Animal Crossing New Horizon review and thought

Siyano

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Animal Crossing is a charming and as some addictiveness, where most of the action and activity can make you go in some kind of zen state.

You start by being thrown on an island to discover and an IOU to this Tom where you start your first few quests, which take literal real time days. After a few days you discover more and more of the several thing that upgrade in your island. After all you complete those quest and at about 3 star rating island or so.

But the problem I have, it literally stop there.

Although all these "beautiful" thing you can see from AC NH, there is so many flaws and weird choice of design.
  1. Padding: Grinding for grinding, either its the incredible amount of money you need to upgrade your house to the max or the ridiculous recycling of recrafting the tool over and over, these are just padding and faking longevity. A lot can be "skip" if you a lucky or cheat with money.
  2. Low amount of real gameplay: fish, chop wood, gather ground object, that it, about 5 activity and no designing your island is not. Yes it cute and all to do them but after a few days, they feel more grinding than anything.
  3. Weird low quality of life: crafting more than one object, eating more than one fruit, why the weird very slow process, somewhat small inventory but you have 500 space in house?! Again it feel like more and more padding to fake the game being more long than it should
  4. Real life related event and time: You "need" to play during specific time to get some specific quest and or activity, also you could miss on valuable, if I play before or after the store hour, I lose 20% value, for whatever reason. Unless again you cheat, you can miss some activity, what the point? If I can say never play on a sunday, I cant have the fishing tournament.
  5. The smallness: The island feel small and doesnt offer enough or again, require some kind of "grind" to make it to your liking.
  6. Near impossibility of completion: for a completionist, this game is just ridiculously demanding, I would need to play two or three time a week for nearly a year to complete all? And also some stuff are impossible without online connection and friend.
  7. Design your own thing: I'm sorry, just no, you are restricted, you only have access to few thing everyday and you rely on luck to have the store have a wallpaper or flooring you want, also the computer that give you object for miles is very restricted to few object. Having my own design it not a excuse or having low real gameplay. It like giving you windows paint and call it a game, well because you can do what you want and design your own game, see how low it is.
So I'm very struggling, is AC NH a triple A game? A game that offer, maybe, maybe a big real 10-15 of gameplay, and then you left by yourself with barely any real thing to complete. So I am just wondering, the acclaim the game receive when it barely do anything or offer anything really substantial?
So yeah, I want to "bash" this game in some way, because, well, you pay 80$ for that, and considering it offer very low amount of a real game, I'm a bit against that, I couldnt care less if the game is popular or sold, this is kind of behavior I want game dev stop doing, just basically get out with it. I dont mind a game being made, but ask 80$ for this kind of shallow game?
well.. my 2 cents

ps: This may just be a technical question but if the game seem so small and low demand, why does it take so much time to load your island when you go in the game or when you leave?
 
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Casual Shinji

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As soon as I realized the whole game was just going to be spending days, literally, making money just to buy a bridge or a ramp I was out. This is the first entry I ever played, so maybe it's always been that way. I'll just stick with Stardew Valley should I get that itch.

Also, the fucking textbox scrolling in this game, Jesus Christ.
 

Elvis Starburst

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Also, the fucking textbox scrolling in this game, Jesus Christ.
Press B or hold R to speed it up. There's... way too many menus though. Also, ramps and bridges are kiiiiinda new, I think New Leaf was the one that introduced you placing bridges where you wanted, and New Horizons for the inclines.

I'm gonna go point by point, just to offer my 2 cents as well.
  1. Oh yeah, the constant re-crafting is a pain in the ass. It's new to this game, so it hasn't gone through any sequel level refinements. I'm hoping they'll update to let you make multiple things at once.
  2. Those are the chore type of things, yeah. But there are some other things to do. Find furniture and arrange your home, visit other people, make stuff, and new to this game... furnish and terraform the outside of the island, which is honestly great and a huge boon to the game's benefit.
  3. For the first part, see point #1. As for the rest, your storage and inventory's bigger than it's ever been for the series. Unless you insist on grabbing every little thing you ever find and carry literally all of it with you at once, you shouldn't be having to manage too much at once.
  4. I mean, yeah, that kinda sucks. Nothing I can really say beyond that. At least this game lets night time players have the option to sell at all now, and certain events like Bunny Day run for a week or so to let you get all the recipes and stuff needed for them. Not how it used to be if I recall correctly. I do hope the game lets you have ordinances like in New Leaf to change when stores are open and when they close. I feel that helped a lot of players.
  5. I mean, nobody said terraforming in most games wasn't anything but tedious. I do feel ya there, I wish the island was just a liiiiiiitle bigger. That might just be cause I have a lot of cliff related areas though.
  6. I don't think anyone with a sane mind would ever say "I'm gonna play an Animal Crossing game to completion." If someone has any hope of that, then they don't know Animal Crossing well enough, or have way, WAY too high of expectations.
  7. Is... Is designing your house and island to your liking not gameplay though? I mean, it's not exactly Bayonetta levels of engaging, but it's still gameplay.
It is first party, and I'd say AAA (Could be wrong though). It's one of those games that you either love it or you hate it. Or there's those that try to play it like a game it's not. It's a game you chill out with, something to play for a little bit every day, with maybe something on in the background. Some people see the smaller things you do and go "That's it?" But since release I've put well over 80 hours into the game. All because I'm having fun designing my island to be exactly how I want it to be. And that means doing the smaller things, like making money to buy stuff or terraforming to make it happen. It's a game that requires a little time and work to get the most out of it. Playing the Turnip market and selling daily hot items makes huge loads of money too.

If the idea of doing little things like fishing and bug catching, furnishing your house to your ideal preferences, taking time to shape your island as you'd like, and slowly working your way to making everything what you'd call perfect for you doesn't appeal, then... Yeah, the game's not gonna appeal, full stop. It's one of the few titles I know where I ever say "That's not really how this game works." Anyone who goes in expecting to be able to complete it easily, hoping to have things to do for 8+ hour play sessions every day, expecting to be able to grind out everything so they never have to work for it again, and want to be able to crank the game out in a weekend just... isn't gonna get that. That's not the point, ya know? Some people find this kind of game you relax with fun. I know I do.

So, that's my review and thought.

Note to your PS: If you call this 'small and low demand,' hoo boy, you should look at the previous games. Believe me, this game is drop dead gorgeous by comparison. Don't forget it's loading your ENTIRE island at once, plus all the stuff that changed in real time between play sessions. All that, plus the visual detail in everything involved it is gonna take a bit
 
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Siyano

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I don't think anyone with a sane mind would ever say "I'm gonna play an Animal Crossing game to completion." If someone has any hope of that, then they don't know Animal Crossing well enough, or have way, WAY too high of expectations.
Well, I know some game dont have "actual" ends, but if the game offer no real completion of say quest or I dont know, sure you can play at your own leisure and not accomplish anything substantial other than your own little design, but I guess I dont see the point if there no "progression" per se after the main event, or to at least have a sense of completing things, even minecraft have a "completion" and an end. Not that I want to have every fish or fossil, but at least having some kind of progression, with attaining 5 star rating, everything after is just wait real days or even months... Why am I even playing the game then? I feel like im in a mobile game asking me waiting 24h or even days before playing again but with a 80$ price tag!? Wut

Is... Is designing your house and island to your liking not gameplay though?
Not really, if you like designing and take your time, to the best a big maybe, but can you really say that having a blank canvas and paint really a way to say, here, you have a lot you can do. That the flaw with design in itself, yes technically it infinite, but I dont consider it being something, since it up to you, not the game.


if they upgraded upon their previous itteration, then it good, but still, there a lot of flaw and the game could have just a bit more meat to really grant its price
 

Elvis Starburst

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Well, I know some game dont have "actual" ends, but if the game offer no real completion of say quest or I dont know, sure you can play at your own leisure and not accomplish anything substantial other than your own little design, but I guess I dont see the point if there no "completion" per se, or to at least have a sense of completing things, even minecraft have a "completion" and an end. Not that I want to have every fish or fossil, but at least having some kind of progression, with attaining 5 star rating, everything after is just wait real days or even months...
I follow you, for the most part. I'm not really worried about me hitting 5 stars personally. Every time I finish a big island project, like this cliff-side bathhouse like space near a waterfall I made, and turning the area around my town hall into a massive fairground, that gives me a sense of satisfaction. The game didn't tell me "Do this to your island," I made that goal for myself, and once I finished it, I felt accomplished. And once I do everything to my house and island to the point that I don't think I can make it an ounce better, then that's my version of "completion" for this game. You make your own goals. Though, sometimes that kind of progression doesn't gel with people. Some people need a goal, and I hear ya, that's fair. Games without a clear goal/endgame can be kinda weird to play around with.

Not really, if you like designing and take your time, to the best a big maybe, but can you really say that having a blank canvas and paint really a way to say, here, you have a lot you can do. That the flaw with design in itself, yes technically it infinite, but I dont consider it being something, since it up to you, not the game.
I... can't quite get that thought process, though. You're playing the game as it's designed, doing the things it sets out for you to do, on top of the things you set for yourself to do. I don't quite get how that's not gameplay. Using your blank canvas comparison... that's like saying that someone painting for themselves and their own pursuit of art, is not art. But someone telling them what to paint, is art. See what I mean?
 

Siyano

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I guess it hard for me to explain and I guess that a personal view, design is up to you and what the game give you, yes you can say designing your own island is somewhat gameplay, but after all it up to you, there no consequence or reason to do more X than Y, that the main problem with doing stuff by yourself, you are restricted to your own self unless you really into it and publish your work or I dont know. Design is very loose and allow all kind of thing but also allow, "nothing". I couldnt care less about how my island look, because, well, there is no point (proof I did the 5 star by just randomly putting stuff around). I'm playing a game because I like progression and thing to do, since im not a designer and dont play online and dont publish my work, couldnt care less about "design your own thing" because it has no impact on the game nor me. I know this is a game made for this loose end of "do what you want" I dont mind, but atleast give me progression or anything, not just this blank canvas and telling me, there go paint, that not really a good way to do it.
So I guess you can say "this is not a game for me" but that not the point of this. I'm just a bit stump to see such "low" effort made for an AAA game
 

SupahEwok

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Since when is Animal Crossing a AAA game? lol
Since it was developed and published by the largest and most successful dedicated games company in the world.

The technical definition of AAA is not about graphics or game mechanics, it's about the resources of those who made it. Nintendo has all of them. There's no defensible cheaping out on a Nintendo title.

That said, anybody could look up the old games and see what the series is about. From my perspective, they're barely above cookie clickers. Other folks are welcome to play them and derive whatever kind of enjoyment there is to be had in them, but I just don't spend any energy thinking about them, much less trying one and complaining that it isn't exactly what the series has always been.
 

Yoshi

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Since it was developed and published by the largest and most successful dedicated games company in the world.

The technical definition of AAA is not about graphics or game mechanics, it's about the resources of those who made it. Nintendo has all of them. There's no defensible cheaping out on a Nintendo title.
that's like saying that something like Steel Diver on the 3DS is as much of a AAA game as something like Super Smash Bros Ultimate or Zelda BOTW simply because Nintendo also developed and published that....
 

Siyano

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either it triple A or not, the game was still 80$ and I can't consider that the game can be worth that, it priced as a triple A but is no where near what a triple A offer, if I just compare to say the Sims or to an indie that may be more close in the type, Stardew Valley. I'm just a bit angry that I paid 80$ for this game that offer less than 10 or so hours of gameplay maybe 20 if you really count the grinding.
 

Yoshi

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either it triple A or not, the game was still 80$ and I can't consider that the game can be worth that, it priced as a triple A but is no where near what a triple A offer, if I just compare to say the Sims or to an indie that may be more close in the type, Stardew Valley. I'm just a bit angry that I paid 80$ for this game that offer less than 10 or so hours of gameplay maybe 20 if you really count the grinding.
why not price match?
 

Siyano

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Animal Crossing is a nintendo game, same price everywhere
 

Yoshi

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Animal Crossing is a nintendo game, same price everywhere
in Australia it's RRP at EB games but discount stores like Target and Big W usually sell new games for about $10-$25 cheaper.

you can price match at EB or simply go to the discount stores for the cheaper price.
 

Siyano

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anyway, I still have bought the game at 80$ doesnt matter that there is potentially cheaper way to get it, althought I cant see anywhere in canada that does have cheaper price
 

CriticalGaming

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I have never understood why these games are always such big deal releases. They are non-games, basically the AAA verison of those shitty mobile games that have energy systems. Like some mobile games give the player "stamina" which basically limits what you can do until it recharges and it recharges at a stupid slow rate. That's Animal Crossing to me. You login to do dailies for what....an hour? two hours tops? then you are done for the day. I just don't like that as a concept in a game you pay full price for.

Not to mention the mundanity of it all. You build an island? For animal people? I can see it having the same quality of a Harvest Moon, or Stardew Valley, except it isn't nearly as dynamic and it limits your playability.

I just don't understand them. Yet people FLOCK to these games and I can't figure out why. What are people getting out of the game that makes them so hungry for more?
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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I have never understood why these games are always such big deal releases. They are non-games, basically the AAA verison of those shitty mobile games that have energy systems. Like some mobile games give the player "stamina" which basically limits what you can do until it recharges and it recharges at a stupid slow rate. That's Animal Crossing to me. You login to do dailies for what....an hour? two hours tops? then you are done for the day. I just don't like that as a concept in a game you pay full price for.

Not to mention the mundanity of it all. You build an island? For animal people? I can see it having the same quality of a Harvest Moon, or Stardew Valley, except it isn't nearly as dynamic and it limits your playability.

I just don't understand them. Yet people FLOCK to these games and I can't figure out why. What are people getting out of the game that makes them so hungry for more?
Speaking as an occasional user of this type of game, there's a basic addictive quality to anything that requires you to log in for a few minutes a day in exchange for an immediate prize that basically rewards consumer loyalty. It's quick, satisfying and you feel accomplished with minimal effort. All those limitations that you keep bringing up are precisely what sell these games.
 

CriticalGaming

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Speaking as an occasional user of this type of game, there's a basic addictive quality to anything that requires you to log in for a few minutes a day in exchange for an immediate prize that basically rewards consumer loyalty. It's quick, satisfying and you feel accomplished with minimal effort. All those limitations that you keep bringing up are precisely what sell these games.
I mean it works for mobile games i guess, why not a big AAA release too?

Mobile games are filled with daily rewards that encourage players to come back everyday, even if it's only to collect the daily crap and then leave. It gets you invested, even if you are getting invested in nothing for no reward.

Something has to be clicking because a shitload of people love it, I just don't get it.