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  • Writer's pictureTaryn DeStasio - MRH Faculty

Crossing Into New Territory

By Breanna R.

Animal Crossing has always been a beloved series when it comes to video games, and it has a lot more than one would think. With its debut back on the Nintendo 64, we now have the most recent addition to the series, New Horizons, which made the series even more popular than it initially was. It was pretty big during quarantine, but died down quite a bit once things finally started to get back to normal, and many would think with how busy they are, they would lose interest. There was a lack of updates and people longed for things from the previous title, but it wasn’t cutting it, until now.

Last month, Nintendo finally fed it’s fans a long awaited update, “Update 2.0” to be exact, and it came with a ton more than assumed. Happy Home Paradise, albeit paid downloadable content or DLC, let people design vacation homes for their villagers, introduced new characters, and added old, classic items such as the adored “froggy chair” and the Brewster, which made fans come back and dedicate themselves all over again.

For someone who may not know anything about the series, what’s so good about any of this? Well, I played the game, and there's a lot to be said, but for now I will keep it short. The basis of the game is to design and make your island how you want alongside the characters you want, all while paying off debt. Yeah, debt, but it’s not crazy, and once you’re far enough into the game, it’s not all that bad. There really is no plotline to the game, but that doesn’t make it bad. It’s really fun once you get into it; making an island to your liking, planting flowers, putting a villager’s house in a certain location, or making it after a real town or city you think looks nice. It’s extremely relaxing with it’s calm music, and you can distract yourself by building furniture or customizing some clothes. Although, there may be some things someone can get a little frustrated with.

Villagers and frustration go hand in hand if I’m being honest, and I don’t mean the villagers themselves. It’s only natural for us to pick favorites out of the roughly 400 characters in this game. I have my own, such as Bob, Francine, and Raymond, but that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed these characters. It makes people a bit agitated, since what you really need is luck. Around the time you have Resident Services built, villagers will arrive at your campsite. I recommend just going to islands, but maybe you’ll get your favorite within the campsite. After my experience with this game, it’s the only thing that will break the calm. The rest is really soothing.

As for soothing things, you can fish, catch bugs, talk to villagers, and invite friends to your island. Designing, as mentioned before, falls under this category as well. It’s really exciting to see your vision of your island being realized, as well as making your character look how you want and experimenting with the designs you make. You can customize the color and even mess around with terraforming, which really makes the island the way you want. You don’t have to keep it the same way forever. If you have the materials, you can certainly change it up! Let’s not forget your character’s appearance, which you can mess around with and change as much as you like.

With the update in mind, there’s much more to do! New characters caught your attention? Go look for them! You want a new hairstyle? Harriet has got your back. Want that froggy chair? Rack up some bells! Although I do miss some things from the older games, such as the rudeness from the villagers (it had charm), New Horizons does not disappoint, and the interactions are really adorable, just like the characters.

With Christmas coming up, this might be a good game to get someone who wants to relax, or someone who is very creative. With the updates, it will certainly be a fun experience. The game does have it’s ups and downs, but so does every other game in existence. That doesn’t take away the appeal and nice atmosphere from it. Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a fun experience, and I can’t wait for what Nintendo has next for this series.

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