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Animal Crossing 3DS: Your hopes and dreams [roundtable]
 
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?

There better be voice chat on Animal Crossing 3DS

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Posted: 05/09/11, 17:18:39  - Edited by 
 on: 05/09/11, 17:20:18
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You should go back and listen to the very first podcast in which we discuss this very topic.
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:05:31
I don't know exactly what Nintendo needs to do with this franchise...but they need to do something. I've fallen so far off the AC bandwagon, I don't even know if they can hook me back in. It needs to have the same amount of charm as the first game, I guess. And be unique in many many ways. And I like your MMO-ish city idea. Needs more of that.
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:19:57
@Guillaume

Maybe I want to hear from non-losers!
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:30:14
anon_mastermind said:
I don't know exactly what Nintendo needs to do with this franchise...but they need to do something.

I think the problem lies in the fact that they don't see it that way. AC on the DS sold 12 million copies. AC on the Wii sold almost twice what the Gamecube version sold. All changing next to nothing.

For me, I'd like to see the return of the "quadrants" (instead of a circular world) but that's never going to happen. Never ever. I also would love to see the return of NES games within the game as unlockables. Also never ever going to happen, thanks to the VC. Which means my biggest draws for a new AC will never occur.

Frankly I don't see them ever really changing the series. It will be their go-to cash cow that takes very little effort to make a buttload of money. I was one of the biggest AC fans of all time back in the GCN days, and would literally tell strangers about the game around it's release. At this point, I've moved on and realize the series is no longer for me. That's okay, though, because there are plenty of others right up my alley.
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:32:09
@Jargon

Oh no you didn't! I brought up that damn topic!
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:33:34
@DrFinkelstein

Well post your ideas here for our deaf members. Or are you just going to leave them out in the cold?!
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:37:33
My wife and I are really looking forward to this.

1. I completely agree with MMO hub.Though I'm not a big fan of Sony's Home I think a scaled down version of its main town-square like area (playing game trailers, 3d netflix commercials etc) would be a perfect fit. On the 3DS It would remind me of the BTTF 2 scene where Marty flinches at the JAWS 3D sequel.

2. I agree something like a Find Mii adventure or going around in some sort of Clue-like deduction game the town is playing would be a welcome addition to the same run-of-the-mill bug catching and fishing (though for me it wouldn't be a AC game without them).

A few things I'd like to see. Something interesting with StreetPass / Mii functionality. A 3DS Coins to bells bank transfer. Streamlined Internet with Voice Chat ala City Folk.

Nintendo is against trophys but what if AC accessed your system data (like the other versions) but this time comparing/contrasting your Virtual Console data in conversation... Hey I heard you got to world 4-2 in Super Mario Land. [Someone you streetpassed] is already on 5-1. This can also be a cool feature if AC checks games you played. Gamers love swag! e.g. If you played Super Mario in your system you can unlock Tanooki suit in game. Pimp out your house with Star Fox trophy for beating Star Fox.

I think for the online community aspect the ability to take photos. store them on your SD card and hopefully 3DS has some facebook connectivity where you can share with your friends and family seems like a great way to spread the word about Animal Crossing.

Reintroduce Blank-faced Blanca with option of placing Face Raider face image/data on him/her.

I'll probably edit or reply with more.
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:53:31
@Guillaume what a great treat. I counted down and haven't listened to shows prior to ep 3. I put it in my android / doggcatcher queue and listen in on my commute home.
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:55:43
1. New Music. Wild World and City Folk had the exact same, awful music. I suppose Wild World's was excusable since it had more limited memory, but City Folk just doing a copyasta from it was inexcusable. The original had vastly superior music. Change it back or write newer, better music.

2. Close it Back Up.Like JKR already suggested, quadrants need to make a comeback. I preferred them to the sprawling world. It made fishing/bug hunting much easier.

3. Make it More Social. This series has the potential to be a great MMO-type game, like Jargon said. If Nintendo really wants their online service to take off, this should be the game to get it started. The city becoming a hub is a great idea. Online trading should also be simple.

4. Object Interaction. If I tap the pinball table, let me actually play pinball. If I turn on the TV, give me a quick short to show (and this could be brilliantly implemented with the 3DS' online capabilities). Make those type objects functional, you know? Let me shoot pool, bowl, or play basketball with my friends when they come over.

5. More Villagers. The original allowed 15 villagers at a time. Wild World allowed a whopping eight. City Folk upped the ante...to ten. Seriously. Why can't there be, oh, I don't know, 15 minimum?
Posted: 05/09/11, 18:57:37
I'm not getting my hopes up at all about Animal Crossing 3DS... it looks like yet another lazy non-effort based on what we've seen so far. Sure, there may be some deep elements under the surface, but I somehow doubt it. They are still using the same furniture sets from the N64 original for fucking outloud.

This series just makes me mad at this point. Maybe the Cafe version will finally move it a generation or two into the future.
Posted: 05/09/11, 19:07:10
I've always wanted more 'gamey' elements, as well. Before Rune Factory came out, I thought AC could have benefited from randomly generated monster-filled, platformy caves where you could get unique items, depending on the level of difficulty. I still do, I guess.

The connectivity thing, I definitely agree with, but that will probably have to wait until Animal Crossing Cafe.

I'd like better word recognition when you send letters to villagers. I mean, they really SHOULDN'T be my friends after the stuff that I send them.

Some seriously improved graphics would be nice. Still charming, but just more effects, and such. Leaves floating around in 3D... snow falling in 3D...

I also want way more customizability of your town. I want to be able to create a musical theme for one of the hours. Or fully landscape the ground without workarounds. Even in crazy, unrealistic ways.

And I want more ways to make your own fun. Like, a robust interface for hide-and-seek, item hunts, fishing competitions, etc.
Posted: 05/09/11, 19:09:42  - Edited by 
 on: 05/09/11, 19:48:51
Ideally I want to see something huge, integrated with online in a way that really makes it a compelling social experience.

But realistically, just give me new stuff.

@-JKR- Yeah but AC on the Wii sold much less than the other versions, despite the Wii being kind of the prime place to put a franchise like that. I think they will realize that the weaker sales there were due to rehashing.
Posted: 05/09/11, 19:32:57
Y'know, the more I think about it, the more I think that AC is more suited to Cafe than 3DS. 3DS will be your own town, and Cafe will blow out the social stuff. People in the same room, seamless connection with people online. Imagine orchestrating an item hunt on the top screen while four people in the same room scour the town on their touch screens. Or even bringing in people online. Have one really rare, flighty bug that everyone's hunting for. Or one huge fish.
Posted: 05/09/11, 19:48:09  - Edited by 
 on: 05/09/11, 19:49:25
Anand said:
I also want way more customizability of your town. I want to be able to create a musical theme for one of the hours. Or fully landscape the ground without workarounds. Even in crazy, unrealistic ways.

Really, I want just thousands of things like this. I can't list them all but, hey, they pay people to come up with this stuff who have been working on Animal Crossing for years. They know all the things that should be possible in that village. If they'd just load the game down with new activities, I'd start paying attention again. That, mixed with more social aspects, would bring me back to the series.

Also:
ludist210 said:
1. New Music. Wild World and City Folk had the exact same, awful music. I suppose Wild World's was excusable since it had more limited memory, but City Folk just doing a copyasta from it was inexcusable. The original had vastly superior music. Change it back or write newer, better music.

Wild World had one of the greatest soundtracks I've ever heard in a video game.
Posted: 05/09/11, 20:00:20
ludist210 said:

4. Object Interaction. If I tap the pinball table, let me actually play pinball. If I turn on the TV, give me a quick short to show (and this could be brilliantly implemented with the 3DS' online capabilities). Make those type objects functional, you know? Let me shoot pool, bowl, or play basketball with my friends when they come over.

This would probably make me buy the game. It's the one thing that in ALL versions made me so sad, that the objects you got were completely useless. And the one reason the NES systems in the GCN version were my obsession. Finally, something that let me PLAY with them for my house.

If they let you play a pinball mini-game or pool or whatever, I'd buy the game in a second.
Posted: 05/09/11, 20:52:40
Zero said:

@-JKR- Yeah but AC on the Wii sold much less than the other versions, despite the Wii being kind of the prime place to put a franchise like that. I think they will realize that the weaker sales there were due to rehashing.

I'm pretty sure it sold more than the other versions except the DS one, which is reasonable since the DS is a monster.
Posted: 05/09/11, 20:54:44
kriswright said:
Wild World had one of the greatest soundtracks I've ever heard in a video game.
Agree to disagree. After loving the original's soundtrack, I thought it wasn't nearly as good. I didn't mind it as much in Wild World, but hearing it again in City Folk made it worse.
Posted: 05/09/11, 21:06:53  - Edited by 
 on: 05/09/11, 21:09:00
Posted: 05/09/11, 21:12:57
I'm with a lot of people here... Animal Crossing has become sickly stale. I remember when City Folk was first announced and there were such high expectations for it. Then we got City Folk. I'm at the point where Animal Crossing is a non-entity to me. UNLESS, of course, some of the additions already mentioned make it in.

I really like the face integration for Blanca and TRULY interactive item ideas.
Plus, the MMO City (which is certainly a pipedream).

Blah. I used to LOVE the GCN game. I hate being so down on a Nintendo property.
Posted: 05/09/11, 21:27:02
@ploot

Yeah, I have such fond memories of the GCN version of Animal Crossing. I thought Wild World was a great update for a DS game and was expecting big things from the Wii version... "Wow, I bet they are going to use WiiConnect24 and there's going to be some cool uses of the motion controller. Fishing is going to be awesome!" And the thought that it wouldn't be built from the ground up didn't even occur to me. Of course it would be.

... what we got was a joke. They should have planned a hugely upgraded game around the release of the MotionPlus accessory. This series makes them a lot of money... they could at least fund development properly and make some kind of an effort at advancing things.
Posted: 05/09/11, 21:45:03
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