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Animal Crossing (GameCube) artwork

Animal Crossing (GameCube) review

"I donít hate Animal Crossing for its N64 quality graphics, terrible music, childlike nature, or terrible attempts at comedy. I dislike it simply because it just isnít fun. What was supposed to be an interesting and innovative life simulator turned out to be a completely monotonous experience. "

I donít hate Animal Crossing for its N64 quality graphics, terrible music, childlike nature, or terrible attempts at comedy. I dislike it simply because it just isnít fun. What was supposed to be an interesting and innovative life simulator turned out to be a completely monotonous experience.

Animal Crossing puts you in the role of a human, who one day for unknown reasons decides to move into a town inhabited by animals. You arrive with practically nothing, so Tom Nook, the landlord (who happens to be a raccoon) reluctantly agrees to sell you a house, as long as you are willing to pay off the mortgage. Get used to this, because for the rest of the game you will be paying off several different debts and accomplishing next to nothing. This is because once you spend hours paying off your debt, the bastard decides to give you another one! And this repeats four or five times.

I wouldnít mind this if it was something to do on the side, but the problem here is there isnít anything else to do in the completely uneventful town. Every day the same exact events occur: you check your mail, dig for some fossils and send them to the museum to be checked out, run some errands for your neighbors, fish, and maybe reorganize some furniture in your house. Then repeat the next day. There isnít any character development, and none of the things that you do are any fun. If I wanted to play a life simulator I would much rather play one where I could actually do something different every day and see my character develop over time. Performing the same, boring tasks every day isnít my idea of fun.

Well, there is more to do than that, but it isnít anything worth doing. You can post messages on the bulletin board, but no one will read it except for you. Also if you mess up or post something stupid youíll have to wait for a long time before it is removed. If youíre loaded with cash, you could always donate your fish, bugs or fossils to the museum, but once again thereís no reason to do that unless for some reason you enjoy stopping by and starring at it every once in a while. The only interesting aspect is decorating your house and buying/trading for furniture, but how long can you do that before youíre bored to death? Even decorating your house is a pointless task, since keeping an orderly house just earns you a daily letter stating that your house doesnít look like a warehouse. Big deal.

Animal Crossing runs in real time on Gamcubeís internal clock. It is sunny during the day, it is dark at night, and thereís snow on the ground in the winter. Although a real time life simulator has unlimited potential, Animal Crossing wouldíve been better off with a much faster-paced clock because of the uneventful days. If there were events occurring that take up twenty four hours, this wouldíve worked just fine. But besides the typical mailing letters, fishing, arranging furniture, digging for fossils, and VERY briefly chatting with your neighbors (more on this in a minute), which takes at most thirty minutes, there isnít anything else to do. There is occasionally a fishing contest or special sale, but this doesnít happen often enough to make the clock worth it.

Of course other animals inhabit this town, but they are the worst possible neighbors you could have in a game like this. They have the absolute worst personalities (two or three different personalities for over one hundred animals), and most of them wonít want to talk to you for more than ten seconds max. Every conversation also leads to the same place. You can either ask them for a job, which is usually something along the lines of retrieve an item for a small reward, or let them tell you something useless that youíve either heard one hundred times before or wouldnít ever want to hear. There is no possible way for them to develop, so youíre stuck with listening to the stupid animals tell you that your shirt looks nice (or it doesnít!) or how they love to fish for the rest of the game. You can also communicate with then by sending them letters, but unfortunately they have the comprehension skills of a five year old. After receiving countless letters back from the recipients stating that they canít understand my letter (which used the most basic vocabulary), I just gave up.

The worst part about Animal Crossing is it almost becomes a monotonous job. Unless you donít mind your town looking like crap and your neighbors hating you, you have to play almost every single day. One day I decided to play after not playing for almost three months. When I left my cockroach-infested house, I noticed that the town was COVERED with weeds. And Iím not just talking about a few; I mean there were at least ten per screen. Afterwards when I went to speak to some of my neighbors for the hell of it, they were furious that I didnít play this horrible game for three months. They then went on to tell me how antisocial I am and that the town looks like shit. Then they demanded me to spend 30+ minutes of my time to pick every weed by hand, or else theyíll move. Some neighbors, huh?

But in a sense I donít care whether they move or not, since this is one game that I will never play again. Animal Crossing is a repetitive, tedious, and boring experience that doesnít offer anything thatís fun for even a few minutes. Well there are some hidden NES games present, but I would much rather ROM them than spending hours playing and hopefully digging one up. I play videogames to be entertained. Animal Crossing just doesnít do this.

Halon's avatar
Featured community review by Halon (April 12, 2007)

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