Release Date: March, 20th, 2020
System: Nintendo Switch
Animal Crossing: Wild World was the first video game that was mine. My sister and I shared a gamecube growing up and I spent hours playing Mario Party, Kirby Air-Ride, exploring the shores of Delfino Island instead of actually playing Super Mario Sunshine…heh. For Christmas of 2004 my parents gave me a red Nintendo DS with Animal Crossing: Wild World and Mario Kart.
Animal Crossing a game with no real objectives, no grand plot, no enemies, no requirements should seem empty. It should seem like a waste of time. But the world is populated with quirky, adorable animals. The joy of animal crossing is in the growth of the town, in watching the landscape change from season to season. Cute commercialism. The cast of characters range from oddballs, angry, cranky, to marshmallow sweet.
So here are the features I’m looking forward to:
Starting with nothing
As soon as they replaced the starter shack with a tent I was thrilled. In most cases getting demoted to thin fabric walls from the cozy shelter of a cabin would be less than enticing. In New Horizons you’ve taken up Nook Inc. on his latest ploy to take your hard earned bells. Flown to a deserted island via Pelican Planes and left with nothing upselled as Nook Inc. The deserted island getaway package.
The ability to grow your characters environment and shape it to what the player desires is one of the best aspects of the game. It will be more satisfying to watch your home grow from the humblest beginnings to the luxury mansion.
Long gone are the days we rely on the local businesses in the area to get stuff done. We’re a working woman equipped with DIY Recipes. I’m not sure how they’ll implement a good material ratio so that the world we’re given doesn’t become a barren wasteland in the excessive grind for materials. I’m hopeful they have a decent plan in mind and from some trailes it looks like you can shake the tree’s for materials. In Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp materials can be received from doing quests and completely levels–perhaps they’ll use the same idea to supplement the global warming fiasco many players are bound to cause.
Animal Crossing has always used adorable 3D character design and world. However, instead of just updating their models from past games it looks like they’re completely crafting the models from scratch. The effort shows in the dream-quality pastels and smooth edges. Looking at New Leaf next to New Horizons shows a massive leap in quality. This attention to detail sets high expectations for the rest of the gameplay.
Finally! Our decoration delights are not limited to our homes. New Leaf set out to work on the town-decoration a bit with city projects but it was limited in its own way. Something felt empty about watching your own fortune grow into a luxury home and the rest of the town was still where it started. I would love for the residents homes to grow and change over time as well–although this isn’t a feature that’s been presented. At least now we have the ability to decorate the outside of our furry friends homes.