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Animal Crossing: City Folk review

AT A GLANCE
  • Meeting old pals in the city
  • Migrating from the DS
  • Earning bells
  • Few new features
  • Dated graphics
  • Devs not really even trying

We just had the most terrible nightmare. We were in debt to this horrid raccoon called Tom, and all our neighbors had animal heads and they kept spouting the same nonsense over and over, day after day, for years. The worst part is we could swear we’d done it all before, like some kind of hallucinatory déjà vu. Aaargh!

Animal Crossing: City Folk (AKA Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City in the UK) opens with the option to import your town from the DS version and, depending on your viewpoint, keep in touch with old pals or continue your addiction on the big screen. Starting from scratch, it’s almost exactly the same as it has been on three successive Nintendo formats. You move into the town, pick a house, work off an initial loan from the furry storekeeper Tom Nook by doing a few chores, then spend the next few months earning the big money you need to buy furniture, expand your house and impress your animal neighbors.

It’s a real-time game that you play for maybe 20 minutes a day, 30 minutes maximum, and the inhabitants go about their daily business governed by the Wii’s internal clock. Switch it on on a winter’s morning and it’ll be bright and chilly. A summer afternoon will be all fuzzy and warm. Nights are for stargazing. Miss a day and your neighbors start to worry, so you’re compelled to do the rounds to make sure everyone’s okay, nobody is feeling sick and you’re not missing any social occasions such as birthday parties or anything. When an animal gets fed up with you and moves out, it can be pretty gutting, so you can’t leave it alone even if you go on holiday – one reason the take-everywhere DS version was so great.

If you haven’t played Animal Crossing before, it’s completely brilliant. A classic non-game that the entire family will love and only the most stony-hearted will fail to appreciate. Buy it now, and you’ll still be playing every day by this time next year, guaranteed. If you’ve already done it to death in one of its previous guises, know this: the Wii version brings very little to the party, and anyone hoping for a brand new Animal Crossing experience will be sorely disappointed by what’s on offer.

The city part is just a small plaza area where some of the occasional visitors to the DS game have permanent stalls. Redd, Shrunk, the hairdresser and the fortune teller are all there, along with an auction house, a shop for super expensive furniture, a shoeshine stand and a place where you can get an instant HRA report. That’s about it.

Back in the village, you now get 10 residents instead of just eight, and if you invite some friends via the internet you get to see the villagers walking around instead of just hiding in their houses. Four people can watch a KK Slider show together on Saturday nights, and you can all chat via the Wii Speak microphone, as long as you don’t mind everyone in the room listening in. The text has all been rewritten too, so you won’t have to endure the exact same phrases as you’ve already read hundreds of times, and it’s nice to see the Kapp’n return as a bus driver with some wise and fruity words of his own.

It’s still a great game but fans of the DS version are going to feel short-changed by the lack of imagination in this Wii retread. For everyone who missed out last time, or if you’re keen to start such an epic afresh on the TV, this may well be the family game that sends Wii Sports into permanent retirement.

Nov 17, 2008

More Info

Release date: Nov 17 2008 - Wii (US)
Dec 05 2008 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Simulation
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Nintendo
Franchise: Animal Crossing
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Comic Mischief
PEGI Rating:
3+

17 comments

  • jasongrime - November 26, 2008 5:22 a.m.

    does anyone wanna exchange friend codes? mine is 3094-0601-2056/AC/CF! Email me at jasongrime@yahoo.com
  • jasongrime - November 26, 2008 5:19 a.m.

    why do bugs keep eating my trees when i plant them? does anyone know if im doing anything wrong?
  • Sash - November 18, 2008 12:45 p.m.

    "Tikicobra - 12 hours 50 minutes ago If they aren't trying then how did it get an 8?" Because its the same game as the DS version (basically) and that got a high score.
  • John-117 - November 18, 2008 12:36 a.m.

    Baby sound effects for everyone!
  • Tikicobra - November 17, 2008 11:52 p.m.

    If they aren't trying then how did it get an 8?
  • Carriedaway - November 26, 2008 9:51 p.m.

    what is the 4 leaf clover for and how do you visit other peoples town???
  • Nintengeek750 - November 26, 2008 9:44 p.m.

    Hmmm... this looks sort of kind of interesting but then again...
  • noofer7 - November 22, 2008 9:57 p.m.

    hmmm...
  • Thequestion 121 - November 19, 2008 8:07 p.m.

    I love Animal Crossing! Though it's not perfect, I think an 8 is what it deserves.
  • Defguru7777 - November 18, 2008 2:39 a.m.

    I played Animal Crossing on Gamecube. It was good but got old after a while.
  • Wave360 - November 18, 2008 12:47 a.m.

    WTF... I was expecting Duke Lombardi to revuw "The Animal Crossing"
  • Nessrox - November 17, 2008 11:51 p.m.

    I tottally agree. This game is still good for true Animal Crossing fans. There could have been more form it. I have it, and I love it. I'd give it an 8.5
  • nanlee3711 - September 1, 2009 8:39 p.m.

    how do you get your grass to grow back?
  • bmarriott - June 13, 2009 1:09 p.m.

    how can i restore my grass fast. and r there going to be any updates to help with the grass problem. please can anyone help me
  • ganondorf21 - December 27, 2008 7:17 p.m.

    does the wii speak work only for this game if so they should make it work for brawl
  • Jen534 - December 16, 2008 2:48 a.m.

    I have a question if u hav Animl crossing Wild World can ur account still b moved over cuz i want this game for christmas and needed to no
  • derrderr420 - December 14, 2008 5:18 a.m.

    Jo Megas wrote at 11:28am the new animal crossing isn't actually very tight.. the internet connection is basically the highlight of it, and you can "go to the city" (But i mean, the city is bullshit. its like, 6 stores that don't change) everything is more expensive and you can't ask your neighbors if you can do favors for them - you have to wait until they ask you. which ... Read Moreis kind of shannanigins. i'm way dissapointed with it - i didnt realize you had to register someone as a friend to play online with them. such a long wall comment about AC jeez. This was a review I got on facebook asking about this gameLOL

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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