Lately I've been playing Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii again. I stopped playing about two years ago because I felt pretty bored. Initially, Animal Crossing has tons of things to do. The player must clean up the town, plant flowers and trees, get to know the neighbors, repay home loan debt, and fill up the local museum with fish, bugs, fossils and famous paintings. Because the game moves in real Earth time, this all takes about a year.
What to do once that is done, though? That has become my dilemma. I still have paintings and bugs to find, but overall the game has lost a lot of its appeal. I've been popping into Kakariko for about twenty minutes every day and doing this: hunt for weeds, water flowers, plant new flowers, talk to everyone, sell some fish. The game is overflowing with content and potential, but has very finite goals considering that it literally goes on forever.
Animal Crossing 3DS has so much potential. What is that shrub on the left!? Source.
With E3 come and gone, and no mention of Animal Crossing 3DS whatsoever, the community of AC lovers at large is in overdrive wondering what kinds of features will be in the newest game. My focus isn't necessarily what the new features will be (although of course I'm curious!), but it is more on what will be added that will keep the game interesting even after the museum is full. Let's take a look at what we already know!
-players will be able to swim in the ocean bordering their town
-lamp posts and benches can be purchased and placed around the town for further beautification and customization
Lamp posts in Animal Crossing 3DS! It looks so cozy. Source.
-character customization has been boosted in the form of altering both pants and shoes (in previous versions girls only wore dresses and guy's shorts were unalterable. In City Folk, shoes could be changed to match clothing, but only by visiting the shoe shine guy in the city.)
-players will have the option to become mayor of their town
-streetpass will be incorporated as a way to visit towns, as well as a venue for neighbor swapping
-it appears that players will start life in their new town by living in a tent
-hangouts can be arranged with your in-town neighbors
I have really high hopes for what a lot of these facts could mean for gameplay! First, if we start off living in tents, that could mean that it will take even longer to get a real house. This automatically extends gameplay by creating a longer loan repayment period. That could seem cheap at first glance, but previous versions haven't incorporated tents, so I'm all for it!
Swimming time in Animal Crossing 3DS! Source.
Swimming has been sorely lacking from every iteration, so it is a huge relief to finally see it in the 3DS version! It would be really great if Nintendo added a secret island or cove that could be swum to on certain days or at certain times. Also, what if the ocean had a tide? That'd be so cool!
The potential to become mayor of your town is by far the most exciting piece here. To me, it's the longevity piece that I'm looking for. In one segment of video from Nintendo Direct last month, we see the player sitting at an important looking desk with a computer, and a villager is talking them up. Will players be dealing with town issues and helping citizens? I certainly hope so!
Animal Crossing 3DS, mayor problems. Source.
Animal Crossing 3DS is set to release in Japan this fall, and for the U.S., we simply have "2012" as a release date. I have my fingers crossed for something around Christmas, and a little prayer that it doesn't get pushed to 2013! Are there any other AC fans out there? Would you like to exchange Friend Codes for City Folk? :D Also, what are you hoping for in the 3DS version?