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Animal Crossing: Wild World Review

by: Finn Orfano ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Inviting online players to your well decorated house and winning prizes in fishing tournaments are just two of the many engaging activities in Animal Crossing: Wild World, a social game from the minds of Nintendo, known for providing charming, fun, and accessible gameplay, which all shines here

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    What is Animal Crossing

    animalcrossingwildworld-01   The game starts with you, a human boy or girl, riding in a cab being quizzed be a fellow named Kapp'n; the quizzes determine your appearance and gender. When you get off the cab, you enter into a small village filled with a colorful cast of chatty townsfolks, cute animals who walk and talk just like humans; these are your new neighbors, so you will be seeing plenty of cats, dogs, hippos, birds, monkeys, and a host of others walking around your new town. At first your town looks a bit plain and deserted besides a beach, a few trees, your neighbors and some buildings; this of course is where you come into the picture, as later on, you can customize and drastically change your town's appearance with all the tools and activities at your disposal.

    In ACWW, there is no ending or important mission for you to accomplish. Though there are goals recommended to be completed, you're technically given the choice to do what you want in this game. ACWW was built to be a free frolicking open-ended playground for you to enjoy alone or with online players; preferably, you'd want to get the full experience by playing it with other people online. The peaceful atmosphere along with the wide selection of projects available in this game is why Animal Crossing was a huge hit for the Nintendo Gamecube, and the same formula remains intact here for the DS game with some new improvements.

    The touch screen can be applied for all the important aspects in the game- moving your player, selecting items, writing letters, and doing other activities. The DS inputs sounds like an accessible feature for the Animal Crossing newbies, but in the long run, it's best to stick with the D-pad and buttons for most of your daily routines; this control method responds better to what you want to do and it will be less strenuous for your hands.

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    Time To Settle Into Your New Home


    The object of the game is really to start making a living here, and there are plenty of ways that you can start. Even if the game in non-linear, there are a few important jobs you probably should focus on if want to get the complete Animal Crossing experience, like owning a huge house and having lots of cool items to decorate it with. In the beginning you will meet the town's shopkeeper, Tom Nook, a raccoon who happens to be a rather rough businessman charging high prices for his goods. He will be nice enough to loan you a simple house with a 4x4 room to put in your furniture and decorations. The bad news is the cost of this first house will be 19, 800 bells (the town's currency). So if you feel like that's something you can work on, go ahead and try to pay off your first mortgage. The good news at least is that there are plenty of ways to make money in this game.

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    Items Galore!

    ac-inventory   For anyone who considers themselves a collector, this game is meant for you. Collecting can be approached in two ways, as a means for pleasure, or instead, for piling plenty of cash for the cold-harded Tom Nook. One of your first important activities would be growing fruits and flowers. Not only will your village look more lively and inviting, becoming a naturalist can help you make more money; a dozen fruits is a quick way get you more than a grand. Flowers and trees also attract certain bugs so if you're able to catch them, then they can be sold at Nook's shop for a high price. Six kinds of fruits can be grown, and you're able to plant and grow all of them; it's up to you to find them all, a fine goal to pursue if you're up to the challenge. They can be found in different places, on the washed up side of the beach or from letters you receive.

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    Plenty of Activities To Wallow In

    animal-crossing-fishing   At first the village may look small and without much to do, but once you get key items like the fishing rod, shovel, net, timer, and others, you will realize that there is more than enough to get your hands full. Fish, bugs, and fossils are scattered throughout for you to discover. You will spend quite some time on the beaches and ponds, digging up holes on the ground, and taking daily trips to the local museum. Everyday is like being a treasure hunter in a sense, and this is why ACWW is such a compelling game to get into because there is so much to do.

    The more items you find, the more classy and inviting your museum will be, from rows of paintings, grand displays of prehistoric creatures, large aquariums filled with different species of fish you caught, and stands showcasing the bugs you netted. The museum's owner, Blathers, will inspect your items and let you know what you exactly you found. This treasure-hunter like experience is even better since you're not tied up in one direction, because you don't have to donate your goods to the museum only. Several other options are available as to what you want to do with the paintings, fossils, fish, and insects you find in your town- sell them at Nook's shop, use them as decorations for your house, or give them as gifts to your local neighbors or your online friends. Just remember that every nice thing you do like gift wrapping a painting for your friend will not earn a reward like money, but the game seems to encourage you to build strong relationships purely on that principle. Continue on the next page to find out why relationships are one of the best part of the game.

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    Make Friends By Helping Out

    Since the game is built so that you can develop relationships with other characters, you will be taking plenty of time listening every so often to your chatty neighbors. They complain about others, tell you their little likes and dislikes, what the latest rumors are, and so on. Sometimes they chit chat about items they want and errands they'd like you to do. When they just seem down, even to the point of despair (often because you ignore them), you can try to cheer them up by writing letters or giving them gifts; drop it at the local post office and they can deliver it for you. The receiver will often remember your kindness and thank you the next time you visit them, glad to know they have a friend in town. If you become a good fellow for your neighbors, they are more likely to stay in your village and give you presents too. But if there are townsfolks who can be quite rude or short-tempered, and you don't them as part of your village, ignore them and there's a better chance they will get their butt out of town; if they do move away, hopefully the newcomer who comes to take his place will be a bit more friendlier.

    Besides your neighbors, there is the mayor, the hair stylist, the clothes shopkeeper, who will help you in your tasks if you ever need so. At the Ables Sisters' store are clothes, hats, and accessories like masks and glasses, all for you to try and buy. There are plenty too see as the Able Sisters will have new ones arrive every so often, as this all makes shopping far more enjoyable, not just so you can play dress up, but also as a means for showing them off to your friends or giving it to them as gifts. Customizing your appearance is a deep feature in Wild World that accomplishes it in great fashion.

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    Go Online and Visit Other Villages

    animalcrossing-friends   New to Animal Crossing: Wild World from its Gamecube predecessor is a robust online community where you can hook up with your friends or other players. You can visit their villages and party on there, see what their house looks like, visit their shops and eye on what unique goods they have, or just horse around and cut down their trees and trample on their flowers. What's also great about the online feature is that you can now trade goods with each other, so thankfully it's not always about Tom Nook. The items you buy from other villages will be added to your catalog, that way if you need more in the future, just ask Nook to order them for you. Besides just seeing the online part of the game as a matter of business when trading, finding goods, and making more dough, you can choose to be a good friend by just fishing, catching bugs, or helping your buddy chop down wood. So in ACWW, you can just chill out and have a good time engaging these simple activities with other players, competing in fishing tournaments, writing letters to each other, or comparing to one another the latest hairdo done at the local stylist.

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    A Calendar That is Worth Tracking

    Animal Crossing: Wild World truly shines when it comes down to how it uses the calendar. Not only does it serve as a time for important events, like flea markets and fishing tournaments, but it also ties to when certain species appear. As you may not know, some of the rarer fish and insects only make their appearance at a certain time of day and stretch of the season. This means your adventures will require some awareness and skills too; if it's a September night, then remind yourself as to what species you know will be making a visit by the trees or flowers at the time of the day. There are many species that you will only find this way and it makes the game far more interesting and less predictable.

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    It's Hard To Get Bored

    Yes, you will be spending quite some time just to try and pay off the debts Nook has piled on you if you want to own a grand house loaded with nifty items, like an arcade machine, mermaid statue, and wrestling ring. But since the game is non-linear, you will have plenty of other options to just cool off besides taking care of business, like catching bugs with your buddies, getting a new haircut, designing your own t-shirt with the stylus, or shopping for weird masks and disguises to wear. You can consider yourself an artist, naturalist, therapist, home designer, and anthropologist in this game. ACWW will keep you entertained overall, and it's even better with the secret characters and items for you to find; as long as you can be patient with some chatty and rude neighbors, the decent touch controls, and be ready to take the challenge of paying off the debts in the game, this game will be very satisfying.

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    Sample contents.

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