I woke up this morning and looked out at the island I had helped shape. The community I had helped shape. Had it really been a year since this journey had started? That magical night of arriving on the island for the first time and seeing the sparse, messy landscape that would be our home? I continued to stare out at the island, reliving that night, gripped in nostalgia.
This island has come a long way since those first days. The two who had arrived here with me have moved on, but the island is as lively as ever. Melba and Apple are still here, with other villagers having moved out for new ones to come in. Some have extended stays while others only stay for a month or so before moving on again, but variety is the spice of life.
From when Plucky, Axel, and I first arrived on this island escorted by the Nooklings, and Tom Nook outlined his plans to turn this into a habitable paradise, I admit to thinking that things would be slow going. That it would just be the three of us and the Nooks for quite some time.
I’m happy to be proven wrong, and development of this island is really starting to show. A museum has come to the island, as has a tailor shop, with the Nooklings also opening up their own store. Even the Resident Services tent has now become a building, where the speakers play some relaxing and energetic music every hour that changes depending on the time.
More villagers have come to stay, and our goal of making Halesowen a popular tourist destination – and popular place to live – is soon to be reaching its final stages. These ten days have been a wild and exciting journey of new developments and meeting new people, and I guess the story continues from where I left off with the new arrivals.
From the first day this experience was teased, I knew I wanted to go. That September, where we got another contender within the Super Smash Bros. fighting league, was one of the happiest. I knew I would lose myself whatever happened. I dreamt of what the experience could be, and knew that when it was finally revealed in full I wouldn’t be able to hold my excitement in check.
Then the Island Getaway Package was unveiled at the largest gaming event of the world, and I was beyond happy with what I was seeing. We might not have seen much, but the island felt larger than any previous town – despite their being very little within it.
Over the months since that reveal, more has been revealed about the overall Package that has proven the people building it have been focused upon an evolution of the place we’ll be going, with plenty to keep anyone occupied.
Now, with the date having come and gone, I’ve been here a few days and can say exactly what I think of this new experience. And it started before I even got on the sea plane to head to the island.
That information drive about Animal Crossing New Horizons was everything I could have hoped for and more. We’ve got a lot more information than we had previously, some interesting new additions, and some quality of life improvements.
The Direct started out with a look around the island in all four seasons, and you’d be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t much coming out of this. However, it did reveal we can place where our villagers live at the start, which led the way to placing where all villagers will live.
It seemed like a build up of freedom in customisability, with that leading to custom designs able to be used on furniture, the path creation tool we already knew of, and then the reveal that we can alter the entire look of the town.
Back when I started this series, I said that the campsite was a specific area of interest, providing more villagers to be interacting with on a temporary basis and the key behind the Public Works Projects of the game.
I also said that customisation has seen an increase, and I’m sure you’ll agree that has been the case – whether something small such as different coloured tools or a larger something such as the new way of expanding your house.
Here, though, with the campsite, the largest of the customisability options come. As stated previously, the Public Works Projects have seen a major upgrade. More themes, with basic and special types. More things to be adding around the town – including paths. And an easy way to place it all accurately. Before we get to that, I’ll give an introduction to the starting of the campsite.
There are a number of places that make up the towns of Animal Crossing, with shops being the main place to get items. With this planned Switch outing, I created a map that included a shopping district full of various shops and places, with the previous part of Crossing to the New Life looking at a few of those places.
Games Hire, Destinations, Favoured Fortunes, and the Arcade were talked about last time, with all four featuring connectivity in a big way. The shopping district features a lot more, though. Those places will be detailed here. The map of the shopping district is here again, so you don't need to refer to the last post.
Animal Crossing just wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t allow people to visit each other. Since Wild World that connectivity has been easy, but the options for what to do when you visit have been limited. Only in New Leaf did those options start to expand, and so I’m going to give new life to those options.
With New Leaf, you had the island and island tours that hosted four players. With this new game, what if those options were brought to the main town instead? That’s what Games Hire is for.
When every Direct became announced, a hope of mine was always Animal Crossing. With the last Direct in September, it finally became a thing. Throughout the past year, I’ve been building up ideas of what I’d like to see, and with the end of Future of Mario Kart I felt it was time to get those ideas out into the world.
One of the things I’d also done was create a map that would prove to be the largest of any Animal Crossing game, and while nothing is final about it, it did give me a platform to talk about many of the ideas I have. And what better way to start than to take a look at that map.
Yesterday I mentioned the Animal Crossing Direct in the monthly update, and now it has aired, I'm here with a post. This will be short and sweet, just like the Direct itself.
The Direct took place on the set of a campsite. A campsite that features within the game itself, with producer Hisashi Nogami taking the role of Harvey - the guy who owns the campsite.
This campsite is where visitors come once you have scanned their amiibo or amiibo card with Wisp, who is summoned from a magic lamp.