Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS) Reviews

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Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS)

By: Rex Inego | May 08, 2007 05:50 PM

Do games need to have set objectives to complete? Do they have to keep you on your toes at all times? The answer to those questions is no. If there is one game that can prove that, its Animal Crossing: Wild World.Fans of the Gamecube version of Animal Crossing will be familiar with the gamesҒ concept. If you havent yet played Animal Crossing you will have no idea how good this game is. It really is one of those games which cannot be described and really has to be played to discover the beauty of it. Anyway, the game starts off in a taxi. The driver, KappҒn (who fans will recognise from the GC version) , asks you a series of questions. The responses that you give to his questions will determine what your character will look like, your name and the name of your town. Once you have answered his questions the taxi stops, and you get out at the town hall, where you learn that local businessman, Tom Nook has got a house for you to live in. That may sound generous, but Nook, like all business men wants one thing, money! So it is your job to pay off your mortgage to Nook. He offers you a job at his store, Nooks Cranny, there you begin to do some tasks such as: planting flowers, meeting the villagers, and delivering orders to them. Soon, Nook runs out of jobs for you to do and tells you that you have to make some bells( the games currency) your own way. So you must travel around your town performing tasks that on paper( or rather a computer screen) sound mundane, but in reality, are great fun. Tasks range from planting fruit trees, fishing, delivering presents to the animals that live in the town, writing letters to the townsҒ inhabitants, and generally taking care of your town. Once you have paid off your mortgage, Tom Nook offers to build you a larger house, but with that extra space, comes even more bells to pay to Tom Nook.This process then repeats a number of times, which may sound boring, but there is so much variety in the game that every day of playing is a real joy. That is the main storyђ to the game, however the real beauty of the game is that you dont need to do anything unless you want to. This gives the game a very relaxed feel to it. You can decide to go fishing, or create your own patterns at the Able Sisters -they are the towns resident tailors-(the patterns can be applied to clothes, wallpaper, carpets, umbrellas, hats, and you can even paste them onto the ground),at any time you want, and for as long as you want. It is this pace that gives Animal Crossing part of itsҒ greatness. The other main part is the animals themselves. They are absolutely crazy! Now, the animals seem more realistic than in the GC game, as they now have hobbies- such as fossil collecting, fishing and bug catching- also the conversations that you can have with the animals are brilliant. In Wild World, the characters seem to have relationships with one another. So some characters in your town may not get on well, and others can be the best of friends. A really interesting aspect of the game is that some animals will talk to you about other animals in your town. One of the animals in my town ,Hyrule, occasionly spreads rumours about the other animals in my town. This new level of interaction with the animals makes it seem much more realistic and its also like your part of an in-game joke that only you and the other animal understands. There are a few very acute problems with the characters ,however, now you cannot ask them for jobs to do, instead they will bring it up in a conversation. Im all for the game being able to make the characters seem like real people, but this can get frustrating at times. The only other slightly bad part about the animals is that many of them are from the GC game, although there are loads of new characters in here as well. Although it may not necessarily be a bad thing that the GC characters are included in this game, because when you see a character that was in your GC town, you instantly want to find out how much they have changed in between the jump from GC to DS.

Now that we have established the basics behind the game, lets move on to how well it plays.

The controls take a little getting used to. The touch screen is basically an analogue stick. You may recall Mario 64 DS having an ґanalogue stick control method, which didnҒt turn out too great, but Wild World gets the method right. Wild World nails the analogueђ control, the only problem is that it takes a little bit of getting used to, after that though its perfect.

In the GC version of Animal Crossing, your town was split up into acres. Unfortunately those are gone know. They have been replaced with a nice scrolling effect, which makes your town seem like a globe. As you walk to the north of your town, you can see trees, houses, etc, on the horizon. This effect is really cool, but the demise of the acres is somewhat disappointing.

Graphically, this game is superb. The graphics ooze charm, and the animations of the animals are really well done. The game has a slightly lower frame rate than most games, but this doesnҒt cause any problems. There is very little slowdown, which is brilliant, as many a game has been ruined by juddering frame rates.

The games soundtrack fitҒs the game perfectly. The music is nice and relaxing, but can get dull as it is repeated quite a lot. The music changes with the seasons, and with the weather, which makes it rather interesting. Sometimes at night when it is raining you get sort of eerie music, but on a bright sunny day, the music is cheerful. This is an interesting way to use audio in games, and hopefully more games will include this in the near future.

The wifi aspect of ACWW is to many people the most exciting aspect; its the first Nintendo online game to permit full chatting capabilities and it does not let itself down with it, the keyboard found in the main menu is stylus friendly and easy to use as your messages pop up on the top screen for others to read you will be beaming with DS joy.

To be honest there is little to do with your friends while you are in their town, a trip to the house to see whatҒs new, a quick round of fishing, a tour of the museum and a trip to the shops is the max of the capabilities. Luckily youll find yourself exploring these aspects for hours, but it is not those aspects that gives the players the most joy. In fact one of the greatest parts about wifi is that you can invent your own things to do. Your own imagination is your only limit whilst playing wifi.

The lag for me has been an issue on a few occasions but mostly its not serious enough to spoil the game, although it can get a little frustrating when entering and exiting buildings.

Wifi aside, there are still new features in this version of the game, although they are nothing too major. There are new buildings which make it easier to perform the many money making tasks in the game. Gone is the Post Office from the GC, it has now been replaced with the Town Hall, which as I have previously said is basically the hub for the town. The Police Station and Train Station have also gone, and in their place is the Town Gates, which is the go to place for multiplayer, whether that be wifi or LAN. The Town Gates are guarded by the Policemen (Or rather Policedogs), which are helpful to you as they tell you about any visitors that are in your town, and there is also a lost and found, where you can take anything thatҒs there.

These are only minor changes, so anyone who has played the GC game, will find this game familiar territory, but will not find it too similar. This is a game which will require a bit of time and attention, but it is well worth it!

Pros: See Review

cons: See Review

conclusion: See Review

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