I reviewed Animal Crossing: New Horizons about two months ago, and gave it a 9/10, noting that although the game had several flaws, none of them stopped the game from being a fantastic time sink. I still maintain that, but now 345+ hours into the game, there are definitely some additional things I think Nintendo should address in future updates to the game, just to make the user experience much better. None of these issues I’m going to raise would justify changing my original score, as they really are mostly issues that you only start to notice when you’ve spent a lot of time with the game. Far after you have definitely gotten your money’s worth. With that being said, let’s get started and take a look at some changes I believe should be made.
1. Better Special NPC Visitors
This is probably my biggest annoyance. So many of the special characters that visit your town are redundant or largely pointless. Right now the possible visitors are: Saharah, Redd, Leif, Gulliver, Celeste, Label, Kicks, K.K., Daisy Mae, Flick, CJ, and Wisp. Saharah, Gulliver, and Celeste offer the most utility, but of them, I’d say Celeste is the only really useful one. Animal Crossing has always emphasized decorating your home with furniture, wallpaper, and flooring from specific sets. Celeste is the only NPC in the entire game who offers all three of those things. Saharah offers flooring and wallpaper, and Gulliver offers furniture and clothing. While both can be helpful if you are trying to create a room with a more conceptual theme, neither can give you a full matching set of furniture. What kind of style you’re going for will depend on who you find most useful though.
The series has a whole slew of characters that they can patch back in and I think they need to stop waiting for special events and holidays to do so and make it a priority to get more in. At the very least, patch Lief and Kicks into the already existing stores.
2. Different Town Rating Requirements
New Leaf started something that unfortunately also made its way into New Horizons. Every game in the series always rated your town’s quality, based on trees, flowers, and amount of trash, but New Leaf added public works to the mix. Which meant that you had to have a certain amount of built structures outside to get a good review. Public works are no longer in New Horizons, but now you can put furniture outside. With that, you are now rated on the amount of furniture pieces outside. What this effectively means, is that if you want the perfect town rating needed to get the golden watering can, you have two options. You can either redesign your entire island in a way that is conducive to having multiple items placed outside or you can just scatter random items around your town until you meet the arbitrary requirements. The former is a lengthy endeavor that require several hundred thousand bells and several real days and the latter is not visually appealing by any means. I took the latter route and then got rid of all the excess items once I got the watering can, but it would be nice to have been able to maintain the 5-Star rating in order to get the special flower you get from maintaining a 5-star rating. For a game all about designing things the way that you want, I find this system needlessly restrictive.
3. Golden Tool Benefits
Speaking of golden tools, like the watering can, this is another aspect of the game that could use some refinement. Besides the watering can, the golden tools aren’t really worth making. While in past games the golden tools had additional features like the shovel being able to dig up money randomly and the axe no longer being able to break, those additional features are gone for all but the watering can. The watering can waters in a larger area and still can produce gold roses using black roses, but there are reports that even rain can do that now. The only benefit golden tools have at this point is that they take twice as long to break as normal tools, but given that gold ore is way more than twice as rare as iron, it’s not a good trade off. It’s a much better idea to just continue making iron tools than to use limited gold ore on making gold tools. I even hesitate when crafting the watering can because although the extra area that it waters is rather helpful, it still breaks way too quickly for me. Golden tools need to have their additional functionality restored, they need to become unbreakable, or both. Preferably both.
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Gameplay - 0/10
Graphics - 0/10
Sound - 0/10
Replay Value - 0/10
User Review( votes)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a fantastic game, but there are a few areas it could do with some refinement. Let’s go over some of those.