hen most people think of Gamecube games, Mario Kart Double Dash and Super Smash Bros are usually the first that come to mind. Animal Crossing, although an afterthought for most, was arguably one of the best titles to release for Gamecube. Giving Animal Crossing the title of one of the best games for gamecube may seem like an exaggeration, but the numbers reflect it. It sold the 6th most copies of games for the console, beating out games like Pokemon Colosseum, Paper Mario and Metroid Prime. This was largely due to the fact that the game was the ultimate open world Nintendo game for its time.
Originally released for the Japanese market in 1999, it was eventually translated and brought to North American markets in 2002 for the Gamecube. For the North American release, Nintendo included a free memory card with the game. This was most likely because they knew how large the save files were for the game, so kudos to them.
The game is mainly based around your character getting to know the townspeople and accomplishing tasks. Animal crossing uses Gamecubes internal clock, so real world events occur in the game as well as the seasons can change depending on the time of the year. Like previously stated, the game is completely open world and has limitless possibilities. So much so, that even if your not playing, the towns people go on with their daily activities and live their life like normal. Townspeople can also move in and out on their own accord.
When you arrive at the town, you are given a house by Tom Nook, but you must now work for him to pay off the house. Running errands and doing small tasks for Tom progress the game to where you can pay off the house. In addition to doing tom’s bidding, you can explore the world and gather items, which you can sell to him and make money. Like any good house owner, you can organise and furnish their home however you like. Items for the house can be purchased or found throughout the world. You can even add wallpaper and different flooring to make it as personal as you want.
To win over the hearts of the townspeople, you can talk with them and do little things for them. This usually works in your favor and they begin to take a liking to you, but can also piss them off and they may even leave the town. Kinda funny that AI townspeople have their own little personalities. They also have their own way of talking to you and expressing their emotions. I say “talking” loosely however, because its just a myriad of sounds that are nowhere near close to real words. The sounds are individual to the character though, so its not a complete let down.
The town that you begin your life in is your town. It has its own characteristics that no other town has. Whether its the fruit that grows on trees or the items that surround it, no other town is the same. You can however visit one of your friends towns by use of your memory card and bring back items from their town to yours. Places in the town like the jail and dump usually have items that locals have dropped off and you can actually claim them as your own. Additionally, there is a tailor shop that you can create your own clothing. You can either design it in the pixelated editor or even upload and download designs into the game.
Game Mechanics and Aesthetics
Controls are simple and to the point. Nothing fancy or technical about it. Helpful tips are great guides for some controls, while others are exactly what you would think they are. They are simple and get the job done. The graphics are nothing nothing to boast about but do the game justice. There were many other titles that came out for Gamecube at the same time that had exponentially better graphics, but for some reason, the visuals just suit the game. The simplicity of the gameplay and playful graphics have an interesting way of complimenting each other to make a very enjoyable gaming experience.
Its definitely not a game for everyone. Its not fast paced or action packed. It is however very controllable and has countless aspects that let you choose how the game pans out. Its very much a game that walked so that Minecraft could run. Much like Minecraft and other open world games, be prepared to sink endless hours into making your town the best. Animal Crossing is a game that has so many options and things to do that it makes it difficult to touch on all of them. To truly get a better perspective on how good and complex the game can be, give it a try yourself.
Check out our full length video review below!