Breaking down what’s old and new in the 3DS’s upcoming lineup

Give us the mayor and wipe away the debt

Title: Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Release date: June 9


Either I’ve been playing too much BioShock Infinite, or both Nintendo and Irrational Games are in cahoots: Infinite protagonist Booker DeWitt begins his voyage to Columbia in a boat with two strangers, and Animal Crossing starts with you traveling to an unknown town (you can call it whatever you want) by train while talking to a strange cat. You explore an idyllic area where the animals think you’re the mayor; DeWitt arrives in a beautiful floating city where people think he’s a bad dude. DeWitt pillages trash cans and dead bodies for loot; you can grab fruit, seashells, and roses and sell them back for cold hard cash.

Coincidence? I think not.

What’s old or new about it?

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the first game in the simulation series that appoints you as mayor, giving you more options for customizing the town. This comes with a few perks, like starting the game debt-free when you’re given a new home to live in (beginning with a tent) rather than having to pay for it over time. Only the first day (New Leaf runs in real-time to depict night and day activities) was available to play, but one example Nintendo gave was that you can pass new town ordinances, like making the in-game shops open at night if that’s the only time you can play.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual as you socialize with the anthropomorphic creatures living next to you. You can still customize your clothing and home furniture to your heart’s content. For multiplayer, up to three friends can visit your town at the same time, and if you use the 3DS’s StreetPass feature, which passively collects data from nearby systems, you can take a look at other players’ houses to see how they designed it.

Did you know?

“Fans of previous games in the series will be familiar with Mr. Resetti, who chides players for quitting their game without saving,” said a Nintendo representative. “While he appears at the beginning of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, players will only see him again in the game if they build the Surveillance Center structure.”

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