Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo 3DS)


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game

Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game


















Apart from the Nintendo 2DS we've reviewed yesterday, we were also sent a free code to download the new 3DS game Animal Crossing: New Leaf for review purpose, which is exactly me and Abby's kind of game, as it's fairly similar to the game we loved playing on our Nintendo Wii - Harvest Moon: Magical Melody.


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game
























Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game
















In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the player plays the Mayor of a small town, which you can develop the way you like it. Unlike many other games where you spend most of your time working on the development of the town/ farm (work, harvest, build, save up energy and wait), you get to do a lot of other fun things (more about this later) while waiting for buildings to be built, and there is no need to save up for energy!

You can also create a second character in the game, like Abby did, but that character will just be a new citizen living in the town the first character has created. They still have the ability to change the way the town looks though, for example, Abby has planted a tree in the middle of my (yes, MINE!) flower bed. *cough*

The game runs in real time, meaning that the season, date and time are synchronised with the date and time you set on the console itself. Hence, it's Autumn in the game at the moment for every single person in the world who is playing Animal Crossing (unless they changed the date and time on their console of course), where Harvest festival and Halloween events will be starting soon.

As I said in my Nintendo 2DS review, Animal Crossing is a fairly educational game, so keep on reading to see what children can learn from playing!


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game












Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game






























As mentioned above, there is 2 main things to do in Animal Crossing: New Leaf - build up the town and have fun.

Town Development
Town development is part of a quest that started with the Mayor's assistant in the town hall. It requires the player to continuously talking to her and doing what she asked you to do before it will slowly develop. Other part of the development is done by boosting the economy in the town, ie buy and sell. The more you shop in a shop, the more money they earn, and sooner or later they will have enough to expand, giving the players more buying choices. There is also a museum where players can display their bugs, fish and fossils collection, which becomes a town attraction.


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game












Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game
















House Development, Savings and Donations
Players will need to buy a house in the town through the property agency if they want to move into the town (even for the Mayor!). They will start off with a pathetic tent until they have saved up enough money to pay off the down payment (and the "learning how to save up" procedure begins). Once they have paid off their down payment, they will get a house that comes with a mortgage! Players have unlimited time to pay this (and all the other big payments) off, but without paying it off, there is no other way to expand the property to something bigger, and the house is never big enough to store all the furniture and decorations! When I had the conversation about Abby's mortgage with her, hubby was really surprised and wondered what we were on about!

There is also an option for the player to save up money with the bank, where they can get 0.5% interest in return. Although I explained to Abby that she will earn money this way, she was very very reluctant to part away with her hard earned money (through fun of course!), and said that she'll deposit 591Bells (currency in Animal Crossing: New Leaf) out from her 11k in her pocket! She said that she likes to see the amount on her screen!

During the Town Development process, the mayor will be given the task to some building projects, including lamp posts, fountains, benches for sitting, etc, which requires fund raising. As a mayor I felt the need to donate of course, after all it's my project. But when Abby ran passed the fund raising spot, she was keen in donating as well! Although she's not donating a big sum from her savings, but every Bell count! So she was very keen to make the town better as well even though I told her that she didn't need to. It was a surprise as she didn't want to save up with the bank!


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game

Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game












Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game
















Make Money, Fun and Challenges
To make money for the town and house development, the player has several fun options to enjoy the otherwise boring task:

Digging Fossils
- Each fossils worth a lot, although the museum would love a donation (Abby refused to donate hers as she rather sell them!).

Planting
-Plant money or fruits for trees that drop money (I want one in real life!) or fruits to sell

Catching Bugs
- Rare bugs worth a lot of money, and each new species will be recorded in player's encyclopedia

Fishing
- Rare fish worth a lot of money, and each new species will be recorded in player's encyclopedia

Shaking Trees
- To shake money (100 Bells each drop), furniture, bees (2,500 Bells) and hives (500 Bells) out from the trees

Hitting Rocks
- Each day there is one rock that spits money when being hit, and you can keep hitting it within a limited time. First hit is 100 Bells, then 200, 300, 500 and 1000 Bells.

Popping Balloons
- These drop special balloon furniture

Diving
- Once the player has obtained a wet suit, they can go diving for bigger fish, ie more money!


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game















Chatting town people up
- Sometimes they will give you gifts that you can sell if you don't fancy them! And if you like doing quests, they will be the ones you need to speak to.


Other fun stuff to do includes:

Flowers
Gather flowers, plant the same species together somewhere nice, water them to keep them alive, and you'll get the flower in a different colour one day! Using this method you can grow flowers in the colours of the rainbow, it's very pretty and a nice challenge too!

Fish and Bugs
A seasonal character will appear in town on a specific day. Players can show off their biggest fish or bug catch to impress the character for an achievement!

Furniture Collection
There are some special furniture collection players can try to collect for fun and show off at their home. As I said, the house is never big enough!


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game

Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game
















Going to the Island for Challenges
Once the Island is unlocked, players can go there for challenges, where they have to hit a target within the time limit for medals, which they can use to buy special items from the Island's shop, for example a wet suit.

Play Dress Up
The shops changes their stock every day and you can find something nice to wear all the time, even through swapping gifts with the town's people. I love to post Abby surprises when I found something she likes (and it doesn't hurt my real life finance at all!).


Creativity
In the menu, there is a design editor where players can draw their own patterns, which can then be used either for clothes and accessories, carpet and wallpapers, and even town flag and paths in town. There are some really lovely designs on the Internet, and if you unlock the QR Code scanner in the fashion store, these patterns can be downloaded and added to your collection!

Apart from drawing, players can get a chance to recompose the town's tune as well, which is really fun to do!

Then of course, building up a town isn't just about adding more shops and houses, it's also about how to design the area to make them attractive and practical.


Animal Crossing New Leaf, Nintendo 2DS games, town building game






























Overall I think that Animal Crossing: new Leaf is a great game to play. There is no violence for a start (unless you count being stung by bees). You can choose to do a lot like me, or only do whatever you like like Abby. You can be very devoted to it and spend a lot of time building up the town (it does take time, especially if you want to create paths as you'll have to lay them square by square), or you can play once a week and it wouldn't affect your game. The great thing is that there is no energy limitation, meaning that your character doesn't have to pause the fun to be fed or sleep. It can be played at any time during the day, and even when the shops are closed, you can still keep going with other things. We should, of course, set a time limit when it comes to playing games, let it be for children or adults (I'm not hinting anything!).

I really like the graphics, and even though it's not as good as games made for Nintendo Wii, it's smooth and doesn't feel grainy at all. The game is really cute, colourful and attractive, and the well translated dialog can be quite funny (and cheeky)!

The game can be played through the Internet with other players as well, but I've turned Parental Control on on our Nintendo 2DS to protect Abby from playing with strangers. I love it that it has this feature, and glad that even though we don't play online, there is still so much to do.

At the moment Abby's favourite thing to do is catch things (especially those I've never caught before) and sell them to earn lots and lots of money, and receive gifts (this morning I woke her up while she was just about to open her mail box in her dream hahahaa!). The good thing is that she isn't a big spender, she just love to see her money grow in her pocket!

I'm very glad that we were given the opportunity to review such a fantastic game console and game, and although I've bought another 2 DS games to go with the console, we are so loving Animal Crossing: New Leaf that we haven't had the opportunity to play something else yet!

If building a town is something that you or your child like to do, then I'd definitely recommend Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It is rrp £34.99 but you can get it for £27.99 now from Amazon UK!


Disclosure: We were given a code to download the game for review purpose; all opinions are honest and our own


3rd July 2014 Update:

We've just received a new Pink and White 2DS gift from Nintendo UK, given to all their Family bloggers, and I've bought Abby another copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf too so that we can play together through Local Area Network. Everything from bumping into each other to fishing and visiting the Island together is really fun and we will be playing together a lot this Summer holiday!