Animal Crossing Review

Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: September 16, 2002 Also On: None

Even though Animal Crossing has been criticised as being “childish�, it is a great game, none the less. Many factors have spelled doom for AC, but a loyal Nintendo fan base, which is willing to try new types of games, has helped AC become a huge hit. According to reliable sources, AC has sold well over 150,000 games in the US alone. This hasn’t been confirmed or updated since October (2001), so I’m sure it is much greater than that by now.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

With all of this, I’m not here to talk about sales figures (that’s why I write news stories). I’m here to review a game that might be overlooked by some individuals with a closed mind. Open your eyes, because Animal Crossing is one hell of a game and I’m here to get this review started. On your marks, get set, play AC!

According to some people, Animal Crossing’s (AC) graphics are “N64ish”. I agree with this in some respects, mainly because it was ported from the N64, the version of which was never released in America. The animals in the game sometimes aren’t shaped correctly and have kind of edgy outlines, which doesn’t always look great.

On the other hand, most of the characters are cute and the atmosphere in the town is mostly cell shaded. The greatest thing about the town itself is the huge interactive environments that are taking place. With bright colors and a background that is appropriate for the season (based on the GCN clock), this town is not only up-to-date, but it is cheerful and happy. When it’s fall, the leaves on the trees change color and the same goes with the grass. Of course, when it is spring, everything will go green, flowers will sprout, etc.

Now, for the town itself, the houses are all basically the same (and are much smaller on the outside then they are inside). It looks like they live in a cardboard box, but when you walk in, it becomes a gymnasium.

A great feature in the game is the clothing aspect of the game. When you do chores for fellow neighbors, they will sometimes give you clothing. You can either, wear it, sell it, or trash it. That goes the same with almost anything that is given to you. AC allows you to even design your own clothing pattern, which gives your clothing that you wear, a huge variety that even the elite would envy.

One of the best parts of the game is the physics in the game. The best effect is the water effects. Whenever you fish, there will always be a ripple and when you are near the ocean, brilliant waves splash on the golden coast of the beach. There’s a cool digging affect and when you run, there will always be a trail of dust following behind you, unless you are running on the cement.

One more thing loomed in my mind when writing this review. That was, during the loading screen, there is a scary neighbor of yours, with smoke in the background. What was he doing? Puffing the magic dragon?

Of course, like in most games, the music gets far too repetitive and boring. A cool thing that does happen, to help relieve this annoyance, is when the seasons change, the music changes along with it. There is always a Christmas feel in the air, when the season approaches the Christmas season. Ah, the fresh smell of GameCube games on a Christmas Eve. Like I said early on, AC lets you do almost whatever you want to. Want to create your own town song? No problem!

The main disturbing factor in this area is that there are no voices coming from the characters. I mean, I thought that the SNES/N64 days were over, but I guess I was mistaken. Instead of speaking, they mumble and say things like “monchu”.

I must give the game credit for the jogging sound effects, train’s horn, and the wave’s splish splash sound when it hits the beach. These are all dazzling and make the game more realistic, in a not-so-realistic game (there are animals that talk, I mean, mumble; come on, do you find that in real-life?).

More great sounds include leaves rustling and the wind howling. There are other great items such as buzzoids (though pretty aggravating) and stereos which bring adequate “music” to the game. Each character, while talking to them or in their house, has their own beat to a song.

The controls: simple and intuitive. Most things are used with A, such as talking, chopping down a tree, digging, looking at something, and opening a door. It’s easy to maneuver around town and get where you need to go, as long as you use L for run. Without L, we’d all be lost. Why can’t we fall off ledges or go into water though?

Replay value in AC is endless. Seasons will change and the townsfolk will celebrate holidays throughout the year. If you celebrate with them, then you might get a prize or just get some enjoyment out of it. The game is not only constant when you are on, but it plays when you are gone.

Throughout the town, you can do chores and that sort of stuff to earn NES games (about 12 in all). You can of course participate in many activities that range from socializing, to running errands, fishing, planting trees, gardening, selling stuff to Tom Nook (talk about Christopher Lowell), catching bugs, giving artifacts and other things to the museum, and much more!

Many great features are included such as GBA and E-Reader connectivity. By connecting your GBA, you can travel to a secret island and trade with these townspeople. By hooking up your E-Reader and swiping your E-card, you can get prizes such as new NES games that weren’t unlocked in your town.

Visit other towns and trade fruit or other items with them to take back to your town and make tons of money on items not found in your town. Like I said, replay value is endless, but to get the full joy out of it, you need a GBA and E-reader (of course they are sold separately).

Remember, you can’t expect to beat this game in hours. Actually, you can’t beat this game, since your only goal is to expand your house and live life. Your objective is to just have a great time in a huge interactive community.

Most of the things that you can do, I listed already, but there are many other cool things to do. For example, on Halloween everyone dresses up (except your character) and if you don’t give them a treat, then they’d play a trick on you.

One thing that is entertaining about this game is the character’s attitudes. People like Phyllis (the post office lady at night) can be complete bitches. Another irritating personality is Resetti. Yes, it is in his name. If you reset without saving, he’ll show up at your door and give you a twenty minute lecture about why you shouldn’t restart and that people who restart are cheaters. The best part of the game though is that it’s open-ended. This must be one of the most non-linear games ever made.

Overall, AC presents a must-have title, that will most likely never be seen again (except for the upcoming sequel). Take advantage of all of the greatness in one game, which is wrapped up in a great box, with a free 59 block memory card (you’ll need it, the game takes up all 59 blocks). Good quality graphics, sound, and most of all, entertaining are all AC’s high points. The only down turn is the “kiddish” feeling that is included. It’s almost too cute, to a point that is almost sickening. If you are a hard time “shoot em up” gamer, then why did you even waste your time reading this review? This is for people who like a vacation away from violent games and who want to live a second life, in animal form, of course.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide

Leave a Comment