Its hard to even say that you can beat Animal Crossing New Leaf or where the line is even drawn to where it gets beaten. But I think it’s save to say that I’ve experienced everything New Leaf has to offer me, but in a more general sense than a literal one. New Leaf, much like its predecessors, can literally go on for years on end, and you still find something new about it or something interesting to look at. Animal Crossing has always been that series that finds this odd sense of zen that makes it a great game to play because while there are goals, you can get to these goals however you want, or you can set your own. In its basic element, New Leaf is a lot like sim city or the sims, where you go around trying to please various animals and try to give them what they want. But Its also so much more than that too. Instead of focusing on animals you can work on expanding your home by grinding for bells by collecting bugs, fish, seafood, fruit, or even interacting with the villagers in your town. Animal Crossing and New Leaf especially, is a game that centers around giving you any given goal and making you choose how to get there, or even set a different one for yourself. It’s a hard concept to understand rest assured, but given the way the game presents itself it’s always fun to play for a bit till the next day. Effectively leading many days as waiting for the next day to happen and killing time or preparing for it. The next day is always a new adventure or gain, and something fun to look forward in your town. And this was only the basis of what New Leaf had to work with.
What really sets New Leaf differently from other Animal Crossing games is the ability to be mayor. While in the older games, adjusting your town meant patterns or flowers or trees, New Leaf gives you even more of an option to make your town more you. Animal Crossing has always been about expressing yourself and just relaxing while doing it, but New Leaf just takes it to a whole new level of expressing. As mayor you are given the ability to talk to the most adorable sectary into putting all kinds of crazy things into your town from pyramids to Stonehenge to even the majesty log. As well you are given the option to give your town certain ordinance that can help those that play animal crossing at different times of the day, too lazy to constantly take care of things, to even people that want to get rich quicker. All these options really help make New Leaf even more focused on goals and expression than any other game in the series before it. And that’s really why it’s so captivating, and why it really makes people want to play it more and more. Because we get to built the town we want, get to set the hours, the rules, and we get all the power to make the town effectively ours. The sheer amount of choice in Animal Crossing is something that is baffling to no degree, and while you can see a lot in the game, it’s no guaranteed that you will see all of it.
And on top of all this New Leaf adds more to what was already there to began with. Bug and fish collecting are back, and with even more bugs and fish. New Leaf also adds diving as a new method to fish making seafood a collectable option for all those completionists out there. Fossil collecting is still pretty much the same, but art collecting has changed for the better. Instead of just getting a chance of finding out if a picture is fake, Nintendo photoshopped some paintings and statues to be completely different from the original and can be spotted when you buy them from Redd. This new change not only helps collect all the art pieces for the museum, but also adds a nice little extra to look out for when you see them. Villagers are now also a little more active this time around, being able to go to museums, shops, clubs, and even in your house. Honestly there are just so many new things to new leaf that really make it worthwhile dipping back in, and honestly the playtime on this is thing is ridiculously long. Not to mention that the translation in this game is stupendous! Having well over 7 years worth of dialogue that is not only witty, but sometimes down right weird to see. The bottom line is that New Leaf just adds so much to the series that really needed very little improvement to sell well to began with. Thankfully it wasn’t as lazy as City Folk, and went far beyond what was expected.
That being said there are a few problems here or there with it. First off, New Leaf still doesn’t make Animal Crossing for everyone. While New Leaf certainly has given more reasons to stay with it, fundamentally the game is still the same way it’s always been, and sometimes people don’t have patience for it nor do they care for the casual 1 hour a day style Animal Crossing does the majority of the time. People still don’t have much of a reason to see Animal Crossing as fun because nothing that exciting comes out of it. It’s very much a chill game, and if you are someone looking for an action packed escapism from the real world New Leaf will leave you bored to tears. As well, New Leaf is a very high maintenance game to play, missing a whole week of play time can mean that your town can turn from perfect to the worst given the right circumstances. Villagers constantly like to leave, especially if you like them, and without certain ordinances flowers wilt and die. On top of that, if you don’t like your town name or mayor characters name then it becomes much harder to change it because New Leaf is a very hard game to reroll in. The majority of shops and features are locked from the 1st 2 weeks in town, and all the progress with villagers are only certain in one town. So if you were to erase it and try again you have to wait 2 full weeks to just be back on basic features New Leaf has. Not to mention all the other goodies New Leaf has after that. So this can really cause a lot of stress and annoyance if you aren’t sure how to rename your town or character in the beginning of the game.
New Leaf is an Animal Crossing game that goes above and beyond compared to other installment changes. Everything in New Leaf is a bit newer, a bit bigger, a bit cooler, and a lot more customizable. New Leaf takes expressing yourself in a game to a whole new level, and in its own way, making any given town different to any other town out there. New Leaf probably won’t get those that hated Animal Crossing before it to turn heads, but for those that get bored too easily in the older AC games will find a lot more to do in New Leaf. New Leaf is easily the best in the series, and one of my all time favorite games, and while I have experienced a lot of game, I still have so much more to do.