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Animal Crossing has been in our family since we switched on our first DS. We played it, lived in it, discovered in it and grew in it.
It was a wonderful playground that didn't suffer whether you played for hours on end or once a month. It seemed a natural progression to move into that world on the Wii, and what we found was a familiar place in scope and character. Somewhere we could live our lives just like we had on DS - but virtually unimproved. This somewhat anticlimax soon passed when we realised that this was Animal Crossing in all its glory but now crisper and prettier, why would we want for anything more? Why re-invent the wheel?
After 10 minutes of this familiar experience you quickly forget you're on the Wii - in a good way - and become engrossed in completing Tom Nooks jobs and creating your new life. A few good new features have been introduced that are welcome. Multiple houses for different players, a whole city area of shops and fun to had after a quick bus trip. You discover other little nuances too, but I'll leave that for your own adventure.
In true Animal Crossing style there are endless adventures to be had in this little town.
The big question for me as a Perpetual Gamer is just how deep can life be in this game, and how much room there is for me to grow and exist for a long time. In true Animal Crossing style there are endless adventures to be had in this little town, with a daily variety of personalities to meet and this to buy and do. But after a while you begin to wonder what other Animal Crossing players are getting up to, you want to know what is outside the four wall of our town.
Online play is a wonderful thing to have in a Role Play Game, and just as you could on the DS so on the Wii you can visit other towns. But sadly, there is no real improvement since the DS haphazzard missmanagement of the games strongest asset. The Wii game continues to ignore easy ways to connect to your nearest and dearest family members with Animal Crossing. It's a complex process that usually requires access to a PC and an internet connection to plug the gaping holes in the game's lacking features. I admit to having high expectation of a slick online experience - I have prevsiouly enjoyed Xbox Live. It takes a lot of forum networking to hook up with other players making the experience a trial rather than a joy. But still I play - must be a very good game to keep me coming back in spite of all this.
My jaded view does not reflect the wonder to be found in the single player experience.
I want an online experience where finding other online players is easy and all I have to do is connect and I'm there, enjoying a whole other side to the game. In order to find a random other player in Animal Crossing Wii I need to scour the internet for other people looking to play online through forums and the like, then exchange Friend Codes with them, then hope that one day when I'm playing they may have by chance decided to open their town gate. Oh I could go on, but I won't as my jaded view does not reflect the wonder to be found in the single player experience, it's truly fantastic - but I always look for the longevity in games, and a robust online play system speaks books for me as to the eternal backbone of a title.
Animal Crossing Wii is a game I will still be playing in six months time because my kids love it and live it - so it strikes a chord with me too. It's a game you can just be in. Remain there a while and let it flow over you. It's just nice and quaint. But if like me you always long for the perpetual life in a game, then you'll sigh at what might have been, then you'll just go catch another fish.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: