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Video Game Analysis - Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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Mary Bronson

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of Video Game Analysis - Animal Crossing: New Leaf

New Leaf sold over 600,000 copies in its first week in Japan.
As of 31 March 2013 the game has sold 3.86 million copies in Korea and Japan
It has been given an overwhelming amount of positive reviews. It has been given praise for its depth and 3D features.
Video Game Analysis - Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Juul's classification of a classic game:
1. Rules
• Games are rule-based.
2. Variable, quantifiable outcome
• Games have variable, quantifiable outcomes.
3. Valorization of outcome
• The different potential outcomes of the game are assigned different values, some positive and some negative
4. Player effort
• The player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome (games are challenging).
5. Player attached to outcome
• The player is emotionally attached to the outcome of the game in the sense that a player will be winner and “happy” in case of a positive outcome, but a loser and “unhappy” in case of a negative
6. Negotiable consequences
• The same game [set of rules] can be played with or without real-life consequences
My Analysis/ What make it fun
New leaf is a "Life-simulation" game for the Nintendo 3DS
Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released in North America in June 2013 and is Nintendo's fourth game in the Animal Corssing series
It was produced by Katsuya Eguchi and directed by Isao Moro and Aya Kyogoku

The game starts off as you exit off a train into a new town, instantly becoming the mayor by a slight mistake.
You travel around this small town, earning money by catching bugs and fish, digging up fossils, and picking fruit. You use your money to pay off your house's loan. You also meet and help out the cutesy townfolk and can customize your town by starting town projects or carrying out ordinances
The game takes place in real time, so it is always changing. There are even events such as a fish tournament, fireworks, and holidays.
The Game
What makes a game, a game?
What makes Animal Crossing: New Leaf a game?
Since this game is a simulation, it's rules are well defined because they mimic real life limitations. For example, time passes in real time, you can't go through walls, fly, or obtain money without some sort of trial
There are also some rules that are not like the ones in real life, like a limited inventory, no sleeping, no stealing, no damaging the environment, etc
The rules are unambiguous. Because they mimic real life rules, players will not be confused.
Variable, quantifiable outcomes
Since this game does not have an end-state and is rather open-ended, it does not have a defined outcome.
New leaf has a large number of goals that the player can choose from. For example, you could try to turn your house into a mansion, to turn your town into a city, or to complete your town's museum with all the bugs, fish, fossils, and paintings in the game.
Valorization of Outcome
This game does not have a valorization of outcome - the outcomes are all the player's choice and none are better or worse than the other.
In a way, the player themselves give a value to each outcome depending on what goal they choose. If a player's goal is to grow every tree possible, they will not care to catch a rare fish or buy a new outfit.
Player effort
This game is full of player effort. Every action the player makes in this game affects it completely. New leaf is like a blank slate. The player chooses what they want to make out of it.
This game also has many challenges in it. Achieving a goal can be extremely hard. For example, some house loans can cost 298,000 bells, and you only get 300 bells for each fruit you sell! But all the hard work does pay off.
Player attached to outcome
Even if this game lacks a defined outcome, attachment is a huge factor in this game.
You are your character, and the character is you. You name them, you dress them, you make every decision for them. In this way, real emotion can be felt when a goal is achieved or something bad happens.
Negotiable Consequences
This game lacks consequences. The the most consequential thing that could happen is if you don't play for more than a few days, your town will be ridden with weeds and your room will house cockroaches. Or if you miss a meeting with a townfolk, they may not like you as much.
Because this game does not have consequences, it is not as exciting as most games. But it does make it a more relaxing game.
By taking place in real time, New Leaf creates a new layer to the game play
Because there are different seasons and different holidays on real dates, even spending hours per day for one month will only reveal a small slice of this game.
In this way, New leaf is meant to be played leisurely, changing over time. It is definitely not meant for someone who grinds quickly for a big payload. This appeals to a large amount of consumers, widening the target audience.
Art/ 3D aspect
The art on Animal crossing has always been widely loved and adored for its quirky-cuteness, but New Leaf takes it to the next level
It is the first Animal crossing to be in 3D. The figures are now much more detailed and realistic, but still stick to their lovable style.
I personally love the art in this game and believe it makes it very attractive, especially for a handheld game.
Nintendo really grabbed the bull by the horns with the connectivity of the 3DS. This is yet another new aspect that reanimates this series.
New Leaf's multiplayer lets you travel to your friends towns, play with them, and even visit strangers via streetpass.
Even though the multiplayer was better than expected, I felt like they could have done more with it, for example, add trading or more town events during multiplayer. All in all it was very fun.
At first glance, this game looks simple, but New leaf is actually very complex and full of surprises.
There are many complex features to animal crossing, such as the townsfolk's personalities, the amount of bugs, fish, and furniture, and special events.
The mayor aspect really lets the player shape their town, and adds interest to it.
New Leaf has definitely added something to the animal crossing series; something that it really needed. All the events that take place in the town really add to its structure and playability (and re-playability)
Even though this game is so immense, the player never gets confused or overwhelmed because of the simple controls and familiarity. New Leaf has the perfect balance.
A game like animal crossing couldn't last very long: its simulation and repetitiveness is one of its harder downsides, but new leaf seems to beat the odds, which I think makes it a very good game.
This game is hardly a game by Juul's standards: No end state, no valorization or quantifiable outcomes, and hardly any consequences. It seems closer to play than a video game. But it is extremely fun none the less.
This is because of its non-noticeable depth and all of its new features; this animal crossing feels fresh and modern.
This game has something oddly compelling as a whole, and kept me more engaged than any other 3DS game I have played so far.
It's perfect for some laid-back casual gaming to get relaxed.With a high review score and high popularity, this game is a must-have for any 3DS owner. Good job Nintendo.
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