One of the most popular GameCube games arrives on the Nintendo Wii
that could be considered the Nintendo version of the "Sims", however
more entertaining. This revival of the Animal Crossing franchise
began on the Nintendo DS with Animal Crossing: Wild World and even
allows you to move your character from the DS to the Wii version.
For those unaware of Animal Crossing, it revolves around "almost"
everyday activities as gamers attempt to pay off their mortgage
through work, tasks and generally have a great time. The Wii
versions is reminiscent of the original, however it has been spruced
up and also offers online play which truly where the game takes on a
whole new persona.
Before starting the game, you can either import your character from
Animal Crossing: Wild World on DS or start from scratch. By starting
from scratch, on your way to your new town, a strange little feline
character will ask you your name and a few other questions in order
to determine your gender.
Once your character's name has been established, you need to create
the name of your town and finally, your bus arrives in your fresh
new city. Upon arriving, you need to make your way to the Town Hall
where you will be given a map of the town and then asked to meet
Nook, the local real-estate agent and shop keep at your proposed new
your new home, you will make an agreement with Nook in terms of
payment and then you're ready to explore your new city. Interesting
enough, I played this game at 11pm at night which meant the majority
of stores were closed and the animal citizens of the town were strangely absent.
that said, Animal Crossing on Wii uses the console's internal clock
and date that effects the gameplay of the title and with that said,
the game uses real-time which is an interesting albeit frustrating
concept for someone who works during the day. Thankfully you can
"cheat" by setting your Wii's internal clock to the daylight hours,
never the less, it's quite an interesting feature.
earn money in Animal Crossing, you need to perform a variety of
tasks for the local citizens or purchase items from Nook's store to
assist you to make money. For instance, by buying a butterfly net,
this will allow you to catch butterflies or by buying a fishing rod,
you can then catch fish. In its simplicity, the game is quite unique
and actually makes paying off your mortgage a fun activity.
The money that you make can also be used to purchase items for your
home or new outfits for your characters.
In relation to the system
clock, this also means that certain items and creatures in the game
are seasonal which does leave the game quite open to how long you
could play this game.
Once your home is paid, Nook quickly
comes around and performs some home renovations which makes your
home bigger and hence, your loan to Nook starts again.
system on the Wii is quite innovative and the developers use this
unique control system to its advantage, especially when you are
trying to catch butterflies or fish. with that said, both controls
are used on this game, the Wii remote and the nunchuck as they mimic real-world movements while your character explores.
Making friends and talking to animals is a big part of Animal
Crossing and by bumping into these folks, they will tell you all
sorts of things and some will give you quests to achieve.
conversations are quite comedic at times and does assist in drawing
you into this wonderful world of animals living in a city. To keep
your relationships strong, you need to write them letters and give
them gifts which will assist in the number of friends you have. If
you are playing the game online and one of your friends visits, it's
quite hilarious when the animals start gossiping of a stranger in
The multiplayer aspect of Animal Crossing: City Folk is brilliant
and allows you and your friends to visit each other's towns. Match
that with the Wii speak microphone and it's almost like you actually
in the same room with your friend. The interesting part of the
online mode is that all the towns are different that you visit so
you will see different items for sale and different plants.
Apart from your little "city", you have the option of taking a bus
ride to another larger city that allows you spend your earnings and
purchase a variety of different items. It's like comparing a country
town to a metropolis like Sydney. You can even go to the theatre and
perform a variety of other activities which are not available in
your home town.
Graphically, the title is quite reminiscent of the GameCube version
with its cartoon inspired world, filled with animal characters. The
best word to sum it up is the game is "cute" that is matched with
the gibberish talk of animals and a great MIDI inspired soundtrack.
At the end of the day, Animal Crossing
will definitely find a new group of gamers who have never played
Animal Crossing before. The best part of course is the online play
which is thoroughly entertaining. A great game with some new
additions from the GameCube version almost makes this its own unique
game. Fun from start to finish!