Ok, I love all of the Animal Crossing games I’ve played to date. I have Animal Crossing: Wild World for the original DS, Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii. So, when my family told me that they (my parents) wanted us (my sister and I), to spend a week driving around the state of Michigan visiting cousins, uncles, my surviving grandmother, and several cemeteries with family members buried in the 1800s and earlier (and they wonder why I turned out this way, gee), I went out and got New Leaf in self defense.
I credit Animal Crossing: New Leaf with keeping me from murdering myself and everyone around me. Seriously. I played for HOURS in the car, although I had to turn off the 3D effect, it made me super queasy in a moving vehicle.
So, in New Leaf, you get to your new town, and you discover that the inhabitants are waiting for their new Mayor, who said that they would be on THAT train. As you’re the only one who gets off the train, you must be the new Mayor. The gameplay is much as it has ever been. You earn Bells by shaking trees, harvesting and selling fruit, digging up fossils, catching bugs and fish. I was a little frustrated because for over a week all I had was the shovel and net. I could dig up fossils, catch bugs, and if I timed it right, I could hit balloons with my net, standing at the edge of the cliff overlooking the beach. I finally got a fishing pole, after I got home and could connect with a friend via the internet and buy a fishing pole at her T&T store. That may just have been a glitch in my game, or a fault of the algorithm, but I got around it.
Now, the new things I really like about New Leaf. I love the free-diving mechanic, where you put on the wetsuit and dive down to catch various sea critters. Honestly, I love that more than is strictly reasonable. I’m also very fond of visiting the island where Tortimer and the creepy sexually harassing turtle who drove the bus in City Folk, and who drives the boat in this one, is from. I’m also pretty fond of the mini-games you can play on the island. Also, being able to connect with friends across the country over wifi is awesome. Seriously, I got home the other night and said, “I have to login to my DS, we’re having a meet up in Garpu’s town!” and ran off to get logged in so we could swap fruit. So, yes, I like the connectivity of the 3DS over the original DS, in addition to really loving the game. I never could get my DS to connect with my Wii so I could unpack my DS suitcase in City Folk.
If you’re expecting anything ground-breaking, this is not it The 3D function is kind of cool, but doesn’t really add much to the gameplay. The variety of fruit you can collect is wider, and there are a few bugs I don’t remember seeing before. The main street is a separate area, and has some new things to do. I’ve just unlocked the Salon, and Club LOL, which is a dance club run by Shrunk from City Folk and DJ-ed by KK Rider.
New Leaf is a solid entry in the Animal Crossing universe with some new, fun stuff like the diving, and the mini games. I’ve really enjoyed it. I don’t know if it’s going to convert anyone, but if you are already an Animal Crossing fan you’ll love it!
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Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want. We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly. Check it out (we’re track 16). We’ve also got a show at the Kraken on July 13th.