i’ve been a fan of the animal crossing series since the gamecube days, so it was only a matter of time before i played the latest entry animal crossing: new leaf on 3DS. this is the fourth game in the series released in the US and the game probably has the most new features of any of its sequels, although the DS entry probably comes close.
the new features of this entry keep with the sim/customization focus of the previous titles, and although it’s easier than ever to visit other people’s towns, exchange designs (via QR codes), and you can now customize your entire town instead of just your house, none of the new features really grabbed me enough to make me want to relive the entire animal crossing experience of collecting bugs, fish, and fossils, making friends with villagers, planting flowers and weeding, and paying tom nook for house upgrades again. a central change is that instead of all the stores being available from the start you have to unlock some of them (and several buildings have upgrades as well). while this gives the game a better sense of pacing, for people who have played the previous games there isn’t a whole lot in the way of new buildings or characters so there’s not much surprise there. all the changes are for the better for the most part, though, and i appreciated the more-laidback design (weeds appear less frequently and it’s generally easier to earn a lot of bells), although the removal of the ability to send letters to your friends over wi-fi is completely baffling.
i still put in a good chunk of time exploring the new features and i’m sure i’ll come back to the game every once in a while, but for now i’m happy to set the game aside and move on to other games. nintendo continues to play it safe and evolve their series by baby steps as opposed to leaps and bounds, but i’m mildly hopeful that the upcoming zelda and mario games due in a couple of months will take more risks.
quite new animal crossing: new leaf links:
– great guide
– iwata asks interview
– someone’s random but amusing playthrough blog
– series of producer/director interview videos via nintendo of europe