Everyone and their mother knows that Animal Crossing: City Folk was a big disappointment. The only real upgrade over Wild World was that each player could have their own house again. This was important enough in my household to make it the Animal Crossing of choice, and it's still played very consistently, but the game also came with several steps backwards, like a very annoying Wii interface and the grass destroying mechanic.
Animal Crossing 3DS represents a big opportunity to make out for what City Folk missed out on. But, for me at least, when you actually sit down and think about ways to improve the series, it's not all that easy. Unlike Smash Bros. or Mario Kart where improvements present themselves fairly obvious, the idiosyncratic nature of Animal Crossing's gameplay makes it much more difficult to brainstorm how to advance the series. Nonetheless, here's two of my ideas to get things rolling:
1. The City as an MMO Hub
When we first heard about City Folk, this was the idea that immediately came to mind. The natural counterpoint to the quaint cities of Animal Crossing is a bustling city, where people across the landscape meet together to barter and trade, make friends, and enjoy the nightlife. City Folks' City failed to come close to this image.
Unfortunately due to Nintendo's paranoia, this may be a pipedream, but imagine heading to the city and being able to meet people from all over the world to trade rare items, get the word on turnip prices, and maybe invite back to hang out in your village and show off your digs.
Then again, hanging out with someone in their village was never that fun, which brings me to my second point
2. More arcade elements
This might seem like heresy to Animal Crossing purists, but I'll never forget the first time I was walking through my town in Animal Crossing and heard the rattle of a scorpion's tale. I quickly spotted it, pulled out my net and went to grab it when it came down upon and I fell to the ground in a heap. I suddenly realized that if I wanted to capture this creature I was going to have to act fast or face the consequences. It quickly made my next encounter the most exhilirating of my Animal Crossing career.
I'm not asking to turn Animal Crossing into Zelda with monsters around every corner and puzzles to solve, but why not have an area where you and a friend can go for more challenging catches, like an advanced fishing or bug catching area? Or even just some good old fashioned games to play with your friends, like tetherball or a water balloon fight? All of this could be done in the Animal Crossing spirit.
Anyway, thats two things off the top of my head. What do you guys want to see?
One simple thing they could do since we all know we won't get the classic games back, would be to have rare items that were playable. I know quite a few of you already mentioned things like interactive pool table or dart board, well this would be like that but there would still be the common non-playable items too.
Or how about since we have stores and a museum, what about an arcade!? As you collect these items, or even donate bells, the arcade would grow and more playable games would show up. Even if they're like someone said, a WarioWare type game, it would give us a major incentive to play.
@-JKR- Yeah but I think on GC/DS Animal Crossing was selling at Zelda level, or near Zelda level. I'm not necessarily saying that it demands Zelda level resources, but bumping them up a bit and putting out a game that people were satisfied with could have made a huge difference.
As for Mario Party, I have no idea why they discontinued that on Wii. Mario Party 8 was the best selling in the series and they could have made mad bank continuing to push that one out. I suspect it had something to do with Wii Party and maybe it took a bit of time for Nintendo to decide what they were doing there, but still.
Anyway, I suppose we won't have to wait long to see what Nintendo's plans for Animal Crossing are moving forward. If they do yet another rehash, I think consumers will rebel a bit.
Now to REALLY up the ante, as new demos become available on eShop channel (or whatever its called) they could send it directly to your museum so without even knowing this new demo exists, you'd walk into your arcade, and there'd be a new game available to play.
Surely they've lost some sales. I was a huge fan of the first and the second game, not as much. Totally skipped on buying the third after hearing impressions about how it was more of the same. For a game that relies so much on playing every day, they want to keep players entertained and not have them feel like a new game is doing yet the same thing over and over on a daily basis.