I've made no secret of the fact that I'm an Animal Crossing addict. The game continues to be a smash hit in Japan. Players clock into their villages every day to gather and sell items, expand and develop, and, in some cases, UTTERLY TERRIFY other unsuspecting players.
One of the enjoyable features of the game, aside from collecting fossils and insects and fish, socializing with the other villagers, travelling to an island to find exotic creatures and play minigames, and making enough money to pay for… Sorry, my mind wandered for a moment there. One of the enjoyable features of the game is the customisation. On the character level, there are lots of different clothes and accessories to choose from. For the village, you can plant or remove flowers and trees wherever you want, or build public facilities, like fountains or lampposts or bridges in the village. On the home level, you can upgrade your house from a small single room to a two-story (plus basement) multi-roomed glory with different themed rooms. The game also allows for some player made designs that can be used to make custom shirts, hats, flags, wallpapers and rugs to further make each village unique.
The social aspects of the game allow for you to visit friends' villages or have friends come over and see your own progress. While this feature requires a wireless internet connection (and friends), another feature that utilizes the StreetPass function of the 3DS does not. This feature enables you to basically put your home on a showcase display in other people's villages and vice-versa. This allows you to see how complete strangers have decorated and customised their homes and hopefully give you some ideas on making a better dream home of your own. But of course, some people took this little feature and went to a dark, dark place…
A recent collection of tweets shows images of some freakishly disturbed rooms that people have managed to put together for the world to see. The anonymity of the 3DS StreetPass function makes it even more horrifying, since you don't know exactly which person you walked by during your time outside might be secretly building their own little virtual rape dungeon or murder room. Now, while the objects placed in these rooms are available in the game and the customising feature does allow for the macabre room designs, I just don't want to wander the player home showcase and find this in someone's house.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is currently available in Japan and is scheduled for release in the West sometime in the first half of 2013.