by Professor Layton, reviewed on
It is playing, even when youíre not!
It is pretty hard to believe that Animal Crossing could have been a Japan-only franchise. The debut game in the series, Dobutsu no Mori Plus, was released in The Land of the Rising Sun for the Nintendo 64 during 2001 and went on to become of the consoleís best sellers. Eight months later, it was released there for the Nintendo Gamecube with the slogan, ďIt is playing, even when youíre not,Ē making a reference to the fact that the game doesnít stop when you decide to turn it off.
The game launched in North America during September of the following year. Nintendo of Japan was so pleased with the amount of effort Nintendo of Americaís Treehouse division put into the localization of the product that they re-released it again in Japan boasting the improvements of the North American version.
It is a Wild World
That was only the start of the franchise. The gameís successor, Animal Crossing: Wild World, was released worldwide for the Nintendo DS over the span of six months, a drastic decrease in the amount it took to localize the original. By taking advantage of the Nintendo DSí capabilities, the game improved tremendously upon the original. More characters, items, and the ability to play online were just some of the major improvements.
Both games went on to be best-selling video games for their respective platforms. Hoping to continue the trend started by the first two games, Nintendo has finally finished up development of the latest Animal Crossing and shipped it to retailers. Titled Animal Crossing: City Folk, the game uses elements of the other games in the series as an emulsifier to create the perfect Animal Crossing experience for casuals, but keeps core gamers quenching for more.
Thereís work that needs to be done
City Folk, literally, follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. Though the subtitle claims to be a fully-fledged sequel, the end result is a mix-mash of the two. It is almost as though the game was made to please newcomers to the series as opposed to veterans. That isnít necessarily a bad thing for gamers who started playing the games with the original, but if you have grown tired or wasnít persuaded by the first two, City Folk probably isnít going to change your mind.
The game starts off by taking bits and pieces of the first two games and putting them together. While on a bus, Rover the cat asks you a variety of questions that will determine what you look like, where you live, and how your town will be structured. So if you are moving to this town for shopping, you will more than likely be located somewhere within the proximity of Tom Nookís and Able Sisters, two local merchants in your town.
When you arrive in your town, the wonderful Tom Nook supplies you with a house, and of course, a mortgage that should be paid off. The thing is, you donít have to pay it off if you donít want to and really, that is the best part of the game. You can do whatever you whenever you want without being penalized. So if you are comfortable living in a relatively small house, you donít have to pay off your mortgage. The option is always there though to increase the size of your house several times, but as it increases, the mortgage does too.
No Pros and Cons at this time