The 'Shroom:Issue XLII/Non-Marioverse Review
This month, we’ll be reviewing the original Animal Crossing for Nintendo GameCube, released in 2001 by Nintendo.
While the sequels have certainly made some improvements/expansions in different areas, for me, nothing tops the original Animal Crossing. It’s a fairly perfect game where you engage in mostly real‐life activities – such as furnishing a home, fishing or participating in holidays – all in a cozy little village inhabited by animals. The game came at what many remember as a great time for the gaming industry: the release of the GameCube, Playstation 2 and several other new advancements. Well, Animal Crossing is definitely one of those advancements.
Up to four human players can move into a customizable town, where they can shop, chat with the locals, etc. Of course, you have to work off a debt to afford your new house, so every new player must complete Tom Nook the raccoon’s part‐time job tasks. Paying off your debt is one of the main goals of the game, but once you complete it, the game still goes on – there really is no way to ‘win’ Animal Crossing. Maybe you could try collecting all the furnishing items, NES games, line of clothing items… you live your virtual life however you want to live it.
First off, I want to thank Totaka and the rest for this wonderful music. Every new hour of the day plays different music, and there are some other themes in the game as well. They are relaxing, memorable, original and suit the time of day quite nicely. Those who played Yoshi’s Story might find some similarities between the two games’ soundtracks.
The game was originally released for the Nintendo 64 in Japan, but when it came time to release the game for the US audience, Nintendo 64 was long finished. The smart thing to do? Port it on over to the new console, GameCube! Some might worry about the “blocky N64 graphics”, and while they are somewhat blocky, they are VERY impressive for their time and console. The slightly stylized, colorful look of everything keeps the game fun to play.
The neighbors are a varied crew. You get a random selection in your town and you can form friendships (or rivalries!) with any of them. You can write them letters, trade items, and really anything else you might do with real‐life friends.
There’s just so much to do in this game; it’ll keep you glued and fighting for turns with family members all day. That’s exactly how it was for me back nine years ago, anyway. It’s like being given a second life, where you have freedom to do and make anything you want. It’s another classic game in Nintendo’s overstuffed library, and any fan of the company should pick it up.
On the surface, it sounds like The Sims with animals, but Animal Crossing is very unique in how it handles these different aspects. Thanks to some brilliant programming, the game could retain its charm and playability for possibly decades. As for anyone who is interested in Animal Crossing and doesn’t stress over not having Wi‐Fi capabilities, I honestly recommend you get the first game.
Final score: 9.5/10
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