When I first started reading what the story behind this game was I became really distracted by the fact they wanted to have kids move out on there own. I figured great where going to have a whole bunch of 10 to 17 year old kids wanting to leave home because they did well in Animal Crossing. Eventually I did realize that it was just a game and in some senses it did prove to be a great tutor in personal betterment. Although the first time my Daughter comes to me and asks for a loan so she can move into her own house, this game will be seen flying out my window at a speed not normally humanly possible.

Animal Crossing is a game about creating a town in your own image, creating friendships and extremely helpful to me, the need to write "Thank you's" after presents have been given by a relative or friend. You start out in a first person view riding a train to your perspective town. When a Cat who has a tendancy to laugh at just about anything and nothing funny greets you and asks you if you would like to chat. Of course if you do not talk with Rover (see what I mean about humor) you will not have some of the benefits he gives like calling his friend to get you a house and the naming of your town. After a plethora of questions from this annoying feline you finally get to see your character for the first time. Depending on how you answered the cat's questions will decide how you look within in the game so hopefully you answered to your best abilities. Next you run into another want to be comic. Tom Nook he is the local shopkeeper and he sells everything from houses to umbrellas. Tom has a few houses he just built or should I say boxes that he needs to throw away. He offers you one of them and then walks you around each one for you to choose of course like any good salesman he hasn't said anything about a price yet. Once you have chosen your new residence you now have to pay for it, oops no money well not to worry Tom will take care of you. He offers you a job at his store running around doing errands and such to earn back money and to better your understanding of the game when you have paid of your debt you can then move on to bigger and better things so good luck in your new town you'll need it.

As you traverse your town you will see little houses and other residents that each have there own different sounds. Some ranging to ear piercing screeches to low rumbling gravel tones all of which can be changed at the beginning to something less irritating and subtler. Also in each house is usually a Radio jamming what ever that houses resident likes at that current time. A nice added option is the fact that you can add new music to your own radio in your house via either the E-reader combined with the GBA and Link cable, or by creating your own by changing the town tune on the billboard near the train. Other sounds in the game are there but isn't anything special just like the music and speaking tones eventually you become numb to it all.

Graphically this title looks like it could have been done better on the N64 but with good reason. I believe they sacrificed the graphics for the more appeasing and ample content you will almost never run out of things to do. Even if you where to run out of stuff to do you could always add more by going out and purchasing another E-reader card, or start trading with a friend, which I will touch on later. Even though they couldn't exaggerate on the graphics and quality of them they made up for it with distinctiveness. Every character and item you buy has at least one thing different about it, which makes for a large and entertaining game of change.

Controlling your character around the screen is as simple as just moving him or her to the spot you choose. About the only thing that could be frustrating is the dropping of items in your town such as trees and flowers. What I mean is placing your items in your town can be rather frustrating due to the fact it all depends on which way your turned and how far from other objects are. However it will get better as you learn more about placement and where things will drop. Other aspects of control would have to be mentioned are the combination of the GBA and the E-Reader. Both add tons to the games mechanics by adding new content and a way for friends to take there game on the go. Possibilities are endless with a friend with a town and you with a town sharing items and other household wares.

To touch on how huge this game is would take an entire book to explain all you can do and add. Animal Crossing is a never ending game basically it is constantly growing and conforming to how you want it to be. With it also running in real time its almost like living another life within a game. All I can say is don't get to entwined or you will forget what real things mean like Food for example. Also another little thing when you start finding old NES games within your town don't play them forever while Tom Nook is waiting for you. You don't want to upset him and get paid next to nothing for all your hard work just because you got a chance to replay Punch Out, Excite bike, Balloon fight etc.

Animal Crossing Preview Posted by Dave M.

Animal Crossing is the typical Nintendo game that "mature" players will complain about being way to cute and kiddy, and claim to be above it, but will fall in love with anyway. Animal Crossing came out for the N64 in Japan, and was and is still a huge hit with players overseas, and was originally supposed to come out for the N64 here as well, but was transferred over to the GameCube. Animal Crossing sounds like it has all the makings of another Big N classic, one that both children and adults will love. Let's check it out!

Animal Crossing has a number of features that sound intriguing, lots of fun, and often times, both. You can visit various houses in the animal villages to play classic NES games on! You can meet some allies in the forest, use tools, work at a job, and even buy your own house in the village. You can collect various items, costumes, and creatures, fish, and interact with the Game Boy Advance via a connection cord. The world changes as you save your game to the unique memory card (which is included with the game) and you can have up to four players at once in the world you create.

And if that isn't fascinating enough, the game uses the GameCube's internal clock to mimic the 24-hour world, with day and night, and there are even all four seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall! The game is based on communication, letting you speak to the various animals for different purposes, like home ownership and tips. Though the graphics aren't particularly impressive, they do the job, and the unique and engrossing gameplay will more than make up for any lack of eye candy. And the ability the play NES classics like Donkey Kong 3, Tennis, Baseball, Ice Climber, Pinball, Golf, Clu Clu Land, Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong Jr. Math in some of the houses in the village makes the game almost worthwhile just for that purpose! At this point, if you aren't watching Animal Crossing, you definitely should be, because this game will be huge! Look for it in late September.

Animal Forest Preview Posted by Cole

Animal Forest + is the name of the latest Nintendo game to be released on the GameCube. The game was released not too long ago on the N64 under the name Animal Forest (minus the plus). The "communication game" is based on character interaction and the story and adventures are varied by your decisions.

Starting out your life in the Animal Forest, you arrive by train and basically create your character giving him or her a name, age and other particulars. Soon you will encounter other creatures that will communicate with you through a text-based interface. They will ask you questions and you will have a variety of multiple response answers from which to choose from. You can make friends, enemies, lie and generally do whatever you want. In a sim fashion you can choose to work, get paid, buy furnishings and clothes and basically settle down and enjoy your life in the forest. Or you can take it easy and live off the land catching insects and fish and playing music. Yea, there's something that's not considered employment, playing music for a living. I ought to know.

An internal clock keeps tracks of time as the world experiences day and night as well as the four seasons. In addition to the visual changes such as darkness and Christmas tree lights hanging on the dwelling in the month of December, the internal clock will also affect the gameplay. The entire game is quirky and done in a humorous style. For instance, numerous NES characters and games are hidden in the world. You can play these games if you can A) find them, B) win them in a raffle, or C) have them given to you by a friend. The games include Donkey Kong, Pinball, Balloon Fight and sports games such as tennis, baseball and golf. If that's not enough or you, you can also use your GBA to trade game data and play other mini games. You can visit other player's villages with your character and find items in there that you can bring back into your own game. Sounds pretty cool.

The game will not change too drastically in graphic quality or gameplay from the N64 version. Since it's such a huge hit in Japan already it makes sense to not fix what's not broken.

Click For Media
System: GameCube
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: Sept. 2002
Players: 1 - 4
Review by Drayco