Title: Animal Crossing: City Folk
Price: $49.99, $69.99 with WiiSpeak
Release Date: November 16, 2008
Publisher (Developer): Nintendo (Nintendo)
ESRB Rating: “Everyone” for Comic Mischief
Pros: Works with the Nintendo WiFi Connection for visitors, like Wild World, has a city area you can visit to have easy access to items and people, large town environment to explore, you can update your town with bridges and a fountain, there are special Pro outfit designs and player houses aren’t clustered together. There are also some new furniture items, new holidays, new clothing and new NPCs.
Cons: Town visitors don’t come as often, there’s only the Wii remote/nunchuk control scheme, houses can only expand to three rooms and Gracie Grace stock only changes every season.
Overall Score: One thumb up, one sideways; 88/100; B+; ***1/2 out of 5
There are two kinds of people who are going to be buying Animal Crossing: City Folk. The first are the ones who love casual or simulation games, but have never owned an Animal Crossing title before. The second are adamant Animal Crossing fans who own every entry in the series, and are eager to build up a whole new town and life on their Wii.
These two groups of people will love City Folk, and will likely spend hours developing their perfect town. Players who don’t fit into either of these two groups will likely criticize City Folk for its minor improvements and adjustments. It is a delightful entry in the series though, and should provide hours of entertainment if you’re willing to invest the necessary time and effort into it.
Moving to a new town to start a new life
Animal Crossing: City Folk starts out in the same way as all previous Animal Crossings. You decide to move to a new town and live on your own. You talk to Rover the cat to determine your appearance. When you get to town, you find a house, but discover you’ll be an indentured servant to Tom Nook until you can finally pay off the mortgages. Of course, once you get your house to an acceptable size for you, you can always decide to quit paying, and just focus on relaxing.
If you choose to import your DS character (like I did), you still have to go through all the opening chores and servitude. However your character’s appearance is already set and you have a copy of your Wild World item catalogue with you so you can instantly start working on room themes.
Pleasantly familiar, with a few new touches
If you’ve played Animal Crossing before, any version, you know what you’re getting into with Animal Crossing: City Folk. It has most of the characters, the Nintendo WiFi Connection compatibility, scrolling environment, coconuts, hairstyle options and neighbor socialization options from Animal Crossing: Wild World. It also has the special events, separate houses with three levels and big screen presentation of the original Animal Crossing.
What’s new is mainly the city area, a place where you can get emotions anytime, get free souveniers from Phineas if he’s there, stop by Redd’s back alley shop, check out Gracie’s elite Gracie Grace store, change shoe styles at Kicks’, get a fortune read at Katrina’s, bid or sell at Gyroid Lloid’s auction house, get a hairdo or Mii mask at the Shampoodle or check in with Lyle at the Happy Room Academy office. You can also create and store designs and Pro designs at Able Sisters now, get silver tools or donate to improve your town with an extra bridge and fountain. Also, you can’t forget the Wiispeak compatibility – you can actually talk to people over WiFi.
I’d have to say that my favorite part of City Folk is the ability to create Pro designs in the Able Sister’s tailor shop. When you pay 350 to create a Pro design, you get to customize the front, back and both sleeves of a shirt. Since my town has a Final Fantasy theme, I’ve already created Yuna (FFX), Terra (FFVI), Yuffie (FFVII) and Rinoa (FFVIII) outfits. If you liked only focusing on a single canvas, you still can – for free. You can open your design window and make a single square design, that can be used for the same purposes as a Pro design. That’s how I made my ShinRa logo, after all.
If I could change one thing about City Folk, it would be the control scheme. The nunchuk is perfect to navigate the town, but the wii remote feels awkward as a main control. It is fine as a supplement – for selling, changing equipment, designing, managing pocket space, but otherwise very inaccurate and cumbersome. I’m also disappointed to see Nintendo didn’t offer GameCube controller support – it probably wouldn’t have been too difficult to factor in, and it would have made the game more comfortable for some players.
Something to be said for the Same Ol’ Same Ol’
Yes, Animal Crossing: City Folk is basically a glorified version of Animal Crossing: Wild World, with a dash of original Animal Crossing elements and a few new mechanics thrown in. But, that isn’t such a bad thing. Fans of the series will be pleased with the way Nintendo has handled the game, and that’s what matters. I know I’m having fun rebuilding my town, even though I’d already done it twice before in Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: Wild World.
Site [Animal Crossing: City Folk]