I’m so excited I may just explode. I really hope I don’t because then I wouldn’t have a chance to enjoy the long-delayed European release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on 3DS. After over a year of heartbreaking delays, it’s only 79 days until it finally arrives.
For those of you looking puzzled, Animal Crossing is a long-running Nintendo franchise. You live in a small village populated by friendly animal villagers, and spend your days making money to pay off your mortgage by catching fish, digging up fossils, catching bugs, trading turnips and countless other activities.
In doing so, you can also customise your house decor, your clothes, your hair and your surroundings in a multitude of ways. You can make friends with your villagers, whose temperaments vary wildly. You can pursue whatever goals you want, whether that involved populating your ark-like town museum with one of every species of fish, bug or dinosaur skeleton.
It sounds basic and boring, but the game has such warmth and good humour that it’s difficult not to love it. I was well and truly addicted to Animal Crossing: Wild World, the Nintendo DS iteration of the series released back in the mid-00s. I spent the best part of a year checking in on my village every day, and visiting my family’s villages – something made easy even then by Wi-Fi.
This time around you are the mayor of your village, which means you will be entrusted to fund various community projects to improve the villages, whether it’s new shops, village displays, or whatever else, it will surely offer an even larger degree of customisation.
I’ve been watching gameplay videos by Youtube users LinandKo in my lunchtimes, to the bemusement of my colleagues. Even this is enjoyable, and it’s hardly like there are spoilers. If we’re totally honest, this isn’t a franchise that’s changed a lot. I’m excited to see what features might be possible with the new hardware. The prospect of Streetpass interaction and downloadable content is quite exciting at the very least.
It may infect my blog too, as I look for something to fill the void left by Eurovision after May. Brace yourself!! It’s out in Japan and Korea already, and June release dates for the rest of the world: USA get it June 7, Europe get it on June 14, with Australia following on June 15.