Animal Crossing everywhere!

By now pretty much everybody who uses the internet already knows that Animal Crossing: New Horizons released and it is a very popular game.

Myself I didn’t buy it immediately. In fact, I tried to resist the temptation. Not because I thought it would be a bad game in any way, it is just that I played Animal Crossing: New Leaf before and didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped. So I was a bit wary that if I bought New Horizons it would be a repeat of that.

Still with so many people happily sharing their screenshots and experiences with the game the temptation was still there. So I did what I do in these occasions and decided to play New Leaf to see how I felt about the game’s core loop nowadays.

My first surprise is that my character was still wearing the Santa outfit. The second one is that apparently the last time I played seems to have been in 2016! Also, to the surprise of no one the animal residents barely contributed to the cafe project I started all those years ago.

This time though I tried to change my attitude towards the game. Instead of being frustrated because the game loop felt repetitive, I decided I was just going to play a bit every day, try to make some money and fund the café project. Any leftover money I just deposit in my savings account to eventually pay off a loan to Tom Nook.

This kind of attitude has been working very well and I find myself enjoying New Leaf again. With that said it is to the surprise of no one that it didn’t take me long to cave in and buy New Horizons.

I was just as excited in real life!

I won’t go into a review/first impression of the game as I believe those who are interested either already bought the game already or they can easily find plenty of good reviews out there. I will say this though: it feels to me like this is a “Best of” of all the Animal Crossing games so far, including spin-offs. Of course, it also has a bunch of new stuff too.

One of my favorite new features is that fruits auto-stack now. Having to manually stack them in New Leaf is one of my biggest annoyances. Seashells can be stacked now too which is also nice!

Another one I liked but wasn’t sure how I would feel about it are the Nook Miles. They are a good mixture of Dailies and Achievements rolled into one. And since they are always stuff we would be doing anyway that makes them not feel like a chore.

It also can give some structure to the gameplay. Feeling lost and without an idea of what to do? Just check the Nook Phone and see what you can do to earn some Nook Miles! It also helps that those miles can be traded for some very tangible rewards so there is always an incentive to do them.

The Nook Miles really aren’t as bad as they look at first.

I also like the crafting system, something that others don’t seem to enjoy as much. Then again I am the kind who tends to like the option of crafting in games, as long as it is meaningful. And it definitely feels meaningful for me in New Horizons as it takes the burden of needing Bells for everything or not having a particular furniture you want at a particular time.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is one of those games that I could ramble on for days about all the things I like about it or the things I accomplished while playing. Which I might actually do in the future. We’ll see.

Just to be fair I also have a few nitpicks. The first is I don’t understand why I have to close my airport first just to send a mail.

I also would like if I could leave my airport open and go to the special islands. This way I could leave it open as soon as I start a game session so my friends could visit and just play as I normally do. As it is now I need to set some time aside just for visiting hours, after I am finished with every activity I want to get done that day.

I get that for this last nitpick there are good reasons for the way it is. It is just that I wish it could be different.

Despite my nitpicks with the online system, visiting friend’s islands is pretty fun!

I also wish I had put a bit more thought into the placement of my buildings just for convenience’s and aesthetics’ sake. At least for those it seems there is a way later on to move the buildings around so I can fix my mistakes.

None of this is a big deal or really detrimental to my enjoyment of the game. In fact, I have been enjoying New Horizons so much that if somebody asked my what my Top 10 games are right now this game would definitely be in the list. I think this pretty much sums up my feelings about it. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Animal Crossing everywhere!”

  1. I was looking forward to the Animal Crossing game myself. However, having read through some of the reviews it seems that its local multiplayer setup is heavily limited, with only one island per console and only one full resident of said island? I’ll have to look into it further, but I find the idea somewhat off-putting. One of the interesting parts of New Leaf was that everyone was doing their own thing in a fairly level co-op kind of way.

    Just something to look into. I find myself much less excited about the prospect now.

    • Indeed that appears to be the case. Since I don’t have to share my Switch and games with anybody else it isn’t a deal breaker for me. But I could see it being a problem for a couple or for a household with children.

      But visiting your friend’s islands works pretty well, despite Nintendo usually not being good with anything online. Same deal for people visiting your island except for the nitpicks I pointed out in my post.

  2. We had a bit of a discussion on this in the Discord the other day, but I think since then my feelings haven’t significantly changed. I still prefer Stardew Valley’s approach to ‘this sort of thing’ than AC:NH’s so far.

    But gaining access to the house and museum again, not to mention the mystery island trips *has* opened things up fairly significantly.

    In our house we have ran into the single island issue pretty hard. My youngest son wants to play a fair bit too, and when sharing a single island and single set of resources it becomes quite trying, not to mention the story progression issues.

    It doesn’t help that he went around on a fruit-fueled frenzy and smashed every accessible rock on my base island as well, so now for *any* shot at Iron I have to go on tour. Haha.

    • Personally I think a comparison with Stardew Valley or any other game really is just an ill fit. I always saw Animal Crossing mostly as it is own genre than as part of some kind of genre.

      But yeah, this single island problem is something new to the series it seems. Before there could be multiple towns so people could share the same console and game. I have no idea why they decided to change this part of the formula now.

      As for iron… Even if your son didn’t break all the rocks you’d probably need to go to a lot of mystery islands anyway. The amount of iron required to open the shop is tough.

      • Agree on the genre definition thing. Purposefully avoided the term for that very reason. There are certainly shared elements and inspirations but yet… Yeah. I didn’t feel comfortable calling them of the same genre either, but now that I think about why that is I find it a bit difficult to articulate.

        In any case, agree on the Iron too. 30 at this stage of the game is *rough*. I have… 8.. at the moment; and that’s after being gifted a few pieces by Biff. Hehe.

        • Yeah, that was the same for me on the day I got the option to do the shop. I got a few from one of my residents and got a couple from rocks in my island. After that it was marathon of going through mystery islands to get the iron. As a bonus I also got a bunch of insects and fish for my critterpedia and to fill my museum! XD

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