REVIEW: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

There’s a lot I can write about Animal Crossing: New Leaf; so much, in fact, that I could write an essay about it. I won’t be writing an essay, but I would like to skim some of the things that make this game an improvement to the series.

The very first thing is its premise. Instead of simply being a villager, the first player is the mayor of the town. That means that instead of having a fully developed town, you actually have an underdeveloped town. The buildings are scarce, there’s no great tree, and the museum being empty actually makes sense. As the mayor, it’s your job to start projects and develop your town, including the new Main Street that houses all the shops in town.

Almost instantly you can see the improvements. You get to choose the map of your town (of 5 given to you) in the beginning, and from there, you get to select where projects are built. Want a bench by the beach? Go for it. A park? Sure! The amount of customization of your town is a really awesome feature. No one town will ever have the same town buildings and similar layout again. To add to the customization tab, you now have male and female specific clothing, accessories, and shoes. Yes, you can buy shoes. You can even buy socks! You don’t even need to wear socks and shoes if you don’t want to.

The art is very Animal Crossing, very cartoony and fun, but you can see a higher resolution and attention to detail, and the 3D looks fantastic (although I barely play in it). The music is good, but I’m still a fan of the original’s music more. However, 8AM’s music is pretty fantastic.

Everything else is pretty much standard Animal Crossing. So why is this game so great? All the little things that show a nice attention to detail:

Nook now owns his own real-estate agency instead of being a shop owner/real estate agent. He also has house customizations for your door, mail box, roof, etc… for sale. Lyle, the Happy Room Academy rep, also puts up shop there. The Nook kids now run the actual shop.

Labelle, working for Gracie in Animal Crossing: City Folk, is now part of the Able Sister’s shop, selling you accessories.

– YOU CAN SIT ON TREE STUMPS

– YOU CAN SWIM! And there’s over 30 new deep sea fish you can only obtain via diving. Unfortunately, to swim you have to have a diving suit on.

– The animals wave when you leave, and they very frequently ask to come over to your house or have you come over to theirs. It’s cool because they actually go to every room in your house.

– You can hang stuff on the wall. It may not seem like much, but it’s cool to finally put clocks on the wall.

– The island is back, and while you don’t have a cool island cabana anymore, you DO have the ability to play cool mini games with friends and make $$$$$$ thanks to the rare bugs that come out after 7PM.

– There are now 6 island-specific fruit instead of 1. It’s nice to see lemons and bananas.

– CLUB LOL!!! Yes, there’s now a night life in your town where you can actually dance to what DJ K.K. is dropping’ down. Unfortunately, it takes quite a while to get Club LOL, and until then you have no access to K.K. Slider. It’s my only real gripe with the game.

There’s so much more to it, but I haven’t unlocked everything, so I couldn’t tell you. So far, the game has been fantastic. If you’re a fan of the Animal Crossing series, do yourself a favor and go pick this up. You won’t regret it!

Gameplay: 10/10

Atmosphere: 8/10

Final Score: 9/10

Just Sayin’

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