Animal Crossing: Wild World: The Real Wild World

This is the true story of four GameSpot editors picked to live in a small Animal Crossing house and have their lives detailed in a hands-on preview.

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Currently scheduled for release on December 5, Animal Crossing: Wild World is the upcoming DS follow-up to 2002's Animal Crossing, a GameCube-exclusive life sim that challenges you to eke out an existence for yourself in a small town populated by anthropomorphic animals. The DS version of the game sports a number of new features and tweaks over the original GameCube title that have piqued our interest to the point of doing some exploration. Chief among the new features is the option to have up to four people share a house. While this raises the potential for all sorts of hijinks and shenanigans, it can also make for some complicated living, as we've quickly discovered. In order to best cover the upcoming title, four GameSpot editors have become part of a great experiment that finds us all sharing a simple two-floor flat in the town we lovingly refer to as The Hood. Each editor has had an opportunity to spend a couple of days with Animal Crossing: Wild World, and what follows are some brutally honest journal entries detailing their experiences thus far.

Ricardo "Satan" Torres

Day 1
Just arrived in town after a foul ride over--it rained all the way, and the frigging frog driving my cab would not quit with the questions. Thankfully, the weather had cleared up some by the time I arrived in The Hood, so I spent some time exploring and introducing myself to everyone. The neighbors seem nice, I guess, but they're definitely quirky. The only person I've really not taken a liking to is Tom Nook, my slum lord. I wasn't expecting luxurious digs here or anything, but he neglected to mention that I'd be sharing my small house with no fewer than three roommates! On top of that, I'm expected to wear some lame uniform and run errands for him in order to start paying off the mortgage on the place. I guess that's what I get for not reading the fine print--debts up to my eyeballs, a less-than-fashionable wardrobe, and three complete strangers for roomies. Joy.

Day 2
Oh, great. My roommates moved in while I was sleeping--nothing quite like waking up and finding you're in a room with three other guys who weren't there when you switched the lights off. Seems like my roomies are a bunch of real sidesplitters; the lazy fools just lie in bed all day by the looks of it, leaving yours truly to take care of chores and mortgage payments. In between running errands for Tom "The Man" Nook, I visited city hall, where I met the mayor; the town gates, which are guarded by dogs; and the museum, which is appealing for exhibit contributions because it currently has none.

I'd love to invite some friends over to The Hood, or maybe go through the town gates and explore one of their hometowns. I need to concentrate on getting myself out of debt first, though, and on turning this one-up one-down pad into something that I wouldn't be embarrassed to have friends see me living in. I'm not sure what I can do to improve the roomies, though--they seem like a really odd bunch. One of them I just know has to be a Dungeons & Dragons freak--calls himself WarEagle. The name Bradkins suggests that roommate number two is something of a momma's boy, while the name Justice suggests that roommate number three--who otherwise seems normal--reads far more comic books than is healthy. Anyhow, I've made a good start on paying off the mortgage on this dump, and I hope to be out of Tom Nook's debt in the near future--no thanks to the heroic trio snoozing away on the second floor.

Justin "Justice" Calvert

Day 1
Since I lived in Animal Crossing until quite recently, I guess my new home in The Hood is just about everything that I expected it to be, with the caveat that I've never had a roommate before. Satan, who I'm pretty sure wears eye shadow, was the first of my three roommates to arrive and, as a result, I think he feels like the rest of us are moving into his house or something. Our house is conveniently located not far from Tom Nook's store, which was, regrettably, my first port of call after getting into town.

Tom Nook isn't the only character who'll make demands on your time.

Nook has taken out a mortgage on the house that I've moved into, and has tasked my roomies and me with paying it off. Satan had already made a small dent in the debt by the time I arrived, but that didn't stop Nook from forcing me to run errands for him. My jobs for Nook included planting flowers outside his store, writing a letter to promote an upcoming sale, and delivering furniture to customers who were rarely found inside their homes. I was supposed to wear some nasty-looking uniform while working, and although Nook complained about my wearing a stylish blue-and-yellow rugby shirt instead, he eventually caved. After earning Nook's trust (and not much else) by running errands, he explained that he'd be happy to purchase any items from me for cash, and suggested that said cash might come in handy for paying off my mortgage. What's important, though, is that I was now free to do as I pleased in The Hood.

Collecting shells from the beach and shaking down cherry trees for fruit appear to be my best bets for making money right now--that, and fraudulently claiming items from the Lost & Found. All that will change if I can get my hands on a fishing rod or a bug-catching net, though, because there's plenty of wildlife here just waiting to get turned into cash right now.

Day 2
There were a couple of letters waiting for me in the mailbox this morning, including one from my even-scarier-than-the-other-one roommate, WarEagle, who moved into the bed across the room from mine while I was sleeping. WarEagle believes that PomPom, a harmless white duck, is a communist, and has suggested I keep an eye on her. Personally I'm more worried about Satan, whose actions have already made a friendly woman named Margie pack up and leave The Hood. Satan had arranged to meet her and show her around our diminutive new home, but he never showed up.

Blathers is the reason why the museum aquarium doesn't have any fish.

I spent the morning collecting shells and cherries for Nook, and had over 6,500 bells to my name in no time at all. I paid 5,000 bells off the mortgage so I won't have to sleep with one eye open in fear of my roomies, put 500 into a secret bank account, and spent the rest on a fishing rod and a bug-catching net. There was plenty of other cool-looking stuff at the store, but I just can't justify shelling out for a robo-dresser or an expensive stereo right now.

I think I figured out why the local museum doesn't have any exhibits--Blathers the owl, who runs the museum, seemed very grateful for the fish that I donated to the aquarium, but talked about nothing but recipes that they'd be suitable for. Other highlights of my day included retrieving some furniture and a stereo from the recycling center, picking weeds that were popping up all over town, and wondering why there are presents suspended from balloons floating through the skies above The Hood.

Brian "WarEagle" Ekberg

Day 1
I was the last to arrive in town, so I didn't get to choose which bed I took. Luckily, I'm the one closest to the stairs of our two-story hovel, so I can get out quick without waking any of my roomies. Satan keeps bugging me about paying the mortgage, so I figured I better get on making some money quick-style. Wouldn't want to upset the Dark Lord, after all, especially when he's wearing what looks like a shirt that would be better suited to a particularly brain-addled circus clown.

Heading out early this morning, I tried to make my way over to Nook's to start working on paying off that debt, but Tom was in the process of making over his store, which meant I was S.O.L. when it came to getting a J.O.B. See, that's the thing about ol' Nook. He gets a bad rap because he's pretty much a hard-ass when it comes to paying off your debts, but that attitude has really made him a captain of industry around The Hood. If Tony Soprano were a little badger thing that favored jaunty hats, that would be the Nookster. I've got mucho respect for him. As evil as Satan seems, I think Nook is the guy you do not want to screw with.

Day 2
Fashionable is how I roll. You see, it didn't take me long to become the best-dressed man in The Hood, thanks to the dope shirt designs I created. It was really easy to put my style to work--I just drew the patterns out using the stylus and voila, just like that, I had my supersassy "AU/Orange and Blue" design. I even took my creation to the Fashion Shop and put it on display for people to check out for themselves. I suspect it won't be long before guys like Justice and Bradkins start snapping up my WarEagle line of fashionable accessories as soon as they come out. There's plenty of room for me to expand my line anyway--hats, umbrellas, the sky is the limit.

You too can be a fashion designer like WarEagle.

I'm not the only one impressed by my textile skills, though. Everywhere I went today, people walked up to me and complimented my couture--PomPom said she liked my shirt; Jay said I looked really nice today; it seemed like everyone wanted to pluck a feather from WarEagle's sexy plume. It was only later that I found out that today was actually Yay Day, a holiday of sorts around The Hood, where compliments flow as freely as lace doilies at one of Bradkin's sleepovers. Even worse, I was expected to return the compliments of each and every person who came up to me. I did my best when it came to complimenting Jay and PomPom, but I don't think telling Eloise that her best color was burnt umber did much to improve her self-esteem. But hey, I call 'em like I see 'em, and the only thing that can improve Eloise's jacked-up grill is something brown and big she can use to cover it.

One of the first things I wanted to do when I got to The Hood is introduce myself. Seeing as how my three roommates were dead tired and could not be woken under any circumstances, I decided to write them each a letter. I headed down to Mr. Nook's store (which was now open), grabbed some awesome fireworks-themed stationery, and sat down to begin my correspondence. It's much easier to write letters in The Hood than in my previous Animal Crossing residence--all you do is simply tap-tap-tap away on the screen and the letters appear like magic. Heck, I spent an entire afternoon sending letters to practically everyone in town.

Oh, and one more thing: I'm not too picky about our homestead and all, but what's with all the guys? A fella with this much personal style is wasted in a house with nary a woman to be found.

Brad "Bradkins" Shoemaker

The museum is a real hive of activity after dark.

Day 1
It's been darn near two weeks since I moved to The Hood, and the journey was so arduous that as soon as I arrived, I went all Rip Van Winkle and haven't woken up until just now. But even in my mad dash to the house I'm sharing with Satan, Justice, and WarEagle, I couldn't avoid that old taskmaster Tom Nook, who wasted no time reminding me exactly how much we're all in the hole because of our house purchase. Something tells me I'll be taking orders from that ornery old coot before too long.

After I talked my way out of the confrontation with Nook, I crept into the house and found two of the roommates sleeping upstairs. Although I considered offing them in their sleep in order to establish total dominion over the house, and then, the Hood, I decided to hit the hay instead so's I could get a fresh start on making some cash to pitch in against our collective debt.

Day 2
Sorry, maybe that should say "week two." I woke up after my long nap to find that in my absence, my housemates have been busy. Busy pissing off the locals, it seems! My first visit to Tom Nook found the merchant supreme in a pretty foul mood--he demanded I go out and plant some flowers and saplings to pretty up his shop a little. It seems like some of my roomies may have performed the same task over the last couple of weeks, but with those buffoons' black thumbs, the flowers have long since wilted away. I'll have to keep up with the watering duties to make sure all the plants stay nice and healthy.

At least the roommates have also been busy procuring some nice items. WarEagle left a watering can sitting right in the middle of the living room, and I found a ukulele over in the corner. After I planted Nook's saplings, he sent me on one delivery errand after another, and Jay was kind enough to repay my speedy delivery with my very own ponderosa bonsai tree. I started a house beautification project by arranging the little tree right in the front entryway (that's what my feng shui book said to do). Now if I can only find a place to fill up this can...

You never know who you might bump into on your travels.

I have to say, The Hood's got some strange residents. This guy Butch, he seems pretty sick--I'm gonna have to find him some medicine. Kept yapping about how the sushi ninjas are after him, and how he wants some chocolate milk, and how I'd better remember to cut the crusts off. Must be delirious with fever. But that wasn't even half as creepy as my first meeting with Tortimer, the town's mayor. He kept reminding me that he'd have his eye on me, and he asked me to scratch his back, too. Was he making a move on me? Yeesh.

Well, that's enough tireless toil for one day. I'd better get home and prepare for tonight's sleepover--all my doilies are still in boxes.

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