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Animal Crossing: Wild World Member Review for the DS

tom- By:
tom-
12/13/05
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Sim 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER Nintendo 
DEVELOPER Nintendo 
RELEASE DATE Out Now
E What do these ratings mean?

It is a small world, after all!

Ití¢â‚¬™s been said that technologyí¢â‚¬™s advancement has made the world smaller. Animal Crossing: Wild Worldis a testament to this belief. For those of you who wish to escape the drudgery and responsibility of life, Nintendo has created this curious little spin-off.

Many things will seem familiar to those of you who played the older brother of Wild World on the GameCube. Tom Nook, Blathers and many other old pals make their comeback on the Nintendo DS, comprising your own little town filled with enough humanoid animals to make a furry lover soil themselves. Friends are a big part of Wild World, whether theyí¢â‚¬™re real or on par with the company you pay for on cold lonely nights. You can send and receive letters and gifts with all of the zoological residents of your virtual burg. If youí¢â‚¬™re the type to fear catching the avian flu from a Christmas fruitcake or finding ticks in a chain letter, rest at ease! Nintendo has set up a wifi infrastructure fit for a king, or at least a large shoed clown. Whether at your own personal hotspot or stuffing your face at McDonalds, you can visit your friendí¢â‚¬™s municipalities and challenge to little minigames like fishing competitions, or just chat about the constellations youí¢â‚¬™ve drawn in the night sky, all with the DSí¢â‚¬™ stylus.

We all know that the DS isní¢â‚¬™t capable of the graphical beauty of PSP, but that doesní¢â‚¬™t matter a bit in Wild World. The characters are proportionally awkward, completely unrealistic, and sometimes a bit blocky, but it all feels intentional. The GameCube predecessor featured blocky characters despite the consoleí¢â‚¬™s graphic capabilities simply for the style. The cartoony graphics are fitting and even charming. Best of all, if you doní¢â‚¬™t like Nintendoí¢â‚¬™s choices for clothing, wallpaper, flooring or even your cityí¢â‚¬™s flag, youí¢â‚¬™re free to redesign them as you see fit using the stylus to draw. It may be a little tedious coming up with a good drawing, but patterns are easy enough and with some time invested you can craft some spiffy designs. The only unnecessary oversight in the graphical department is eye movement. Your characterí¢â‚¬™s eyes are perpetually fixed on the upper left side of eternity. I doní¢â‚¬™t know why this is, but it bothers me.

Those who are looking for a quick paced game to play on the commute to school or work or maybe in between classes should probably look elsewhere. While you can do small things like fish or catch bugs, your inventory will fill up pretty quickly requiring you to run to the museum or Tom Nookí¢â‚¬™s to unload your loot. Furthermore, the game runs in real time. Depending on how your DSí¢â‚¬™ internal clock is set, your day is Wild Worldí¢â‚¬™s day and your night is Wild Worldí¢â‚¬™s night. Some places will be closed on certain days and some events woní¢â‚¬™t take place until a certain date which can make game play roll by at the same pace as your actual day, sometimes tempting you to put down the DS for a while and get back to real life.

Now that Ií¢â‚¬™ve given what appears to be a pretty commending review of Animal Crossing: Wild World, Ií¢â‚¬™ll expose the seedy underbelly which may make you rethink purchasing this title. In all fairness, thatí¢â‚¬™s a pretty ridiculous appraisal of the faults of this game. The main fault noticeable is control. The game lets you chose between controlling entirely with the D-Pad and buttons or entirely with the stylus. Neither of these schemes work well, which drives me to attempt a combination of the two. The stylus is superior for buying and selling items, entering text, and drawing while the D-Pad and buttons are far more comfortable for moving your character, moving furniture, fishing, catching bugs and doing any of the í¢â‚¬…“physicalí¢â‚¬? aspects of the game. Switching would be grand, but the game doesní¢â‚¬™t want to let you do it instantaneously. The first input from either source will switch the control scheme to that source, but will not enact the selected action. This means youí¢â‚¬™ll have to press a button twice or tap the screen twice for each time you wish to switch. It sounds like nothing, but it seems like a pointless requirement that slows down some areas of the game. Call me high maintenance, but my genius mind caní¢â‚¬™t be bothered with hang-ups while selling my collection of seashells. My other gripe is also on the control front. Not all buildings require you to open doors, but most do. On many occasion, I had to get my character facing the door at the perfect angle to open it, which didní¢â‚¬™t make a lick of sense to me. If Ií¢â‚¬™m near a door and press the action button, shouldní¢â‚¬™t the door open for me? Do I have to be facing the door at a perfect ninety degree angle to unload my bevy of goods on Tom Nook? Forgive me for waxing rhetorical.

At the end of the day, which is 24 hours inside the game and out, Animal Crossing: Wild World is a joyful sim game that would compliment any DS ownerí¢â‚¬™s library. Between fishing, digging up fossils, catching bugs, decorating your house and then jumping across the internet to your friendí¢â‚¬™s house to mock his meager possessions, this game will provide hours of entertainment fit to cause a divorce or two.

$$$T킳$$$


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