Animal Crossing GameCube Review

How sad is this? I told my friend I couldn’t make it to the film that we had arranged to see because I was ill with the flu. All this because I wanted this particular item which would only be available at a certain time. This is the affect this classic of a game has on you. It makes real life take the back seat whilst you experience a world where you can live your pixelated dream life on Animal Crossing, away from the city buzz and stress which life thrusts upon us in this modern day and age. You can’t leave this game alone, it grabs you by the collar of your shirt and gobbles you up and digests you into its world.

Gameplay

Animal crossing intertwines a number of different elements of gameplay. This is what makes it such a strong game, the fact that there is so much to do on such a broad scale of subjects; whether you want to be the local lumber jack chopping down trees with your huge axe or the local fisher man among other things. You might even want to be the local fashion guru and design your own t-shirt or umbrella, what ever floats your boat.

From the word go its action as you are faced with the daunting prospect of having to choose a name for yourself and your town; a very testing time, now you know how your parents felt. Oh but imagine the months of torment if you picked that favourite comical name. I was tempted to use my personal favourite Ben Dover and a classic it is. But however although for the first few days you may find it side splitting when people addressee you as Ben Dover after then its WHY OH WHY did I use such a stupid name it will in fact take away from the overall experience. And there’s nothing you can do but ether put up with it or delete your save file and go through the long drawn out beginning and getting to know the village and become acquainted with the villagers once again as all villages and villages are chosen random. As if the god of animal crossing himself had placed his mighty hand into his hat.

Really the whole point of the game is to pay of your huge sums of money which you owe Tom Nook (the local shop keeper) for living in the residence he had supplied you with as upon arrival at your village. As you pay of your debt Tom Nook upgrades your house of course he slams another debt on your ass and this continues until it can be upgraded no more.

You can make money from offering your self as an errand boy for the other villagers. A lot of its just basically stealing stuff from the lost property department in the police station which is run by a fat bull dog, who is over trusting of people. Taking from the dump can also be quite way of making money, its amazing what people chuck away. Another valuable source of income is fishing, Tom Nook paying over the odd prices on fish which can be found in the river which runs metres away from his shop. One wonders what Tom Nook does with the hundreds of fish I sell him. Fish have a special index which is a lot like a Pokedex, or if you prefer, an encyclopedia where all the fish you have caught can be accounted for and noted. But to get to see all the fish, you’ll have to work hard and trade with friends etc. And of course there’s the turnip market which works a lot like the stock market but in turnips. There are many ways of making money too many to list in this review of the game.

Another interesting aspect of the game is being able to trade with friends. You must trade secret codes for items which can then be inputted at Tom Nooks shop, and then you get the item. Also distantly related to this topic is the ability to visit your friends house if you put there memory card into slot two and yours in slot 1 you can go to the Train station which is conducted worryingly by a monkey in a bright red suit. Board the train and pop of too your friends house where you can fondle there trees and steel their friends, making a lasting impression which may lead them to move to your village. Remember, more friends equals more fun. There are many aspects of game play which we have not looked at but that gives you a suitable idea of what is the philosophy and logic of this game.

Graphics

This area of the game has been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism. However unrealistic or basic the graphics may be they still work perfectly with the game, and I couldn’t think of a better way graphically to represent this game.

So now we have got that straight, we can get on with this chapter of the review. As I fish off the short pier, looking for that all important fish to add to my collection or sell to Nooky, I watch the peacefull sea as it crashes against the shell littered beach and washes right up onto the outskirts of the land. Although not realistic in any sense it’s still surprisingly nice to look at. This kind of image makes me want to get my brush and water colours out and just to paint it. This proves that realism isn’t only the most impressive genre of graphics but that this genre can to offer that same level of immersion as Resident Evil. Each character is as different as Gandhi to Gengis Khan, not only in looks but also in the separate personality each one has. When the snow begins to fall you can see your small footprints in the snow, this is the attention to detail I like about Animal Crossing. Things like this really make the game unique and a great experience. Everything is bright as if collared with wax crayon. Vibrant, peaceful and perfect a retreat for you to rest aster a hard day at the office. However this may not be to everyone’s taste it may all be a bit colourful for some but I do urge you to look past the graphics if you don’t see the good side in them. Underneath is a monster game waiting to be realised.

Sounds

The sounds in this game are typical Japanese bouncy music. Which fits in well with the atmosphere, although I don’t spend long listening to the music and a lot of the time you don’t notice it.

However Nintendo have been crafty with the voices of the characters. They haven’t used real words so not to take up room etc, and time due to Animal Crossing being a very text orientated game, they have given the characters little squeaky voices which certain words can be recognised through the voice. However at times these voices can be annoying, but so can anything after repeated listening. You have to listen to a lot of these voices during the game. There aren’t that many sound effects used but my favourite is the crunching of the snow under your boot when you’re walking in the snow. Sound is sufficient as it doesn’t really play as big part as some of the other things on show…

Lifespan

Now the life span really all depends on you, and how much effort and work you’re willing to put in to the game. The game demands a lot of time, it’s a lot like the family dog in a lot of ways. However the life span is basically endless as new things can happen everyday. These will still stun and amaze you in a few years, if you go back to it. So if you put the effort in you’ll receive some back.

Overall

This is a great game which is currently my personal favourite on the GameCube. It’s not so much a game as it is a hobby. That’s the kind of dedication which is needed. Some will play for a week get bored and never touch a gain and some will play fanatically for a lot longer. This is the game I bought my import GameCube for.

9 out of 10
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