In 2002, Nintendo launched their social simulator, Animal Crossing, on the Gamecube in order to rival EA's popular Sims series. It was a fun little sim, but connecting with friends was a disaster because you had to trade memory cards and it just ended up being more frustrating than fun. Nintendo addressed these issues and more in their DS sequel, Animal Crossing: Wild World.
Wild World starts out in a taxi, and you already know it's not of the norm. You're apparently the only human around in a world populated by animals. Your taxi driver, Kapp'n, is a talking parrot who asks you questions in order to determine where you live and what you look like. Once the ride is over, you arrive in town. One problem, you're dirt broke. And your house is patheticly small. In order to make your house more homely, you'll have to pay off the mortage, which adds up to an astounding ammount of bells (the game's currency). Don't worry, the goverment gives you all the time you need to pay it off. Even better, the town's shopkeeper, Tom Nook (a raccoon), will pay off a little bit of debt, but you must run a couple of chores for him. These odd jobs act like the tutorials; you learn how to socialize, deliver gifts, write messages, etc. After that's over, the whole rest of the game's up to you. Do you wanna gain brownie points with your neighbors and give them rare items? Or do you want to horde every fruit (selling fruit gets you bells) and item? It's all yours. This game is very relaxed; you can do various calming activities like catching butterflies (which gives you money) or talk the latest gossip with you animal neighbors (even though the conversations are a bit one-sided). When you've gained enough bells, pay off your debt, go to the bank and figure out you have a second, even larger debt!!! This may infuriate you at first, but while you're gaining the money, you'll see how addictive the game is; special visitors appear to give you rare items you can sell for big cash, Tom Nook's shop expands based on how much you spend, you can try on some of the awesome fashions (cooler than it sounds) at Able Sister's, dig up fossils for the museum or for your own profit, do errands for your neighbors to gain money, and much more. Even though the town is relatively small, there's so much to do you'll never notice it. And your town's alive and thriving; neighbors with their own personalities come and go, though if you like certain neighbors, you can act kind to them to make them stay (though some villagers will hate you no matter what). The feel of accomplishment after paying off all your debt is so satisfyinig, it'll be definitelly worth the effort. If you have friends, you can visit their towns or vice versa, enhancing the fun.
Your life in the town won't be perfect, though. This game requires a LOT of time to play with; if you don't play for awhile neighbors will start to hate you and your town will be overrun by nasty weeds that take a long time to uproot. Also, some of the prices on things are so propostorously high you'll have to be flowing with blood in order to afford it.
Gameplay: Highly addictive. Takes a lot of your time, but well worth it. 9.0
Graphics: Standard 3-D quality graphics for the DS. Pretty good. 8.0
Audio: A little weak, but you'll start to hum it uncontrollably for a while. But K.K. Slider's songs are brilliant. 8.5
Overall: If you love sims you'll love this game. Once you start it they'res no going back.
8.75 out of 10