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“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” update breaks the bank

Nintendo's "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" final free update came out on Nov. 5, but do the new features live up to the hype?
Nintendo's "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" final free update came out on Nov. 5, but do the new features live up to the hype?

After more than a year and a half of minor changes, Nintendo finally released its last free update for the popular quarantine game “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” 

The biggest new features include farming crops, crafting new food items, more island customizations (inclines, bridges, fences, etc.), and my personal favorite non-playable character (NPC), Brewster, a bird who loves to serve villagers fresh coffee. 

I was ecstatic when the first update video launched a few weeks ago, but after playing it for a few days, I’m not sure it lives up to the hype. 

My first task when I downloaded the update was to figure out how to obtain Brewster. It was an easy side story quest that took less than 30 minutes to complete. All it took was a conversation with Brewster to get him to open up a cafe in my museum. This Brewster differs from the one in “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” because you can buy multiple coffees a day from him and host cafe visits with your friends or other NPCs. 

I enjoy the simplicity of this portion of the update, but it’s underwhelming. After I visited Brewster, I forgot why it was so important to have him on my island. 

I also enjoy the functional portions of the update more than the traveling aspect. I spent hours during quarantine and last fall customizing my island to look its best, so I love the additional bridges and inclines players can now use to customize their islands. I was always annoyed with having to carry a ladder around with me to climb cliffs on my island, but now players can craft ladders and vines to maneuver around.

Along with the more aesthetic customizations, the price to relocate specific buildings on the island has been decreased from 50,000 bells to 10,000 bells to move a single building. This could have been very useful to all players who needed to sell everything they had to move buildings on their island to the proper places. 

While the developers may have lowered the prices for relocations, there is now an added feature called ordinances that can be purchased at the town hall. These include different times settings for the game so your villagers and shops open earlier or later in the day, increase the number of bells you earn, and even one to keep your island from having weeds and trash.

Sadly, these features come at a heavy price of 20,000 bells per ordinance. Only one can be active at a time, so choose wisely when talking to Isabel. 

Spending bells seems to be the main goal of the new update since players must earn over 100,000 bells for each new vendor on Harv’s island. There’s an airport on each player’s island that allows them to travel to other people’s islands and an NPC dog named Harv. 

The only feature of his island before the update was a photo studio, which I never used or had any interest in. This frustrates me as a player who spends hours upon hours earning bells, unlike other people who have the cash to spend on these new features. 

When the first promotional video for the update dropped a few weeks ago, I was floored by the number of new features being added.

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Now, I see it was just the hype of attainable features being added to a game that I loved during quarantine. 

Nintendo is trying to make up for the lack of players on this game compared to what they had during the pandemic. Sadly, this update will only turn more players like me away from picking it back up after more than a year of leaving our islands for better things. 

Rating: 5/10

@earlgreyincense 

elizonar@miamioh.edu

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