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Animal Crossing: New Leaf Review (Nintendo 3DS)
Review by 
9.02/10 from 35 user ratings

Dear Mayor,

It is absolutely wonderful what you’ve done with the town. Ever since you surprised us all by visiting our town last summer and taking charge, we’ve all been grateful. I’ve heard of other towns having new human neighbors but it wasn’t only until recently that one has become the mayor! I’ve been so pleased to assist you in all your mayoral duties. Having the option to shift when stores open or close has been a wonderful tool to allow citizens, especially yourself, to adjust shopping to your schedule. I hear some towns enjoy beautification laws which help keep their towns beautiful and pristine even when they are away for a while. I’ve also really enjoyed helping you run the various holidays we celebrate in town. I enjoy giving out special items on your behalf and providing a little special cheer.

It’s been an absolute pleasure helping you erect special buildings and other attractions with the Public Works Projects. It’s such a treat when a villager randomly tells you about a new idea they have and then they come tell me so we can make it happen! The Campsite was brilliant as it has allowed all sorts of special visitors to arrive, even if for a little bit. It’s been a joy that you’ve convinced Sprinkle to stay for instance. Having a penguin in town sure has cheered up the place… though it also brought a bit of a fishy smell. It’s a shame that it can be very challenging to get the townsfolk you’d prefer, but alas it’s a functional tool anyway. When we built The Roost, so many villagers from our town and beyond showed up to enjoy Brewster’s coffee. It was an absolute treat! It’s a shame it took so long to be suggested though. I guess other towns have different experiences with this though. I suppose it depends on the villagers and the luck. Still, after over 450 hours of fun I’ve seen you enjoy in town, and the months and months you’ve lived here, we’ve got quite a lot at our disposal and quite a lot of creativity to be had in developing this town. Keep up the great work Mayor! We’re lucky to have you!

-- Isabelle

G’day Mate,

How’s it going sunshine? I know I’ve teased leaving town a few times. Please don’t take it personally. I just like to test you and see if you’re going to ask me to stay. I get a little self-conscious sometimes, that’s all. Thanks for the pear you brought me last week. Please take this ranch chair as thanks.

Your friend, Sydney

An Open Letter to Main Street:

GL-L-L-KSK! KEH-KEEEH! FST! FST! RrrrrrrrrrrrKLAGH! CH-CH-ch-ch-mmmMMMmmm!

I have been in the commerce business for a long time. While I used to primarily run department stores, now the Nook-name has moved significantly into the realm of Real Estate. It’s been quite a positive change for me, yes, yes! I realized it was a move that had to happen so the residents of our great town could have much more variety in how their homes look. From doors, to fences, to mailboxes and facades, we have so much more in the way of exterior home decoration! Would you all like me to look into doing such work for your shops? That would be a great idea for the future, hm? I know it is disappointing I don’t offer that now but at least your homes look spectacular. I would know since Lyle has been so generous to devote his time into grading your homes for the Happy Home Academy. I hear he has some nice surprises if you can earn yourself enough points.

I wanted to take the time to dish out some praise and some criticism on the state of our fair Main Street. For starters, there’s that building with the trash can in front of it. Disgusting. Would Gracie approve? We need to get someone to move into there right this minute! Perhaps that Katrina would like to use the space. I need you all to get visiting her when she arrives with her tent. Doing so just might convince her to stay and we can finally have a district that is full of life. She’s a tough cookie I hear… requiring at least twenty visits to be persuaded into anything at all. I find this outrageous… but to each their own. As for the rest of you… Dr. Shrunk… how you and DJ K.K. have livened up our town is positively delightful. From Shrunk’s day-time comedy sets to K.K.’s nightly turn-table antics, you have quite the hot spot on your hands. Your emotion-based humor has been causing mayors from all over the world to be able to express themselves in more ways than ever before. It’s quite cool of you to teach your Shrunk Funk Shuffle too. Will you teach an old raccoon sometime? No offense to your facility but I really wish that K.K. Slider would step off the stage and perform his acoustic sets on a tree stump like back in the old days. There’s something nice about the organic nature of being outside.

Timmy and Tommy have been continuing to impress me as they take main street by storm! I hear all the old classics sell well enough but the fact you little nephews of mine started selling K.K. Slider’s singles is just beyond delightful. I hear the Mayor has quite a collection of album covers hanging up in their home, along with having the full set in a slick dice stereo. When you finally joined forces with the likes of the elegant Gracie and that dimwitted but lovable sloth, your store became mega-sized and it brought a tear to my eye. Gracie’s items are so unique and pricy that it really helps satiate the collector in all of us. The Able Sisters have created a fine store as well with their sister Labelle. So many outfits, parasols, and accessories! I’m jealous I didn’t get into that business when I had the chance. The face they allow the Mayor to create unique clothing items using QR technology or pixel-tech is just spectacular. It works so well too. Then again, when hasn’t it? I am a bit disappointed in you though, Kicks. Your shop sells a lot of great shoes and socks, perfect for keeping villagers’ feet cozy and stylish… but your selection doesn’t go far enough! Expand expand expand! I’d get your act together quick or I might just go into the Home and Footwear trade.

Keep up the great work everyone! Those bells aren’t going to make themselves! Don’t forget our non-profit friends like Blathers who is always taking plenty of donations and the Post Office which often has wi-fi-based treats for anyone curious enough to enter. For the real curious, there’s always Luna’s Dream Suite… though I haven’t found much reason to pop in personally.

Oh, and Hazel. You moved out. Stop shopping here, here!

-- Tom Nook

To Whom It May Concern,

Could I get some fruit? I’m awfully hungry. Cheetos work too.

-- Punchy

Press Play and Sing Along

“I sail these seas. Watchin’ the fish, swim by.
I almost hit Pascal, in the head by mistake.
He was not, too mad. Says it happ’n’s all the time.
But that he, just might, start wearing a bright orange cap!

If you’re going for a ride, why not chip in on gas?

He swam away, searching for Scallop Shells.
I hope he finds, what he’s really, looking for!”

-- Kapp’n

Dear Mayor,

I really appreciate you showing up when you did. I had been doing the whole mayor thing for so long that it felt great to have someone fill my old spot. Gave me the confidence to stick to my guns and retire! Living on the island has been a delight. Sunny all the time. Tons of fish and beetles to catch. Did you know you can make a ton of bells by selling a huge lot of them? Before Perfect Fruit Farming, this was the hippest way to go! Anyway, I want to thank you for bringing your friends out to the island to partake in all my island games. Keeps an old turtle like myself active. Fossil Hunting, Ore Mining, and Furniture Finding have been easy favorites from what I can tell. Fishing for Tuna and the like… not so much. I see you’ve spent a lot more time diving off the shores of town than diving for fun. Next time around I think I’ll come up with even more fun things to do with friends on the island and also find a way to prevent some of our more crazy visitors from causing mayhem for you and your friends. Maybe too I can find an island which undergoes some kind of seasonal alteration. This one was nice with it’s fish and bugs available all year-round but it allows the island to get stale admittedly. Anyway, I look forward to your next visit! I’ll be sure to restock the island-specific items too! The Mermaid items were a hit!

-- Tortimer

HEY YOU! Thanks for paying to re-open the Reset Surveillance Center. But DON’T YOU DARE RESET! NO FREEBIES!

- Resetti

Dear Negative World,

What I have just done is presented you letters which showcase how some villagers feel about their quaint town. As you can see there is so much to do, so much to build, so much to buy, and so much to share. This is absolutely Animal Crossing at it’s finest so far. I really appreciate the new additions in particular. The new species of villager, the new furniture sets, and especially the new music. The addition of some steel drum tones was an absolute delight. The one shame is how my favorite tracks ended up being the late evening hours after midnight, which are rare for me to hear live. Still, I appreciate the effort Nintendo put forth in bringing us new tracks after the regurgitation that was City Folk’s soundtrack.

So many memories...

I also found that the Happy Home Showcase made for excellent Streetpass material. This is not a game which uses the 3DS Streetpass technology frivolously. Passing along a fellow gamer only to have their entire house uploaded to my system for viewing… it’s brilliant. The ability to order items from these homes makes it even better. However this is where one of the biggest flaws exist. I have a serious problem with how limited ‘bonus content’ is. I understand the idea of region-specific DLC but I feel heavily that this should be a temporary factor. It has now been many many months and there is no idea if the US will ever receive cool items like the 7-Eleven set that Japan received. I wish Nintendo would spread the wealth and not limit us. Considering they dished out the same DLC in different ways, this feels like more of a slap in the face. I’m sure Nintendo means well but they can’t assume everyone will be able to dish out the bells required on the ‘black market’ of the world wide web. The trading market is far from fair and thus it is far from fun. After I managed to earn a Turkey for the special room I had developed, I all but stopped trying to obtain anything else. Unless you have an overabundance of free time to play, it was quite difficult to really collect anything not from your region.

..seriously. I could post hundreds that I've taken by now.

A reviewer could go on and on about the long list of fantastic features in this title but it really wouldn’t do so well to convert this review into a guide book. Of all the entries in this series, this one has the most features, the most content, the most everything. I’ve spent over 470 hours since the game launched and my town still has room for improvement and growth. I’ve yet to experience all of the holidays. This title is the absolute definition of ‘getting more out, the more you put in’. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a creative itch to scratch and who doesn’t mind pacing themselves over a long haul. This game is best experienced over time. You might find yourself playing a lot initially but eventually you will slow down. That is expected… for when the sprint is over… the marathon begins. Very few games have the lasting power potential of Animal Crossing.

-- Stephen

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Posted: 01/13/14, 01:17:19  - Edited by 
 on: 01/13/14, 01:26:50    
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?

Totally agree on the Smash notes. I also stopped playing Smash because of the horrible online. ACNL has great online so its nice to use it but most of my time comes from solo play. ACNL's online issues I think stem from Nintendo's online structure more than anything else.

Posted by 
 on: 01/14/14, 20:25:49
Man, hunting for "that last thing" is such a crazy deal in Animal Crossing. I remember getting my Giant Stag Beetle around 5am on the GameCube when I played on a whim. What in the world. I never completed my stuff on City Folk for WHATEVER reason, but holy cow.

I'm a bit familiar with New Leaf, and very familiar with "Population: Growing" and City Folk; what are some things you'd like to see REMOVED from the franchise? (Something old, something new?) You gushed about a lot of great things here, but surely there is something you don't like? I know that the Beautiful Town ordinance has saved some lazy people from watering constantly (like Nikki, haha!), but there must be some others. I don't really have much of a problem with anything because I kinda like the "get your fingers dirty" aspect of it all, having to WORK to pay off your loans and whatever.

Are the pockets still small? I want more pocket room! And believe me, I can shove a TON of real stuff in a real closet.

Posted by 
 on: 02/06/14, 02:01:23

Hunting some of these last fish and diving creatures was quite tedious that's for sure. There are some nuggets of negative-commentary inside the review but for a vast majority it really is the definitive Animal Crossing experience. If I could amend it in some way I might bring up the pockets thing. The pocket capacity is similar to the past games, and this is exceptionally frustrating when selling huge loads of Perfect Fruit in a friend's town. However, the stacking ability is greatly improved in this game. Holding 9 fruits per slot is a nice change for instance.

Posted by 
 on: 02/06/14, 02:29:38
The pockets capacity is to small, and made smaller by your tools being included. Your tools should be separate from your "pocket". The storage you have at your home should be increased as well or a cloud storage solution should be offered. I would like to see better interaction with your Animal residents. They remember so little of your daily interaction with them, this annoys me the most.

Posted by 
 on: 02/06/14, 03:08:57
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