I was all ready today to write about the update for Animal Crossing New Leaf that was scheduled to be released this time next month, but that’s not the case anymore. I don’t need to talk about what will be coming out because it’s already out there.
The update has landed.
It was announced in a mini Nintendo direct that aired at 2pm UK time today that the update is now live on the eshop, or alternatively available to preorder if you don’t already own the original New Leaf game. Titled ‘Welcome Amiibo’, the game now has support for Nintendo’s own brand of figurines that have become popular for Wii U titles like ‘Super Smash Bros.’ and ‘Mario Kart’. These combine with the Amiibo cards that were first released in time with the 3DS spin-off Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer to allow players to invite animals of their choice to the town.
Depending on the type of Amiibo card the player owns (new ones are now available), the characters can be invited to the RV campground that has been added to the town which allows for people to interact with them and potentially invite them to become villagers. This is the first time that Animal Crossing has given a player a choice over who can live in their town, which is both a great and terrible thing. On the one hand, if you have a card of one of your favourite characters and fate hasn’t yet brought them to your New Leaf town then you can finally get them to move in. However, in taking away one of the big random chances in the game, is the game not giving you too much control and ultimately making it too predictable and quicker to get bored of?
Hard to say. As with anything I suppose it’s down to how you want to enjoy your gaming experience, and even if you have the means of moving in everyone that you want it doesn’t mean that’s what you’re going to do.
Alongside the Amiibo inclusion there are a whole host of other new features too.
The one that particularly caught my interest was the new task system that gives another layer of purpose to what you already do around town. Simple tasks like weeding or fishing can earn you MEOW coupons, a new currency that can be used in the RV campground. These coupons allow you to buy exclusive items that might take your fancy when you visit the travelling characters. For a game that can quite quickly become a routine (turning on every day just to check the shops, dig up fossils, etc.), it’s a good way of giving you more to do without necessarily making you do stuff that you don’t already.
Other new features include the opportunity to play games on Wii U and 3DS systems that can be found in New Leaf, an element that was previously seen in the original Animal Crossing release. For those who bought Amiibo Festival on the Wii U, the update allows you to play the desert island minigame that was available in the plaza, as well as a new tile-matching minigame entitled Animal Crossing Puzzle League.
This isn’t the only crossover between New Leaf and the franchise’s recent spin-offs as the drag-and-drop function from Happy Home Designer is now available to use in your own home. This comes alongside an invisible closet that you can store additional items in for everyone out there who struggled with the amount of space that the game’s wardrobes and closets originally provided.
Whilst many people won’t have played New Leaf in a long time, the update is sure to entice people back to their 3DS’ to see what the fuss is all about. Plus, for those who are potentially interested in starting afresh after so long away from the game, there is now the option to sell your existing town and take the money from that into your new one.
Many may have questioned Nintendo’s decision to update a four-year old game, but they’ve provided a lot more than was initially expected. Whilst some people might moan that it’s about time a new game were released, I believe that the New Leaf update provides enough new content to tide fans over whilst they finish development on a brand new release for the Nintendo Switch. I mean, a new game is surely set to come out for their upcoming system at some point, although how soon in the future that will be is anyone’s guess. My assumption is that they still need more time to create the game that they want it to be (which will surely be incredible if this update is anything to go by), and that the new content that’s been made available for New Leaf is just to keep interest in the series sustained. After all, the spin-offs didn’t provide players with the fill of Animal Crossing that they were hoping for.
Having started a new town back in June my excitement for new content has been building over the last couple of weeks, and I’m glad to see that there is more available than I would initially have believed. I’m also glad that the new Amiibo I purchased over the summer will now have more of a use than for just Amiibo festival.
I’m now off to have my first play of this new update so I shall catch you all again tomorrow.
The Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Welcome Amiibo update is now available for free from the Nintendo eshop. A full repackaged version of the game will be released on November 25th.