To tell you the truth, I don’t feel like Animal Crossing: Wild World is a video game. To me, it’s more of a hangout. It’s a fantasy world you can go to, to escape from reality… especially if you enjoy collecting furniture and planting pear trees. Wild World takes you away from your dull and boring life, to an alternate world full of cute animal characters with massive heads. While you have your own situations in life, so does Animal Crossing.
Having not played the original Animal Crossing game for the Gamecube, I decided to pick this game up for the Nintendo DS and enjoy it anywhere. When I first started the game, I found myself in a car with some pirate-speaking animal named Kapp’n. I had to go through a series of questions so the game could determine what kind of person I was and what kind of town I wanted to live in. Once I was finished with the questions, I arrived in my town to meet a raccoon named Tom Nook, who owned a shop called Nook’s Cranny. Tom Nook gives you a home as well as a job. The job that Tom Nook gives you serves as a way of learning about the Animal Crossing universe. Eventually you will gain enough money from selling items to pay Tom Nook back for buying you a home.
Once you pay off your house, you are free from work and Tom Nook’s shop. After I paid off my house, I had no idea what to do. In fact, I didn’t think there was anything else to do. Wild Word doesn’t give you certain tasks, so it’s up to you to decide what you must do. What is there to do?
Well, one thing you can do is customize your home. You can buy wallpaper, flooring, and furniture. Objects you can buy can be as basic as a sofa, bookshelf, or chair, but you can also buy some unusual objects such as a space station, merry-go-round, or ship cannon. Each furniture item has its own series or theme that all match.
For instance, the classic furniture series you can collect and decorate your home with will include a classic chair, classic bookshelf, classic sofa, classic table, and etc. A theme is something that brings a certain style to your room, such as the boxing theme. You can collect the boxing mat, red corner, blue corner, sandbag, speed bag, and judge’s bell to bring a boxer’s theme to your house. You can even get your house rated by an in-game organization call the “Happy Room Academy.” The HRA will come into your home and rate your sense of style. Points can be deducted if you have some items that don’t match.
Another thing you can do is fill up your local museum. By purchasing items such as the shovel, fishing rod, or net, you can go on a hunt for some objects to put inside of your museum. When you have a shovel, you can find cracked spots in the earth to dig into to find a fossil. Present this fossil to the museum owl and he will mine it. After examined, if you don’t already have this fossil inside your museum, you have the option to donate it. Eventually, you will find all of the pieces to a fossil set, and you’ll have an entire extinct being in your fossils exhibit. You can also use your fishing rods and net to capture insects and fish to place into your museum.
While you’re out of your house and browsing around the town, you can talk to all of your neighbors. You can send letters to neighbors, as well as give and receive gifts from others, do errands for others, and socialize in each other’s homes. You will find that people are constantly moving in and out of your town every day, so make sure you don’t miss out on anything a neighbor has to offer.
Since Animal Crossing recognizes your handheld’s clock, it uses it. The game changes from night and day, and even has its own events when time changes. The game knows what exactly what day and time it is. On Christmas day or on Halloween, you can receive special items and gifts from people. Since events like this happen only on holidays, it’s wise to play on those dates. Over time, your town will go through changes. Nook’s Cranny will change from a tiny hut of a shop, into a large department store. Such things as fishing tournaments and flea markets will take place weekly, so you will have new tasks to do. The seasons in the game also change. When it’s winter for you, the game will have snow all over the town.
This being a DS game, the touch screen can be used in game, although it’s rather useless while moving. You can tap the touch screen on a certain area on the bottom screen to move to it, but it may feel very slower than using your D-Pad. The only real use the touch screen could be used for is to drag objects to certain places in the menu.
The audio in this game is nothing special. The DS’s stereo twin speakers are for playing Animal Crossing with, and are especially useful for hearing birds in the sky or bees buzzing around. Each character has its own babbling sound to match their fast-flapping lips. This cute babbling may be annoying at times, but it does fit the feeling of the game.
Although this game is not a sequel to the Gamecube original, I do think that players of the original will have a blast with this. Animal Crossing: Wild World is a fine example of a time-consuming game. This massive game can be very addicting at times and is a great way to escape reality. Freedom is the keyword to define Wild Word, for there are no main objectives or tasks to do. Basically, you will have fun the way Nintendo wants you to.
Animal Crossing: Wild World is a rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.