Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS) Reviews

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Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS)

By: Rex Inego | Jan 22, 2007 07:40 PM

Here we have Animal Crossing: Wild World, a hotly anticipated and passionately adored life simulation game that has taken the Nintendo DS to high new levels. Everything that made the console version so enduring and appealing, as well as fun is also included in this handheld version, excluding the classic NES titles that were found in the GameCube version. But their presence is not at all missed, as the inclusion of Internet play as well as the easier access to multi-player gaming more than make up for the loss. Many fans complained that these classic games were part of what made Animal Crossing so great, but I disagree; it is what you do with your town and neighbors that is fun, not what you do inside your home like you do in real life, which is play games.

Similar to the GameCube version, upon starting a new game, you find yourself in a cab driven by Kappn heading to your new home. He will ask you the typical questions, where you are moving to, what your name is, and subliminally asking whether you are a boy or a girl. Boy-Girl stereotypes live! Answer that your name is ғcute and you are automatically a girl; answer otherwise and you are automatically a boy. Nice deductive reasoning! A nice difference from the original game is a question KappԒn asks you while on-board. He asks why you are moving into your new town, to which you have a variety of responses that determine where your house will be located upon your arrival. Being the person I am, I chose the beach, which positioned my home within steps of the shoreline. I love fishing!

Once you arrive, you are suggested to go visit the local shopkeeper Tom Nook, who has built your nice new comfyӔ home. Here you will be informed, like the last time, that you will need to pay back the money it took to build your house, and what better way to do so than to work part-time at Nooks Cranny? The little tasks that Nook gives you are all disguised as jobs that will allow you to get acquainted with your new home. These include delivering orders to your neighbors so you can get used to doing it many times thereafter, planting flowers so you can learn how to beautify your town, and getting accustomed to your neighbors whom you will live with for some time. Upon completing these tasks, it is time for free exploration! You can go around familiarizing yourself with your town, purchase items from NookҒs store as well as visit the museum and Town Hall. What a great first day in the world of Animal Crossing!

So you lived one day in your new town, now what? It is time to think BIGGER, and expand, of course! From now on, it is now up to you to decide what to do in your new town. You can fish, you can pick up shells on the beach, you can visit the Able Sisters and purchase great designer clothes or make your own. You can even go to the Observatory and stargaze, or even create your own constellations! This is done using the stylus and a set plot of stars in the sky which you can link up to 16 lines to create. This is where your imagination is set free, where you can create constellations that look like things you are familiar with. Yes, for all those immature kids out there, a phallic symbol can be perfectly created and seen up in the sky. What a great way to entertain your guests.

here is a wide variety of things to collect, from furniture to accessories, and from fruit to fossils and insects, the variety is just staggering. Quite surprisingly, this time around, the museum is significantly bigger, allowing for more displays and more collecting. To fill up your museum, you must donate the things you find around your town: fish, fossils, insects, and paintings. These can be acquired in a variety of ways.

Fossils must first be dug out of cracksӔ in the ground, where quick work of the shovel will allow you to dig it up. Then, this unidentified fossil must be taken to Blathers, who will identify what kind of fossil it is. If it is something you do not yet have in display, Blathers will kindly ask you to donate it to the museum for display. You can deny his request, but donating it and making your museum better is part of your daily life in Animal Crossing, so do as you wish. If the fossil is a repeat, you get it back and can either display it at home or sell it to Tom Nook who will pay good money for it.

Insects can be found at various locations at various times of the day in different seasons. Some of them are hard to get, while others just simply hang around waiting to be captured. Then there is the fish to collect, all of which are available at different times and during different conditions of weather. These can be difficult to acquire, as precise timing as well as the correct condition must be met in order to even consider fishing out at sea. This time around, it is slightly harder to capture fish than in the last Animal Crossing. This is so because the wider river areas that exist in your town make it difficult to capture a fish that has moved to the other side of the bank. Also, fish tend to move around more and do not lure as easily, so it is definitely something to get used to.

One of the problems that plagued the original Animal Crossing was that typing letters and creating patterns was a royal pain to do. Due to the lack of a keyboard, or touch-control for that matter, moving the cursor around was just too mundane and it took too long to do. Thanks to the Nintendo DSs great feature known as the touch-screen, however, these tasks can now be easily and seamlessly done. Creating patterns is now more enjoyable because you have full control of your design and everything else that you do. The same goes with typing letters, as it is now the same as typing on an actual keyboard, which is better and faster than a cursor.

Another problem that has been addressed and improved with this version is the multi-player aspect of the game. It is not only the inclusion of Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection support, but the pure simplicity of hooking up wirelessly with friends and hanging out in their town while they themselves are there too is a vast improvement over the limited multi-player portion of the GameCube version. Now, you can actually interact with one another, communicate, have competitions and just have the time of your lives. It is something I am truly grateful of Nintendo for doing, adding chat of some sort into the game. I could not believe it when I was playing Mario Kart DS and realized that there was no chance of communication between players whatsoever. Not only was it discouraging, but the chance to make new friends and arrange a re-match with someone was simply out of the question. While these little quibbles still remain in Wild World, they have been improved and show the progress that NintendoҒs service is making. I had to seek people in forums who would let me visit their villages, as Wild Word does not permit just anyone to enter your town.

You can consider this a good thing, yet there is also a downside to it. I understand that Nintendo is only trying to protect the identity and privacy of its consumers, but the lack of an open-townӔ type of thing during Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection play is a real disappointment. Who ever heard of towns that were closed to foreigners, simply because no one in that town knew who was coming in? I guess you cannot expect realism in a game like this, but my disappointment still remains with Nintendos free online service.

Pros: Incredibly fun Great online mode

cons: A bit boring when the shops are closed

conclusion: The mysteries of the future in real life relate to the mysteries of what will happen tomorrow in Animal Crossing. There is never a dull day, and you can always find yourself returning just to see who is visiting, what Nook is selling, what fossils you can dig up, what fish are in season, and what fruits have grown. The sheer simplicity of the design, and the intuitive way that it is all presented make living in Animal Crossing a pleasure, not a hassle. The game goes beyond plot, beyond story, and beyond meaning. There is none, of anything. It is just you and your animal neighbors, in your own little town. And that is all you need.

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