Let's get this out of the way first so that there's no confusion. If you owned the GameCube version of Animal Crossing then this Wii sequel is more of an update than a proper, brand new game. Your enjoyment of it will depend on whether you don't mind going through many of the same tasks again, and how much you'll make use of the game's Wi-Fi features. As a result, the majority of this review is mainly for the benefit of those who didn't have Animal Crossing on the GameCube, since for them Let's Go To The City will feel like a much newer experience.
In case you're not familiar with the Animal Crossing series and have played neither the GameCube game nor its DS sequel, allow us to fill you in. Animal Crossing is a life simulation game in which you take control of a character who's recently moved to a new town. After finding a house and meeting the neighbours, you pretty much have free reign to do whatever you want in the village: go fishing, design clothes, buy and sell goods... there's a wide variety of options available to you.
Stop, Nook, Listen
At the start of the game, after choosing a house, you're given employment at Nook's Cranny, a shop run by the local raccoon shopkeeper Tom Nook. As in previous versions of the game, you're given a few tasks to do in exchange for some money that goes towards your mortgage (which must be paid off before you can make your house bigger). However, these tasks are virtually identical to those in the other versions of the game: plant some flowers outside the shop, deliver a carpet, write an ad on the town's noticeboard and so on. At this point you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was simply the GameCube game with pointer controls tacked on.
Thankfully, as the game progresses it becomes clear that it actually has a lot more going for it. Although it always feels like little more than an enhanced version of its older brothers, these enhancements do improve the experience. Whether it's subtle improvements (like being able to swap between tools by simply pressing left and right on the D-Pad instead of having to go into a menu and equip them) or more obvious ones (such as the online features and the new city area), everything that's been added to the game will make you think "ah, nice one".
Naturally, the main addition to Let's Go To The City is the new city area, which can be accessed by going to the bus stop at your town's front gate. It's not really a city as such, just a small plaza area with nine different services available to you. That said, it's a cheery little place which makes a pleasant change from the typical Animal Crossing surroundings. It's also a great way to meet other characters in the game, because anyone who doesn't live in your town can be found walking around the city or inside its shops at random moments.
Bright Lights, Big City
While it's a bit limited, the city does include some interesting shops that become more useful as you play the game more and start racking up the big bucks. Shops like Gracie Grace and the auction house aren't very useful at the start of the game, but once you've got a lot of bells in your account you'll be able to start buying expensive furniture and bidding on rare items. It's a nice way of adding to the game's longevity while also giving you another goal to aim for (one day we'll buy that Sweets Table in Gracie Grace, even if it is 120,000 bells).
The city also allows you to get a haircut whenever you feel like it (or exchange your Animal Crossing face for a Mii one), get your shoes shined, learn new emotions (handy for online chats), get your fortune told and visit the Happy Room Academy to see how to improve your house's décor.