Animal Crossing: New Leaf
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Animal Crossing: New Leaf (とびだせどうぶつの森 Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori?, Animal Forest: Jump Out) is the sixth installment in the Animal Crossing series, being developed by Nintendo and has been released exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS. Prior to the release date, players could pre-order New Leaf from GAME and get a free Isabelle and Town Hall figurine.
While retaining much of the gameplay from older titles, Animal Crossing: New Leaf marks a large change in the series, as the player now becomes the mayor of the town. With the help of the townsfolk and "one eager secretary" it is now the player's job to make the town a better place to live. Due to this new role, the game's name is most likely derived from the metaphor turning over a new leaf, meaning to change a person's job/life, since the player is suddenly assigned the new role of mayor. Coincidentally, the player taking over as mayor was referenced in previous games where, on April Fool's Day, Tortimer would prank the player by saying he is soon going to retire and let the player serve as mayor. These jokes may have played a major role in the creators deciding to finally make this a reality in New Leaf.
New Leaf also has a change of art style, with the players and the villagers having more human-like shapes, rather than the shorter ones seen in previous games, as well as the trees, flowers, and houses taking on a more realistic appearance.
Development and unveiling
The game was originally unveiled at E3 2010, though very little was shown. A trailer was shown that gave information on updated features and revealed very few new features. Shortly after, there was news that the player could be the mayor of the town, with the goal being to make the town a better place to live. A non-playable demo was also available on the show floor at Nintendo's booth as an example of the 3DS's 3D effects. Due to it not being given much detail, fans speculated that it might have not been an actual game but just an example and that another Animal Crossing game would be developed later.
At E3 2011, the rumors were proven false. During Nintendo's press conference, the Animal Crossing logo, among others, appeared on-screen as a list of upcoming 3DS games. Additionally, a new trailer was released. The trailer showed off a new feature in the game: swimming and diving in the ocean. Also, a player was shown changing not only his shirt, but also his shoes and pants. A player was also shown coming out of what appeared to be his tent-house. Throughout the town, benches and a beehive were shown, with a villager and later a player sitting on the bench. A new character was also shown, a yellow dog following the player. Fans quickly assumed she was the 'eager secretary' that helps the player mayor the town.
In an interview with Kotaku editor Stephen Totilo, the creator of Animal Crossing, Katsuya Eguchi, revealed that Animal Crossing 3DS will allow players to arrange their furniture in any way they like, and will also feature new networking experiences.
The title was confirmed at the Nintendo World Report on April 21, 2012.
Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed Animal Crossing: New Leaf is still in development on Monday June 11, 2012 for 3DS.
In the June direct conference it was confirmed that 4 people can live in the same village like the last 3 games. On another note, in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, they will reintroduce the train and Porter.
In early October, an Animal Crossing: New Leaf 3DS XL bundle was announced in Japan for when the game releases. In addition, another Japanese Nintendo Direct episode regarding Animal Crossing was scheduled for Friday, October 5. During the 47 minute video, highlights included K.K. Slider now performing as a DJ at a comedy club known as Club LOL, customized road designs, megaphones for getting villagers' attention, diving for coral, new multiplayer games hosted on islands, meeting other players through the 3DS's StreetPass feature, and more.
In early 2013, to promote the new game, Nintendo launched an official Animal Crossing: New Leaf website, containing information and trailers regarding the game.
Nintendo later announced in April 2013 that the Animal Crossing: New Leaf 3DS XL bundle will also be released in North America and Europe, which includes a copy of New Leaf on its SD card at a total price of $219.99.
Welcome amiibo update
In 2016, three years after the release of the game, Nintendo announced a free major content update for New Leaf called Welcome amiibo to be released in November in Japan, and December in other regions.
Welcome amiibo introduces amiibo compatibility to the game. Players can summon Wisp, who will prompt them to to scan a character's amiibo to make him to transform into them. Villagers who are summoned can be invited to move into town, and scanning special characters induces as-yet-unknown functionality. 50 villagers from Animal Crossing and Doubutsu no Mori e+ who are absent in later entries return to the series with this update. They live in mobile homes found in a new RV park location, the Campground, managed by a new special character, Harvey. Scanning their amiibo will cause them to set up camp in the park, from where they can be invited to move into the town. Players can also buy furniture items from the RVs, using a new currency known as MEOW Coupons
Other amiibo series are compatible, and scanning them introduces exclusive characters and items. For example, Splatoon amiibo will bring squirrel villagers based on Callie and Marie into the game, as well a series of Splatoon-themed furniture and clothing items.
Players will also be able place villagers into photographs they take with their console's camera. The update also includes new items, many of which were introduced in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. The player can also connect with their Happy Home Designer data if they own the game, which unlocks more new giant furniture.
The update also includes two new minigames, being Animal Crossing: Puzzle League and Desert Island Escape. These can be played by activating a Nintendo 3DS XL/New Nintendo 3DS XL or a Wii U piece of furniture, respectively.
The update will be available digitally from the Nintendo eShop, and as part of a physical bundle with new Animal Crossing amiibo.
Gameplay in New Leaf follows the same pattern as previous games in the series, though with a greater diversity in activities, characters, venues, and more.
Role as the mayor
Unlike the last few installments in the series, where the player became a resident of their town, the player is now the mayor of the town (which in the previous games was Tortimer). While the player is still able to relax and engage in activities such as fishing and bug catching, they now have the responsibility of regulating the town and improving it. The player can build new features for the town, such as bridges, statues, or shrubs. They also can alter store prices and hours. Only the first player to start up the game is the mayor.
The tropical island from Animal Crossing returns in New Leaf as Tortimer Island, which can be accessed from the dock after certain conditions have been met. Kapp'n can take up to four players to the island on his motorboat for 1,000 Bells, and the location is accessible to Wi-Fi visitors. No items can be taken to Tortimer Island, and all items in every players' pockets will kept in storage until they return. On Tortimer Island, players can participate in a variety of 38 minigames, called tours, hosted by Tortimer himself. Winning these tours wins the player medals which can be used to buy exclusive items at the island's shop. The items collected on and around the island must be put in a box near the entrance. The box has room for 40 items and all items in the player's inventory when he or she leaves will be sold for a cheaper price than Re-Tail except for rented tools and equipment which will automatically be collected before the player leaves.
Many villagers from the previous games make their reappearance, in addition to a number of new ones. The number of villagers able to live in each town is regularly 9 but setting up a campsite and convincing the villager inside the campsite to move into town can make a total of ten. New species of villagers have also been introduced, including the hamster and the deer. Two new personality types, smug and uchi, have been added to the game in addition to the returning six, making for a total of eight different possible personalities. Each personality now has their own pitch of Animalese, unlike previous games where the voices only differed by gender (with the exception of cranky villagers).
Other new features
New Leaf introduces many other new features for the Animal Crossing series, some of the most notable being:
New Leaf features a new Main Street, a shopping district located to the north of every player's town. It is similar to Animal Crossing: City Folk's City. The shopping district features a wide array of shops and venues, many of which are new to the series:
Other buildings found in the town include:
Release and Reception
New Leaf received generally positive reviews and ratings upon release. Its visuals were a key point for praise, with the 3D features well-commended. The more in-depth gameplay and details offered from previous Animal Crossing games were also viewed positively, along with the presence of enough new content to keep the game exciting.
In Japan, the game sold over 600,000 copies in its first week, and went on to become the top-selling Nintendo 3DS game in the country at over 2 million units. Worldwide, New Leaf had sold over 3.87 million units as of June 12, 2013.
The following are official press images distributed to Animal Crossing sites. Most of the images were taken directly from the trailers, but some new character art was also provided for players, Bill, Rosie, Bob, Filbert and Curt.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf has several concept artwork that can resemble or vary wildly from the released design.