The Five: Animal Crossing: City Folk
Ahhhh, yes. Nintendo has finally taken the wraps off their latest Animal Crossing effort -- but does the "Big N" add enough to this installment to make it a worthy purchase?
1. It's more or less the same game as the Nintendo DS version. While there is a new town where you can bid at an online auction house, watch a comedy show, and transform your character into a Mii -- it's not all that different from Animal Crossing: Wild World.
2. If you were addicted to Animal Crossing: Wild World, you can transfer your character over to City Folk. Sadly, your items and bells (money) will not transfer, so once again you'll have to pay off Tom Nook to keep getting better housing.
3. Invite three of your friends to your town with the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. You can celebrate holidays together in real time, and, for example, if you have friends in another territory, you can celebrate their traditional holidays as well. We can't wait to see how Octoberfest turns out.
4. You can scream at your friends with the new (sold separately for 30 clams) WiiSpeak microphone. "Hey! Stop chopping down my trees!", "Hey, stop stealing my fruit!", "Hey, stop digging up my town!" Tell your friends what big jerks they are. Let's see if Nintendo can keep that clean.
5. While digging for treasures, bug collecting, and fishing are some of the normal tasks in Animal Crossing, it's surprising that Nintendo has decided to forgo using motion controls. Have they forgotten that this is on the Wii? C'mon guys, we know this is a glorified port, but put a little more effort into it. Geez.
The Big Question: Will anyone care? Nintendo is well known for regurgitating games from earlier systems onto their newer ones, and even though City Folk does add a few new things, it really doesn't seem all that different than previous incarnations. How cool would it have been to allow people to come to your town to play Virtual Console games online together -- much like the GameCube version had NES classics? No dice. What about new activities? Nope. We love Animal Crossing, but for how much the Regginator pushes this on the hardcore Nintendo fan, we may just stick with Wild World to get our Animal Crossing fix.
This preview is based on a hands-on demo of the game at E3.