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Animal Crossing
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:10 pm    Post subject: Animal Crossing Reply with quote

I better start by pointing out that this is a GameCube title and sadly it hasn't been ported yet. A very strange game that you will either love or hate, but it certainly offers something different. It is set in a cartoony village, populated by cutesy little animals (cats, bunnies, dogs, crocs, monkeys, etc).

I can feel people turning off already ....

Anyone who has played a mmorpg will feel a certain dejavue (chopping trees and fishing for instance). The game doesn't really have a goal as such, you just have to live and make your mark. You get a small house (with mortgage) and get by doing odd jobs for all the other villagers. One innovative feature is that the game is synced to the console's clock and many in game events coincide with important dates (i.e. xmas, easter, your birthday, harvest festival, halloween, new years). Plus the seasons in the game match the real world, this is a game you can come back to for months and months and still see new things.

It is all about collecting:
1. over time you will collect lots of furniture (you win prizes for the best feng shui house layout).
2. you catch all 40 types of fish in the rivers (you can sell them or keep them as pets in aquariums).
3. you grow all the different types of fruit trees (you can sell the fruit at the shop).
4. the local museum also exhibits certain collections for you:
    a) art
    b) dinosaur fossils
    c) insects
    d) fish

5. different music cassettes for your hifi colleted from travelling singers.
6. turnips - ok this is really odd, but turnips can be bought and sold at different rates, a bit like gambling on the stock market.
7. you can collect an entire wardrobe of outfits, some designed by you.

Everyone in the village has a different personality, some hate you and some love you, depending on how you act. You write to each other and send presents back and forth, the contents of the letters is surprisingly good considering it is AI making them. For example, they will often mention things in letters that relate to conversations you have had or things that have happened.

The village will often have a special event, this could be a treasure hunt or the arrival of a rare visitor (the dodgy furniture guy, travelling artists, fortune teller, fashion guru, etc).

The town needs extensive horticultural management too, initially it is fairly bare and over time fills up with weeds (which need pulling). You have to find new species of flowers and trees and then plant them all. Old trees need to be cut down, and regular pruning prevents over crowding.

Another great feature, the whole game is procedurally generated. What the heck am I talking about? This means everything about the game is generated pseudo-randomly and is based on unique "seed" numbers. This means, the layout of houses, texturing of paths, streams and rivers, mix of people, the trees, etc are all unique to each game. As a result the game uses an entire memory card to save its complete state.

A village always has a train station and you can use this to go and visit another village (i.e. put in a different memory card). Each village will have different furniture/trees/insects/fish/etc and you can bring them back! A village always has a handful of spare houses, this means you can visit and stay in your own home away from home. This remains yours after you leave, so you can furnish it and people will send mail/presents to it. Your character can have a presence in a whole series of different villages and interact with the characters there. This adds a dimension to the game if you have a spare memory card, but it comes into its own if you know someone else with a copy of the game who you can visit.

The game contains a huge number of items and mini-collections for your house (some themed to other Nintendo games i.e. a model of the fighter in Starfox for your shelf). You can even get a Nintendo Entertainment System and the find games for it. Hook this up to a tv and you can actually play the games for real in your ingame house. I've seen Golf and DonkeyKong and I think there a few others hidden.

Very different, very innovative. Non-competitive and non-violent, I think that explains its limited success with a predominantly male gaming audience. Shame really.
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Grammar Police
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 1068
Location: Sydney, Land of Censorship

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as i know animal crossing was originally developed for the n64 but the gc version has many new features. it happens to be a bugger that i can't afford it.
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Joined: 31 Aug 2003
Posts: 104
Location: Mt. Savage, Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh you mean that game that is sooo complex that it begins to replace life itself? Yeah, I know that one.

The whole thing with the gamecube and the gameboy linking up is a double-edged sword. Its fun, yet makes you want to buy another $100 is stuff. Do they even still sell the Card Reader and the cards?
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Grammar Police
Grammar Police

Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 1068
Location: Sydney, Land of Censorship

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yay! i got it! it's cool, and it won't be ported to other consoles, as it's made by nintendo. the e-card reader and e-cards are sold here in australia, the cards about $5-10 australian each. animal crossing however is a cool game, being able to do pretty much anything you want... i wasn't able to test the gba link feature as i don't have a gc - gba link cable... great game though!
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