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BellaOnline's Handheld Gaming Editor

Animal Crossing Wild World - Nintendo DS

I'm a huge fan of the original Animal Crossing game. It's like a Sims game, but with more of an anime / fun style to it. Animal Crossing Wild World takes the same fun on your handheld.

You're playing on a relatively small town map, so it's really easy to get to know where all of the residents' houses are located. You start with just 3 residents, and new ones join in slowly. Each resident is a different kind of animal, with a name, personality, likes, dislikes and more.

As the game progresses, they give you presents, you write them letters, you trade compliments and they really do begin to seem like friends. But this is only the beginning. You set up a whole trade system with the local shop. You can buy and sell turnips on the "stalk market", learning to time your trades to make the most money. You can harvest the local tree fruit and sell that. You can go fishing and either donate the fish to the local aquarium or sell the extras.

You can design a town song that plays in the background, design your own clothing, even breed new types of flowers. You can learn songs from the local guitar player, look at the constellations in the sky, and much more. The game is incredibly immersive, and is just as much fun if you only have say 1/2 hr a day to play while you're riding the bus. That's plenty of time to catch up with your virtual friends and keep the town tidy.

The wi-fi capabilities are neat if you have online friends - as long as you give your secret code, you can visit each other. That of course is critical - the last thing you'd want is some unwelcome visitor able to leap into your town and chop down your trees!

I do have some complaints with the game. First, I do think the day-night cycle is neat, that it's timed with your actual clock. However, I am a night owl. I work very hard in the day and the only time I have to play is in the early morning hours, say 2am - 5am. The stores and everything are closed in the game!! I finally had to actually change my DS clock to be able to sell some stuff but I *hate* having to do that. Why couldn't the store have a "night shift" so that those of us who are night owls could still enjoy the game?

Also, some of the conversation gets redundant. You have to sit through certain greetings - say at the store - every single time. Surely they could either think of something new to say or just let me get about my business. Also, when I am dropping off full loads at the store, it'd be REALLY nice to have a "select all" button instead of having to drag every single little thing one by one.

Still, those are relatively minor complaints with the game. It is really quite relaxing and fun, and since you customize your little world by planting flowers, decorating your home, thinking up nicknames and quotes and even designing your own clothes, it is just so "comfy" to be there. There are tons of little touches that add great delight to the game. If you drop a rose on yourself, you carry it around in your teeth :)

Highly recommended!

Rating: 5/5

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