Game of the Year 2008
ANIMAL CROSSING WILD WORLD REVIEW
For Nintendo DS
Animal Crossing isn't a game. It's a career. A vocation, a mini alternative life. You could educate a child with it and it would turn out OK. It teaches you everything you need to know about the real world. It teaches you the importance of money, shows you the true value of patience, punishes you for lying, and when characters move out of your town it's an important lesson about the harsh realities of bereavement in adult life. Bunnie is gone, Timothy, she's gone to another town very far away and she's never coming back.
It's not a game, it's a job. You HAVE to collect your fruit to begin with, else you can't afford the cool furniture. You HAVE to keep fishing, else you might miss a rare fish. You HAVE to collect all the fossils, fish and insects because something cool might happen when you do. Animal Crossing uses an enhanced version of the COLLECTEVERYTHING(TM) engine that Nintendogs used. It makes chores into games, giving you incentives to spend hours and hours doing nothing in the hope of finding one rare little thing no one else has got.
When we bought it we played it for an hour and a half in bed in the morning, we played it for an hour and a half in the afternoon, we played it for an hour and a half in the evening, then for an hour an a half in bed before going to bed. If anything that's an underestimate, because starting to play Animal Crossing is like stepping into a time machine where suddenly it's a huge amount of time in the future when you turn it off and look at the clock.
That's another reason why it's great. You can use it to fast forward your boring life. So anyway, we played it for six hours a day (minimum) for the first few weeks of having it. Some of those six-hour periods were spent fishing. Just fishing. Fishing, then running to the shop to sell them, or to the Museum to donate any rare ones we caught. The game keeps a list of all the fish you've caught, which is one of numerous mini, incidental challenges you have to complete. In your own time and whenever you like. We're now down to about three 15-minute periods of play a day, which is much more manageable.
Animal Crossing really suits the handheld. You can play it for ten minutes in the morning, a bit at lunch time and switch it on in the evening for a proper play. It's why Wild World is such a perfect game. We do all our farming/shopping chores in the morning on the train to work instead of reading about war in a newspaper, then spend the evening having fun instead of watching war on the news. And wi-fi play lets you do it all in another town, with the added excitement of random router crashes to keep everyone on edge. It's the perfect game and it suits DS to a tee. 10/10, again.
ABOUT THE ABOVE REVIEW:
We're releasing this review under the GNU Free Documentation License, so if you want to run a review of Animal Crossing Wild World on your web site, blog or student magazine, feel free to use this copy and put your name on it. It's free for everyone to reproduce! We're doing this out of love.
WHAT SCORE TO GIVE IT:
If your web site, blog or magazine scores games out of 5 give it 5/5. If you score things out of 10 give it 10/10. If you use the archaic percentage system give it 97 percent because anything more than that makes you look stupid like those American magazines who give games 100 percent. Nothing's ever 100 percent you pricks.