Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Preliminary Review of 'New Leaf', Animal Crossing for 3DS

I think that most fans of the Animal Crossing series like myself, actually value all the old traditions and characters.  It pained me greatly for example to discover that 'Wild World' had jettisoned some of the Festivals from the original GameCube version.

It is early days for me in 'New Leaf' but so far I find myself very much at home in my village in 'New Leaf'.  There are a number of sly references to the fact that so many years have passed since 'Wild World' was released but on the whole, I realise there is nothing wrong with existing versions of Animal Crossing and although it is exciting to discover a new game in the series, it really was not needed.  Nevertheless, I enjoy the surprises this new game provides from the very start.

For example, although the old 'money' rock still exists and one can hit one of the rocks in the village each day repeatedly to obtain Bells, there is ANOTHER rock that when hit, will smash to reveal a Gold Nugget or Gem.  A Gold Nugget is worth 4000 Bells when sold at the Re-Tail Shop.   An Emerald, Ruby, Amethyst or indeed any Gem will sell for 2000 Bells.  Silver Nuggets sell for 3000 Bells.

The Re-Tail Shop in fact is a new option and one that is very helpful and quite amusing.  It is a secondhand shop where one can sell almost any Item for a set price determined by the owner, Reese,  as well as displaying Items at the price one chooses.

There are small differences as well.  Tom Nook no longer offers the part-time work when you first arrive at your village.  Nor are you able to move into a house immediately.  Instead, after choosing any open location for your future home you will be given a Tent as temporary lodging until you make a down payment of 10,000 Bells on your House.  When that payment has been made, your house will be built and ready for occupancy the next day.

I must confess that I never have mastered the controls on the 3DS and often press the Power Button by mistake when I should press Start.  Doing this lost me my first day's labours in New Leaf as well as causing the dreaded Resetti to appear.   Although he appeared with his warning about the negative effect of failing to save the game, he announced that, due to budget cuts, he no longer was emplayed and that I therefore would not see him again unless I, in my capacity as Mayor, reinstated his position.

Sadly I made the same error again and lost another hour or two of labour, including a couple of valuable fish and Insects....  Resetti did NOT appear but I discovered that my Character tripped and fell at every turn for the remainder of the day.  Very sly punishment on the part of Nintendo!

Shaking Trees remains an important activity and will yield fruit, Bells and Beehives.  Yes, the horrific swarms of Bees still emerge from Beehives when one falls from a Tree, but things have changed somewhat.  Instead of the old complicated system of Insurance, an intrepid explorer can simply pick up the Beehive and take it to the Re-Tail Shop, there to sell it off for 500 Bells.  Not a bad price for a bee sting really.  Once stung, any dialogue with a Villager will centre on your nasty appearance until you either Save and Quit or use Medicine.
I find it makes sense to shake ALL Trees and take my 'lumps' before I Save and Quit, then Reload to emerge from my home with a miraculously healed visage.

Only two Tools are sold each day at Nook's.  Infuriatingly, they may be the same two Tools day after day for some time.  I believe it may be quite random.   As with other versions of the game, spending at Nook's allows the shop to be upgraded faster.  Furthermore, the Items you purchase will be added to the Catalogue, even if you do not have access to it in the smallest version of the Shop.

On Fridays, Saharah visits and will offer a mismatched Carpet and Wallpaper set for 3000 Bells.  She gave me no option to swap anything.

Gulliver was found on the beach on Saturday but his 'game' is different now.  He will give you clues and ask you to identify the country where he was bound. 

'Thanks for your help!  I promise I'll send you a souvenir.  It may take awhile, but you'd better get your hopes up!'

The correct response was 'Spain' so I assume I will receive an Item that has somethiing to do with Spain.  I imagine that my old Comprehensive Guide for Wild World still applies to many of the Sets and Themes.

Later:  I received a letter from Gulliver the next day with a Gaudy Lizard attached to it.  This is a new item that did not exist in previous versions of the game.

Daily Tasks for the Beginner

'Beginner' in this context refers to even the most experienced veterans if they are beginning a new game!

Shake ALL Trees

  Must make a note here of the new, 'Perfect' Fruit, worth far more than ordinary Fruit of the same type.  I surmise that a Perfect Fruit only can form if the Fruit is left on the Tree for more than a day, but I will let you know.  If this IS indeed the case, then shake all Trees except one Fruit-Bearing Tree.

You can find Bells, Fruit, Beehives and Furniture by shaking Trees.  If a Beehive drops from the Tree, the Bees will sting you unless you can move quickly to shelter.  Even if you are stung, however, all you have to do is Save and Quit, then Reload to recover fully.

There should be at least one piece of Furniture per day hidden in a Tree.

You will not have all Tools at the start of the game, but use the ones you can obtain to the fullest extent.  In my game, the Fishing Rod, Shovel and Net were offered day after day at Nooklings with never another Tool to take their place.  (As two Tools are sold each day, the display did alternate between the three.)

It was only when Leif's Garden Shop opened that I had a chance to purchase an Axe from him.  The next day, a Watering Can was offered at Leif's Shop.  Only one Tool is on display on any given day. 

I suspect that the Slingshot will be offered by Leif and not at Nookling's Junction but that remains to be seen.  One can pop balloons with other Tools provided the Balloon sails close enough to the ground to be able to reach it with the Tool.

You will need no tools to collect Items at the Beach:

Go to BOTH Beachest and collect every Shell that you find, then sell them at the Re-Tail Shop.

  Note here that there is a sign outside the Shop every day that gives a special item for which a premium price is paid.  Very often, this is a type of Shell, so it is worth the effort to collect them!

If you have a Shovel:

  Dig up ALL Fossils and take them to Blathers.  Donate them to the Museum always unless they are duplicates.  Sell any duplicates at the Re-Tail Shop.  (Fossils are designated by a star-shaped impression in the ground.  use a Shovel to dig them up.)

  Hit EVERY Rock with the Hammer and be prepared.  if Bells emerge, keep hitting the Rock as quickly as possible as many times as you can.

  If the Rock shatters, you should find a valuable ore or gem.

  There appears to be one 'Money' Rock and one Gem/Ore Rock per day in the Village.

If you have a Net:

  Catch EVERY Insect you can.  Donate the first one of each type, however valuable, to the Museum and sell any duplicates at the Re-Tail Shop.

  Remember that Insects have different habits.  Some emerge from Rocks when you hit the Rock with your Shovel.  Others, like the Spider, will emerge when you shake a Tree.  Most are flying Insects but there are some that rest on the Trunks of Trees or on Flowers.  If you move quickly, you will startle them into flight and lose any chance of catching them.

If you have a Fishing Rod, fish from every location.  Fish will change sometimes depending upon location, season and weather in the same way that Insects will vary accordingly.

Incidentally, if you pursue the strategy of purchasing everything offered by Nook's Shop in order to complete your Catalogue, you will wish to sell most of the Items afterwards.  If you sell them outright, there are valued usually at a third of the price you paid for them.  If, however, you put them on display at the Re-Tail Shop, you can name your own price.  I basically try to price them fairly at approximately the same price I paid for them.

I have discovered that the best way to make certain they will sell is to spend time in the shop, especially if another Villager is there.  Talk to the Villager and sooner or later, he/she will ask your opinion of one of the Items.  Usually, if you tell the Villager to buy it then, it will be sold!

Early Progress

Within a seven-day period, it was not difficult to pay off the cost of the initial House and expand it for 96,000 Bells.  I was able to satisfy the requirements that allowed Tortimer to appear and introduce the Island option.
The Gardening Shop opened and I received the Fishing Maniac Badge from Phineas.

I was rather astounded to have caught both a Napoleonfish and a Blue Marlin at the Island on my second visit.  It appars to be somewhat easier to catch valuable fish in New Leaf as a beginner than in other Animal Crossing games.

As far as Fruit is concerned, although I do not have wi-fi capacity for some arcane reason known only to Nintendo (a situation shared with far too many other players and which has generated over 900 pages of troubleshooting documents!), I was able to collect three different types of tropical fruit on my Island excursions.  The initial Island destination has one type (bananas in my case) and each of the Tour Destinations has another.  So far, I have collected Bananas, Lychees and Coconuts.  A new resident sent me a letter with a Pear attached.  My native fruit is Cherries.

In a seven-day period, I have NOT found a Slingshot nor a Watering Can for sale anywhere.  I was able to use my Net to pop a Balloon attached to a 'Present' but I really would love to be able to buy a Slingshot.  Flowers are withering because I have no Watering Can.

New Options

There are a number of changes in New Leaf that concern shopping.  In many cases, the goods that once were sold at a single shop now are sold by two or three different businesses.  These are not really 'new' options, however.

The actual new options where shopping is concerned include Reese's Resale Shop and Tom Nook's new Home shop where custom doors, fences and other ornamental home embellishments are sold.

A new option at the shop formerly known as Nook's and run now by Tom's nephews initially as Nookling's Junction is the Fortune Cookie.  A new Fortune Cookie is sold each day for '2 Play Coins'.  I have not been told that my supply of Play Coins has been exhausted in a week, so I have yet to discover if the significance of the 'Play Coins' actually is the fact that the Fortune Cookies are free or...  Each Fortune Cookie must be eaten in order to obtain the Fortune within.  The Fortune will be given a Number that corresponds with a special Item that cannot be purchased in any shop.  Many of these are the old Mario Items that once could be found in Gifts airlifted by balloons.

Another new option is your own Character's role as Mayor.

Lyle who once worked as a fast-talking insurance salesman has gone up in the world and now has his own counter at Nook's Homes where he serves as a Feng Shui consultant on behalf of the HRA.


Redd appeared on the second Thursday in a green tent on the Plaza.  He sells only 'fine art' in this game, both real and counterfeit, I expect.   He had four items:

Great Statue Valiant Statue Common Painting and Famous Painting.  The cost for each was the same at 3920 Bells.  There is another difference in that the Player only is allowed to purchase ONE Item.

New Themes and Sets

There are probably quite a few but the ones I encountered even in the first week were:

Standees Set

Mermaid Set

Amusing Dialogue that signifies very little:

When I find an item at the resale shop it feels like I've found a missing piece of my soul.

Gulliver:  N... don't do that.  My beak isn't a can opener!
...The tips of my wings are wrinkled like sad, depressed seaweed!

Tips from Villagers:
If you like short sleeves, choose t-shirts.  If you prefer bare arms, stick to tanks.  You wouldn't believe how long it took me to figure that out. (Alfonso)

Cousteau:  A Tip for switching tools like  a professional.  Just press left or right on the control pad.  That way you can flip through all the tools you have i order!  This will enable you to quickly get yur fishing rod ready when a fish appears!  Try it out, oui oui!


  1. Regarding falling: I don't believe that's due to resetting, as I kept tripping every time I ran, even though I never reset. It might be just bad luck.

    Watering can: you can get a watering can (and a foreign fruit) if you talk to Isabelle at the counter about tips to start your game (fishing, giving her a shell etc).

    You can see how many play coins you have on the main screen of the 3DS. You get them by walking.

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