It has been a long ten-year wait for those who skipped the handheld iterations, and six years for those who didn’t. Thanks to Nintendo’s latest financial report, 2019 is still the year for the new Animal Crossing title. In order to curb just a little of my excitement for the upcoming Switch title I’m going to talk about 19 things I’d like and hope to see in Animal Crossing on the Switch.
In no particular order…
I really enjoyed the addition of being Mayor in New Leaf (NL) from just being an ordinary human in a town of animals within the previous entries. I would be happy to see it return in the Switch game, though I would like it to develop further. For example, more public work projects would be great, but they should be easier to obtain (I know of people who have played NL since it came out and have still not gotten the police station), and more interactive (similar to how animals interact with certain furniture items in Pocket Camp). Another addition, that I know anyone who likes to plan their town would die to have, is some form of villager house placement control. I think this could be done similar to the house signs that are in Wild World, villagers could only move into one of the available plots that were fixed when you started your game, but in the form of a public work project where you could move and add house plots around your town. This would finally stop villagers from dumping their house in your orchard (damn you Inkwell! Goodbye peaches) or carefully manicured flower garden.
Improvements to inventory management
For a long time now, we have only had very limited inventory spaces to the annoyance of many, which required careful management of your pockets or just dumping items on the ground in desperation. In Animal Crossing – New Leaf the inventory was expanded to sixteen spots, increased to twenty-six if you held on to ten letters and used them to store items, however, receiving new mail was then a pain. New Leaf did at least introduce the stacking of fruits (up to nine per stack of the same variety), which did help when harvesting and I hope this will return. One possible addition that has been suggested previously is something akin to a toolbox (see Animal Crossing Make Believe by the BitBlock), where all of your tools can be placed, removing them from the main inventory. I think a toolbox item or tab would be an easy way of increasing the size of the inventory, as I think it’s highly unlikely that we will ever be able to stack fish and bugs (stacking seabass would be nice). While I don’t want inventory management to be entirely removed (e.g. Pocket Camp, for the most part) a few more inventory slots would greatly improve the quality of in-game life.
New beginnings are coming
More things to collect
Now for this one some of you might think I’m crazy. If you consider the number of things to collect in New Leaf: seventy-two fish, seventy-two bugs, thirty-three artworks, sixty-seven fossils, and thirty diving creatures for just the museum alone, not to mention the giant catalogue of furniture, clothes and accessories, why on Earth would you want more? What can I say I love collecting, thanks to this series and Pokémon, and I’d love there to be a new kind of collectible like diving creatures were in NL, as well as some new bugs and fish to see for the first time. I always thought shells were underutilised, so maybe you could collect those this time, or maybe something totally different? We will have to wait and see.
New Leaf did increase its town size to approximately twenty acres from Wild Worlds’ sixteen, however, that is still ten acres smaller than the original Animal Crossing (thirty acres). Town size could be a particular issue if they increase the number of villagers you can have in your town (NL had ten, original AC had fifteen). I know I would love (and I bet Tom Nook would too) to have more real estate to play with, more land to fill with friends, projects, interesting gardens and fruit, and the Switch should be able to handle it.
Messages in a bottle
A little thing, but I really miss messages in a bottle that would wash up randomly on the beach in Wild World and City Folk. You could be strolling the beach one day and there would be a surprise, with a potentially sweet to weird message inside. You could buy your own from Nooks and write your own message, throwing them into the ocean to send them off into the ether. I think it would be nice to see this return.
More great music
I believe this is pretty much a given but, Animal Crossing as a series has some of the best music around, and it is particularly special that each hour of the day has its own tune, and a remix depending on the weather. I love listening to the soundtracks of the previous games and I can’t wait to fall in love with the next game’s soundtrack. I also hope that KK Slider has been busy writing some new tunes for us to love as well.
…If you say so Frita…
Back to the island and somewhere else?
I liked visiting the island in New Leaf, particularly in Winter when there isn’t as much to collect and of course for beetle hunting to get through my debt. Though I hope if we go back, that maybe it might be bigger, have alternate areas to visit (like a rainforest!). In addition to the island it would be awesome to be able to travel (by bus, car or train?) to somewhere else, not so much the City of City Folk (I prefer the Main Street of NL), but maybe some other kind of place like a forest or a lake with new NPCs and things to find and do.
One thing that I miss, and I know this isn’t for everyone, but I miss the chattiness of Blathers. It’s his namesake and it was taken away from him! I think Blather’s blathering should be returned, but also for those that find it annoying allow it to be turned off by maybe bluntly telling him that you’re not interested. I hope that the ability to submit multiple items returns if you’re in a hurry, but it would also be great to be able to ask Blathers for the information you missed when you feel like it.
Bigger house or a front yard
A core part of Animal Crossing is your house, and the giant debt that you find yourself landed with from the beginning (thanks for the tent Tom Nook but I want out). Whilst it costs a lot to upgrade your house fully in New Leaf, I wouldn’t mind some more floor space so I could display even more of my furniture and make more complex rooms. I’d also love to see a front yard that was touched upon in Happy Home Designer, being able to use furniture outside, displaying your special flowers, and having a bit more personality outside your house. It would be nice if it was expandable as well.
Better communication when you’re in your own town
While playing online with your friends wasn’t that bad in the original games as long as you had a stable connection, it was a little clunky in terms of communicating. You could send messages to only your best friends when in your own town, but you each had to be online, and paying attention to the message popping up on the screen. You can only communicate with your normal friends when you are visiting each other within your own or your friend’s town. With the way the Switch is (with its little notifications) it will be a lot easier to see if your friends are online and in-game, but it would be good to be able to communicate better with all of your friends, maybe an offline message log or letter log to allow you to communicate with your in-game only friends with ease.
Diving for new collectibles was an interesting addition in New Leaf
Easier access to regional events
While I kind of hope this may not be a thing anymore with the region-free nature of the Switch, there are a number of in-game events that are restricted to different regions (Groundhog day, Setsubun…). They are restricted due to the cultural nature of many of the events, but I think these events could be prefaced with a potential skippable explanation of them from Isabelle if you didn’t know what the event was. I missed essentially all of these due to a number of reasons, largest of which was trying to find friends online from that particular region on that day to go visit (which was quite difficult before the explosion of social media and being restricted to forums). I hope if these kinds of events do return that there is more variety, and the nature of the current online world and the Switch makes it easier for those of us in different regions to experience everything.
Pretty as a picture graphics
If the Switch game looks anything like the Mario Kart 8 track…I. WILL. BE. SO. HAPPY!! While it wasn’t game footage, the view of the mayor’s office in the announcement of Isabelle in Smash Bros Ultimate looked really great, and with games like Yoshi’s Crafted World and Kirby’s Star Allies that look very, very pretty, I have a feeling we will be in awe when we get a glimpse of where our new town life will be set.
Extra storage from the New Leaf Welcome Amiibo update
This was a great addition to the game, and one of the best bits of the 2016 Welcome Amiibo update that unexpectedly came out around four years after the initial release of New Leaf. As a paid upgrade (160,000 bells) to your house you could get an extra invisible secret storage area (360 items worth). I hope this will return, either in the form of an unlockable or as a nice freebie. I hope that it may be even bigger than last time, for those of us that want at least one of everything.
New kinds of animals
I’m hoping with the better graphics of the switch and the fact it’s a new game will mean that there will be a new species of villager (in NL we got hamsters and deer villagers as well as alpaca NPCs) that may have not been possible before. I have seen suggestions of snakes and bats which would both be cool. I’d also like to see lizards, otters, seals, platypuses, maybe even a chinchilla?
The Animal Crossing Track from Mario Kart 8
Multiple towns with ease
With the fact that you can have multiple accounts on a single Switch, I hope that that means you can have a town per account, instead of having to purchase additional copies of the game (I have two copies of NL, I know of people with three!). It will be awesome to be able to not have to destroy a town if you’ve done everything or you want to make something different.
Grass deterioration stays low or is gone
Grass deterioration was introduced in City Folk as a means to track the player’s movement through their town, however, it can produce very unappealing looking towns. The feature was reduced in New Leaf, occurring at a lower rate and the removed grass grew back faster. But in both cases if you want to quickly traverse your town by running, or like chasing bugs, you might end up with lots of damage and having to dodge damaged areas to let them repair themselves is a pain.
In connection to sixteen, being able to make proper paths instead of just using patterns, which do not stop grass deterioration, would be appealing to many. The pattern maker can make good paths, but it could be a lot better.
Animal Crossing Switch and Pocket Camp
Since Pocket Camp got announced it has been assumed that the mobile game would connect in some way to the next title. I think this could potentially remove some of the charm of the main game if done wrong. Pocket Camp ruins the joy of collecting in a number of ways, one of which is by having to collect crafting materials and then make items. I like the ability to customize furniture at Re-Tail, but introducing the different crafting materials into the Switch game I think would be a terrible move. Pocket Camp doesn’t have the surprise you get when you see something in Tom Nook’s/Timmy and Tommy’s shop you haven’t seen before or you when you get a surprise furniture gift from a villager. I think the best way to integrate the app into the Switch game if they have to do so is to just allow you to catalogue the items you have made in the app (but you have to repurchase with bells so the game isn’t really unbalanced), and for the new furniture in the app to make an appearance in the game.
Make villagers responses more extreme again
Last but not least, the way villagers talk to you has been toned down in recent iterations of the series. If you go back and look at some of the dialogue in the original Animal Crossing for GameCube, the villagers have so much more personality, they sass you and get really angry, and the translators obviously had a lot of fun doing what they were doing. I hope that the villagers in the new game will have the personality volume turned up, with more variety of responses, as well as lots of dialogue that makes you wonder and laugh.
Some of the new furniture is really cool, but if the interaction is carried over, even better
Now that was quite a list! I am itching for news on this game! I hope that Nintendo’s E3 show floor is Animal Crossing-themed (like when they did Odyssey) and I can’t wait to see what the game that I know I will sink all my time into will look like. Do you want to see some of the things on my list? Or do you have some other suggestions? Let me know below!