Despite its original release on the GameCube, the DS feels like the natural home for Animal Crossing. Nonetheless, the announcement of a new Animal Crossing game for the Wii was met with a good deal of excitement. Unfortunately it turned out that this “new” game was actually more of a rehash of the previous two versions with a few added Wii extras.
Currys are currently offering Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City for the strange but cheap price of £18.74 - £4 cheaper than the next best offer!
Animal Crossing is an unusually simple concept – you move into a small village and, well, live there. The bulk of the gameplay revolves around working to pay off your mortgage, making friends with your animal neighbours, shopping for clothes, collecting items to populate the museum and working some more to revamp your home. This can be said of all three incarnations of the Animal Crossing world, with the latest edition feeling more an updated port of the DS version than a true reinvention. It's a credit to Nintendo how they manage to make a laundry list of menial chores into an enjoyable game that keeps you coming back each day but it is easy to lose interest.
One of the new attractions is the inclusion of the City that you can visit with a hop on the bus. However, I would say that the assertion that this enhances the game is up for debate. Wandering around the city you will encounter new animal folk who may later move into your village. This totally removes the fun surprise element of encountering a new resident for the first time and thus diminishes anticipation. Redd's city store may also degrade the lure of daily play as the appearance of Redd's tent in your village was a special, occasional occurrence that was worth scheduling some play time for.
Another new addition is the ability to superimpose your Mii's face onto your AC character but if you do this then you can no longer wear accessories. Other little upgrades are more successful such as using the Wii remote for fishin', diggin' and choppin', the ability to further customise clothes that you design, the auction house in the city (though you can only share items here with people on your friends list) and the charming way that the ground will show signs of erosion in response to the path that your little feet beat around your village.
Animal Crossing is, in many ways, an ideal DS game for the fact that it keeps you coming back for daily play but once you have seen everything you will probably only fancy giving it an hour's attention, if that, a day. So it's a great way to escape into a gentle and simple oasis of calm during your vile morning and evening commute. For this reason I was hoping that the Wii edition would be something special and, more importantly, different. This is still a delightful and charming game full of beguiling personality but it could, and should, have been so much more.
However if you do not have a DS and have never yet entered the weird and wonderful world of Animal Crossing then I heartily recommend that you give Let's Go to the City a try.
Thanks to kdaeseok at Hotukdeals!