What a wonderful world — Animal Crossing: New Leaf review

i_39004As part of the Onett Gazette’s yearly town spotlight, we’ve reached out to David, the mayor of our quiet little city. When he first moved to our town, he began writing a journal, detailing his activities and interactions with the townsfolk. To celebrate this wonderful event, he has made his first few journal entries available here for all to read. Get a look at the humble beginnings of a great leader, reprinted here, exclusively at Gaming Trend.

Day 1
Well, I’ve finally decided to strike out on my own! All I’ve got is this ticket to Onett and the clothes on my back. After a long train ride, I’ve finally arrived.

I was incredibly surprised to see that everyone at the town was waiting for my arrival — at 9:00 at night, no less. I was even more surprised to find out that they named me mayor of this town. I didn’t even know I ran for the job at a town I’ve never been to.

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I made my way to the mayor’s office and took a look around my new “kingdom.” Once I got my bearings, I picked out a nice plot of land for my house, right on the river. To tide me over, they set me up with a little tent. It’s not much (and it’s kind of cold), but it’s a start. I think I’m going to like it here.

Day 2
I signed the paperwork over at Tom Nook’s for my new house and it’s ready to move in! It’s about as big as that tent I was staying in though… Luckily, Tom offered to build me a bigger house once I pay off that loan. And it turns out these people here will buy anything. Bugs, fruit, fish, fossils… anything. I wish I had some more space in my pockets to store all the tools I’ll need and the loot I’ll be selling, but I’m thinking I’ll be debt free in no time.

[singlepic id=12653 w=320 h=240 float=left]While I’m working off my loan, I’ve been checking in on the mayor’s office to find out what I need to do around town. Turns out, in order to achieve my fullest potential as mayor, I need to get my approval rating to 100%. In order to do that, I need to go around, talk to people, clean up the town, and generally do things that make Onett a nicer place to be. This isn’t going to happen overnight.

Day 3
I’ve made some friends! Apple the squirrel came over to check out my new place. She thought it was kind of small, but she really liked the S.S. Dolphin model I had in the back. I can’t wait to get a bigger place to fit more stuff inside!

Still working towards paying off that loan and getting that elusive 100% approval rating. I redesigned our town flag — it’s a Triforce! The citizens seem to like it. Just gotta shake a few more hands and kiss a few more babies — metaphorically speaking, of course.

Day 5
Finally sold off enough stuff to pay off my loan! I’m officially debt free! Tom Nook offered to make my house bigger, though this is going to cost a little bit more… I might as well — I could always use more space.

I also got my approval rating to 100%! Now I can issue ordinances and public works. I took a look through the various upgrades and decided on building a camp site. Onett is a beautiful town, and it’d be nice for people to experience it first hand. I hope all of the citizens will chip in and help build it — with this new house loan I don’t think I can do it myself.

It’s a good thing that I enacted that “Rich Town” ordinance. It seemed a better fit for what I’m trying to do — raise money to pay off my loan while building the camp site — and it definitely wasn’t cheap, but it’ll pay off in the long run. If I get tired of it, I can always switch ordinances to something else — maybe I’ll make Onett an “Early Bird” town, so all of those shops will open up a little earlier.

Busy day today.

Day 7
Another day of fishing and catching bugs. I’m trying to flesh out Onett’s museum. Blathers, the owl that runs the museum, has been looking for various creatures, fossils, and works of art to show off to the public. Every time I find something that I haven’t seen before, I send it over to the museum so the rest of the town can gander at all the wonders nature provides.

Oh! And my girlfriend moved in to town just down the river from me. She sent me a note. I’m excited for her to see the hard work I’ve put into the town. I know she’ll appreciate it.

Day 9
[singlepic id=12652 w=320 h=240 float=right]I won a fishing tournament today! Everyone in the town was rushing around the river, trying to find the longest bass possible. And mine was the biggest at 44.92 inches. Now I’ve got a gold trophy to go along with the rest of my furniture in my house. It’s starting to get a little cramped in there… Hopefully I can pay off my loan soon so I can get a bigger house.

What is wrong with me???

Day 12
I payed off my second loan! Tom Nook was able to set me up with an even bigger house, and now I only have to pay him a few hundred thousand Bells to pay that loan off…

I think Tom Nook’s operation might be a little bit more predatory than I once thought.

Anyway, the old mayor Tortimer showed up. He really likes the work I’ve been doing around town. Turns out he’s been hanging out at this island down south. He told me I can go check it out tomorrow. I think I’ll take a trip down there.

Some weird bird washed ashore today. He asked me a question about about Sweden, and for getting it right, sent me a dala horse — a traditional Swedish wood carving. I think my girlfriend will like this. I’ll send it to her when I get a chance.

Day 13
Visited the island today. Man, it’s hot down there! Every day is summer on this tropical paradise, and there are tons of bugs, fish, and fruit there that I’d never seen before. Plus, they run special “tours” where I can invite three of my friends and run around, competing to catch the most fish, capture the most bugs, or other activities. Winning these games gives me a plethora of medals that I can spend on the special store for unique nautical themed paraphernalia, and bring them back with me to the town.

There’s even a special club where I can hang out with random people from all over the world. This island is the only place where I can run around with people other than close friends, so it’ll be nice to spread my wings a bit and get to know some new friends. It’s exclusive though — I need to buy a special pass to get in. Hopefully I can earn enough medals to pick one up!

Day 16
I’ve been had!

This guy named Redd showed up in Onett, and he said he had some priceless works of art for sale. The prices seemed too good to be true, and it turns out they were. When I tried to take the Mona Lisa I purchased to the museum, Blathers told me that it was a forgery!

That guy’s a total jerk.

On a lighter note, the convenience store just expanded. They’ve got a much larger stock, and they’re open a lot later now. That’ll be nice when I’m running around trying to sell stuff while I’m awake far later than I should be.

Day 19
[singlepic id=12651 w=320 h=240 float=left]Some weird guy showed up in town and said he was looking to open up a nightclub. As mayor, I think a bit of nightlife would do Onett some good, so of course I said yes. I had to get some signatures on a petition in order to get the permission to build it. I don’t think the other citizens got what I was asking — some of them mentioned a sandwich? Well, needless to say, it’ll get built soon.

Day 20
As I wander around Onett, taking stock of the land around me and the people who inhabit it, I must say I’ve enjoyed my time so far as mayor of this little town. It’s been relaxing, peaceful, almost zen-like wandering around, partaking in the many activities this idyllic villa has to offer. Every day has something new to offer — some new item to find or thing to do — that spending even a few minutes out of my day to talk to everyone and explore is worthwhile and rewarding. I’ve barely scratched the surface here — there’s so much more to see and do, and so much work I need to do to help the town out… This is going to be a huge undertaking, but seeing what changes I can make to this place will be worth the effort.

I’m glad I moved here. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

As you can see, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is less of a game and more of an experience. It’s not something that you can marathon, it’s not something you can “beat,” and going in without those expectations will ruin it for you. Its portable nature, plus all of the extra features that they’ve been adding since the first game on the GameCube make this not only the best game in the series, but also a perfect starting point for newcomers. It’s great for hopping in for a few minutes a day, interacting with its citizens, performing a few daily activities, and then revisiting it again the next day. And the day after that. And so on.


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I've been gaming since my dad made the bad decision of buying me a Nintendo when I was four years old. Every day I'd find myself with my face glued to a TV screen, punching away at buttons, getting furious with Bowser, Dr. Wily, and those freakin' birds in Ninja Gaiden. Since then I have failed to get my parents to play any board game with me, I sold my full copy of Earthbound with box and guide for $300 to some dude in Austria for rent money, and I still believe in Nintendo even after all these years.

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