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ACNH: Today’s Villagers Don’t Know How Good They Have It

Written by waploaded

The villagers of Animal Crossing: New Horizons have no idea how good they have it in the modern day of Animal Crossing‘s expanded features and technology. The quality of life improvements made to New Horizons make for a stark contrast between it and the previous games in the series. It’s almost absurd how well off this generation of villagers is compared to the villagers of the past.

There have been five mainline games in the Animal Crossing series, not counting spinoffs or the N64 original only released in Japan. The series began on the Nintendo GameCube, and since then each entry has made small quality-of-life improvements while keeping the base formula intact. From how Animal Crossing: New Leaf incentivizes the player by casting them as the mayor instead of just being another resident, to ACNH being set on islands players can design through terraforming, Animal Crossing has consistently found ways to improve itself without altering what makes the game appealing.

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These improvements, however, have left both players and the villagers in game with more tools at their disposal than ever before. Players can now shape their island to their hearts content, from terraforming to roads and buildings. This stands in stark contrast to what came before, when what the player saw was what they got.

The previous Animal Crossing games were nowhere near as accommodating as New Horizons is to its villagers. In the five mainline Animal Crossings before New Horizons, the village was a set creation, unable to be altered in any way. Compare this to New Horizons where, on top of the island letting Tom Nook evade Animal Crossing taxes, everything on the island can be changed to the player’s preference, all the way down to being able to reshape the island to better suit their needs.

The villagers of today have it so good that New Horizons is missing a key feature of the original game back on the GameCube: the villagers were often miserable. Every single villager had something to complain about, some mundane thorn in their side, whether it be the weather, their house, or simply not being a fan of the player character. The villagers were also often catty and self-serving, with Tom Nook’s softer, friendlier personality today being the end result of Tom Nook’s evolution from Animal Crossing N64 to Nintendo Switch.

New Horizons is the end result of years and years of Nintendo tinkering away at the Animal Crossing formula to make it more accessible than ever before. The player has more options, the villagers are generally a whole lot happier, and players can even travel online to other islands for fun and inspiration. The villagers of Animal Crossing: New Horizons truly don’t know just how good they have it.

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