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I loved the original Animal Crossing back in 2002, played some of its sequel Wild World on the Nintendo DS, and was disappointed by City Folk on the Wii. Now I’m playing Animal Crossing New Leaf on the Nintendo 3DS, bringing you what is probably our most nascent First Opinion yet.

What I mean by that is, I have played for one day so far. For most games that’s enough to get a feel for the experience; for the Animal Crossing series, not so much. It’s a series designed to be played for an hour or two a day for weeks and months so one day, no matter how hard I try, isn’t going to relinquish any more content to me (unless you play with the internal clock on your 3DS). Regardless, here’s how my first day has gone.

I booted up the game and found myself on a train with Rover the cat, bringing back good memories from the original Gamecube version. He asked be some basic questions that not only defined my appearance but allowed me to pick the layout of my town. This is a very nice touch and allows the town to feel customized to your tastes before you even arrive.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Upon my arrival, I was anointed Mayor of Molehill and told I needed a house. Fine, I thought – I’ve done this bit twice before. However, in fact I hadn’t. Tom Nook, the business tycoon and real estate mogul from the previous few games has gone exclusively into the real estate market, leaving his convenience stores to his nephews, Timmy and Tommy. Back to my housing situation, it turns out that all of Molehill’s houses were occupied so Nook would build me one wherever I wanted it. That is a huge change from previous titles in the series; in the original you lived in a set cluster of four player homes and in Wild World and City Folk you picked from four randomly placed houses. I chose my location near Town Hall and the local reselling market Re-Tail and Tom announced that I would have to wait for it to be built, which on one hand makes sense, but on the other meant I was staying in a tent until then. I also had to pay off my down payment before he would start construction. That meant earning 10,000 bells (Animal Crossing’s currency) and I wanted to get it paid off before shops closed for the night.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

After picking all of the fruit in my town, catching a ton of bugs and finding the daily money rock (a rock that spits money repeatedly for a short time when hit with a shovel – a series staple) I paid the down payment on my house. Now, I wait for the next day to see it get built.

I’m really enjoying New Leaf so far but like I said, one day is not enough to take in this game, so we’ll have to visit this again in this future.

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