The Nintendo Switch is now sold out everywhere and Animal Crossing is doing very well too. We are all sitting at home and having the opportunity to go out on the virtual islands of New Horizons helps. But that tropical vacation isn’t all fun and games: there are 10 things Animal Crossing: New Horizons can definitely do better.
1. You cannot select how much you want to get out of your pocket at once
It is very impressive that your character can carry 30 blocks of wood in his pocket at once, but as soon as you want to give someone 7 logs of this as a gift, there is no option to do so. That means doing the same thing over and over again, or losing too many logs at once …
2. You cannot skip dialogue
Probably the biggest annoyance in the otherwise positive and cheerful Animal Crossing is that the same dialogue balloons pop up every time. It is a bit frustrating, especially if you have already spent the necessary hours. It is annoying how museum owl Blathers keeps repeating the same thing. There is something you can do to speeds up the process, pressing the B button. However, you will still be confronted with the same texts. Another tip is to change your language settings (from your Switch console), because the Dutch translations are brilliant, but there are also many funny quips in the English version.
3. Backpacks do not provide more space and neither does the tool belt
Have you grabbed a nice backpack at Nook: it does absolutely nothing. Yes, it might look funny to carry a bunch of tree trunks on your back, or a small backpack with Nook’s well-known leaf logo, but it won’t help you when it comes to extra carryout space. The same goes for the tool belt. Where you think you can finally put that ladder, ax, and rod on your belt instead of in your pocket, forget it. At best you can select them more conveniently, but they will continue to occupy those much needed positions in your pocket.
4. There is no permanent tool
And speaking of tools, how frustrating is it that you have to keep making new tools? If you have just nicely robbed an island, you first see your fishing rod and then it just goes up in smoke. Ofcourse you can always buy a new one from the pilot dodo, or simply make one on the workbench, but you probably have to walk away from an otherwise beautiful catch. Of course there are plenty more fish in the sea, but what if this is an expensive, rare catch?
5. Each time you take your tool, your character turns forward again
When you have made that tool again and you want to switch tools, your character turns to the front. So if you just got up to catch that big swordfish: you have to reposition yourself completely. Plus, are you really so surprised and happy, sweet character, that you just snatched a twig just out of your pocket?
6. One can carry a lot more than the other
After ten oranges, one compartment in your pocket is full, but in terms of wood you can safely have thirty blocks in one position. It is not entirely fair that you can carry several pieces of sand dollars in one position, while you have to sacrifice a compartment for each carpet shell. The game does not want you to always take everything with you, because that would ruin the game quite a bit, but why the weight is distributed unevenly is a bit lost.
7. You don’t know the prices
Imagine you bought a Nook voucher for yourself with your hard-earned Nook Miles. You travel to another island, hoping for a different kind of fruit, or maybe even bamboo, and start to gather. But then: sorry, your bags are full. What if you have just hooked such a beautiful Football Fish! You can always change something from your pocket, but you can not see how much something is worth. Is it better to loot ten oranges or thirty blocks of hardwood? It would be helpful if you could look it up in your encyclopedia or another app on your Nook Phone, or keep track of notes in the game, for example. It doesn’t even have to be presented to us on a silver platter, but Nintendo, let’s not finally grab our smartphones.
8. With one purchase you can do nothing, with the other you have a lot of interaction
Of course, every object is different, but if you can buy an electric scooter from thousands of Klingels, at the very least you want an animation where your character takes it for a micro spin, right? Unfortunately: the scooter in Animal Crossing only has the interaction to put on his lamp when it is dark. Compared to the Ocarina or the drum set on which you can actually play, the interaction with some objects is somewhat disappointing.
9. You have no idea which islands you have visited
Great that you can visit other islands, but if you go to an island with your Nook voucher, you don’t even know what the island is called. That’s a shame because it would be great fun to be able to talk to your friends about certain islands or eventually see them all in a virtual environment. How many are there? What can you get? It would be funny because everyone can get visual insight. If that is asking too much, only a name is good, so that we at least feel that we have really been somewhere.
10. You cannot do several things at once
Everyone knows by now, you better not sell weeds as they are. First you gotta build something beautiful like an umbrella or a straw bed and the little Nook cousins will give you a lot more money for it. Unfortunately it is impossible to choose to do three straw beds at once. Nope, you have to go through that whole construction process over and over again. You do it, because money is money. And money is badly needed to repay that good old Tom Nook for his ever-increasing mortgages. Fortunately, you get a nice home in return, although it is a pity that you can only choose a color roof instead of a specific design.
With all the coronavirus stress that has been going around, we are very much in the mood for a game that is an oasis of regularity and relaxation. We have already spent many hours in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and it remains to be a celebration of discovery. Whether it’s the new islands you visit, the clothes you can shop every day or the way you decorate your home. Especially now this game is a real blessing, just to have the sense of leaving those four walls around you behind for the free feeling of an “uninhabited” island.