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Animal Crossing – Nintendo GameCube

Animal Crossing – Nintendo GameCube

Animal_Crossing_CoverartPlatform: Nintendo GameCube

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: April 14, 2001

Genre: Simulation

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Flagostomos


While frowned upon by many for it’s “kiddie style” I actually think this game can stand up to other life simulators like the Sims. I think this game was meant to be played with more friends, meaning more people and towns, and since most of my friends don’t play video games, I was stuck with mine, my mom’s, my sister’s, and my brother’s towns, and it got old fast.

Comparing it to a more in-depth game like the Sims is not possible however. They are simply meant to be played in completely different ways. While the Sims is meant to simulate a lot of different aspects of “real life”, Animal Crossing is the type of game that is supposed to immerse you in a simple world, one where fishing and bug catching are the staples of every day living. It’s therapeutic to play, with simple objectives yet lasting charm.

I was really excited when I first read about this game in Nintendo Power. It looked fun, and they used two real people to play it to review it. You can fish, catch bugs, do errands for people, kick around a ball, decorate your house, visit other towns, shop, or listen to a dog with some cool riffs. This game had a lot of things to do. And since it’s real time, you had to play at least one year, (I mean real life YEAR) to be able to do everything. It has a lot of holidays, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, so you can have fun with the villagers. You can send letters to the animal critters or other residents, like a treasure hunt.

There’s random events that happen about once a week, including a designer giraffe’s visit, and a “stalk” market you can play. If you have a Gameboy Advance you can link up and go to a secret island, or transfer NES games to play on the go (even though you can’t turn it off if you wanna keep playing). Add the e-reader, and you can unlock a load of extras. I don’t imagine there are people still playing this game on a regular basis, as they have probably moved on to the newer versions.

Probably where this game shines is the real time setting. Day changes to night while you’re playing, seasons change, new fish and bugs come out. It’s not meant to be played as a “finish the objectives and beat it” kind of a game. It’s one where you can load it up for a half hour or hour a day and just play and enjoy the setting.

Not really any story here. You’re a kid, probably just leaving home, looking for a good place to settle. You go to a nice little town, where the residents know each other, and they all enjoy a pretty calm life of bug catching and fishing. There’s a post office where a hidden romance goes on, and a raccoon that owns a store that until you come along probably saw no business. That’s pretty much it, no plot twist, no moving on in your life, getting married, nothing. Just daily living in a town where nothing changes except the store size that you single handedly support, and villagers that come and go. For what it is, it executes nicely.

Since the story element is non-existent, we are going to throw in the different events that occur in the game to make up for this category. I mentioned that holidays happen in real-time, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. The villagers talk about the arrival of these events the same as any kid excited for them does. There’s also fishing and bug-catching tournaments, special guests come to visit the town on certain days. The animal residents come and go and you are constantly making new friends.

I think the biggest factor to consider with this game is the nostalgia. What stands out most in my mind is this being the first game that I really got to play with my mom. She set up characters in each of our towns and worked hard at each one of them. She would write us notes and leave us gifts. I think the most heartbreaking story like this is the one circulating on the Internet. One gentleman had this game and played with his mom, and when she was diagnosed with cancer, she continued to play while he moved on to other games. The mom passed away, and he decided to load up the town just to see what she was up to. And she had continued sending him letters and giving him gifts. It brings a tear to your eye thinking how this game connected some people in a way that games just usually aren’t capable of doing.

Pretty decent, the only real problems you’ll have is catching a bee or one of those fast dragonflys. I eventually did catch all the fish and bugs, but it takes skill to figure out fishing timing on the bigger fish and rarer bugs.

Kinda cutesy graphics, but hey it’s not gonna have *cough* features for the female characters and muscle tones for the men. The sound changes every hour, but after a few days of playing the soundtrack starts to become really recognizable. The music that the special guest plays, K.K. slider, makes up for the decent yet otherwise non-memorable soundtrack.

This picture brings back many wonderful memories of this game.

This picture brings back many wonderful memories of this game.

While probably meant for a long game life, this game gets old after the first year, and dead by the second. There’s plenty to do, but since it’s spread out over 365 days, you get to the point where you only play to do the last few things that are left to do. Like say for examle, the last thing you have to do is catch the stringfish, and you just gotta wait til summer to do it.

Animal Crossing is one of those love/hate games. I actually still play this game, just the newer version of it. It’s therapeutic and reminds me of simpler times in my life.

Gameplay: 8
Story: N/A
Controls: 9
Graphics Sound: 7
Replayability: 5
Overall: 8

Written by Nerd Bacon

Nerd Bacon


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  3. Awesome review, I literally laughed out loud at one point and got really sad at another, you could write novels man. I really want to steal the way you rate games at the end, that is informative and awesome. I never even wanted to play this game until now, thanks, like I don’t have enough games on my plate 🙂

    • Hey thanks man! You’re welcome to use any of my techniques you like. If you do ever try Animal Crossing I highly recommend the 3DS one, it’s very pick up and play and they have improved a lot since the first one.

      • I appreciate that, you’ll be credited in anything I plagiarize from you:D I am definitely behind on the consoles and handhelds, they come out faster than I can pick em up. But I will take your advise on the 3DS version.


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