Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a great entry in the franchise, but why do so many terrible things have to remain?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Animal Crossing as much as the next person. But we all know there are parts of this game that are frustrating to play. Tiny quality of life improvements that have been taken from granted in modern gaming are left out of this game. Why, Nintendo?
I’m sure AC:NH will get plenty of content updates, but I hope it gets usability updates too. As it stands, I find myself having trouble staying motivated to log in each day when I have to spend a significant portion of time crafting and re-crafting tools that break. I pretty much only login these days to play the stalk market.
10. Breakable Tools
I get why Nintendo insisted on going the Breath of the Wild route and having breakable tools in the game. In the old Animal Crossing games, the axe even got a chip in its blade and showed visual signs of wear. Breakable tools with no durability bar just sucks. It doubly sucks when you learn that gold tools are still breakable — you haven’t even solved a problem with that reward.
Nintendo should at least give us the ability to use iron nuggets to repair our tools. Give us a decent durability degradation animation. Make axe blades chip, shovels become rusted, nets get holes, make fishing poles look different. Please.
9. No Bigger Rooms
I’m sure this will be added to an update in the future, since it’s been in every Animal Crossing game since Wild World. The size of the side rooms in a player’s house are abysmally small.
They should at least be able to be upgraded to the size of the main room. In previous games, I could section off parts of a room to create an open floor plan. That’s harder with the cramped side rooms in New Horizons.
8. No Permanent Buildings
Moving to an island to get away from it all is great, but it is also lacking features previous games had. I want to develop my island into a bustling little vacation resort with lots of shops and things to do. Unfortunately, Nintendo streamlined away a lot of the fun parts of the game.
The hair salon could be like the Able Sisters and offer new exclusive hair styles. Kicks could set up shop and offer a wider range of shoes, bags, and accessories. We already know the cafe might be coming in an update, since some villagers leaked it. Bring back Redd and the art assessment and forgery mini-game.
7. Starting Villagers Are Always Jock & Uchi
It kind of defeats the purpose of seeing who you get as starting villagers when you know their personality is pre-destined. Every single person who starts the game will start with two Jock & Uchi villagers.
My starting villagers are Biff and Canberra. Of course, you can encourage these villagers to move quickly if you dislike them, but it feels like an unnecessary step. Starting villagers should be truly random.
6. Let Me Store Trees & Flowers
Look, the flower breeding in this game uses real Mendelian genetics. Please, please, please let me store my flowers in my house storage. Sometimes I want to dig up portions of my island, I don’t want to have to replant trees and flowers twice to move them.
5. Custom Designs, But No Touchscreen
Why do we have a touch screen device with a drawing interface… that doesn’t accept touchscreen input? I want to be able to fine tune my drawings with my stylus.
It makes no sense why this feature wouldn’t be supported since the Nintendo Switch has a touchscreen. Nintendo even makes a game that is meant to use a stylus, so why wouldn’t the pattern designer?
4. Lots of Items Missing
Having played Happy Home Designer and Pocket Camp, I’m disappointed by the lack of items. It seems a fair amount of furniture sets have been cut from the game, including Gracie and the Astro set. There’s lots of fun new stuff, but I thought we’d see the ceiling items in Happy Home Designer.
3. No Dream Suite
Dream suite is the canon-accepted way to time travel. Without having it in at launch, players are exploiting system time travel. That means the game’s trading economy is impacted, which makes my next point even more true.
2. Multiplayer Is Unnecessarily Hard
Linking up with friends in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a lot harder than it has to be. If you have multiple people you are inviting to your island, prepare for the whole process to take half an hour. You can’t improve your island while friends are flying over, either.
In fact, you can’t work on your island, you can’t donate to Blathers, and you can’t work on your house. Your island feels like it is in display mode when friends come over, which leads to unnecessarily short play sessions. Flower types are harder to find, which makes relying on multiplayer to trade them suck hard.
1. Crafting is Tedious
I was excited when I realized the new Animal Crossing would have crafting like Pocket Camp. But Nintendo has made the whole process so tedious to participate in that it must be a joke. You can’t make multiples of simple items like medicine or fish bait. You can’t even make multiple tools at once. Instead, you’re stuck mashing the A button to craft tools ahead of time.
You can get DIY recipes from villagers, balloons, and messages in a bottle. But I’ve gotten more repeats at this point than I have new recipes. I see my friends with tons of cool shit and all I have are the same repeating recipes. I’ve had the Iron Garden Table recipe repeat for me at least four times in this month’s period.
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