GBAtemp Recommends: Animal Crossing e+

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Animal Crossing hasn't always been the insanely popular record-smashing mega hit that it became with last year's release of New Horizons. In its more humble days, it existed as a last-second swan song for the Nintendo 64 called Dobutsu no Mori, exclusive to Japan. It would see a second release rather quickly, slapping a "+" onto the end of the name, porting it to the Nintendo GameCube, and adding a handful of new features. Luckily, Nintendo of America gave the game a chance in the west by bringing it over, giving it one of their most charming translations ever, and naming it Animal Crossing. The rest is history.

Actually, that history is rather rich. NOA's localization of Dobutsu no Mori+ wasn't just a simple translation; events, graphics, and jokes all had to be adapted for a western audience. American players likely wouldn't understand references and holidays from eastern culture, so extensive work had to be done, creating new characters for holidays like the Harvest Festival, making relevant-for-the-time pop culture jokes, and editing all sorts of tiny little details, all on top of translating a game that has a mind-boggling amount of text to begin with. When the time came for Animal Crossing's debut in the west, the original developers back at Nintendo of Japan saw how much work had been done and decided that it needed to be re-localized with all the brand new content, while adding even MORE new stuff on top! Which is how Japan ended up with three versions of Animal Crossing, all in a short span of time.

Sadly, that super-charged version of Animal Crossing--Dobutsu no Mori e+--never made its way back to players in the west. At the time, it wasn't that big of a deal; after all, Animal Crossing was still a new IP, and not many knew of the game's back-and-forth translation tango. Even after the internet got to know the fun story behind it all, years had passed and newer Animal Crossing games had released. Still, for the dedicated fans out there, a definitive version of the original Animal Crossing existed, packed full of all sorts of new content, never to be experienced--unless you happened to know Japanese.

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Now, what happens when you have a Japanese-only release, on an old platform that has a lot of documentation when it comes to hacking and dealing with the inner workings of its files? Well, it of course gets an official release on the Nintendo Switch! Just kidding, it is Nintendo after all! The real answer is that you get a dedicated fan-translation, courtesy of one of those super-fans. Cuyler is a programmer who has been spending years working on modding, editing, and translating all of that Dobutsu no Mori e+ goodness into English.

With all that context, now you can appreciate the meaning behind a project of this caliber.

And there is a lot to appreciate. More fish, more bugs, more residents, new features, new events, new locations. In fact, the Dobutsu no Mori e+ exclusive content, if released in this day and age, would warrant a Definitive Ultimate Edition slapped on the title, or at least a decently-priced DLC release. Now that there's an English fan translation patch, all of those things can finally be enjoyed.

This still is the original Animal Crossing, so the early-game is identical to what you've played before. Once you've adjusted to life in your little animal forest, well, that's when you begin to find all the cool things. Tom Nook's shop closing can really affect how you play the game at night. With minimal inventory and even less storage available to you, you might not want to bother playing at night once you've filled your pockets to the brim with fish, fruit, and fossils. But if you take your shovel and slam it against Nook's shop door enough times, he'll begrudgingly open up and let you buy and sell...at a reduced rate, too, that cheapskate! While the lowered selling prices might deter you, being able to clear your inventory out at night is an invaluable asset. Other quality of life options have been added, too, such as the island being usable even if you don't have a GBA to hook up, being able to pick up flowers, and coolest of all, the addition of buildable town projects--exisiting as a concept years before New Leaf would implement it once more!

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Not everything is translated just yet, sadly. There's still a lot of work left to be done in terms of random character conversations, as they'll switch between perfectly translated and large swaths of Japanese text at random. However, a lot of the unique e+ exclusive content is covered, which is great if you're just looking to solely have some fun with features absent from the regular versions.

Compared to newer games in the series, it might not seem like much; after all, why not play the newer one that has all this fancy stuff to begin with? For me, a big reason is nostalgia. Growing up with the original Animal Crossing cemented its place into my heart, and being able to have a fresh take on something so well-worn after years of playing it makes for a welcome experience. Not only that, but there's a rough-around-the-edges charm to the game. Villagers have so much to say, and a lot of it isn't quite that nice! Sassy ones will belittle your fashion choices, some may laugh at your misfortune of being stung by a bee--it's fun to see these little animal characters have some actual character, even if its at your expense. Having a villager get angry at you or take your hard-earned Bells from you in an RNG game gone wrong adds to the world--your specific world, and all the experiences that build it. You won't like some of the animals you come across (yeah that's right I'm talking about you, Blaire, you jerk squirrel), others will give you a piece of rare furniture and that'll be enough to win your friendship, and some will make you want to send letters full of furniture and clothes to them, so that you can see them walk around with that little musical note emotion played above their head. And that's a facet that newer the games don't focus on anymore: the relationships you form in your head with these cute characters.

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If you've grown tired of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, then I urge you to go back to where it all began, and enjoy the original Animal Crossing, in its best possible form.



I hope you enjoyed this edition of GBAtemp Recommends. If you'd like to see more, leave your feedback in the thread below or check out our previous articles.

 

eyeliner

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The game looks bad, sure. In today's screens at hi resolution. But at the time I enjoyed it immensely. And thought it was quite good looking. But it was the Euro version.

It was so hard going to other people's villages... It was a far simpler and innocent time.

The man behind this fan translation is amazing.
 
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Spider_Man

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I tried the new one, deleted it after 30mins, shit and boring game.

One thing that annoys me with nintendo is the cheapness and not paying for vocal actors and theres nothing worse than having to sit read endless shit and tapping the a button, its old and boring...... its nintendont!
 

HarvHouHacker

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I tried the new one, deleted it after 30mins, shit and boring game.

One thing that annoys me with nintendo is the cheapness and not paying for vocal actors and theres nothing worse than having to sit read endless shit and tapping the a button, its old and boring...... its nintendont!
You encourage Nintendo fans everywhere. :P
 

Spider_Man

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You encourage Nintendo fans everywhere. :P
well its not like its not true, problem with the fans is they cant handle negative views against their beloved recycle whore, cheap nasty inferior hardware company that only cares about recycling its same old shit and fancy gimmicks to "print" money, than actually keeping to its bs promise they crap out each gen, and actually release hardware capable of playing todays games NOW, not wait generations later for a full price port of a title you can buy for a few quid.

yea, i love it, thing is, nintendo used to be my number1, but since the n64 theyve just gone down the shitter.
 

Sonic Angel Knight

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Maybe I'm just dumb, but I fail to see the selling point of these games. Is it a simulator like sims? Or just like one of those games you pay every day cause of daily task unlike some MMO or Mobile game? :ninja:
 

Hells Malice

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I want a version of Animal Crossing run through a bunch of translators ending in English. I feel like that'd be a quality series for that.

well its not like its not true, problem with the fans is they cant handle negative views against their beloved recycle whore, cheap nasty inferior hardware company that only cares about recycling its same old shit and fancy gimmicks to "print" money, than actually keeping to its bs promise they crap out each gen, and actually release hardware capable of playing todays games NOW, not wait generations later for a full price port of a title you can buy for a few quid.

yea, i love it, thing is, nintendo used to be my number1, but since the n64 theyve just gone down the shitter.

We get it you're an old man that doesn't understand the Switch or why porting things to it is actually amazing because it makes them -portable-.
Herp fucking derp. Not like they stopped MAKING games they just do both now. What a concept!

Sorry i'll get off your lawn old man, i'm over here stop yelling at the sky.
 
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raxadian

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Almost forgot, no bunny day.

No special event will replace stuff you get for more than a day.

You start with a house with a HUGE basement instead of a tent.

Nes games!

Sure the graphics have not aged well and you can't change the face, hair and skin color of your character but that's just cosmetics.

Maybe I'm just dumb, but I fail to see the selling point of these games. Is it a simulator like sims? Or just like one of those games you pay every day cause of daily task unlike some MMO or Mobile game? :ninja:

Socialisation simulator, the goal if you wanna call it that is to get the biggest house ever and complete your inventory list, plus doing all holidays and social events at least once. Once you have done that, that should take at least a year or two without cheating, there is nothing else to do in the game save playing the Nes games (Gamecube versions only).
 
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Kwyjor

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Maybe I'm just dumb, but I fail to see the selling point of these games. Is it a simulator like sims? Or just like one of those games you pay every day cause of daily task unlike some MMO or Mobile game?
I thought this article had an interesting perspective:
On Animal Crossing: A Bleak Portrait of the Human Condition

I collected just about everything in the 3DS version; that was rather diverting for a while. It kind of lost its mystique after I ventured online and encountered one of the more toxic communities. Probably for the best. At least the included version of Puzzle League is nice; the board game (from Amiibo Festival) is cute, but depends a little too much on RNG.

I still play the mobile version for some reason, but it's really gotten quite mindless. Back when it was first released and they weren't quite sure what they were doing they would mix things up a little. I was hoping the big update a few months ago (which coincidentally made it stop working on a lot of Android hardware) would have some surprises, but it's still the same old thing – plant the flowers, do the fishing tournament, collect the gyroids, get some fortune cookies, and if you miss a day you can't get the big whatsit prize at the end of the month. I should focus more on Pokemon Go instead; at least that gets me outside.
 

Sonic Angel Knight

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I still play the mobile version for some reason, but it's really gotten quite mindless. Back when it was first released and they weren't quite sure what they were doing they would mix things up a little. I was hoping the big update a few months ago (which coincidentally made it stop working on a lot of Android hardware) would have some surprises, but it's still the same old thing – plant the flowers, do the fishing tournament, collect the gyroids, get some fortune cookies, and if you miss a day you can't get the big whatsit prize at the end of the month. I should focus more on Pokemon Go instead; at least that gets me outside.
Being on mobile sounds even more extreme to the idea of a game with a "Daily chores list quota" that I dislike about games in general. I never actually played one of these games, but the way it is constructed seems much like it. The fact it run on "Real time clock" system just adds to the idea. Playing the game cause you're given daily objectives sounds like a huge inconvenience. Even in MMO games where you just want to be able to pick up, play as long as you want, stop and continue whenever you very well please.

Maybe I don't know that much about it, but even watching people play just looks boring with nothing engaging or interesting to find appeal of. But maybe I'm just used to the fantastical worlds or fantasy settings or sci-fi theme of some other games that I'm being biased or not giving it a chance. But then again, how it's advertised doesn't really help to make me find it interesting either. Even a game like that Atelier Ryza advertised as a game where crafting things is the main focus, least has some RPG action combat to draw in those kinds of fans. :ninja:
 
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raxadian

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Maybe I don't know that much about it, but even watching people play just looks boring with nothing engaging or interesting to find appeal of.

The game, at least before the Mayor thing, was a socialisation simulation. You talk to people you do tasks, you earn money, pay your debt, get a bigger and bigger house, you fill the museum with fossils, bugs and stuff, you make friends and eventually those friends leave so you make new ones. There are holidays and special events but unlike the latest game (BUNNY DAY SUCKS!) thry don't steal two weeks and change of your life in a single event.

This is why people are so interested in an old game:

 
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Kwyjor

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I never actually played one of these games, but the way it is constructed seems much like it. The fact it run on "Real time clock" system just adds to the idea. Playing the game cause you're given daily objectives sounds like a huge inconvenience.
Eh, it's part of the "fun" – it gives things a sense of risk and immersion. Besides, in New Leaf, at least, you can set the clock to whatever you want every time you start the game, if you want; you don't even have to change the system clock. (Some of the animals will accuse you of being a time traveler, but there are no real consequences generally.)

The game, at least before the Mayor thing, was a socialisation simulation.
New Horizons is probably a different matter, but the "Mayor thing" in New Leaf was generally quite unobtrusive.
 

raxadian

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New Horizons is probably a different matter, but the "Mayor thing" in New Leaf was generally quite unobtrusive.

I just feel it was annoying. Not only they make you live on a tent, instead of a house, not omly you have to keep paying for upgrades, but be the mayor too?

Also it wasn't until the Switch game they finally removed the "grass gets ruinrf if you walk over it" thing..Only to add the nightmare know as bunny day that's actually like two weeks.

Edit: Plus no basement or Nes games.
 

Kwyjor

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I just feel it was annoying. Not only they make you live on a tent, instead of a house, not omly you have to keep paying for upgrades, but be the mayor too?
New Leaf and the mobile version are the only games I have direct experience with, so maybe I'm missing more than I know, but I just don't see how you can find that annoying. I guess accumulating bells to pay off new projects can be bothersome, but you can pretty much ignore that aspect entirely, unless the occasional snippet of villager dialog is too much pressure?
 

raxadian

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New Leaf and the mobile version are the only games I have direct experience with, so maybe I'm missing more than I know, but I just don't see how you can find that annoying. I guess accumulating bells to pay off new projects can be bothersome, but you can pretty much ignore that aspect entirely, unless the occasional snippet of villager dialog is too much pressure?

On the Gamecube game you start with a bigger house that later games and you also have a basement that has a lot of space.

On the DS game you have no basement and start with a smaller house.

Later games have you start on a tent.
 

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I always hated that hat with the horns on it.

And you can tell the GameCube's Animal Crossing game was a N64 port just based on the 26MB file size after trimming the ISO.

So small it was the first GameCube game to ever be pirated also, I'm pretty sure the Animal Crossing Loader by Eurasia near enough loaded the entire game in to ram via the broadband adaptor.

Certainly set an interesting precedent that it was possible to stream GameCube games over the network.
 

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So small it was the first GameCube game to ever be pirated also, I'm pretty sure the Animal Crossing Loader by Eurasia near enough loaded the entire game in to ram via the broadband adaptor.

Certainly set an interesting precedent that it was possible to stream GameCube games over the network.
That's interesting, I never knew that. Cool stuff!
 

raxadian

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Fun fact, the game used to be even smaller but it was delayed by a month to add the GBA stuff. And then it became a few mbs bigger when it was localized to America and even more stuff was added. And then this version with even more stuff was released in Japan.

This last version was originally going to be localized as Animal Crossing 2 on the Gamecube but the failture of the E-Card reader outside Japan axed the idea somehow. Plus the game was deemed too similar and they also didn't want to make the effort to make this game compatible with the previous one.

Remember how people complained the Wii game was basically the DS game with extra stuff? Well this would have been worse.
 
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Naxil81

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Hi, I knew the first animal crossing had come out on n64 only jap.. Then on gamecube.. But this version + what would it be? Is it in the form of a n64 dump? How to play it on swiss/ds mios/Nintendont?
 
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