Animal Crossing is a very popular game series for Nintendo fans.  Going off the beaten path from platformers and RPGs, this game is a very laid back and has no ending.  The goal of the game is to do chores around the town you just moved into and pay off your home debt.  Instead of looking at how the original game has aged, I’m going to compare the original game to the latest release in the series: Animal Crossing New Leaf.  New Leaf was released in 2013 and is still being updated, while the original 2001 game is rarely touched today.

Your house

Your house

Animal Crossing’s formula is one that doesn’t change, nor does it need to.  Therefore, many aspects of the original game are very prevalent in New Leaf, albeit changed a little bit.  The original game begins with you moving into a new town, getting a house, and having to pay it off.  This is almost identical to the start of New Leaf, but in New Leaf, you become the mayor of the town.  This changes things up, since in New Leaf you are the most important part of the town, opening stores and building things among the town.  In the original game, the focus of the game is mostly on the community as a whole.  This is kind of lost in New Leaf, since instead of seeing your neighbors as equals, they feel a bit below you.  New Leaf is a fantastic game, but the focus on community is different than in the original.

Hanging out by the post office

Hanging out by the post office

One of the most important aspects of Animal Crossing is getting money, or bells as they’re called in Animal Crossing.  To get money, you either have to sell items or find bells.  This formula never changes in the series, but some of the activities to get the items to sell do.  Some of the most valuable items in the games are the fossils that are found in the ground by digging.  The fossils need to be identified before they can be sold or donated, so in the original game they have to be sent away.  They take a day to be sent back to you, and then you can either sell or donate them.  That’s kind of a hassle, since you have to buy the letters to mail them in and send each one off individually.  This is fixed in New Leaf, since all you need to do is take the fossils to the museum and talk to the owner.  After talking to the owner, he’ll identify all of them and give them back to you.  New Leaf makes a lot of things easier to do than in the original.

Fishing and Bug Catching are some of the biggest aspects of Animal Crossing.  Throw your bobber into the river or ocean, wait for the fish, catch it, and sell it.  See a bug, sneak up on it, catch it, and sell it.  These activities are also in every game, but in each game, there is also place that has more valuable fish and bugs than in the regular town.  After playing the game for about a week, you’ll gain access to the island, where there are more exotic fish and bugs can be caught.  This is great, since you can make more money this way, but in the original game, it’s not too easy to reach the island.  The Gameboy Advance must be connected to reach the island.  Not everybody has access to the Gameboy Advance link cable, so not everybody got to see the island.  When the island was added back in New Leaf, it was made part of the regular game.  The island is the key moneymaking area of Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

The player hangs out around an igloo in their town

The player hangs out around an igloo in their town

Animal Crossing is a very comfortable game, and not much has changed throughout the years in the series.  What has been changed in the series has greatly improved it.  Though the original is a bit archaic in the ways mentioned above, it’s still a fun time and without it, there would be no New Leaf.  This article took a bit of a different direction than others that I’ve written, since the games are very similar and I wanted to compare them.  Animal Crossing has stayed consistently good through the years.