| Animal Crossing: New Leaf|
とびだせ どうぶつの森 Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori
North American box art
|Release date|| November 8, 2012 |
February 7, 2013
June 9, 2013
June 14, 2013
June 15, 2013
|Ratings|| Cero A|
|Website||AU, UK, US|
Animal Crossing: New Leaf (とびだせ どうぶつの森 Tobidase Dōbutsu no Mori?, "Animal Forest: Jump Out") is a life simulation video game released in 2012 and 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. The player assumes the role of mayor of a new town, and with the help of the townsfolk and Isabelle, an eager secretary, it will be their job to make the town a better place to live.
Compared to previous installments, New Leaf's aesthetics are more realistic, with more human-proportioned characters and more realistic flora. New Leaf introduces the most new features since Dōbutsu no Mori e+.
The game was originally unveiled at E3 2010, though very little was shown. A trailer was shown featuring updated features, and 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 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, 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. 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', Isabelle, that helps the player mayor the town throughout the game.
The town is now more customizable than ever before. The player has more power to choose which town to live in, by being given 4 random pre-set towns when starting the game. Once a town has been chosen, the player can determine the locations to build new buildings and features, set Town Ordinances and construct public works projects.
There are many projects available, including the return of the Police Station and the camp site that was last seen in Animal Crossing. It allows non-resident villagers to visit, who can then be encouraged to move in. Returning features include the wishing well and bridges, with new features including benches for villagers and the player to sit on.
New buildings and locations
- Re-Tail is a recycling store which buys items at 25% higher than Nook's old stores in previous games. Reese and Cyrus run it, with Cyrus allowing the player to add their own designs to furniture they bring in.
- The Roost is now a separate building from the Museum. The player may also work behind the bar making coffee for other villagers as a part time job.
- The Town Tree, similar to the Wishing Well, is the centerpiece of each town. Most in-game festivals and events occur here.
- Kicks is a new shoe shop run by the recycled character Kicks.
- Main Street is the main shopping district in the player's town, replacing the City. Many returning features can be found in the street, including Katrina's store, the Museum and the town shop. New to New Leaf is Kicks store, owned by Kicks who first appeared in Animal Crossing: City Folk, including many other new buildings.
- The Island from the Nintendo Gamecube games makes a reappearance. Players can visit the island by going to the pier where Kapp'n will take them, as well as any extra players connecting over Wi-Fi. Tortimer now resides on the island, hosting multiplayer mini-games and awarding medals to the winner.
- The Gardening Store is owned by Leif. He sells a variety of outdoors related items, including flowers, watering cans, Axes and saplings. It becomes a part of Timmy and Tommy's Home Center once it reach's the T.I.Y upgrade, where it also begins to sell bush saplings and indoor plant items.
- Nook's Homes is owned by Tom Nook and staffed by Lyle. The player can upgrade the appearance of their house and can expand and add rooms, rather than upgrade their house in a set order.
- Club LOL is the new entertainment venue replacing The Marquee. Dr. Shrunk and K.K. Slider make appearances, with their role remaining the same as in previous installments. K.K Slider appears everyday apart from Saturdays as DJ K.K., performing either regular or 8-bit remixes of his songs.
- The Happy Home Showcase is managed by Digby. It utilizes the StreetPass feature in the 3DS, by adding the homes owned by other players who have been within range of the player's 3DS into their outdoor lobby.
- The Dream Suite is a new building managed by Luna. Players can visit the towns of other players using their dream codes. Wendell also appears in the dreams to give the player patterns made by the player who owns the town, but he will only appear if the player allows it.
- Nookling Junction is the shop that is run by Timmy and Tommy and it functions like Nook's Cranny did in previous installments.
Villagers are now more diverse. Not only are there new characters, bringing the total up to 313, but also new hamster and deer species. Villagers can now shake trees, plant flowers, and enter other buildings, among other things. The maximum number of villagers per town is now 10. Two new personalities have been introduced: smug and uchi. Villagers that have moved out can also visit the Main Street.
There are 72 bugs and fish in the game, up from 60 in Animal Crossing: City Folk. The player can sneak up on bugs with the net, a returning feature from the Nintendo GameCube games. It is now possible to store bugs and fish in closets and dressers.
New Leaf adds a new class of collectibles to the series: deep-sea catches. These are obtained by donning a wetsuit and swimming in the ocean. Small shadows will move across the sea floor, and the player can dive down and grab creatures from these shadows.
Other new features
- There are 40 emotions to obtain, up from City Folk's 29. There are 20 on each of two pages, in place of being restricted to a single page of 4 emotions.
- Pants, shoes, socks, skirts, and full dresses can now be bought, and can be worn regardless of gender.
- K.K. Slider's songs now feature album art.
- K.K. Slider now works as a DJ at Club LOL, alongside doing performances on Saturday nights.
- Gemstones can be found in fake rocks once a day by striking them with a shovel. Cyrus can be asked to customize an item of furniture with them.
- Patterns made at Able Sisters can be saved as QR codes after unlocking the QR machine, allowing sharing of patterns online.
- Fortune Cookies can be bought from Timmy and Tommy for 2 Play Coins each (the coins earned by walking with the 3DS step counter).
- A second floor for the museum can be added, allowing the player to create their own exhibits.
- Redd's forgery scam has expanded beyond paintings and now includes statues and sculptures.
- There are two new villager personalities, smug and uchi.
- The player, once having built the Café, can work there part-time and serve coffees to villagers and special characters.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released in Japan on November 8th 2012, in South Korea on February 7th 2013 and in North America on June 9th 2013. It came out in Europe on June 14th 2013. Both Australia and New Zealand shared the same release date of June 15th 2013. New Leaf is also the first in the series available through the Nintendo eShop.
3DS XL bundle
A Nintendo 3DS XL promotional bundle featuring New Leaf was made available during the game's launch. It comes with New Leaf preinstalled onto the system. If preordered from certain retailers, plastic figures of Isabelle and the Town Hall were given as freebies.
New Leaf has received very positive reviews from critics. It has an average score of 88/100 on Metacritic, and thus is rated as the 10th highest Nintendo 3DS game on Metacritic.
The game is the first 3DS title to sell over 3 million copies in Japan alone. As of December 31st, 2013, New Leaf has worldwide sales of 7.38 million copies, making it the 5th best-selling game on the Nintendo 3DS.