Community Review: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I don't get Animal Crossing. My first Animal Crossing experience was on the original DS. Based on reviews, it was one of the first games I picked up for the console and I just literally felt as though I had no idea what I was doing, or even what I was supposed to be doing.

That weird feeling of just sort of wandering around the environment doing all these things that felt completely insignificant has stayed with me, to the point where I have zero enthusiasm for Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Absolute zero. I can't imagine how I would enjoy it.

But I've almost succumbed. On twitter people seem to be going mad for it.

So what I would really like to hear from this Community Review is, to begin with, can someone explain to me what is interesting about this game? What it is that sucks people in? I sincerely want to know! I love my 3DS, and I tend to love Nintendo's quirkier offerings, so there's a part of me that would really like to love Animal Crossing. Maybe there's misfiring synapse in my brain or something?

Drop your thoughts on the game in the comments below!


    Nah, you'll be right :P


      That stalk market.

      I bought a bunch of turnips for the first time, at 101 bells (missed the salespig last Sunday morning, but remembered this time). I've since found out >100 is a high price but I wasn't to know. Am keeping an eye on the daily turnip price now to see if I can turn a profit. They were 150 bells yesterday, which was tempting, but I've seen reports of prices like 400 bells!

        Mateeee I saw reports of 300-600. They were 108 on my first week but I bought about 21k worth (200 turnips) anyway to try it out. I hear the buying prices range from 90-110.

        I had pretty low selling prices for the first few days but decided to sell around 150 just so I didn't lose anything. The next day? They were 485. WHAT.

        I tweeted and told TAYbies about it and Batguy came to sell his turnips in my town. Immediately after he goes back to his town and checks his own prices... 600 WHATTTTTTT!

        That's why we need to work together and we can all profit big time! The whole 90-110 buying price doesn't make a huge different when you can sell them for so much more. Powalen said he heard reports of them being as high as 900. INSANITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        So yeah, bought 460k (4600 turnips) worth yesterday! :D

        Last edited 24/06/13 4:25 pm

    It is most certainly a case of there is no real explanation of what makes people enjoy the game.

    The need to complete sets of things? The mindless gathering of things so you have more things? Who knows, but it is fun, something that is very mid to low tier in brain power needed so you can play it while you do most anything else that doesn't need your hands.

    4656-6337-3102 for anyone else playing.

      Will add you tonight. I need some people in my friends list, I have nowhere to visit.

        sure, make sure you add your FC in reply to this. I think its a bit funny that you have to add each others FCs to link systems, Nintendo are really out of touch with online policies.

          Will do. Would of thought the 3DS would of had an update by now to make this easier. It's like launching a nuclear missile..we must both turn our keys in 3, 2, 1 !

    It’s funny because while I really love Animal Crossing (I downloaded New Leaf at 5 past midnight on the Saturday morning it came out), the sheer pointlessness of it makes me question what I love about so many games.

    Is it REALLY worth the time invested in my Skyrim character when it’s really just a collection of stats buried in 1’s and 0’s? Does it matter that a 6 digit figure flies out of a shot enemy in Borderlands 60+ hours after I was doing the same thing with a single digit coming out?

    So many games which I really love boil down to tedium when you look at them objectively. At the same time it’s the little things and the slow burn of Animal Crossing that I really enjoy. “Oh I caught a new fish!” or “Oh there’s a festival on today!” keep you coming back and making you check periodically to see what’s new. The mobile format also means it’s great for doing two things at once, if you’re listening to something on TV or watching cricket or something like that.

    Best description I've heard is that it's more of a daily ritual - there's only so much to do before you have to wait until tomorrow.
    Apart from that, it's a little quirky in a JRPG sort of way, there's plenty of detail and lots to take in if you don't run around everywhere. More of a relax and destress style of game rather than a challenge, and progress happens gradually over weeks and months.
    My missus also "didn't get it" when she saw me playing the DS/Wii versions, but she's already put in a lot of hours since getting an Animal Crossing 3DS on Friday.

      Best description I've heard is that it's like popping bubble wrap. It really is!

    I'm the same as you mark.

    My first Animal Crossing game was AC: let's Go To The City on the Wii. At the start of the game the character on the bus (can't remember his name) just talks and talks, after a few minutes I was like, "come on, I just want to play this damn game". Once I finally got to the town, I just wandered around aimlessly for about 5 or 10 minutes, then I turned it off.

    So I kind of don't want to even try New Leaf, but I've been reading a lot of positive stuff on the internet, so I'm kind of curious as well. I'm not sure if I should give it another chance, just get New Leaf or not bother with the series at all.

    It's nothing complicated: Just pure, unadulterated fun, and It's a great contrast to the current trend in popular games.
    It's the polar-opposite of Postal 2 -- Good for the sake of good.

    And it's a true guilty pleasure, like Disney films: You know they're for kids, but they still have appealing qualities to adults.

    There's still a whole chunk of the old Animal Crossing people know and love in New Leaf, and for the most part the game play remains unchanged.

    But for me, it's more about the discoveries over innovative game play. Every time I pick up the game to do my, what people call "chores" (watering flowers, digging up fossils, etc) - There's something new to it.
    A new town visitor, a new item or piece of clothing I've never seen or worn before.

    There's a bevvy of new content in New Leaf, and it is presented alongside the old in a tightly packed package which will keep you entertained for short bursts throughout your day.

    The pacing of New Leaf is something I enjoy too.
    Compare AC:NL to great games like Banjo Kazooie, or any other great collect-em-up...
    You have to get everything, from bugs, fossils and fish, to room sets and exotic furniture... And it takes time to do this.
    While I don't usually like limitations in my games, the way New Leaf feeds you content daily is welcomed by me as a way of keeping me entertained over the lifespan of the title, and not just burning out in the first week.

    All in all I'unno -- I like it because it's fun.

    I enjoy games that are more open-ended or simulation based. New Leaf is the first Animal Crossing game I've played but I've been loving it so far. It's fun to be able to pick up a game for 10-15 minutes and feel like I can accomplish something in that time (catching a new fish, digging up all the fossils, chatting to some characters)

    Sometimes, with story-driven linear games, it can feel odd to play it for a short period of time, like watching a movie 30 minutes at a time. For me, the beauty in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is being able to feel like I've accomplished an objective something every time I pick it up and play, while still working on the long-term goals in the game.

    I bought it on saturday night (downloaded from the UK eshop).
    It's the first Animal Crossing I've played.... I have no idea what I'm doing :P

    @markserrels: your impression of the DS version is exactly what my impression of this one is. I just don't get how it's supposed to be engaging. Horses for courses and all that I guess.

    I'm seriously regretting blowing my free game credit (UK so many games promo) on it instead of something else.

    Last edited 24/06/13 12:27 pm

      What would you have gotten instead?

        Dunno, probably DKCR or Castlevania.

          hmm, I was hoping to provoke a realisation that you had all the games you're interested in

          but those are both good games - DKC is very well put together and I'm having a great time with it despite it being crazy hard and unforgiving (way more than I expected and right from the start); Castlevania has divided everyone and some people really like it and others really dislike it so it's worth a go

            I can tell you now, I will loathe Castlevania because of the middle of the road gameplay.

            Me and @negativezero have had the convo previously that we are just too busy to enjoy Animal Crossing to it's fullest. The entire setup is anti-busy.

            I'm aware I could just log on every so often and do a thing or two but that just means I'll lose interest before I get anywhere.
            And if I do have some spare time? I ahve to wait? That would just be so frustrating :)

              Exactly this. It's a time sink when I don't have spare time to sink, and if I did I'd rather sink it into something that has more immediate payoff.

    It's the most fun game I have played in a while.

    I'm a pretty recent Animal Crossing fan (only tried out the Wii game for a week-ish before getting New Leaf) and I love it. It's a really unique experience; one that is perfect for relaxing on the train after work.

    I can understand why it might not be for everyone though. But there's no point getting frustrated because of the slow pace, just go with the flow :D

    Last edited 24/06/13 12:44 pm

    It's really different to what I normally enjoy, but the pointlessness of it all is actually quite charming. Do what ever you like! In fact -- hang on a sec brb, I've just seen a butterfly!

      ...and donated. Where was I? What did you want again? You want my peach?

    I loved th GCN one back in the day. When I got the DS one, I played it pretty much every day for the first two months (then never touched it again :P). When the Wii one came around, it just looked like exactly the same thing again and I hated it, didn't go near it. I have no idea why, but for some reason I feel like I've softened with this one and would probably give it a go if I saw it for a good price.

      it's definitely better on a hand held. I got the wii one and hated it too, even though I loved every version before it. It's just much easier to play it when you can pick it up for a bit on the train going home etc.

      You will have to purchase online for a good price, as Nintendo strictly controls retailers resell price to either $57 or $64 per first party 3DS game.

      Last edited 24/06/13 1:53 pm

        There's plenty of ways around it. If I hadn't been a dumbarse who sleeps all day all weekend, I could have made use of a 20% off sale to get it for $46. I was too late in the end :P

    it's THE best. The only game (other than Pokemon) that I can play for longer than about an hour. I think the beauty of it is the freedom, it's like playing GTA without the missions and violence, you just stroll around and do what you want in an open (albeit fairly small) world. Look after the town, make friends, try and collect all the fish, bugs and sea creatures, and with the easier online elements you can meet up with friends and check out their towns.

    You really need to be ok with not having a goal or set of tasks you HAVE to complete. The only goal is to have fun and there is really nothing that you MUST do, although there are a number of things that you CAN do.

    It's really very charming and innocent, all your fellow villagers are polite and everything is very PG. There's also a lot of light hearted humour.

    I get sucked in because I feel like I am responsible for the town. In this version you are the mayor of the town so the responsibility is stronger. There's nothing worse than putting the game away for a few months and finding your town full of weeds.

    We had the original AC on the game cube, my whole family got sucked in. My mother used to spend HOURS playing it, and she rarely plays games (other than ipad games).

    Playing this during uni exams was the best way to relax and chill after studying.

    loved the DS version, this ones great so far but it'll only get better as the days go by and more and more stuff gets unlocked

    In the game, a dog character wanted my advice on whether she should get a pet and what kind. I recommended to get a "dog" and for some reason she was not weirded out by having a pet which is the same race as her. This is Animal Crossing

    Last edited 24/06/13 1:52 pm

      If this isn't the winning comment of the week, my life is over!

    It's digital crack Mark, stay the he.... oooh a new painting available at Redd's *prays it's not a counterfeit*. While I have my theories as to why I personally am insanely addicted to this seemingly mundane game, I'll just say that with all the blood, "complexity", "maturity", drama etc we normally consume in video games, watering flowers at 1 am is refreshing, especially after exams. The Polygon reviewer put it nicely when they said it was part life simulator, part zen experience.

    EDIT: For the first time since the game launched it's bloody raining in my town after 4pm!!! Off to catch a coelacanth! wish me luck!

    Last edited 24/06/13 5:34 pm

    This is crack to my wife, while I merely enjoy the little things. Fishing. Bug-catching. The customised game of thrones theme that resounds throughout the town on the hour.

    She's the mayor, and she made me a character that she regularly maintains. When I've got the time I'll jump in and catch some bass - or run screaming from tarantulas - but what I REALLY want to do is dig a bunch of holes and chop down all the trees... :-D

    But I won't ;-)

    As much as this may sound like an exaggeration, Animal crossing, with its slow pace and calming atmosphere has helped me look at life in a much more passive sense compared to my usual rushing nature. Its really just is a great game.

      I actually totally agree with this!! As it says in the trailers "create your happy place" playing animal crossing is like entering a second world where things are simple, for the most part everybody likes you and there is something new to do every day. Personally my life can be so drab and routine... This game is my peaceful getaway :)

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