's Wife said...

@Lilirious - That's why I was always afraid of getting into Animal Crossing! It reminds me of Nintendogs... if you don't play regularly, I've been told your puppy may "run away." O_O