Animal Crossing: New Leaf [3DS / PAL]

4.04.2013 @ 20:53:48 | Midori  |   français

Current Mood:Fiesta emoticon Fiesta

Again, a test for and on s2p.

Animal Crossing is composed of cute and funny villagers, that at first give an impression of kid’s game…

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 1. Dear diary, in this new city, the mayor is elected randomly. It is the first person stepping out of the train. And since there was only me, I am the mayor. Is it not a bit risqué? Well, I say so…

Round animals
And suddenly, you see water drops on flowers, the small detailed motif on some clothing, or the two insects that look so much alike except for a small mark or antenna. And that is the moment you realise the graphics are deep, and beyond the sugary-tangy colours, the work was well done. The curves of the ground, the same as in previous titles of the series, is sometimes creating visual illusions, but globally, the visual aspect is good. Let us hope you do not fear insects!

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 2. Apparently, everyone is happy that I am the mayor. I still do not know if it is really legal. I shall come back later, I need to water the flowers.

Whistle While You Work
Animal Crossing’s music, though fun and popular, is nothing extraordinary, it is easylistening. It may even, at some moments of the day, become quickly annoying, and it tends to mask sound that should help you find insects and catch fishes. Unfortunately, I did not find any option to stop the music without muting the sound; still, with the update possibilities of this game, it could still come. And if you go to the island, you will hear the seagulls…

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 54. Being mayor is tiring. You need to fish, catch insects, dig holes, water plants, decorate the place, decree many things… pffff. Luckily, my secretary, Isabelle, is always awake.

What do you mean, I have no pockets left???
Animal Crossing New Leaf, it is the game where your character spends time fishing, bug hunting, fruits collecting, bartering, and… interior design, which is necessary so as not to feel like you live in prehistoric time. Tools are luckily intuitiv in their use, and swaping / puting away is done either through the screen, or, for very quick access, with the multidirection button. Moving is with the joystick and menu, validation and cancelling with x, a and b. The worse part of it is not the need to pull out a precise tool, it is to scare away a bug by catching a fish, or removing a fish by swimming. And obviously, the “pocket” limit of 16 spaces, and the lockers limit of 180 spaces always occur at the worse possible time, forcing you to choose which rare item you are going to abandon.

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 128. WHO IS LEAVING PORTABLE HOLES IN MY TOWN, WHO?

Where we talk about adaptability
New Leaf adds some things that quickly become essential: constructions, very nice to add (for example) bridges; diving that is a new category of things to collect; decrees as mayor, allowing to orient your town. From late riser to early bird, you can now personalise your town heavily. You will probably have to wait or exchange to get full collections, since the game follows the seasons and circadian rythm. But if everything is expensive, fishing, bug catching and helping your villagers is easy, while a bit time consuming and sometimes boring. There is nothing difficult as such in this game, if you wanted a “hell and worse” mode, go away.

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 212. Good, I took care of that unbearable villager. Now, how to get new ones? And who can find me a balloon bed??

It’s about a nice guy…
Obviously, with such a game, there is no scenario as such. But… well, with the conditions of the begining, where you are chosen as mayor when you arrive, you can decide what to do with your town. You also have the officials, Isabelle, the mayor’s secretary, the Sable sisters in the clothing store, the museum curator, and so on. There are villagers you can greet, chase, help, torment, … as you wish. You can seek all collectables, set up your house and extend it, so in the end, there is no feeling of lack.

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 289. Apparently, the painting seller is a crook. I also have a dandelion invasion, and a camel who decorates my house by force.

Take the train
It must be one of the games that uses most extensively the multiplayer / streetpass / … that I had the opportunity to test. You can visit / receive visits locally, regionally, or internationally. You can share or not your island on the same bases. You can send messages and receive presents at the post office, and exchange fruits and collectible in the same way. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the game on my continent, so as not to have problems with the language barrier: I still do not know how to say “I do not speak Japanese” in Japanese, but the exchanges were nice and also allowed me to see more advanced clothing and accessories. There is also the possibility to communicate designs with QR codes.

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 301. Someone gives me earplugs, for heaven’s sake, this captain really sings awfully!

The Neverending Story
The advantage with Animal Crossing is that it is an unending game. The problem with Animal Crossing is that it is an unending game. Yes, I think that past the first days where you establish the bases of your town, Animal Crossing is a game to fill 10 minutes of your day, or exchange with friends. You can play at your rhythm, begin your town anew if you want (think of puting your important and rare items at a friend’s for safekeeping), and so on. I cannot give a replay value to this game since it is never truly over. But it is interesting for all.

Marmidotte’s logbook, day 328. Well, I built bridges. Sewers. Benches. A clock. What do they want now, my villagers? Eeeh? A centre of what????

New Leaf is one of these games I thought impossible to improve or renew, and still Nintendo managed to do so without spoiling it. With all additions, the new things, and the multi game, it really is worth trying AC:NL even if you played the previous games.

Marmidotte’s logbook, day #±≠. Agaztuizk slkhk akak…. (the rest is illegible)

+ The freedom of play (do whatever you want), the number of possible actions, the exchanges (game, local, internet), the recurring puns and silly humour, the screeshots in game.
– the pockets and lockers limits, the bugs sometimes in multi-player, the impossibility to import anything from older games.

Tested on the eShop version

Small note
There is again a special console 3DS XL collector *Animal Crossing New Leaf* with the game included. As for the game’s language, and from it, the language of the puns, it depends of your console’s settings. And if you are real fans, miniatures are available, including Isabelle and the town hall.

Grades on 5:
Graphics: 3.5
Sound: 2
Gameplay: 4.5
Difficulty: 4.5
Scenario: 4
Length and replay: 5

Anyhow, here are a few sites for wonderful designs through QR Codes (to use at the Able Sisters after talking everyday with the one at the sewing machine…): Hub with sources < = Sailor Moon, Ace attorney, ... inside!! [iPhone App] [best iPhone & Android App] [Town Tune Generator/help]

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