Game Review

Animal Crossing: City Folk Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

The wait is finally over... let's go to the city.

Wii owners have been waiting for quite some time for this new Animal Crossing title to be released on the Wii console, especially given how long ago the game was first announced for the system. It's this long wait that might have actually hurt the game more than helped it since expectations have become overly high given the innovative capabilities of the Wii console, not to mention the long development cycle. The one thing that tends to stand out when you first see Animal Crossing: City Folk in action is that it looks and feels more like a game that's aimed at casual gamers who have never played an Animal Crossing game before, rather than a game crafted for those who are already fans of the series.

If you have played an Animal Crossing game before, you've basically played this one. The game is very self-paced and once you complete the minimal tasks given to you at the beginning of the game, you can pretty much do whatever you want after that. You can make money by catching and selling fish, selling fruit you've picked off of trees, or selling items you are given or find along the way during your travels. As you pay off the mortgage on your house, you can then have your home expanded. You can also purchase flooring, wall covering, or furniture to decorate your home to your specific tastes. While this will be fun for newcomers to the series, the execution is so similar to past games that series veterans will likely find the experience entirely too much like past Animal Crossing releases to get much enjoyment out of the experience.

There are a few new twists to mention. In Animal Crossing: City Folk you'll find a few new additions to liven things up a bit. The Wii Remote brings a whole new way to control things which does offer a somewhat fresh take on the tasks that have been rehashed from the previous titles. You can now use the Wii Remote like a fishing rod with which you pull up on when you feel a fish nibble on your fishing line or swing it like a bug net to catch insects. It's a small touch, but a nice one nonetheless. There's also the biggest new attraction to Animal Crossing called "The City" that you can travel to in order to visit special shops and deal with many of the same cast of characters that would come to visit you in the original Animal Crossing game. No need to wait on them now as you can just jet into the city and find them any time you like.

With the use of online connectivity you can also visit any of your friend's Animal Crossing towns whenever you want to. You can even pick up the Wii Speak bundle and speak directly to them using the Wii Speak microphone if you so desire. The ability to travel between towns is a much simpler affair this time around, but it still functions in pretty much the exact same way it has in previous Animal Crossing releases. This online functionality is also an area that really lent itself to a lot more given what the Wii console is capable of.

The visuals in Animal Crossing haven't changed much since its jump from the Gamecube, and at times you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference aside from a smoother frame rate. The landscape still rolls around like you're walking on a tiny globe and many of the same designs look as if they were taken directly out of the original game. You'll see small upgrades here and there, and the city will probably impress you the first few times you visit, but when it's all said and done, much like every other aspect of the game, you'll be left wanting more.

Fans of the series will also feel right at home with the music and sound effects in this Wii release as well. In truth, there's not much music to be heard as it tends to blend into the background. Instead the game presents a more real-life setting with sound effects being heard all around you. The sound of a rushing stream, or birds chirping in the distance tend to make up the audio presentation in Animal Crossing. While this was acceptable enough in the past, it would have been nice to have heard something new and unique. It would seem that Nintendo once again went with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality with this aspect of the game.


Animal Crossing does add a few new bells and whistles to the experience, but it just doesn't feel like enough, especially considering how long the game has been in development. The formula is still there, it just feels too much like both of the previous releases and will likely create more of a feeling of deja vu in fans of the series rather than the cutting edge Wii experience many were hoping for. The game is still a lot of fun, and the addition of the Wii Remote controls and microphone are a nice touch, but ultimately this feels like a game that's been done one time too many and could have honestly offered up a lot more considering what the developers had to work with.

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Animal Crossing comes to Wii later this year

User Comments (23)



wildcat said:

Couldn't agree more really. I am an obsessive Animal Crossing fan and while I am enjoying playing this game, at the same time it hits me how little they have actually added in comparison with the additions the DS game had over the Cube one. Such a shame.



James said:

I imported both the Gamecube and DS versions, yet I haven't bought the Wii one yet and probably won't until it drops below £20 or so. Considering this is the Wii's third Christmas I really thought we'd have a stunning line-up, with a completely new Animal Crossing at the front, but I'm disappointed by what Nintendo have published instead.



James said:

Ah damn, shows how good my willpower is - I went out and got AC yesterday for £27.99 after watching one measly video starring a cute Rover. I'm so weak.

On the upside, it's Animal Crossing, so I love it



antdickens said:

I'm a pretty big Nintendo fan, but stuff like this doesn't interest me at all. I'm glad they ARE popular, but there's nothing here for me this Christmas, bring on the next Zelda in 09, please?



Nintendork said:

I bought this game on the release day, and I LOVE it!!!!! Whoever doesn't have Wild World, this should be an instant buy.



Wesker said:

This game has been criminally underrated. I don't care how similar it is to the previous entries in the series. Animal Crossing on Wii is awesome.



iSonic said:

This game is similiar to the previous games, but if you are an Animal Crossing freak, or haven't played the other two, buy City Folk.



Zarith said:

Ah, my mother cannot stop playing this game. She just loves Animal Crossing.



geek-master said:

boy dosent nintendo of EU come out with the most stupid names for there games like this one animal crossing:lets go to the city!
but it gets worse soon there comeing out with walk with me! do you know your walking ruteen?!



Lassenwolf said:

i like it I play it with my kids . we ahve the fruit and help each other when we want something in the game but usually changing the clock deos the trick



Bobpie said:

This was a real let-down, to be honest - it deserved a 7/10.
Withing two weeks of starting it, I got bored, and could'nt be bothered to go on the Wii everyday just to talk to people. AC:WW worked far better, as you could play it anywhere.



TKOWL said:

I found doing the tasks all over again pretty tedious
Hopefully they can make a sequel that you can go to a much larger place like a Mall instead of a 1-block city



BobberyFan98 said:

It deserves ATLEAST an 8/10. I don't understand why they think it deserves to get a 7/10




SuperMarioFan1995 said:

I'm not really a big Animal Crossing fan. My sister only played Wild World on her DS. And she wants either AC for GCN, or this one for Wii.

I don't know why but my sister does not like Mario. She only plays Mario Kart Wii for somewhat reason.



pokemonzrpg said:

This is one of the few NL reviews I disagree with, I would give it a 9/10. You shouldn't ever compare it to past titles, this is the present. It is still an amazing game.



Collinhall said:

Since I had only played animal crossing gc, not wild world, this was the best game ever! So when I did get wild world, it seemed like "been there, done that" but City folk really stood out to me as a GREAT game because of this!



Dodger said:

I agree 100% with the review. I already had wild world and when I got this, it feels like the same game. I like the free stuff every month and I like that there are more events but that's really the only things I really feel are better.
The city is OK but it is called "City Folk" and there is only a few shops there that are only a little shiner then the traveling shops in the DS version. It needed more when they advertise it as one of the reasons to get it. The auction house feels like a nice idea that really was rather pointless without wifi because you are just selling stuff to the other real life people in your town. (or at least I have never had an animal buy something)

My biggest complaint is that conversations feel worse then the DS game. They say less things and repeat more things all the time. (you will quickly learn that "The Mayor has connections." I have more characters that are exactly the same. Even the characters that have the same personality have something that makes them different in Wild World.

The graphics are better then the DS one (expected that) but they don't quite feel like a wii game. There just isn't enough texture. I know it's Animal Crossing, not a first person shooter but I still wanted a bit more. Like the review said, it leaves me wanting more. The music was really good for a DS games but the tracks feel repetitive on the wii which can do more.

Don't get me wrong, I have fun with this game and so will you, I think but I would get Wild World first and I have to agree that this is only a 7 out of 10. I often like a game but can't give it a really high rating due to a lot of small flaws. Scribblenauts is an example. Most of the time, I wouldn't compare two games like this but when you have two games that are almost the same and one is wii and one is DS, you kind of have to, in my opinion. It leaves me wanting more so it kinda drags down the fun a lot.



Hokori said:

I need to play this more, I really want to unlock the Samus Mask, and the Mario Kart



Gran said:

Got this game on its release date and have played ever since, though lately only once a week or so (all the flowers have died). Once you have accomplished everything, there is still WiFi and traveling and visiting other people which is still fun, but the rest is pretty boring by now, especially watering!! I hope they will broaden their scope in a sequel, let you buy a sprinkler system or hire animals to water the flowers and allow you to shut off the constant background music.



RealPoketendoNL said:

I never played one of the previous releases, and i had mixed feelings about this one, so i decided to rent it first, and after round 1 or 2 hours, i just HAVE to buy it! (but i wont buy the wii speak since none of my friends has one )

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