Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf
AnimalCrossingNewLeafNABoxart.jpg
Packaging artwork released for all territories
Developer(s) Nintendo EAD
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Isao Moro
Aya Kyogoku
Producer(s) Katsuya Eguchi
Writer(s) Makoto Wada
Composer(s) Manaka Kataoka
Atsuko Asahi
Kazumi Totaka
Series Animal Crossing
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
ReleaseNew Leaf
New Leaf - Welcome amiibo
  • JP: November 23, 2016
  • AU: November 24, 2016
  • EU: November 25, 2016
  • NA: December 8, 2016
Genre(s) Social simulation
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Animal Crossing: New Leaf [lower-alpha 1] is a life simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 3DS console. In the game, the human character takes on the role of mayor in a town populated with anthropomorphic animals. [5] As the fourth main title in the Animal Crossing series, it was first released in Japan in November 2012, and later in North America, Europe and Australia in June 2013. The game received positive reviews from critics.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Nintendo Japanese video game company

Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.

Nintendo 3DS portable 3D dual-screen handheld by Nintendo

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld game console produced by Nintendo. It is capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses or additional accessories. Nintendo announced the console in March 2010 and officially unveiled it at E3 2010 on June 15. The console succeeds the Nintendo DS, featuring backward compatibility with older Nintendo DS video games. Its primary competitor was the PlayStation Vita from Sony.

Contents

Although the title was rereleased under the Nintendo Selects banner in North America and as Happy Price Selection in Japan, an updated version with amiibo support was released for free on the Nintendo eShop in November 2016 for owners of the original version. A retail version of the update was released as Animal Crossing: New Leaf - Welcome amiibo' [lower-alpha 2] in late 2016.

Nintendo Selects

Nintendo Selects is a marketing label used by Nintendo to promote video games on current Nintendo game consoles that have sold well. Nintendo Selects titles are sold at a lower price point than other games. The program parallels other budget range software by Sega, Sony, and Microsoft to promote best-selling games on their consoles as well. In Japan, the discount label was introduced in 2015 for various Nintendo 3DS titles as the "Happy Price Selection," although South Korea adopted the Nintendo Selects name at an earlier period.

Amiibo is Nintendo's toys-to-life platform. It consists of a wireless communications and storage protocol, for connecting toys to the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch video game consoles. The platform was launched in November 2014 in the form of system software updates and a series of Amiibo-enabled figurines. These figurines are similar in form and functionality to that of the Skylanders and Disney Infinity series of toys-to-life platforms. The Amiibo platform was preannounced to potentially accommodate any form of toy, specifically including general plans for future card games. These toys use near field communication (NFC) to interact with supported video game software, potentially allowing data to be transferred in and out of games and across multiple platforms.

Nintendo eShop digital application distribution platform for the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U and Switch

The Nintendo eShop is a digital distribution service powered by the Nintendo Network for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and by a dedicated online infrastructure for the Nintendo Switch. Launched in June 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was enabled by the release of a system update that added the functionality to the Nintendo 3DS's HOME Menu. It is the successor to both the Wii Shop Channel and DSi Shop. Unlike on the Nintendo 3DS, the eShop was made available on the launch date of the Wii U, although a system update is required in order to access it. It is also a multitasking application, which means it is easily accessible even when a game is already running in the background through the system software, though this feature is exclusive to the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo eShop features downloadable games, demos, applications, streaming videos, consumer rating feedback, and other information on upcoming game releases.

Gameplay

A player as town mayor with his assistant Isabelle Animal Crossing New Leaf Mayor.jpg
A player as town mayor with his assistant Isabelle

As in previous instalments in the Animal Crossing series, players take control of a villager who is moving into a new town. Upon arrival, however, the player is mistaken for the town mayor and is given that position instead of being a mere resident. Like previous games in the series, the game enables the player to explore their town, talk with other residents, and participate in various activities such as fishing and bug catching. Doing various activities or selling various items earns the player Bells, which they can use to purchase various items such as furniture or clothes, or pay loans used to renovate their house. The game is played in real-time, utilizing the Nintendo 3DS system's internal clock, with aspects such as shop opening times, species of wildlife and special events varying depending on the time of day and season.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf introduces many new features to the series. Players begin the game living in a tent before their house, which eventually can be upgraded and expanded, is built. [1] Customization, a major part of the series, particularly in the player's ability to modify their character's appearance and decorate their house, has also been enhanced. The character's pants can now be modified in addition to their shirt, shoes, hat, and accessory; and the ability to hang furniture on walls has been added. Features previously exclusive to the Japanese exclusive Dōbutsu no Mori e+ for the GameCube, such as benches and lamp posts, have returned. Another addition is the new ability to swim in the ocean that borders the town using a swimsuit. [6] Players may visit each other's towns using the Nintendo Network and can be added to a friend's list that allows them to exchange messages with one another, while up to four players at a time can travel to the tropical Tortimer Island to take part in various minigames that award medals. [7] Players are also able to take snapshots at any time, which are saved to the Nintendo 3DS Camera and can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. [8]

Personalization consists of tailoring a service or a product to accommodate specific individuals, sometimes tied to groups or segments of individuals. A wide variety of organizations use personalization to improve customer satisfaction, digital sales conversion, marketing results, branding, and improved website metrics as well as for advertising. Personalization is a key element in social media and recommender systems.

GameCube home video game console produced by Nintendo in 2001

The Nintendo GameCube, abbreviated NGC in Japan and GCN in Europe and North America, is a home video game console released by Nintendo in Japan and North America in 2001 and Europe and Australia in 2002. The sixth generation console is the successor to the Nintendo 64 and competed with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox.

The Nintendo Network is Nintendo's online service which provides online functionality for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U systems and their compatible games. Announced on January 26, 2012 at an investors' conference, it is Nintendo's second online service after Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Former president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata said, "Unlike Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which has been focused upon specific functionalities and concepts, we are aiming to establish a platform where various services available through the network for our consumers shall be connected via Nintendo Network service so that the company can make comprehensive proposals to consumers."

The game features a new game mechanic that makes the player the town mayor, allowing them to have more customization of their town than in previous games. [9] While taking part in mayoral duties is not obligatory to play the game, [10] being the head of town imparts two gameplay features new to the series: Public Works Projects and Ordinances. Public Works Projects allow players to collect funds from townsfolk and other visiting players to construct new objects such as bridges, fountains, and light poles, as well as add new facilities such as police stations and cafés. [11] Ordinances gives players the ability to customize the way their town functions by passing laws, such as making the town more wealthy, encouraging citizens to plant more flowers, or making the shops open earlier or later. [12] Only the first person to register a save file on each copy of the game will be able to become mayor, as subsequent save files will only be able to become villagers.

In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government such as that of a city or a town.

New Leaf makes various uses of the Nintendo 3DS's features, some of which are made available as time passes. Players can visit other players' towns via local play or online with up to four friends (an optional club membership on Tortimer Island allows players to explore the island with other online players). A Dream Suite feature allows players to download dream versions of other people's towns to freely explore. The Happy Home Showcase allows players to view the homes of other players encountered on StreetPass, as well as order some of the furniture their house contains. A sewing machine in the Able Sisters shop allows players to create QR codes of their designs, which other players can download using the Nintendo 3DS's camera. Play Coins can be used to buy fortune cookies, which in turn can be exchanged for special prizes, such as rare items based on other Nintendo franchises.

QR code trademark for a type of matrix barcode

QR code is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode first designed in 1994 for the automotive industry in Japan. A barcode is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. In practice, QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application. A QR code uses four standardized encoding modes to store data efficiently; extensions may also be used.

Characters

The game features two new animal types for regular villagers: hamsters and deer, [13] as well as two new NPC personalities: "smug" and "uchi", the latter described as a "big sister type". New special characters include a dog named Isabelle, who acts as the player's personal assistant, [14] her twin brother Digby who runs the Happy Home Showcase where players can view model home layouts, [15] a sloth named Leif who runs a gardening center, [14] and a pair of alpacas named Reese and Cyrus, who run a store called "Re-Tail", a recycling shop where players can sell unwanted items or customize furniture for their house. [16] Tom Nook returns, now a real-estate agent instead of a shop-keep, [14] his former business now run by his nephews Timmy and Tommy. [17] The skunk Kicks and hedgehog Labelle from Animal Crossing: City Folk are featured as shoe and accessory salespersons respectively, [17] while K.K. Slider has a new position as a DJ at a nightclub called "Club LOL". [14] The building is run by an axolotl named Dr. Shrunk, who is a stand-up comedian. Tortimer, the former mayor of your town, runs an island that can be visited by using the boat at the dock the day after you have paid off your home loan.

Hamster subfamily of mammals

Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae, which contains 18 species classified in seven genera. They have become established as popular small house pets. The best-known species of hamster is the golden or Syrian hamster, which is the type most commonly kept as pets. Other hamster species commonly kept as pets are the three species of dwarf hamster, Campbell's dwarf hamster, the winter white dwarf hamster and the Roborovski hamster.

Deer family of mammals

Deer are the hoofed ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. The two main groups are the Cervinae, including the muntjac, the elk (wapiti), the fallow deer, and the chital; and the Capreolinae, including the reindeer (caribou), the roe deer, and the moose. Female reindeer, and male deer of all species except the Chinese water deer, grow and shed new antlers each year. In this they differ from permanently horned antelope, which are part of a different family (Bovidae) within the same order of even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla).

A non-player character (NPC), also known as a non-playable character, is any character in a game which is not controlled by a player. In video games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer via algorithmic, predetermined or responsive behavior, but not necessarily true artificial intelligence. In traditional tabletop role-playing games, the term applies to characters controlled by the gamemaster or referee, rather than another player.

Development

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was first announced at E3 2010 as the first title in the series for the Nintendo 3DS. [18] It later appeared at the 2011 Nintendo World expo in Tokyo, [19] and again at E3 2011 during a short presentation where a release date was originally announced for later that year in Japan. [20] Nintendo later pushed back the release to some time in 2012 before the end of the fiscal year in March, [21] and eventually finalized a Japanese release to fall of that year during a Nintendo Direct broadcast. [22] Its English title was revealed in October 2012, along with a tentative release date in the west for early 2013. [23] In February 2013, New Leaf received its definite release date for the following June in North America, Europe, and Australia. [24]

The game was produced by Katsuya Eguchi and directed by the two-person team of Isao Moro and Aya Kyogoku, who had both worked under the previous director of Animal Crossing: City Folk on the Wii. [25] The idea for the player to become mayor did not manifest until about a year into development, which stemmed from the concept of giving the player much more freedom in designing and shaping the way their town grew. [25] Giving players the ability to pass ordinances and laws that involve shops being open earlier or later in the day was included to accommodate more personal schedules and play styles while still keeping the game synced with the passage of time in real world. [26] The main theme of the game was composed by Manaka Kataoka (formally known as Manaka Tominaga) while she composed the rest of the soundtrack with Atsuko Asahi. [27] Kazumi Totaka was the sound director for the game as he was for the rest of the series. [28]

Because the game was being designed for a 3D display instead of an exclusively flat one like its predecessors, the design team had to pay extra attention to how objects and characters appeared in regard to lighting and shading, and that no obvious flaws could be seen from the different perspective. [29] Design coordinator Koji Takahashi admitted that it was difficult thinking up new animal species to represent townsfolk since they primarily wanted to stick to ones people were familiar with, and had "pretty much used up" the most familiar examples in previous games. [29] Alpacas in particular were chosen due to their recent popularity in the country. [29]

In order to make New Leaf a more personal experience to players around the world, the development team researched customs and holidays from various countries, including collaborating with Nintendo offices around the world, and included them in versions of the game released in those regions. These include variations to in-game events such as New Year's Eve, such as eating New Year noodles in the Japanese version, drinking sparkling cider in the English North American version, and eating a twelve-grape plate at midnight in the Spanish-language North American or European versions. [30]

New Leaf's English translation began in March 2012 by members of Nintendo of America's "Treehouse" localization group, who collaborated with the company's headquarters in Japan on creating in-game events. [31] The North American and European versions contain an extra feature not included in the Japanese release - the ability to download example home layouts in the Happy Home Showcase from Nintendo over the internet using the SpotPass feature in addition to StreetPass, which requires players to physically pass by one another. According to localization manager Reiko Ninomiya, this was added due to the difficulty players in those regions experience with meeting others in public who own the game, explaining that "in Japan Streetpass happens really, really frequently. People take trains. It’s a different community culture. Here, you’ve got people living in remote parts where they don’t have an opportunity to pass by people who have the game." [32]

Promotion and release

In October 2012, Nintendo Japan created an official Animal Crossing: New Leaf Twitter account featuring tweets from the character Isabelle that included updates and promotions about the game, [33] with English versions established by Nintendo Europe in April 2013, [34] and Nintendo of America in May 2013. [35] Later that month, Nintendo of America began to produce a series of roundtable video discussions with the English "Treehouse" localisation team providing information on the game's development and translation, which were posted on YouTube as well as the game's official Twitter and Facebook pages. [36] Nintendo Japan would partner with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain to offer special company-brand in-game items and furniture such as signs, shirts, and food displays by accessing Wi-Fi hotspots at select store locations across Japan between May and August 2013. [37] Two Animal Crossing-themed clothing items were also made available as downloadable content in the Japanese version of Style Savvy: Trendsetters for the 3DS, featuring designs based on the characters K.K. Slider and Gracie. [37]

Nintendo released a Animal Crossing: New Leaf-themed special edition 3DS XL handheld bundled with a digital copy of the game alongside its standard release in Japan. [38] In April 2013, the bundle was announced for North America and Europe in a Nintendo Direct broadcast, which would also be made available on the same day as the game's release in both regions the following June. [39] The game was made available as a download title on the Nintendo eShop in Japan on the same day as the physical release, [40] with a North American eShop version also accompanying its retail version. [41] A pre-order bonus figurine featuring a model of the town hall with the character Isabelle was also distributed exclusively by EB Games in Australia and Game retailers in Europe. [42]

A select number of American players chosen through Nintendo's Mayor Program were eligible to try the game out through the month of May and in return, chronicled their experiences online. On August 7, 2013, an app titled Animal Crossing Plaza was added to the Wii U, allowing players to communicate with other Animal Crossing players. The feature was available until the end of 2014. [43] In Europe and Australia, a promotion was announced in which if players register their game on Club Nintendo between August and October 2013, they would receive a code that they can give to another 3DS XL owner, allowing them to download a free copy of the game. [44] In September 2016, Nintendo and Sanrio has announced that they will be bringing Hello Kitty to the game in Japan. [45]

A large update known as Welcome amiibo was released on November 2, 2016, adding support for amiibo (including Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda , and Splatoon figurines and cards)—which can be used to summon villagers and vendors to a new campsite area. The update also features save data integration with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer , and backports the game's touchscreen controls for furnishing. [46] [47] [48]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic 88/100 [49]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Famitsu 39/40 [50]
GameSpot 8/10 [51]
IGN 9.6/10 [52]
Joystiq Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [53]
Nintendo Life 9/10 [54]
Polygon 9/10 [55]

Following its announcement at E3 2010, very positive response was given to the game's visuals. Writing for G4TV, Patrick Klepek felt that the game's use of the Nintendo 3DS's stereoscopic 3D effects gave the game world "real, tangible depth," [56] while IGN editor Craig Harris described them as "subtle, but helpful." Both Harris and GameSpot editor Tom McShea praised the level of detail in the game's environment and objects, stating that they exceed that of the game's predecessor, Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii console. [57] [58]

The game received "generally positive" reception, according to review aggregator Metacritic. [49] The Japanese version of the game received a 39/40 from Japanese magazine Famitsu , earning the publication's Platinum Award, [50] while the English version received an 8/10 from GameSpot, and a 9.6/10 from IGN. [59] [60]

The game debuted in Japan with sales of just over 800,000 units sold, with 200,000 of them being digital downloads. [61] [62] Animal Crossing: New Leaf became the first 3DS game in Japan to pass two million units sold, doing so in just under two months. [63] By March 2013, 3.86 million copies had been sold in Korea and Japan. [64] By August 2014, 1.36 million copies had been sold in the United States. [65] By December 2018, all versions combined had worldwide sales of 12.10 million copies. [66] A week following the release of the mobile app Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp in November 2017, sales of New Leaf saw a 214% sales increase in Japan. [67] [68]

Legacy

In the 2014 crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U , the character Isabelle appears as an Assist Trophy, while Tortimer Island appears as a playable stage in the 3DS version of the game. [69] [70]

In the 2018 crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch, Isabelle appears as a playable character. [71] The Tortimer Island stage also makes a return. [72]

Notes

  1. Known in Japan as Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori(Japanese:とびだせ どうぶつの森)
  2. Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori Amiibo Prasu(Japanese:とびだせ どうぶつの森 Amiibo+)

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