|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nintendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 16, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (4 Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There's also the Marquee Theater. Here you'll attend Mr. Shrunk's show and learn to express emotions! However, you can only store up to four animated expressions, so once you have four of them, don't be fooled and pay the extra ticket until you're ready for a change! The game's most sketchy character, Redd, also has his own city headquarters, but you can't get into his shop until you're invited by a neighbor.
Other nice additions within the city are the Happy Room Academy, run by good ol' Lyle, where the best room that fits the monthly theme will be shown, and the Auction House, a great interactive experience for those who are into buying and selling things. You can put one object up for auction in each auction period (lasts two days), as well as bid for items that are being showcased. You can't bid more than once though, so hopefully you'll offer a fair price. I can see how the Auction House could become full of unaffordable items, as players are allowed to set a reserve price. Hopefully Nintendo will have it all figured out so this doesn't happen too often, but we'll have to wait and see.
Another interesting feature is the ability to create as many designs as you want for free, although you can only store eight of them within your inventory. Luckily, you can go visit the Able Sisters and have them keep your designs in the storage room. It's a great advantage, since you won't have to give up your carefully designed patterns! You can also create "Pro" designs at their shop (for a fee), being able to design front, back, and sleeves, instead of just a repeating pattern.
City Folk's presentation is almost the same as that found in Wild World, just blown up into big proportions. As soon as you pop in the disc, you'll realize the music is the same, the characters are all familiar, and the landscaping hasn't changed a whole lot. It's just bigger - bigger and better! As much as people like change, they don't really like sudden change. Designing City Folk in any other way could have been a mistake, and that's why I have to give a thumbs-up to the overall presentation. Players will feel right at home with City Folk, yet there's a nice amount of new features to pique their interest and expand the Animal Crossing experience even further. City Folk's new world is more detailed, and you'll find new stuff throughout, from tasty-looking mushrooms to cute birds perched on the town's bulletin board. The game also contains numerous new objects, characters, insects, etc. Also, the graphics are a joy, with a very smooth and polished finish, free of those nasty jaggies that take over Wii games nowadays.
The game is very easy to control and doesn't take much adjustment. Everything has mostly the same mechanics as on the DS. You pick up objects, drop them, plant trees or flowers, etc. When you point at the screen, a menu shows up at the bottom, which you can interact with by pointing and clicking. The A and C buttons work as action controls, and the B and Z button allow you to pick up objects, exit menus, speed up the dialogue, run, etc. The character is moved with the Nunchuk's analog stick or by pointing at the desired location and holding the A button, and motion is only used for fishing and catching bugs, though this can be achieved with the buttons as well. By pressing the left and right buttons on the D-Pad you can swap between the different tools in your inventory without having to enter the menu, and you can also use these buttons to obtain different camera views. Nothing seemed too difficult to do. It just works right.
Just like on the DS, players will be able to visit their friends' towns (not the city) through Nintendo WFC. Up to four players can hang out in the same town, have fishing tourneys, trade objects, etc. You'll still have to exchange friend codes in order to visit each other, which is done mostly to avoid undesired encounters with strangers. The WiiSpeak device, sold with the game and also separately, sits on top of the Wii sensor bar and captures voices within the room. This works very well even from a distance and lets players have conversations through voice chat, rather than just typing on the onscreen keyboard, which was a bit of a hassle, but it's still available. You can also attach a USB keyboard to the Wii and type away, although not all keyboard devices are guaranteed to work. Mine did though!
There's also one more DS - Wii connectivity feature: you can take your character from the Wii onto the DS, put the DS in sleep mode, and take it to your friend's house. Then you can load your character onto their Wii and play there. When you're done, you can put it back on the DS, close the lid, and go back home to your Wii. I can't think of many reasons why you'd do this, since you can't play with your friend's character at the same time, but I'm sure it could come in handy if you just want to show your Animal Crossing life and your friend's Wii is not online yet. You can also take pictures of the game just by pushing the 1 button, but you have to then click on the camera within the game's menu in order to save them into your SD memory card. The game can only keep one picture at a time and only when the Wii is turned on, so make sure to do this if you want to transfer those pictures to the computer later on, or send them through the Wii's message board.
Animal Crossing: City Folk is one of the most charming and entertaining life sims out there, with lots to explore and experience. All in all, players probably won't complain much. It's true that this game is an expanded rehash of the DS version, but in this case, that's not a bad thing. Innovation could have been taken even further, but overall, players will be left with a great taste in their mouth thanks to everything this game has to offer. Devoted Animal Crossing fans should not hesitate to pick up the game, unless they prefer to always have it on-the-go. Casual gamers who have yet to enter the world of Animal Crossing should definitely give this one a go, and those who are looking for a more in-depth gaming experience will just have to look elsewhere. AC is not for everyone, but it sure is the best of the best for those who are able to get into it!
CCC Site Director