Animal Crossing New Leaf a Perfect Life

The video game industry is an ever evolving medium; just this past week gamers around the world celebrated the electronic entertainment expo. We expect games to become bigger and more realistic every generation, but at what cost? At times I feel overwhelmed by so many games that look too similar to each other. How many times can one man play the same military first person shooter over and over? Thankfully there is Animal Crossing, a safe haven from the video game industry and absolute getaway from the stresses of every day life.

Animal Crossing can be a difficult game to describe at times but at its core the game is a life sim. In Animal Crossing you move into a town where you make friends with the villagers. Throughout the day you get to enjoy harvesting fruit, fishing, catching bugs and digging up fossils which all go towards paying off your loan to your new home. Animal Crossing has always been about customization to your household. There are thousands of furniture pieces with wallpapers and rugs to boot that can be found in your local town market to customize exactly what you are looking for your house to say about you.

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So what is new about Animal Crossing New Leaf? In New Leaf you play as the town mayor and for the first time you get to customize your own town! This is done by setting up town projects with your trusty partner Isabelle. Town projects are suggested by the villagers and vary over time.  Some town projects for example can be a new bridge, fountain, or even a lighthouse.  The customization is vast and perfectly fits because just like past Animal Crossing games, this is a game that wants you to play everyday across the year!  When playing New Leaf, there is a sense of pride every time you complete a town project because everyday you walk across the town you get to see it was your hard work that expanded the museum or opened up The Roost (coffee shop).

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A brand new feature to New Leaf is the Dream Suite. It’s a place on main st. where you pay to sleep. Sounds boring? You’re wrong because when you go to sleep you get to travel to people’s villages all across the world! You have the choice to choose what region (I chose Japan) you want to visit and even have the choice to put in someone’s village dream code, which is posted on the message board of every dream village you visit. While you visit the dream villages if you run into Wendell, a walrus wearing pajamas, you can receive the patterns used in the village you are visiting. Liked the brick pattern used across the village you just visited? Go ahead and take, it it’s yours to use now. It’s an amazing feature to the series because every time you visit a great village you get to be inspired in how to improve your own town.

Animal Crossing New Leaf has a slight change in art style, which means the human characters now have a more elongated look ,which gives them the ability to wear pants now. It sounds like a small feature, but in a game of customization this new feature means all the world to fans of the series. Speaking of making your own clothes, a new feature to the Able Sisters shop is the abilty to use QR Codes. You can now upload your clothes or design patterns online where they can be scanned with the 3DS camera. Now people all over the world can share design patterns that they created. I find myself using this feature a lot so my character can look like some of my favorite video game characters.

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Being mayor can be tough, as a reward you get your own private island! In New Leaf you travel to your own island by boat with a funny Kappa who sings you songs. You\’ll find endless amounts of fishing and exotic fruits that can only be collected on the island. One of the best features of the island is the ability to go on tourist attractions, which are essentially mini games you get to play which earns you medals. When you save up enough medals, you can buy gifts from the gift shop like a wet suit, which gives you the ability to swim and dive under water. While villagers aren’t allowed on the island don’t fear about bringing your online or local buddies along. One thing I felt that was missing from previous Animal Crossing’s was a sense of personal interaction with one another when playing online. I felt like the online was just a mode where people raided your village to steal fruit from you and others goods and left when they couldn’t hold anymore. That feeling is now gone thanks to the island where you get to compete with all your friends in a friendly competition. Some mini games may be a labyrinth where you collect specific fruit, a balloon popping competition using sling shots or beating a robot with a hammer as many times as you can. There is a wide selection of tourist activities and it keeps you and your friends coming back for more.

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When visiting friends you now have the choice to add them as a best friend. This gives you the option to see when the person is online and talk to the person without either of your gates being open. So basically this feature gives best friends the ability to communicate telepathically, which all best friends can do in real life of course! This feature is great because it gives you the ability to quickly check if anyone wants to open their gates without leaving them open guessing someone will come. A new feature to the Animal Crossing series is the ability to spot pass. When passing a fellow animal crosser in sleep mode you can swap homes that can be viewed in the Happy Home Showcase on main st. You not only have the ability to view someone’s home you have spot passed with but you can purchase items inside the house that strike your fancy.

Closing Comments: Animal Crossing New Leaf is a game that can be played leisurely or addictively. You have the choice to play for a couple of minutes a day or a couple of hours. It’s completely up to the player and their town is what they make of it.

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