E3 2008: Animal Crossing: City Folk Updated Impressions

Nintendo producer Katsuya Eguchi hosted a special Q&A event and dropped even more information on the upcoming Animal Crossing.

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As part of its E3 festivities, Nintendo invited a select group of journalists to a question and answer session with two of its biggest internal producers. Shigeru Miyamoto was the first guest and should need no introduction, as he's the mastermind behind most of Nintendo's biggest franchises. Katsuya Eguchi is perhaps less well known, but he has worked on many of the company's big titles and is now responsible for Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii. During the session he revealed even more details about the upcoming title, and we were on hand to take them all in.

First up, he confirmed that the character of Jingle will be making a return to the game during the festive season, while a new visitor will come along and hide eggs around town during Easter. We also learned that the theatre in the city will show comedy and musical shows, and if you're connected to WiiConnect24, then special gifts will be delivered to you by Nintendo over time.

That said, people without access to the Internet have been wondering whether they'll be left out in the cold, and Eguchi was quick to quash any fears. If you don't have an Internet connection, you'll be able to transfer your town to a DS and then take that over to your friend's house to play on the Wii. And in Japan at least, there will be special zones set up where DS owners can download new items just like those who can access WiiConnect24 from home. It's a feature that Nintendo hopes to bring to the US too, but Eguchi claims this is still being worked out.

Get some friends together and go fishing. It's fun and you can make a few quick Bells.
Get some friends together and go fishing. It's fun and you can make a few quick Bells.

Another cool feature is that you'll be able to design the front, back, and sleeves of your shirts independently. As budding designers, we love being able to dress up our characters and then take a photo of them to send to someone else or to put on an SD card. On the downside, Eguchi confirmed that unlike in the GameCube version of Animal Crossing, where you could play old Nintendo games, you won't be able to play Virtual Console games in the Wii update.

Animal Crossing: City Folk looks very similar to the DS version of the game, but it nonetheless remains a highly anticipated title on our retail radar. The game currently has a Q4 2008 release date for the US and Europe, so we hope to see it released before the end of the year.

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