Tag Archives: Disadvantages

Ranking the Animal Crossing games from best to worst

I did go over the best and worst of Animal Crossing: New Leaf last week. I went over ten details over each, talk about how this game has improved and what new problems were made. Yes, community-related problems have always been a problem since the dawn of social networking. But the other problems created, they were pretty drastic.

This week, I’m going to go over the entire Animal Crossing series released in the United States. Yes, even if I played some more than the others, I have played all four games. 2003 was the first year of my Animal Crossing life, and I have played it every year since, with 2011 and 2012 being the only years I didn’t. 2014 was my biggest year for AC when I joined the Bell Tree Forums, created the town of StarFall, and written two FAQs for GameFAQs.

So it’s time I start ranking the games. You may heard the common sayings “first is worst” and “last is best”. I’m going to do the opposite this time.

#1 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf

There is no surprise that ACNL would be at the top of the list. Not only it’s my most played game of the series, but it’s also the game I spent the most time on in 2014. Obviously, this is the best AC game of the series. With the cool new features added and character design improvements, nothing could top ACNL. Normally, I play the male characters since I’m a guy, but due to the improvements in character design, making the females look prettier, I only have female characters in my town. This game is more than just my favorite game in this series. Other people like this game over the other AC games too. I guess more customization options and a larger variety in items is keeping this game from being outranked by the others.

What New Leaf did right:

I may have went over this last week, but I’ll do a recall. The mayoral options (which are PWPs and ordinances) are what top the list of best features in the game. I also liked some of the new items introduced. Along with that, they had different types of clothes rather than just different clothes, the achievement system, dream towns, island tours, and further customization options.

Aside to the new features, they retained some of the best features like interior design as they revived some of the lost features. NES games will never come back, but I think Island Tours would be a good substitute. Features either lost from the GameCube Version or Wild World that never came back in City Folk have returned in New Leaf. The train station, camping, the island, and villager photos are what we needed.

New and returning features aren’t the only things that went right in New Leaf. They have made some improvements. One is that the bar has been lowered on bank savings to get the ABD. Money making has also been easier, time traveling doesn’t have a negative effect on the Stalk Market, Resetti isn’t as mean as he used to be while he is completely optional, and Redd’s paintings (and statues) have a flaw that can be easily exploited.

Problems in the game:

Even if New Leaf is best of the series, it is not a perfect game. Granted, some problems were problems from the very beginning, as well as the community related problems like duping and powersaving (which is hacking), but there were some created by the game itself. Things that annoy me are the difficulty of getting PWPs (more specifically to where useless questions can’t be narrowed down), the current luck system, Saharah giving you non-Saharah exclusive items, the group mechanic, and random animal move-ins from visiting others’ towns (I’m looking at your Prince). But the one problem that is the biggest liability of this game is that animals are free to move wherever they want. Even I was a victim of this. On my first town, I had a few move in front of my house and some in front of my Town Hall. On my second town, one moved in front of my bridge. In StarFall, I was able to control where they move with the reset villager trick to keep them away from the south side of the river, but one wrecked my extended campsite area after publishing dream town. This is bad, even to those who don’t care about urban planning too much. And what’s stupider than that is when the animal is the latest villager to move in, they are immune to being pushed out of town until another animal moves in. I’m not the most sensitive Animal Crosser to this issue, but I don’t like this idea either.

Along with the frustrations of the game, other problems were retained or created in ACNL. One of them is that paying off your house costs even more money than ever before. Look how greedy Tom Nook is. Your first debt is now 49,800 Bells to pay off a small house, with 10,000 as your down payment and 39,800 as the rest of the first debt. You have to carry a whole bunch of money at once to buy Gracie furniture, but we can’t hold all that money at once. Beetles are easier to scare. Grass decay still exists. The sprinkler and lawn mower are unorderable, even if they were regular items sold by the Nooklings (I don’t get why they are supposed to be unorderable). And balloons and pinwheels can only be obtained through StreetPass.

And there’s still more. Some features that were introduced in City Folk, in both Wild World and City Folk, and in all three past games were removed in New Leaf. I like the shopping point system Tom Nook had, as well as the credit cards, observatory, and increased chances of getting rare fish. But at least we had the advantages in New Leaf.

#2 – Animal Crossing: Wild World

Prior to ACNL, ACWW would have to be the best of the AC series. Even if I played ACNL more than any other game, I played ACWW for more years than ACNL. I saw more improvements from ACGC to ACWW than ACWW to ACCF. Since it had more features than the GameCube Version and less blurry graphics and complicated controls than City Folk, New Leaf is the only game better than Wild World in the series. Also like New Leaf, Wild World is on a portable system. Most video games are better for consoles than handhelds, but some franchises are better for handhelds than consoles. And Animal Crossing is one of them.

What Wild World did right:

There’s not much to say, but I would like to give a few points about the game. First off, the Robo-Series, Mush Series, and Mad Scientist’s Theme were all introduced in ACWW. Next, as someone who didn’t care about collecting clothes, Tom Nook no longer sells them. The Ables do. So we finally got more space for furniture at Tom Nook’s as the Ables at least have something to sell. Hats, accessories, and hairstyle changes, all new to ACWW. This fixed the GameCube Version’s problem of permanent hats. We have extra features at Town Hall, bigger homes to decorate, Tom Nook’s point system, and two attractions added to the Museum. One more new feature that I liked – you can move from town to town.

Not to mention, but some problems in the GameCube Version I did not mention yet were fixed. You can store more up to 90 items in your storage spaces (but they are the same to every dresser and wardrobe), the HRA doesn’t give you mail after every change in layout, Redd’s visits are predictable, you no longer have to mail fossils to get them identified, and you can stop animals from moving. Plus, when you visit another town, you can see the other human active.

Problems in the game:

Before City Folk (or especially New Leaf), comparing between the GameCube Version and Wild World was pretty fun. And Wild World had a plethora of problems, some of them were already in the GameCube Version, and others were new.

First problem. Due to the small size a cartridge can carry, towns are much smaller. Everything is at one level of elevation, which is a problem because I liked cliffs. New Leaf had a similar problem, but at least there are cliffs. Wild World, not even a single one. On a related note, they removed the dock from the big lake that we seen in the GameCube Version. Ever since this change, it was never reversed. Now moving to major problems. Redd sells counterfeit paintings, quality of music dropped, graphics are low quality, and the island is removed completely. Other problems – Tom Nook’s final expansion requires shoppers from other towns to buy from Tom Nook, all humans have to live in one house, NES Games are gone, and the turnip glitch where Nook’s turnip prices are always low.

The biggest disadvantage of Wild World is a severe one. There is no problem in ACWW worse than the lack of holidays. Because the game is trying to be politically correct, they took out many holidays, including the one-gift holidays, Halloween, Thanksgivings, Christmas, and both Sports Fair events. The holidays in ACWW are all bad. The only holiday I actually liked in ACWW was the Acorn Festival. At least the New Year’s event is a real holiday (and the only real one). The Fireworks Festival is more common, so that is good, but it’s not a real holiday. The Fishing Tourney and Bug-Off are alright. But the other holidays, don’t get me started on them. They are not only fake holidays, but they are stupid, especially Yay Day and La-Di Day. There is no point behind them. Another thing, they removed a lot of items to contribute to their political correctness. Removing the balloons was the biggest mistake in this area. The Spooky Series, Harvest Series, and Jingle Series were also removed. But even if we had this problem, this didn’t stop me from playing ACWW until ACNL game out (but remember, I had a two-year break from playing AC since I completed all my goals for the first time). Still, this is Wild World’s biggest problem.

#3 – Animal Crossing (GameCube Version)

This is the game that started it all (at least in the US). Even if it’s the most watered down version of the AC Series, it was good for its time, and today, it is still well-remembered since it’s the foundation of Animal Crossing. Just thinking about how nostalgic I am about this, the GameCube Version was pretty good. New Leaf did have more improved features of the stuff that were removed in Wild World, but the GameCube Version still stands in the center. Because of the new features introduced in future games, this remains to be a major flaw for the GameCube Version. But it isn’t perfectly bad either.

What the GameCube Version did right:

Even with future games having bigger and better stuff, there were many things the GameCube Version had that the other games didn’t. One of them was the NES Games. Having games within games was pretty fun. Back when the 3DS eShop opened for the first time, the game Excitebike was free for a little while. Excitebike was one of the NES games in the GameCube Version. They also had the 1981 version of Donkey Kong (which I played more in DK64 than anywhere else), sports games, pinball, and some others I can’t name of. We also had journals, better sound effects, balloons and pinwheels were a lot easier to get, shines in the ground, and the dock in the big lake.

Add to that, you may also have remembered that Redd never sold counterfeit paintings. That means Blathers can accept any painting. There was also a lot of grass with a few patches of dirt. Town models were major collectibles in the game (as future games had less models). And what about Wisp? He was the ghost who could pull out your weeds if you bring him his five spirits with your net. Too bad he was removed while the Rafflesia was added if you don’t pull your weeds. This made the weed problem even worse. It’s a good thing the GameCube Version didn’t have this.

Problems in the game:

Obviously, the first game will always have problems. Remember, practice makes perfect. But after adding all the new features in future games, especially New Leaf, much of the stuff is a liability in the GameCube Version, and it would be unbearable to go backwards.

First problem, you can only change your shirt. The shirt pattern applies to not just the front of your shirt, but also to your back, the sleeves, and the hat. You can’t remove hats, you can’t change hair. Character customization isn’t as fun back then. What else is there? Everyone has their own home, but they all live in the same acre, no matter what town you have. The first floor room and second floor room counts as one room as you can’t change the carpet and wallpaper in the basement. And almost all towns are nearly identical.

Customization isn’t the only problem with the GameCube Version. We had this restriction where Nookway won’t remodel unless if someone from another town buys from your town, animals can repaint your roof without your permission, lack of Wi-Fi, animals are more aggressive back then (even the Normal villagers), animals moving in or out is unpredictable, Sable will never become friends, the HRA send you a letter after every layout update, and you can only store up to three items per dresser. Not just three items, but you can’t store furniture, fish, or insects. What if New Leaf was like that? Good thing it isn’t.

#4 – Animal Crossing: City Folk

Like what the popular opinion says, Animal Crossing: City Folk is my least favorite game in the AC Series. In fact, I didn’t even last 10 days when playing ACCF if I can remember. It’s basically Wild World, but with grass decay and on the console. Even from the beginning, ACCF was a problem, and with Nintendo WFC shut down, City Folk is dead.

What City Folk did right:

Even if it’s a bad game, it’s not all bad. City Folk was the game that introduced pro-patterns, GracieGrace, and swapping tools with the control pad, something that I use a lot in New Leaf. We also got to live in our own houses again (and in different locations). You can have the beach house too. We also have balloons, Harriet having her own business, silver tools, and the return of the holidays, plus two new ones.

Two of the ACCF exclusive features that I liked. One was that you can have shopping cards, so you don’t have to hold all of the money when you go shopping in your pockets. The other, you can choose what renovation you want of Tom Nook’s store. You can have longer hours, more items, or a balance. Too bad we don’t have that in New Leaf.

Problems in the game:

Like all AC games, City Folk had some issues, and these are some serious issues here. What heard from others (as well as my personal story) are pretty grim. Grass decay is the worst part. It deteriorates very fast and recovers very slowly. I saw a picture of a desert in ACCF with a lone tree standing. It was also one town per console, animals have more repetitive dialogue with no options, lack of improvements, and blurry graphics that would make my eyes squint. The character design is my personal problem. The humans are much shorter in ACCF than they are in previous games, as the female characters can show their underwear when they lay down. I know this isn’t necessary to say, but I didn’t like that at all. Plus, Animal Crossing is a kid’s game.


That’s all of the games I’m going over. Next week might be about how I came up with my character in ACNL. But for now, I’m done sharing my views on AC.


Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Advantages and Disadvantages

Today is Thursday, which means I will write about my personal experiences with Animal Crossing, neither having to do with my current town nor about improvements or suggestions for the next game. Since this is my first week, I shall begin with my review about New Leaf, describing what I like about this game compared to the past three games and what annoys me with this game that either shares disadvantages with the past games or are unique problems.

Back when ACNL released all over North America, I would rate it a 10/10. I thought it was the perfect game and only had a few problems. But after playing for one year, my overall rating dropped to a 9/10. While the game is addicting and worth playing, the “few disadvantages of the game” were major, and they are New Leaf’s biggest liability.

The Best of New Leaf:

House Renovations

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the best AC game so far, despite the disadvantages that weighed it down below the perfect rating. With the mayoral features and other new features added, nothing else could top New Leaf in the AC franchise. One thing I liked about ACNL is the interior design feature, where you can lay furniture around, move them, and change the carpets and wallpaper. Also, some furniture series and themes, such as the Ski Set, Gorgeous Series, and Sci-fi Theme are really good and are some items I can’t have a town without. I never liked collecting clothes to begin with, but after the improvements to character design and clothing feature, I don’t need to rely on patterns anymore. I like the clothes available in the game, but I prefer long sleeve shirts and dresses for my characters.

Anyhow, here are the ten best features about New Leaf that weren’t in previous games:

  1. Public Works Projects – the core feature of the game is also what makes New Leaf better than any game in the series. I always wanted lamps in town, and they have what I want. I can also build lighthouses, benches, fountains, and lit-up public art like the illuminated arches I use as gates to my characters’ houses. The better of the PWPs in the game are the Museum’s second floor, the Café, and the Campsite. Even if the major PWPs are nearly inconsequential, I don’t think my town would feel complete without them.
  2. Ordinances – along with the PWP feature is the ordinances in the game. I felt that this feature isn’t enough, but it’s worth it. I worked hard on planting my hybrids, and watering them everyday is a chore. One ordinance can make it impossible for your flowers to wilt and nearly impossible for weeds to grow. Another ordinance I like is the Night Owl Ordinance, where stores are open longer. Early Bird does the same thing too, but I’m a night person, and the music at night sound nice.
  3. Clothes – in previous games, collecting clothes are some things I have no interest in. That was until ACNL, but I still don’t see them as valuable. However, bottom-wear, shoes, and socks can be changed, as shirts and dresses have different sleeve lengths. Although I like the idea that female characters can wear pants, the humans in StarFall look better in dresses or skirts (yes, they’re all girls, coming from a town made by a guy). The females in AC look pretty in skirts, but also with long sleeve shirts.
  4. House Customization – up until New Leaf, interior design was the best part about Animal Crossing. But now, we have more than just decorating your houses. The extend goes to the exterior as well. Different looks outside, like better doors, cool mailboxes, well-decorated walls, and even the pavements makes the town more diverse in architecture. Not to mention, but the house orientation is like Wild World’s, except that there is a basement and there are only 8×8 rooms at the maximum expansion. But the impact of this made Wild World unplayable. If both the first floor and second floors had the same four rooms (main, left, back, and right) in the next game, then that would make New Leaf unplayable.
  5. Museum’s Second Floor – As part of the PWP feature, I like the idea of having custom displays. Even if we need new exhibits to donate to, making our own exhibits is the first step to success. In my first and third towns, I tried making theme showcases as my second town was on holidays. And, you can get your silver shovels from Celeste.
  6. Achievement System – Games these days are being overflown with achievements to unlock, and Animal Crossing is not exempt from it. I enjoy playing games with achievements like that. For example, in some of the PS3 exclusives, you earn trophies after passing one point or doing something. Little Big Planet has pins after completing some quest or achievement, like getting a pin for being Mm Picked when your level becomes a developer favorite. New Leaf has badges, where there are 24 fields of badges. Each time when you get a bronze badge, you unlock a new badge for the area, as the gold badge represents completion in that area. What’s even better is that the golden badges are colored, but the Gardening Specialist badge has an illusion where the badge has no color since yellow is the background.
  7. Dream Suite – Ever since towns got even more diverse, the feature where you can visit others’ towns through dreaming was added. I can appreciate the work done by other people in other towns now. Some dream towns don’t look so good, but others like my town are fantastic.
  8. Furniture Modification – the same store that you can sell items to now also has a section where you can modify furniture to look like something new. Some items look better as original, but others are fun to redecorate for more art. The colored chairs and lamps in the birthday room and the multi-colored sci-fi lamps in my mayor’s house makes my interior design look better.
  9. Where do I want to live? – Back in the GameCube Version, all humans have to live in the same acre in every town. That was so limited to me. In Wild World, we can have only one house. In City Folk, all four humans have their own houses in different areas, but the game decides where they go. In New Leaf, you get to choose where you want to live, like how you choose where PWPs go.
  10. Island Tours – To me, this is more of a combination of two lost features from the GameCube Version. One of them was the island you can only access with a GameBoy Advanced system. The other was the NES Games, which are mini-games. In New Leaf, combining both features made one super feature. You can even earn medals to buy island-exclusive items.

What New Leaf did Wrong:

Jenny 01

Of course, no game is perfect, even Animal Crossing: New Leaf. After playing for over one year, I decided that it wasn’t as good as it was when I first got it. First of all, duping has ruined the game. Even if unorderable items have always been an issue, this is not an excuse to dupe. Not only it has a possibility of losing items or data corruption, but it’s destroying the game’s virtual economy. Also, sea basses are just as annoying as they usually are, and their huge sizes that confuse us with the coelacanth made it much worse. Inspired by the sea bass comics I saw on Tumblr, I wanted to see a comic where a sea bass tells a coelacanth that he duped crowns for all the sea basses to get to the one destination they all want to go to, the Re-Tail. The Coelacanth got mad and said “humans don’t want to accept cheaters.” Although no comic exists, I would like to see it. But there are ten things that were problematic to both Animal Crossing: New Leaf and previous games. Duping wasn’t intended to be in the game, as sea basses are always my favorite annoying characters in the game, so they didn’t make it to my list.

Here are the ten liabilities of ACNL:

  1. Club Tortimer – This is arguably the worst part about Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It’s not that it’s so useless, but I heard many horrible stories about child trolls that grief other players (even some 9-year olds would get bullied by 13-year olds on Club Tortimer), but most of the griefers are kids, bullying players over the age of 18. Some stories include where kids would beg for the money made by other players. They call them names, hit with tools, scare fish and insects, or worse, trap them on the island using the island tours. The woman at the desk says that “the waters are choppy”, which means the victim can’t escape. The troll won’t let them leave until they give them what they want from them. I mean seriously, we worked hard on getting all the money (even if some were lazy and duped crowns for it), and they’re begging for it when they didn’t work for it at all. If you want the money or rare items, you have to do it yourself, or organize a trade through an AC forum. Other stories include gender bias, inappropriate talk, and other stuff like that. I did go to Club Tortimer once, but I never had any online conflict. But I feel bad for those who did. Next game, I think they need to remove Club Tortimer completely or make it possible where you can escape the island even when a tour is set. I heard that MiiVerse is bad too, but I don’t go there.
  2. Who moved in front of my house? – While community related problems are always going to be problems, the worst of the game that isn’t related to community issues is the animal moving mechanic. Ever since the removal of the sign posts, animals are free to move wherever they want. This is a problem, especially to those who want really nice towns. The animal moving mechanic includes killing hybrid flowers and perfect fruit trees, disrupting paths and PWP plans, and worse, obstructing or obscuring other landmarks, especially moving in front of the mayor’s house. I had problems with this one too. I seen many complaint threads, on GameFAQs and Bell Tree, about this. In my Idea Book, I have a solution to this problem listed as one of my ideas. Some people plot reset or place PWPs to prevent animals from moving in the wrong spots. The worst case in StarFall was when Prince moved in front of my campsite, crushing trees and paths. I picked him up from another town, unexpectedly, and he plotted his house as soon as I returned to my town.
  3. Group Mechanic – along with the animal moving mechanic that bugged me about ACNL was this algorithm that makes some items sold very frequently as others are almost never sold. It may work well in the GameCube Version and Wild World, but not when there are more items to be sold. I think this algorithm needs to be removed in the next game. I don’t care if it was to encourage trading. I wouldn’t need to join an online AC community if it wasn’t for that, but some items I was looking for were never sold. I tried time traveling back and forth on my towns before StarFall, and they never had the items I wanted. It’s become a liability.
  4. Luck System – I hate the luck system in ACNL. I know Nintendo intends us to do one thing, but judging by the mechanic, it’s basically punishing people for not wearing what they want them to wear. On the good luck days, to unlock your fortune, you have to wear the lucky item. On the bad luck days, you will face bad luck unless if you wear your lucky item. I think it’s unfair to do that. You are promised big riches coming out of the rocks, but you won’t get it unless if you wear the right item. On your bad luck days, you would get only half as much as a money rock would emit if you don’t wear the right item, or you could trip unless if you have the lucky item. I think this is bad for the game, especially if someone is carrying a balloon. The balloons are rare streetpass items that can’t be ordered from the catalog, and they can be lost if someone trips over, carrying one. I confirm, this is punishing you for not wearing what they want you to wear. Do you hate that you trip on random days?
  5. Farming for PWPs – what’s even more annoying than the sea bass is when you go looking for PWPs. The most effective way is to use the diving trick. Animals would randomly suggest PWPs, but the chances are higher if narrowed down. Even when I go as far as I can, they would rather ask useless questions rather than suggest the right PWP. This is getting very annoying, and I think there should be an easier way to get more PWPs in the next game.
  6. They’ll stay if you’re nice – in New Leaf, animals are more likely to move away if you max out their friendship status, as being violent to a villager makes them want to stay longer. This can be a problem if an animal that you hate moved in or if an animal that you like is more likely to leave because you were nice to them enough. Shouldn’t it be the other way around where if you’re nicer, they’ll stay, but if you’re meaner, they’ll want to move. Yeah, I actually suggested the solution in the title of this problem, but I think if you’re equally nice to every villager, everyone has the same chance of moving, as unequal treatment leads to one more likely to leave.
  7. Flowers – the issue here is that some scammers or vandals would want to steal or kill your hybrids you worked hard on in town. A solution here would be that you can enable or disable picking up flowers when the gates are open. In this case, vandals can’t mess with your flowers like what the problem is in New Leaf.
  8. Grass Decay – although this hasn’t bothered me too much in ACNL, I have sympathy for those who did have issues with grass deterioration. Just alleviating it a bit like in New Leaf won’t really solve the problem. Removing it completely would be better.
  9. Do I have to carry it all? – In City Folk, you had the shopping cards where you don’t have to carry so many Bells to buy something expensive. In New Leaf, this has been removed, making it possible to only buy one item at GracieGrace per trip. I think increasing wallet size or returning shopping cards would be the best choice.
  10. Beetle Sensitivity – the last problem on this list is more of a minor problem, probably not even as severe as the sea bass problem, but a problem in ACNL. Ever since sneaking up on a bug came back, rare beetles like the Hercules Beelte are easily scared, as even walking by, slowly, but four blocks nearby, would scare them off. This makes beetle farming harder.

That’s all of my ups and downs on ACNL. If you want to see more entries like this, check out Town of StarFall every Thursday.