(Uncut version originally published on laurawritesanarticle.blogspot.com on the 17th of October 2021)
Once again, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a wonderful coping mechanism for many animal crossers during the next set of lockdowns in the coronavirus pandemic, along with its continuation after restrictions were concluded. The same noble honour goes to the events of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp that occurred this year, much like its events throughout the last one. I recall seeing a lot of potential in New Horizons when the first trailer for it was released back in mid-2019. After starting on its initial release in March 2020, the experience gradually evolved with update after update throughout the seasons. Not only will there soon be the last free content update for the game referred to as “Version 2.0”, but also a paid expansion which is exactly what it sounds like if you have ever played Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. These forthcoming surprises are sure to shine especially on the brand new OLED model of the Nintendo Switch when it comes to truly moving on from the terrors of 2020. I am delighted to express my thoughts on the next chapter of the fourth generation of the Animal Crossing franchise.
But before some of us put the occupation of a vacation home designer on our video game-based CVs, let us see what Version 2.0 has to offer to keep the experience fresh. The rehash of the museum’s coffee shop with some new aspects, including a vintage telephone for compatibility with amiibo cards and figures to invite other characters to a coffee break and Harriet who will offer some new hairstyles at Harv’s Island will increase New Horizons’ faithfulness to the success of Let’s Go To The City. There is also a rehash of travelling with Kapp’n to Tortimer Island in New Leaf and Animal Island in Population Growing, which shows that an animal crosser can explore mysterious new islands in different climates and times of the day. More new features include:
- Two new modes for taking photographs
- A group stretching activity
- Four different ordinances
- An even bigger storage capacity
To top it all off deliciously, an animal crosser’s avatar will soon be skilled at cooking. These new features in the last big free content update of the base game will go so well with what the paid expansion will have to offer when it comes to spending the last two months of 2021 well.
The premise of the paid DLC is basically a surprise sequel to Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, which was a spin-off of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer for the Nintendo 3DS. Wearing a new tropical island equivalent of the uniform from that spin-off, the player and their avatar will be in charge of designing a fantastic vacation home for villagers. For the best results, the theme of the dream home ought to suit the desires of the villager. For example, Doc would want to read books in a vibrant children’s library. The resort can be even more civilised with customisable facilitates, such as a school and a restaurant, just like in Happy Home Designer. I am aware that Happy Home Designer received criticism for its very little challenge and how slightly unrewarding the experience was at times, but I think that fact that Happy Home Paradise is a downloadable expansion for New Horizons instead of its own stand-alone spin-off will always allow an animal crosser to stride right back into the base game’s more progressive gameplay standards. Additionally, the results of working as a vacation home designer appear to be more rewarding as there is payment doing a great job.
Aside from how future content for New Horizons might as well be available in expansion packs, the gameplay within the experience of building homes for villagers with different interests is nice and casual. There is a wide range of customisation when it comes to building the best vacation homes for many villagers, including:
- Changing the perimeter of the room
- Changing the colour and brightness of lighting
- Using partition walls to divide space
- Altering the season and time of day outside
- Adding realistic sound effects
- Letting two clients share a vacation home
As a part-time cleaner and volunteer at a charity shop, I think the option to polish furniture to maintain great conditions would make the experience more relatable to me. What makes Happy Home Paradise seem even more rewarding compared to Happy Home Designer is how the exclusive interior design techniques, including polishing furniture can be used to enhance the red-nosed ranger’s home in the base game. The way an animal crosser can invite a resident of the main island to the resort after he or she asks for a vacation home or remodel their standard homes further proves how the premise seems to work better as an expansion pack rather than a stand-alone spin-off.
How the amount of ambition put into Animal Crossing: New Horizons will further increase is unmistakable. Its final free content update, a downloadable expansion pack and some new amiibo cards will be available this November after pre-ordering begins just before Halloween. Apart from how impressed I am with what an expansion pack has to offer, I am up for seeing an official sequel to the anime film based on the franchise that was only released in Japan. A sequel to it ought to be released worldwide, featuring notable aspects of New Horizons and available in several other language dubs besides Japanese. It worked for Tomodachi Life, right? More gaming adventures after 2021 await. As for the fourth generation of the Animal Crossing franchise, I would love to see a new wave of characters in either an underwater village or a heavenly village in the sky in another expansion pack for New Horizons. But until then. Happy paradise designing just after bonfire night!