I'm going to talk about a couple of games I've been playing for a while now. First up is Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City.
I should start this by saying it's cheating a bit, writing about this. I played Animal Crossing a little bit on the Gamecube, and this is more or less the same game. There's a slight graphical update, and a city to visit... but that's not worth getting too excited about, it's more like a town square than a city.
So what's the point of Animal Crossing? You move into a little town that's inhabited by odd-sounding animal things, and try to get along as best as you can. The town's animal-thing residents are a bit moody if you don't do what you want, so you have a bit of a balancing act to perform. There's also a shopkeeper, who is also an animal-thing, and he has a bit of a racket going. A monopoly, in fact... and he has you in his pocket right from the start of the game, because if you want a house, you have to answer to him.
So you spend your whole game in debt to this shyster, trying to find ways to pay off your mortgage. There are a few ways to do this, but the best one is to go fishing. There are tons of different fish worth varying amounts. This is where the game gets its hooks into you... much like real life, it drip-feeds them to you month by month, so you feel compelled to keep playing in much the same way people keep playing Pokemon... to collect them all.
Some fish are rare than others and therefore worth more money (in an interesting twist, you sell the fish to the only shop in town... the one owned by the shyster with his hooks in you), and some are harder to catch than others. And if you're feeling generous, you can donate a specimen to the museum.
This is another big part of the game... the museum is there to record examples of everything in your town, so you should really trek there the first time you catch a fish or find something new. And there are also dinosaur fossils to dig up, which of course belong in the museum. Find a duplicate fossil and you're quids in, though...
There are a fair few things to do in Animal Crossing, but none of them is particularly exciting. And yet, despite the fact it's far too familiar to anyone that's played an earlier version, it's still very compulsive once you get into it, even moreso if you're playing with family members who live in the same town. If you don't get it, though... it can be really dull. I quite enjoy pottering around in our town for half an hour a night, it's quite relaxing. It's not really one for adrenaline junkies, though.