Hey folks. Just wanted to let you know that today I moved to a new town. But don’t worry. I’ve done this three times before. Before I tell you about my first day in my new town, I thought I’d reminisce about the three towns I’ve lived in before.
The first town I moved to was back in 2002. It was way out in the boonies, and I had to take a train to get there. On the way a chatty blue cat named Rover started asking me all sorts of questions. Luckily we arrived shortly thereafter. A raccoon named Tom Nook was ready to sell me my first house, and I met lots of talking animal neighbors. Yup, by now hopefully you know I’m talking about the GameCube Animal Crossing game.
Technically, Animal Crossing on the GameCube WASN’T the first AC title. In Japan, the N64 had a disk drive attachment that didn’t do too well, but one of the games for it was called Animal Forest. When they put it on the GameCube, it was called Animal Forest Plus. I wonder what the first N64 one was like.
Anyway, so I named my very first town PacTown. Even though PacTown already had a mayor, the elderly Torimer the turtle, I was the one who contributed most to the town’s economy and well-being. By fishing and picking fruit, I earned enough money to help shops grow and pay off mortgages for my house as well as the houses of family members. I donated items to the local museum, too. They even erected a gold statue of me in PacTown!
I even set up my own ‘establishment’ in my house. On the first floor, I decorated with Mario themed furniture and had every NES game available to play. I liked to pretend it was an arcade, and when I was gone, the animals could come in and play. Yes, in the first AC game, you could get actual playable NES games. So it was like two games in one. A life simulator and a Nintendo game collection (I even got a secret cheat disc so I could get the hidden NES games you weren’t supposed to get, like Zelda and Punch Out). That’s one of the reasons why the original GameCube version is my favorite in the series. In fact, GC Animal Crossing is even on my top five favorite games of all time, right on up there with Pac-Man and Final Fantasy 6. Those of you who know me, you know how much I like those games so that gives you an idea how much I like Animal Crossing titles as well.
I have another good memory associated with the first AC game. When the first one came out, it was 2002 and that was a pretty rough year for me personally, for many reasons. To make matters worse, that year some close family members even forgot about my birthday! Bummed out, I popped in my newly acquired AC game. It was a dreary, rainy day on my birthday in the game, too. But right outside my door waiting for me under a leaf umbrella was my neighbor, Prince the Frog. He had a birthday present for me that he was itching to give me. And you know what it was? The NES Donkey Kong game! I know it sounds pathetic, but that was actually one of the best birthday presents I got that year! Prince and I were ‘best friends’ in the game after that, and I don’t think he ever moved out of my town. He’s actually my second favorite AC character (first is Blathers the Owl). If Prince is in New Leaf, I’m going to be extra nice to him, even though he obviously won’t remember his kind actions from years ago.
So anyway, I played the first Animal Crossing game for a full year before stopping. And that’s actually a pretty long time to play a game period! Not only that, but I got my brothers, close friends, and even my mom into the game! I always had fun exchanging memory cards and visiting their towns (that’s the only way you could do that back then since it wasn’t an online game yet). Because I enjoyed the game for so long with family members and friends, that’s the other main reason why the GameCube Animal Crossing is one of my top five favorite games of all time.
So a few years went by and luckily things got better in my life. It was about time for me to move on to a new town again on the DS with Animal Crossing: Wild World. This time I took a taxi, and it was a rainy trip. Turns out the taxi was driven by Kapp’n, the Kappa who rowed me to the island in my first town. Thank goodness he didn’t sing about cucumbers on this trip. When I got there, it was the same old song and dance. Raccoon sells me a house, animal neighbors, you get the drill. I named the new town PacTown2. Not very original, I know, but I liked that name and just got used to it in the first game. As in the first title, I was a major contributor to this town’s welfare as well. I helped shops grow, filled the museum with all the paintings, fossils, fish, and nearly all the bugs, and just generally helped with the local economy. I was beginning to think that Mayor Tortimer was just a figurehead, and I was the real one with power in the town.
While I did appreciate that things in the town were more streamlined than in the first game, they took out something major in the sequel. No playable NES games. Was Nintendo thinking they could make more money by selling them separately? Who knew at the time? So while I didn’t like Wild World as much as the first game, there was something very special about it that they added. It was the first AC game to go online! Now I could visit other people’s towns without having to leave the house! I have a lot of great memories going to other online friends’ towns in Wild World. I hope I can re-create those great memories on the 3DS as well. I think that Wild World was probably the first online game that I really got into!
So it was time to move to another town again. This time I took a bus. And Kapp’n was driving that, too! Does that guy creep anyone else out with his weird questions and advice? I think Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii is my least favorite of the first three games so far. By now I knew they wouldn’t have any included NES games, thanks to Virtual Console. But it just felt too much like the other titles. Granted they’re all pretty similar, but this one seemed more so. Plus, the ‘city’ you could take a bus ride to in the game was more like a strip mall. Just a few extra overpriced shops was all that it was. But even so, the game was still fun to play with my family and friends online. Heck, I even got my mom to play this one, too. She loved it so much that she taught herself how to turn on the Wii so she could play it when she was around and I wasn’t! That’s a big deal for her!
Just like in the last two towns I lived in, I was a major contributor to PacTown3’s economy and growth, thanks to my generous spending of money and donating of museum items. I started to wonder if I was making Mayor Tortimer jealous. Jealous enough to evict me from town? How? You see, about ten months after I started playing, one day when booting up the game, it said my save file was corrupted! Which was odd because I ALWAYS saved the game properly, I knew I was the last to save, and I didn’t have any problems with any other Wii save files (believe me, I checked). I wasn’t going to start over after 10 months of playing, so I just stopped right there. But that’s OK, really. I played for nearly a year, so that’s still a pretty long time. Hopefully that won’t happen with the new game!
It’s nice to see that in between main games, Animal Crossing has appeared in other titles as well. There was an AC micro game in WarioWare: Smooth Moves on Wii, for instance. And an AC stage (and pitfall item) in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I liked that if you played on that stage on Saturday night, K.K. Slider would be there singing! I wonder how many people are going to name their New Leaf town Smashville? Most recently, one of the mini-games in Nintendo Land on Wii U was Animal Crossing: Sweet Days. Even though it was just a variation on the Pac-Man Vs. gameplay format, it was still a favorite of mine, Jeff, and his friends when they came over to play.
So today (as of this writing), I’ve moved to PacTown4. I took a train again, and lo and behold, Rover the blue cat shows up to ask me more questions. I think he even remarked that the last time he did this was back in 2002 or so! Ha! So when I arrive in PacTown4, I get an unusually warm welcome from the residents, and this one yellow dog keeps calling me mayor! Turns out there’s been a mix up, and now I get to be mayor of the town! I think Toritmer’s retired on some island that I might get to see later. At last, after three towns of doing all the work and getting none of the credit, I finally get the position I deserve! But don’t worry; I won’t go mad with power or anything.
Of course, what they neglected to tell me was that they didn’t even have a house for me yet! I paid a visit to Tom Nook on the new Main Street. Turns out he’s just dealing with real estate nowadays, and his nephews, Timmy and Tommy, run the general store this time. So Tom Nook let me pick exactly where I want my house (I picked near city hall, since I’m mayor and all). But he couldn’t build a house until I had a down payment. Luckily, I’ve gotten pretty good at earning money in AC games, so the first round of Bell-giving came easy. Unfortunately, the house won’t be ready until tomorrow, so in the meantime he put me up in a tent! What the heck? That’s no way for a mayor to live! Oh well, it’s only for one day.
I really like the new main street; it streamlines everything you need to shop for. In town you have Re-Tail, a new community-minded store ran by two Llamas. But on Main Street you can shop at Tom Nook’s real estate store, visit the post office, buy general goods from Tommy and Timmy, clothes and accessories from the Able Sisters, and check out the museum. I was happy to see Blathers the owl again, as he’s my favorite AC character. But he wasn’t as chatty as he was in the past. He says he’s trying to work on not being so verbose, but I liked our long-winded one-sided chats in the past. I’ll add that the museum this time is HUGE! I was kind of bummed out that Tommy and Timmy’s store didn’t sell a fishing pole on my first day. But that yellow dog I was telling you about before? Turns out she’s my secretary and she sold me a fishing pole at Town Hall when I asked. I think she’ll end up being a big help as I take on my new job as mayor.
So that’s pretty much what happened on my first day of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I’m looking forward to playing this one with my family as always. In fact, I got my mom a 3DS for Mother’s Day just so she could play this game! I’m also looking forward to playing online with my friends as well! It may be a few days before I get online with everybody, though. I think a lot of the online and StreetPass stuff unlocks over time, and I want to get my town in order and get used to the game first. But as soon as I can, I’ll do the online stuff. But for now, let’s trade 3DS Friend Codes so we can be ready. Post yours in the comments section if you’re interested, and if you need any other info from me, I’ll add that in the comments as well.
Cary’s 3DS Friend Code: 1977-0161-5480
And that’s all for now! I probably won’t fully review New Leaf per se. There’s just so much to do in the game that it would be rather daunting to write about. Besides, sometimes I just like to play a game without having to worry about what I’m going to write for it. I’m just going to enjoy this one! Later! –Cary