Preview: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)

Tom Nook, it's so hard to believe that we first met you nearly ten years ago. Back in the Gamecube days, for the first time, we wandered into your humble little shop and browsed your rickety old wooden furniture. However, what's even harder to believe is that we're about to do all that again in Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was announced alongside the Nintendo 3DS back at E3 2010. Yes, that was an awful long time ago. Three years later, Nintendo are finally releasing the final product to the extremely hyped market. The wait may be nearly over, but it has reminded us why we fell in love with Animal Crossing in the first place.

The last time we visited the series was back in 2008, that was a good while back, so you'd expect Animal Crossing to have advanced majorly since then and we can assure you, it most certainly has. The graphics appear to have had a major reboot, and a tonne of new gameplay elements appear to have been added.

Firstly, Animal Crossing: New Leaf lets you be the mayor of your own town. That's right, you can finally tell Tortimer to pack his bags and you can do the job you have been longing to do. We don't know exactly how the new mayor system will work, but we know it will allow players to make major decisions about the town and it's residents. It also appears that it will be your job to keep your town's citizens happy. Think Sim City, just more Nintendo.

Another extremely notable change is the graphics, they now look alot more snazzy and more fresh. Colours are alot more vibrant and the town's landscape is much more detailed.

We were also extremely impressed by the new body proportionality of characters. Your character is now alot more true to human form. Characters are alot taller and that goes for villagers too. There's also a load more customization options for your character, the most prominent of those being the ability to wear trousers on your character.

Tom Nook's retail empire is set to be run by Tommy and Timmy, whom we saw back in Let's go to the City. Whilst Nook himself is found managing the Racoon Housing, who will most likely get you started with your initial humble little house.

There's also been word quite recently of a new Shopping Mall that will be accessible behind the rail tracks. In here, we're quite likely to see the new Shoe Shop and Thrift Shop. Plus, a Gardening Store run by a quirky sloth will be present in the town. Familiar establishments like the Museum and Able Sisters will remain present.

There isn't much information about Multiplayer as of yet. But it's likely to be similar to Multiplayer functionality offered by the DS and Wii versions of the game. Which will hopefully feature some form of online mode that allows interaction between towns.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Jump Out) is already available in Japan, plus it was recently announced to be launching in Europe and North America this June. We absolutely love the Animal Crossing series and this one looks to be the best iteration yet. We're litterally counting down the days until we can get our eager little hands on it. Look out for our full review at release...

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