A Review of Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Warning: This may contain spoilers from the game, read at your own discretion.
At the very beginning of the game, when you're on the train heading to your new town, a cat named Rover approaches you and sits across from you. Other than him looking a little too shady for my taste, he was a fine character, up until it came to choosing my character's gender. After typing in your character's name, you get the options to say, "Pretty cool, huh?" or, "Pretty cute, huh?" You can see where this is going, right? I chose the second option. Mind you, I am a boy and I identify as such. It automatically made me a girl for saying that my name was cute. Now, you can tell Rover that he was wrong, and you're actually of the opposite gender, but that doesn't really address the issue at hand. A girl can be just as cool as a boy and a boy can be just as cute as a girl. They shouldn't associate those terms with specific genders because it's pretty much stereotyping that, "all boys are cool!" and "all girls are cute!" People can be what they want to be, there's no need for these limitations.
Now that my rant is done, allow me to move on. Following the process of naming yourself, you arrive at your town. You get off of the train and exit the train station, only to find that the entire town has showed up to greet you. They greet you as the mayor of the town, which isn't something your character signed up for, but you end up becoming the mayor anyway, no matter how much you disagree with the townspeople and Isabelle, who is your new secretary. The circumstance throws you right into the game and it feels very fast-paced at the beginning considering you walk into a new town and suddenly you're the mayor; but it does give you thorough explanations on how to get started in town and is very relaxed after that exciting beginning.
After the Humble Beginning
Something that I found to be funny after exploring the town a bit and playing through the tutorial would be the housing for the mayor. All of the townspeople were expecting you and ready for your arrival, yet the mayor has no house available for them. You go and you speak to the realtor, Tom Nook, and he asks you if you have anywhere in mind that you'd like to build your home. If you say yes, you will lead him out of the shopping district and to the town where you will have to find a piece of land that has nothing buried or any rocks on it in order to build. Once having done this, he will mark the spot, then pitch you a tent to sleep in. That's right, you're the mayor of the town and you're sleeping in a tent. I mean, it's better than having no home whatsoever, but this doesn't really make sense at the start of the game.
In Game Activities
The thing that really captivated me about this game, was the encyclopedia that you're given to fill up by diving, fishing, and bug catching. You can get the bug net and fishing rod by going to Isabelle at town hall and by going to Nookling Junction, which is the little shop in the shopping district. Something to note is that you can only get one of the items from Isabelle, so choose wisely when you get to that point. To get the diving suit needed to dive, you must first go to the island by boat. That becomes available to you after you've talked to Tortimer and paid off your first house loan. Not only do you make a hefty sum of bells, the in game currency, but selling the things you get, but it's also pretty fun being able to fill up the different categories given to you in the encyclopedia.
Speaking of fishing, bug catching, artwork, and fossils, the museum is a great way to utilize all of those things. Blathers, the owl that runs the museum, is the one you talk to when you want to make a donation to the museum. He takes artwork, fish, bugs, and fossils. The fish and the bugs you can get from using the rod and the net. For the fossils, you need a shovel. You can get that from Nookling Junction, as well. To find fossils, you go to the star shaped marks on the ground and use the shovel on them. Once having found the fossils, you bring them to Blathers and have them assess them. If they're ones that the museum doesn't already have, he'll tell you and you'll be able to donate them. If you cannot donate them, the best thing would be to sell them. To get artwork, you'll need to go to Crazy Redd's tent in the town plaza. You can buy one piece of art from him each time, but beware, some are fake! You can donate the legitimate pieces of art to the museum for them to be put on display.
The characters of this game are all very diverse and most of them are insanely adorable. The sound tracks and the scenery at the different times of day really add to the atmosphere of the entire game. There are many things to do and despite the game having an odd start, it's very fun for those who enjoy playing casual role-playing games. It might not be World or Warcraft of Dark Souls, but it's definitely earned it's spot at being the seventh most sold Nintendo game. I would recommend this game to anyone looking to spend their time on a new game that calls for a lot of time investments.