With a laid back charm that can’t be matched, today brought a special Animal Crossing Direct all about the upcoming update to New Leaf. And by upcoming, we mean available now! Our host Harvey (or Harv for short. Or Haaaaaaaaaarv for long…) wasted no time in letting viewers know they could update their copies of Animal Crossing: New Leaf right away. So go ahead and start up the download via the eShop before reading further if you haven’t already, because there’s quite a bit of great info to cover!

Compatibility

The main focus was the host of amiibo features now found in the game. New Leaf is now officially compatible with every existing Animal Crossing amiibo card, at least 50 upcoming cards, and a few other amiibo from outside of the Animal Crossing series. There’s so much to be excited about with those alone that we’ve got a whole separate article dedicated to those features, but the standout is the ability to have villagers visit an entirely new area: Harvey’s Campground. Likewise, existing cards can be used to attempt to sway the villagers on them to move to your town as full-time residents! There are also special visitors tied to existing amiibo that will bring characters themed to other Nintendo series to your town and along with them special themed items. Fans of Splatoon in particular have a great new use for those Callie and Marie amiibo.

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MEOW Coupons

These visiting villagers also bring new, exclusive items along with them and they can be ordered with a new currency: MEOW Coupons. That stands for Mutual Exchange of Wealth, mind you, and they can be earned with new daily and weekly initiatives. These aren’t too demanding, but are small rewards for playing Animal Crossing as you would before, perhaps giving players a nudge if they don’t have a particular goal in mind for a session. They could be as simple as planting a certain tree or might be gifts from villagers paying a visit to your home, among others. Once acquired, these can be traded for the aforementioned new items at Harvey’s Campground and while visiting RV-dwelling villagers.

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Minigames

A couple of these items in particular bring minigames to New Leaf, harkening just a bit back to the GameCube title’s use of NES games. By acquiring the new Wii U in-game item, you can play Desert Island Escape, a fun survival game starring three villagers as they attempt to make their way off of an isolated island. Those who played Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival may recognize the game, and true to the source, by tapping various amiibo figures or cards, you choose which three villagers will take on this adventure. There’s also a pair of New 3DS items, both of which will allow you to play Animal Crossing Puzzle League. Dating back to the Super Nintendo, Puzzle League games are one of my personal favorites and adding a coat of Animal Crossing paint makes the fast paced panel-matching puzzle game all the more enjoyable.

New method for decorating

For those who loved the decorating tools from Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, you’re in luck, as this update adds touch-screen based decorating to New Leaf. By linking data from Happy Home Designer to New Leaf, you also gain access to 20 giant home items, bringing some new avenues to creativity to an already massive game. Lottie will also be a fixture of Nook’s Homes in New Leaf as well, bringing her peppy personality to the game.

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Start your game over

Anyone worried about jumping back into New Leaf after a long absence can have a bit of peace of mind. Nintendo thought ahead and included an option to start over fresh with a new town while also receiving a sizable deposit of bells based on the condition of your existing town. With the amount of options available and the passage of time, it could be just the thing for players that want this to be a wholly new experience – without needing to worry about expenses. Still, your villagers, items, and existing layout will be completely gone after making that decision, so think it over carefully.

New camera feature

Finally, an AR camera feature will be added to the game as well, allowing players to take pictures of the game’s characters in the real world. Up to ten villagers and four player characters can be posed and moved to make some perfect Animal Crossing moments in your everyday life, a very fitting means for this wonderful series.

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That’s a wrap!

This was both a fun and informative Direct, and while watching Animal Crossing series Producer Hisashi Nogami done up as Harvey having a great time in a real camp site was entertaining enough, we got a great and sentimental ending to the occasion. Kazumi Totaka made a surprise appearance to play K.K. Bossa on guitar. The man behind so much wonderful Nintendo music, including (but not limited to) Animal Crossing’s score, showed why he’s the real life K.K. Slider as the names of the 50 RV based villagers scrolled by in the credits you always see whenever you listen in on one of K.K.’s acoustic sets in-game. These returning villagers are a great, sentimental touch for longtime fans and will hopefully entertain all the new mayors who joined the series with New Leaf.

Hopefully that download’s almost finished, because it’s time to say “so long” to just New Leaf and take our first steps into Animal Crossing New Leaf: Welcome amiibo!


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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

Ricky Berg

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  1. artistic doodle

    Out of all the updates… I’m so stoked about Desert Island Escape. Loved it with amiibo Festival and I hope it continues to make more appearances in the future.

    Plus, here’s to the next few months of AC sales. Hopefully this will be considered a success so that Nintendo can make more updates like this for other games in the future. 🙂

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