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Animal Crossing: Let's Go to the City (Wii) Review

Review for Animal Crossing: Let

The adorable animals of Nintendo's virtual world return to the living room, bringing laughter, sadness, anger and a multitude of different friendships and rivalries along the way. The series has been a hit with fans since debuting on the Nintendo 64 and being upgraded for the GameCube, then making a new legion by offering portable play on the DS in 2005. With the Wii set firmly in place to be the console for family games, it makes a lot of sense to bring Animal Crossing back; but has it been worth the three year wait?

For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, it's like moving into a new town in real life. You're a smiling bloke or cheeky lass and you've decided to live in a new place of which you choose the name. We tapped in the highly appropriate "Penisland". Less giggly suggestions welcome! To avoid sleeping under the town bridge and starving to death you'll need money, and you won't find it by beating up enemies or mugging the town drunk. You'll need a job, and with it comes a cosy two-storey home and by working you'll make friends, new animals move in, best friends move out and life goes on.

We start the game not as a city slicker, but by visiting familiar ground. We have no back-story and reason to be moving to new pastures. On the bus journey in a wide-eyed cat greets you by mumbling some of the game's random speak, asking the same questions from previous games: "Are you a Boy?", "When is your birthday?", "Do you have accommodation?" and so on. Each of these decides what you'll look like, and how the character interacts with others. Chose an answer and suddenly one might make enemies with some residents, and another making you best friends - and much like real life, it's who you are that defines who you'll get on with.

The bus chugs into town, and after wandering around investigating the prestigious village hall who do you meet next, Animal Crossing fans? Yes, you've guessed correctly - it's the furry faced favourite, Tom Nook. The loaded racoon offers one of four different properties. There's a larger area to explore this time round and fair bit of variety in location: touching the sea, near the trees and beside the river. Our new boss, whom we now owe repayments to, issues a few errands. From the likes of sowing seeds (again), fishing, bug catching to delivering packages. It's an almost cloned experience of past Animal Crossing titles, except from a number of small, but welcome variations in script and characters.

Veteran players can skip through the hassle by bringing over their lives from the DS, and it couldn't be simpler - by using download play, your Wild World characters are copied across, but not deleted. Your pocketed items and worn accessories aren't shifted over, but songs, fish, bugs etc that make up your item catalogue can be; essentially letting fans relive the experience on the big screen.

Fortunately for those who want a little more than a carbon copy, there are advantages for picking up Let's Go to the City. The Wii's interface and remote do make things far more accessible, more involving perhaps. Much like Wild World for the DS you'll be greeted with a nifty on-screen display to tap on, in this case use the Wii-remote to point and click. There isn't support for classic or GameCube controllers, but using the remote and nunchuck combination isn't too much hassle. The nunchuck can be added for the traditionalist, but the simplest way is by going at it solo with the remote, pointing and clicking to an area for your virtual self to follow. Whilst that might sound frustrating in the long run, it's effective and relaxing to boot. Whilst these revisions to control are convenient, it doesn't show much progression to the basic setup bar some neat motion controlled actions - flicking your wrist to catch delicious-looking fish and dragging items to your character using the remote's pointer.

The word city usually conjure up images of huge urban landscapes, giant skyscrapers, an army of cars, smoke and generally a wide open environment to explore. Animal Crossing's city is a little less grand, and more so like a small outdoor shopping mall; a cul-de-sac of familiar faces trying to offer you something to buy, or something to do. Out of the 5 or 6 different stalls to visit, most of these are reminiscent of the travelling sellers in previous games. For example, fortune-teller Katrina has now got her permanent fix, and Crazy Red tries to flog some of his rare items in his store.

There are some new additions this time round to add a little bit of metropolitan class to your character - Harriet can style up a makeover for 3000 bells, churning out a shampoo, fearsome cut and style or the complete works (popping a Mii's head over your character). The auction house provides addictive bidding action, alongside one of the Grace Sister's new and more expensive furniture outlets - Gracie Grace. There are a few visual attractions to wander into, including a bizarre stand-up comedy routine, and a handful of wandering city-goers to chat to. To wrap up the thrilling adventure, you can rummage through a recycling bin with random unwanted items, and this can surprisingly prove quite valuable at times.

Visually the game isn't the worst to grace the Wii; nor is it the most impressive looking. What we've got is something that sits comfortably in the middle. The series in general has relied on its minimal, bright and cheery style to get through; and in the past it's worked well. There's a certain charm that can put a smile on even the coldest face - warm, inviting colours that aren't oozing with over-the-top cuteness. With the leap in technology however, you'd expect there to be improvements - there's still some very shoddy texture work, blatantly recycled material from the past games. It doesn't have to be overly complicated, or change its style to match something like a gritty war shooter, but with an almost identical appearance to the DS outing and a clear lack of polish you may feel a little… short-changed.

Whilst taking that peaceful stroll round town, drifting through the city or splashing bells in the handful of stores there'll be many audio treats for fans and newcomers, again not something to shout home about, but the game's backing music is as snugly as it's always bean - friendly, up-beat simple songs looping away. The Animal Crossing music maestro K.K Slider makes a welcome return, and his cheery beats can still induce vigorous toe-tapping, but like much of the game's audio quality could have been re-sampled and re-arranged with some new characters to back the popular dog.

The new additions can give devoted fans something fresh to do; it all seems short-term - like going to your favourite shopping mall for the nth time; there'll be places that you can't help but visit, but at the end of the day it's not terribly different or exciting since the last time.

Nintendo has requested that Wii Speak be reviewed separately from our review copy; so that'll be included in a different article.

Gameplay

The gameplay is simple, relaxing and upbeat and benefits from an improved interface and new places to explore in the city. However with the same goals, types of gameplay and nothing particularly new it's hard to find much incentive for an upgrade to the Wii version. Hardcore fans of the DS Wild World can benefit from reliving their game on the big screen, with additions, but there certainly needs to be more innovating and rethinking over the smaller additions.

Graphics

Graphically there's a solid style that's been consistent since its first outing on the Nintendo 64. With Let's Go to the City it continues the bight and bold visual style, but suffers from poor rehashed textures in places, and a general lack of polish. Character designs and environments do need an update in design and presentation, but again are very much recycled. Poor.

Sound

The game's sound is one of its stronger points, it's cheerful and charming to listen to as it has been in the past; quite simply because it's identical. Better sampling and re-arranging the popular melodies for the home console would have been a plus.

Value

The open-ended nature allows for taking the title at your own pace, and the length will certainly vary from person to person. Fans will certainly take to the new additions with renewed love, initially, but after some time the journey turns to routine and may turn stale fairly quickly.

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Average

About this score

Animal Crossing: Wild World is a good entry to the series for newer players; there's the same charm and simple fun that has drawn in many fans - but with the available technology and development time there was so much potential for doing more.

If you've been a fan of the past games, the extra City areas and smaller treats may be worth splashing the cash for, and if you've not wandered into the world of Crossing before, then it is the most comprehensive version to pick up. Let's Go to the City is an average effort at best that had the potential to go far - but inevitably is a disappointment.

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08.12.2008

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Also known as

Animal Crossing: City Folk

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (46 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Is "Let's go to the City" just "City Folk"? :-?:-?:-?

Super Duper Ultra Fun Time!
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Hi said:
Is "Let's go to the City" just "City Folk"? :-?:-?:-?

Yep, PAL regions have the absolutely ridiculous name of "Let's Go to the City" instead of City Folk.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Oh thanks.

Super Duper Ultra Fun Time!
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Didn\'t Nintendo say when the Wii was announced that you could send messages via mobile phone or email and get them or check them through Animal Crossing for the Wii? I seem to remember Iwata saying something to that effect a couple of years ago. I guess that never came about, same with a couple of other things Nintendo said at the time too.

Given the development time of AC: Let\'s Go to the City, I don\'t see why something like that couldn\'t have been realised.

Still, never mind about that. This game needed a lot more, and frankly, could have had a lot more added to it. I don\'t know why it took Nintendo so long to get this game out there but it\'s basically the DS version on the big screen. I don\'t really see any incentive for DS owners to fork out 30 quid, or whatever it\'s retailing at, to play this game.

I understand the demographic they are appealing to here, but for people who own the DS game, there isn\'t much point at all in having the Wii version. Perhaps the addition of online chat via Wii Speak is one thing Nintendo did right, but that\'s all I can think of.

But to say this game is Nintendo\'s main franchise killer title this Christmas is terrible from a hardcore Nintendo fan\'s perspective.

My opinion, of course.

Good review, jb.

( Edited 08.12.2008 02:20 by Azzy )

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Cheers!

Still, never mind about that. This game needed a lot more, and frankly, could have had a lot more added to it. I don't know why it took Nintendo so long to get this game out there but it's basically the DS version on the big screen. I don't really see any incentive for DS owners to fork out 30 quid, or whatever it's retailing at, to play this game.

It sells for more... Smilie I've seen it in some stores for £39.99! and the bundle with Wii Speak for £50...
...Smilie

They just needed to have new ideas; not old ones with revamped presentation. Didn't have to be a radical change (e.g. spage-age Animal Crossing), but it just lacked anything majorly different over the DS version.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

A great review JB, I totally agree with the score/reasonsing you gave it. Nintendo really need to put in more effort...

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Had a feeling it was going for more than £30 -_- It's simply not worth £40. £50 with Wii Speak...

Nintendo really know how to make their money. People will buy it. There's no doubt about it.

But that's right - there's just nothing considerably different from the DS version for players of that game to get the Wii version. And to be honest, if you've done the whole Animal Crossing thing before, perhaps making more than one character on your other games, then you're not likely to go through it all again on the Wii.

There'll be people that will, but for that kind of money, it's simply not worth it.

The sad thing is, like Smash Bros, this is likely to be the only instalment in the series for the Wii, until Nintendo's next generation home console. So we're going to have to wait until then before we will see any major additions or changes to the franchise. But there's no excuse for not having any big additions or changes in this version either.

Cubed3 Staff :: Senior Editor
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Nintendo has released this game 3 times, the gamecube version was essentially the n64 Animal forest, the DS and Wii ones were almost identicle as well.

Prolly gonna get it though th only reason is I don't have animal crossing for ds so I might as well just grab it. I do agree with everyone though, it needs more work put into it Smilie

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It\'s such a waste, this game was meant to be a big hardcore release. Hell, Reggie said it was a hardcore release, but did he not know anything about the game? Or is he really that much of an idiot?

( Edited 08.12.2008 10:36 by SuperLink )

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

If Nintendo think this and Wii Music can satisfy gamers; they'd be very wrong. Both games are good, and you might even say Wii Music is better, but that's it for the holiday season this year.

There's also Disaster and the back catalogue of first party games; but it really isn't enough.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

*yawn* Smilie this game has more repetition than the sims. I would have given it a lower score especially considering these remarks:

Graphically there\'s a solid style that\'s been consistent since its first outing on the Nintendo 64.

The game\'s sound is one of its stronger points, it\'s cheerful and charming to listen to as it has been in the past; quite simply because it\'s identical.

Those made me lawl, especially the first one! Smilie
Nice attept at defending the game JB, but it\'s a joke. Nintendo giving us the same game? Three times?
LAWL! Smilie

( Edited 08.12.2008 16:27 by Birdo Is A Tranny )

woah only 6.... that just breaks my heart Smilie


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So reggie believes a rehash of an old game is worth full price whereas disaster, a novel and fun game built ground up especially for Wii isn't?...

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

Excellent review J, I really enjoyed it. Smilie

It's a shame about the game, it had the potential to have so much more, but instead it's like a port of Wild World, with a bit of polish on top.

I would have loved to see the city area expanded much more, with lots of new and different shops to explore through. An orchestrated soundtrack could have worked well too. Overall, I would have just liked to have seen a lot more effort put into the game.

What amazes me is that they actually had some great ideas for this game that ultimately got scrapped leaving the game virtually unchanged from its predecessors. Having the game sync with the internal clock and the weather channel were really cool ideas in my opinion. And the city could have been so much more than it is.

I had high hopes for this game when they first started discussing their plans, but as soon as they started showing it off, those hopes died. The same thing happened with Wii Music. I hope this trend doesn't continue. Smilie

Rubbish. So disappointing that's it's just a rehash.

Nice review, Jorge. :-Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Sadly it bored the pants off me. I can perhaps see the charm of it for some folk, but I much prefer something like Harvest Moon to this. The fact that it's basically the DS game on Wii it quite shocking...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
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I'm quite worried now because it's on my Christmas list; I don't think there'll be much joy if I don't like it and end up wanting to trade it in...

NOM gave it a fucking 9. Frankly how anyone can find AC fun is beyond me. At least in something like the Sims there's depth, as far as I can tell you basically do nothing in AC.

SuperLink said:
Hell, Reggie said it was a hardcore release, but did he not know anything about the game? Or is he really that much of an idiot?

reggie will say anything if it makes nintendo look good. even if its about a middle of the road title like animal crossing.


Mario, Mega Man and Rayman FTW!!!

Eek, seems the same as before and I have a feeling this game will end up like the copy of Wild World I had.
Bought
Played for a year
????
Profit.

knighty said:
NOM gave it a fucking 9. Frankly how anyone can find AC fun is beyond me. At least in something like the Sims there's depth, as far as I can tell you basically do nothing in AC.

Well I think games like this can be fun, and I enjoyed the DS version. The problem with this game isn't not having things to do. It's the fact that everything you do is going to be exactly the same as when you played it before.

Games like shooters, fighters and sports games can get away with repetition to a certain degree because they have competition and clear goals, but a game like this needs to have lots of notable differences to make me want to play it over again. Giving this game a 9 is definitely ridiculous though.

Hmm, Well, this time you ride a bus...that's been changed, town size, you can now live in any house you want, that's nice too..

They should have added a sailing Function so you could travel, see islands and maybe even take vacations.

Or you could even hire someone to pick weeds from your town if you're going to be out for a while from playing the game.

Animal Crossing has so much potential, they are just playing it safe. Unfortunately they have been caught. 4 games that are the same is no fun.

N64-GC, understandable.

GC to DS, somewhat understandable, but...

n64 to the Wii...Just un called for...But I'll buy it anyway <3333

Nice review, jb!

I'm a tad dissapointed in the way this game turned out, but only a tad. Even if it is the same game as the DS title, and even if I did blow a portion of my money getting it, it's still a somewhat solid title.

Could there have been more? Absolutely!!!! But, that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to enjoy myself and get my money's worth from it.

The holidays are going to be rough for the hardcore Nintendo fan, but hey, what's the chance that they'll announce a mind-blowing game at the last second? That would be fun...;-Smilie


The former top user was Keven! You'd probably give birth to yourself 1000 times over until you sprout wings to fly away into the fading sun, that or you'd just turn into a lesbian. Who knows @_@ - L, 12/06/09

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