Animal Crossing: City Folk is the new Wii version of the hit game Animal Crossing. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the US-original Gamecube (GCN) version of Animal Crossing, and in fact, I just checked in on my town a couple of months ago. (Sadly, one of my original residents decided to move out, after several years of residence. I was surprised to say the least!)
The new City Folk appears to be a refinement of the series. It looks like a smoother version of Animal Crossing (GCN) modified with some features from Wild World (the DS iteration). Notably, terrain is on a curved surface instead of being flat, Copper runs the gate to the outside world tucked into a northern cave, the sky has constellations and I believe accessories are available.
The namesake of City Folk is the new city, a tacked-on area outside of the main town, representing the "big city" where the player can go to search for his hopes, her dreams, new places to shop… er, well, take in a comedy show or a salon visit. And shop.
Original characters reprise their roles, often in conjunction with the city. Kappa the sea captain drives the bus to the city, while soft background music gives tribute to his former sea shanties. Gracie the fashionista giraffe has a shop. I've seen a couple other familiar faces but don't want to spoil it for veterans.
So there are new scenery, house locations and other little things that are changed or refined from what I recall. But largely this is the same game, with an add-on area and characters who live in that area instead of visiting periodically. Frankly, it's a bit disapointing. The game starts out just like the original, inlcuding ascertaining the player's gender based on if the name is "cool" or "cute." I got to pick out a home and do some work for Tom Nook. Everything is just like I remember. I kept thinking, "I'd just as soon visit my old town with its familiar residents and layout."
I think the new game is well-implemented, and I like little touches like being able to fish with a tug of the Wiimote. I would have liked some extra evolution, to make City Folk feel a little different, and recapture some of that magic. My visit to Animal Crossing: City Folk isn't a bad experience so far, just one that isn't as refreshing as I'd have hoped.