The wait is nearly over

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is edging closer and closer towards its Western release date and we think it's fair to say there are a lot of 3DS owners out there chomping at the bit to get hold of it.

As if the hype needed building up any more Nintendo has kindly translated the Animal Crossing: New Leaf Iwata Asks interview, which was conducted back in October last year. Of course, Japan has been playing this since November and we won't even pretend we're not jealous.

Koju Takahashi, Isao Moro and Aya Kyogoku - all from the software development department - were present to discuss the game and Nintendo President Satoru Iwata started off by asking them what it is all about - not the easiest question, but one that was given an answer.

Previous titles had been about moving into a town, buying a house using Tom Nook's money and then paying the little rascal back for near enough the rest of your days.

However, in this iteration, things have changed as Kyogoku explained:

We felt that if we made the next game in the same way, a lot of people would think: "Oh no! Not again!" So this time, we decided to press reset and make a fresh start as we developed the game.

Speaking of resetting, many people have been wondering if Mr Resetti would be making a comeback for Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Kyogoku said the team deliberated a lot on whether or not to include him, as the angry little mole divided many. Moro said the developer came to the decision that the player would be left to decide:

Well, in the end, we made it so the Reset Surveillance Centre was a public work, so we left it to the mayor to decide whether or not to have one.

As Moro said, in Animal Crossing: New Leaf you play as the mayor of the town and are responsible for its maintenance and design. Previous titles were focused on customising the interior of your house but this time Nintendo wanted to allow the player to have full control of the whole town.

The idea of retiring Tortimer and giving you control of everything came at a late stage in development, according to the team. Other ideas were discussed, although many fell by the wayside. Kyogoku gave some insight into the kind of concepts that were brought up:

We came up with all sorts of things, though naturally a lot of them were rejected. For example, we considered the idea of giving the player a new tool that could be used in an activity alongside fishing and bug catching - panning for gold in the river. (laughs)

Kyogoku also explained how the team went about changing the way business hours worked. For example, if you were to get to the game late at night, the shop would be closed. The team put their heads together and came up with the same answer they did when deliberating Mr Resetti's inclusion - let the player decide:

I wondered if we could make it so the game adjusted itself to the players circumstances, meaning that players wouldn't need to adjust the clock. But if all the shops were open twenty-four hours a day, there would be no difference between day and night, defeating the whole point of having time in sync with the real world.

Anyway, we put that problem on hold for a while, and then the idea of the player becoming the mayor was raised and it occurred to us that the player could use his or her authority to adjust business hours.

Of course, Animal Crossing: New Leaf will allow others to roam into your town and Kyogoku revealed players will be able to add each other as 'best friends', which will enable special features. As a best friend you can exchange messages without visiting and also close your gates to everyone else.

Iwata concluded the interview with a direct pitch to the player, plugging the digital copy of the game:

Animal Crossing is a game that I hope people will play throughout the whole year. But we want people to play other games too. So something I would recommend is the digital download version. I think a title like Animal Crossing: New Leaf , which you can play throughout the year, is ideally suited to this format. That makes me sound a little like a salesman, doesn't it? (laughs)

We recently revealed Animal Crossing: New Leaf is listed in the North American 3DS eShop as $34.99, which is $5 less than usual. Could Nintendo be offering a little discount to allow you to have the game on your system at all times?

Animal Crossing: New Leaf will be available in North America on 9th June, while Europeans will get the game five days later on 14th June.

As always it's worth checking out the full interview, you can do so by clicking through the link below.

What are your thoughts on the latest Animal Crossing title? Will you be downloading it or are you going to stick to the retail copy? Let us know in the comments section below.