Thereís only one place where living amongst walking, talking animals is perfectly normal. Where is that, you might ask? Itís the world of Animal Crossing!
Animal Crossing is a life-simulating game, but it is far from others in the genre, such as The Sims. In Animal Crossing, you are a male or female human whom has just moved out on their own. In the first few minutes of the game, you decide who you are, where youíre going, and what you look like through a series of questions Rover the cat asks you.
He's lying. He IS crazy. AND he stalks you. D:
The gameplay in Animal Crossing is amusing. The only specific goal to complete is to repay your loan to the Raccoon/Tanuki Tom Nook in order to expand your house. Anything else in the game is up to you! You can go fishing, run errands for your animal pals, shop, visit a friend, or a number of other things.
This game runs in real-time, and your neighbors move away or move in as time passes, whether you are there or not! A number of events and festivals happen on certain days, so the Animal Crossing player must be aware in order to not miss out!
The most pronounced part of Animal Crossing is your house, which you can decorate however you like. At first, your home is just a rundown shack, without much elbow room. One of your first missions is to repay your loan to get a bigger room. Through paying off large sums of money, you may even add a basement and second floor. There are many items to choose from as decoration, leaving the player with possibilities as endless as their imagination.
The graphics were very cute and chibi-like, although the animal's faces appear static, like they were drawn on. Plus, their eyes do not move, even if they turn their heads to look at you. Kinda creepy...
Two more great features in the game consist of the ability to travel to a friendís town to see whatís up, and traveling to the island via Gameboy Advance.
Did you think you were stuck in your quaint little town forever? Guess again! If you have another memory card with Animal Crossing town data on it, you may travel to another town to shop, meet more villagers, or wreak havoc on the unsuspecting village! The opportunistic player can also use this to their advantage by shopping for items not available in their town, or picking foreign types of fruit to take back home. You only start out with one type of fruit in town, and itís not an easy task to get other kinds.
The next connectivity bonus is the ability to go to Animal Island. The Kappa/Turtle thing, Kappín, will take you to a small island as long as you have a Gamebody Advance plugged into your Gamecube. You have the option to name the Island, meet a local islander, and even have your own private vacation home! An added bonus is every time you travel to your Island; Kappín will sing a cute little song for you! It might be sappy, or sad, but itís always funny.
Speaking of music, the songs the game cycles through every hour are catchy. I really like them, and many of my friends say the same. No matter how much they play, I never tire of the tunes or find them annoying. They suit the game very well.
Kappín isnít the only musically-inclined villager. Totakeke, known as K. K. Slider, comes to your town every Saturday night and will play a song for you. Heís a cute little dog with bushy eyebrows. During his songs, the credits of the game will roll, but fear not, the game isnít over. Once his song ends, gameplay will resume as normal. I thought this was a clever way to include the credits in a game with no ending.
That is the beauty of Animal Crossing, it never ends. You can keep coming back as long as you like. Seasons change, your friends move away, new friends move in, and life goes on for as long as you like. There are plenty of things to do to occupy any amount of time. Animal Crossing is a likeable game for any gamer, of any gender or age.