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Geek It! Game Review: Animal Crossing (New Leaf)

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Title: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 2; Monolith Soft

Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: Adventure, Life Stimulation

Review: Like cute animated animals and simple life stimulation games? If you have never encountered the Animal Crossing games then it’s time to start a new leaf and start a new adventure!

Animal Crossing: New Leaf revolves around the player and how they explore their town; participate in activities such as shopping and bug catching; and talking with other residents like Mr Nook and Isabelle.

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Probably one of 2013’s highly anticipated Nintendo games, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the fourth title in the AC series that should satisfy the inner Sims geek within you, regardless of whether you’re a veteran or new to the series.

Stepping into the shoes as the town’s Mayor, you can test your authority skills by creating and building your town from scratch. Not only do you have the power to create the town’s tune and flag but you can also pass laws (i.e. encouraging citizens to plant flowers and increase prices to boost the economy) and organise building constructions to flourish the town (i.e. bridges, fountains, shops).

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What’s pretty neat about New Leaf is that the game is in real-time with the player’s Nintendo 3DS’s internal clock — aka the real world. There is something going on everyday, and aspects like shop opening times and species of wildlife vary depending on the time of the day and season.

Why not hang out with your friends during the fireworks season or celebrate your birthday with the lovely neighbours? With time and signs of realistic life embedded into the game, the world is ultimately an alternative world where gamers can escape in their own time, and with their friends as well.

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When we’re talking about innovation and gaming interaction, Nintendo 3Ds absolutely nails the brief. In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, players can visit each other’s towns using the wireless Nintendo Network and also exchange messages with one another when you’re both present online. You and your friends (via local play or online players) can also travel to the tropical Tortimer Island where you can hunt for bugs and fresh sea creatures.

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But that’s not all! The Nintendo Network allows players to visit dream versions of other people’s towns (such as Nintendo’s) via the Dream Suite; view other players’ homes encountered via StreetPass at The Happy Home Showcase; and you can also create and download fashion designs via QR codes.

Players will also be able to take Kodak snapshots of their adventures with the Nintendo internal camera as photos can be later stored and shared via Desktop and/or social media.

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And oh, let’s not forget about the cute aspect of the Animal Crossing games. The game’s visuals is exceptionally clean and bright which would naturally draw in a wide audience. And the game absolutely can’t go wrong with its anthropomorphic characters as these characters will naturally entertain you with their wacky personalities and dramas, and it always doesn’t hurt to be complimented by them 24/7.

Animal Crossing: A New Leaf will delight the inner child geek within you. This is a game that you must have, especially if you have friends that are users of Nintendo 3DS as its interactive features will keep you and your friends entertained for long periods of time.

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While the game appears to have many features, the simplicity and lack of challenges within the game won’t extend the longevity of the gamers’ interest beyond the two months mark.

Even so, New Leaf has the nostalgic factor that will compel players to go back to the game every now and then. It’s not because we feel guilty for neglecting the game but it’s to check up on the town that we have personally created ourselves, and also the quirky characters that we have acquainted along the way.

Rating: 7.5/10

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