Although it was not shown during the Nintendo press conference at E3 2011, a trailer for the upcoming Animal Crossing title was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. In all of its 3D glory, what we see here is typical Animal Crossing characters and environments that we have all seen before. The characters are walking through the village, entering homes, interacting with NPC’s, catching bugs, and so on. The trailer does not show much of anything that takes advantage of the 3DS hardware (outside of the 3D-ness, of course).
The trailer does show one detail that could be revolutionary to the series. A male character is shown walking by the shore and then jumps right into the water. This has never been a part of Animal Crossing games before. The only interaction with the water in previous games has been taking a boat to a small island and the ability to fish. That’s it. The trailer shows the character swim around and then looks as if he dives even deeper into the water. The sequence cuts off right there, so it’s hard to tell if there is even more to it than just skimming the surface.
Outside of that one new feature with the water, I saw nothing else that radically brings the Animal Crossing series forward, and it looks way too much like the Gamecube/DS/Wii versions of Animal Crossing to really warrant another go. There is just so much paying off rent and hording apples a person can withstand. I really hope Animal Crossing for 3DS takes full advantage of online and StreetPass functionality, because I was once a huge fan of the series. Maybe we’ll hear more details soon.