Can non-fans be persuaded to play Animal Crossing: New Leaf?

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf is poised to take over the worlds of many a gamer in less than a week. Subtle but sure, like the death grip of an anaconda, these gamers who choose to once again take the plunge will find that their time is consumed by tasks such as being mayor, fishing, planting things, raving while on mayoral duty, decorating everything and anything, and a myriad of other everyday life activities. Fans of the series are probably already anticipating this one, but what about the rest of us? Should we be interested too? Let’s find out what the internet thinks of Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Perhaps one of the interesting aspects of the game is how it will surprise players even as they spend significant amounts of time with it, as Game Informer relates:
“Even after spending almost 30 hours with the game, I was frequently rewarded with new events. I got excited every time some new character came to town and mentioned that he was considering building a new attraction in my shopping district. A new club or coffee shop doesn’t change the game, but it’s always nice to add another location or activity to a game that features so many.”

animal crossing new leaf digging

Jim Sterling of Destructoid wasn’t enthralled with the game because it seemed a little too familiar when compared with the others in the series, but for newcomers, there’s plenty of content to dig into. Also, online vandalism:
“It also must be said that there’s a lot more content this time around. Towns are populated by a greater number of residents, and the tropical island (now Tortimer Island) is back, giving players access to minigames and exotic items to collect. As far as online features go, players can upload their idea of a perfect home to a showcase, and as always are welcome to enter the towns of friends and perform whatever petty vandalism they need to do.”

IGN calls the game an addiction, suggesting that it will supplant users own real world lives with its own. Maybe it’s like being body-snatched, but slightly more pleasant? I’m down for some of that.
“Some games are short but sweet, concluded after a single, glorious play session. Others require a few sleepless weeks of dedicated play to unlock all of their mysteries. Then there are the very few games that take on a whole digital life of their own – that become a part of the player’s daily ritual for years to come, with more to gain and accomplish than you could ever truly quantify. Animal Crossing: New leaf is one of the latter. It’s also one of the most charming, addictive games I’ve ever played.”

animal crossing new leaf house interior

Polygon calls Animal Crossing: New Leaf’s cast of characters one of the best ever assembled in a video game:
“Your governance is loosely monitored by your fellow town residents, who comprise what may be the most charming ensemble cast ever featured in a video game. Tom Nook’s back, with loans as predatory as ever. Kapp’n is a ferryman to a mini-game-filled tropical resort who sings randomized sea shanties as you sail. Dr. Shrunk is a part-time psychologist, part-time nightclub owner, part-time comedian and full-time axolotl. The roster is imaginative, numerous and impeccably, hilariously written.”

beardo animal crossing revenge

I can’t say for sure whether or not this was intended to be in the game, but Joystiq found a way to craft a personal revenge mission. Kudos for creatively solving your problems without violence, Joystiq reviewer.
“One Saturday afternoon, the town’s citizens competed in a sea bass fishing derby. I devoted hours to luring in dozens of fish, and was determined to win a sweet gold trophy for the center of the main room of my house. I came in second, and you better believe I was bitter when Beardo stood above me on the winner’s podium, holding the first place trophy that was meant for me. I then abandoned my duties as mayor to dig holes around his house, plant trees in front of his doorway, send him vulgar letters and shove him around until he stormed off in anger. It may be my job to make Hayward heaven for its citizens, but it became my personal mission to make it hell for Beardo.”

So, there you have it, folks. If you buy Animal Crossing: New Leaf, you can probably expect perpetual surprises, tons of content and online vandalism, addiction to your new virtual life, and a great cast of characters with which to interact and on whom you can focus your aggressions should they best you in a game of fishing. Sounds like an interesting time to me. Who’s buying?
Sources: Game Informer, Destructoid, IGN, Polygon, Joystiq.

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Ryan Southard
Ryan Southard 776 posts

Ryan Southard is a video game enthusiast, dissecting games down to their tiniest details. Whether it's new or it's old, as long as it's awesome, he'll play it. Follow him on Twitter at @Ryan_Southard <a href="">Meet the Nerd Reactor Team</a>