Installing Installments: Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing has had 4 main series games as of the time this article was published. Each one bringing something new to the formula and some taking said pieces of the formula away. Yet this begs the question… what would make a perfect Animal Crossing sequel? Well, welcome to Installing Installments, the segment where we talk about just that; the perfect sequel to a franchise or even a standalone game. I’ll bring up five major things that need to happen to make a sequel the best it could possibly be.

Animal Crossing Bells

  1. More ways to obtain Bells

Bells are the main currency to Animal Crossing, and we all know you would make it nowhere without them. Yet bells aren’t the easiest thing to come across.  The easiest way to earn bells is by selling whatever you may find. Selling furniture, fossils, fruit, fish, bugs, and other things you may find all help to getting you bells, yet that’s part of the problem: fish, bugs, and fossils are the only reliable way of obtaining bells, unless you know someone with a different native fruit and are able to visit them often, something that is extremely unlikely. In other words, get ready to search for HOURS looking for high-selling Fish and Bugs. It’s a giant shame when the best way of getting bells is walking in a circle around Tortimer Island trying to find animals to catch. There isn’t even any true satisfaction to it, it’s just a “Finally, that’s over”.

The best idea I could think of that isn’t insanely tedious is have some sort of shop that buy Bugs and Fish each day for a high price. For instance, one day butterflies and mackerel sell for more, and another day cicadas and sharks. This would give the player incentive to actually fish and catch bugs each day after you fill out the museum for that month/area (river, pond, ocean). I do find enjoyment in doing these tasks but the lack of reward to it makes it feel pointless.

Animal Crossing Bus

  1. Bring back and add upon the bus mechanic from City Folk/ Let’s Go to the City

In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, there were three “areas” for you to visit (without online play). These included your town, Main Street, and Tortimer Island. Your town was the main area of interest, as it included your home, villager’s houses, town hall, etc. Main Street is where all shops (Excluding Re-tail) are. Tortimer Island was an area you could visit to play minigames, look for exclusive island bugs/fishes, and find exotic fruit. This is all fine and good, but Animal Crossing: City Folk / Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City introduced an interesting mechanic: the city. That was essentially the main street of City Folk/Let’s Go to the City, the place where all the shops were located. That makes you wonder though… could they do something else with this mechanic?

To go from the city and back, you had to take a bus. This bus was replaced with the train in New Leaf, and also allowed you to go to a friend’s town. What if you could visit areas similar to Tortimer Island via the bus, or even the train? Perhaps visit a desert and collect Gyroids? Maybe even visit a neighboring town? This would make Animal Crossing feel like a world with a community all binding together. Perhaps there’s a villager in your town that’s related to one in the other town, and they will visit each other now and then? Maybe even pen pals? I understand how this idea is a bit out there, but I believe they could do something with this mechanic without ruining the charm of Animal Crossing.

  1. Make it easier to visit friend’s towns

While this wasn’t necessarily New Leaf’s fault, exchanging friend codes is not exactly an exciting experience, rather a tedious and long experience. On top of that, needing to open and close your gate for people to visit you is tedious. Outside of that, New Leaf handled this mechanic pretty well. Being able to message online friends is great, but the fact that you need to be “best friends” kind of spoils the experience for me. Basically, if the “opening gate” mechanic wasn’t there, the game would be a lot more encouraging to play with friends, but as it stands, it ends up being kind of a drag.

  1. Be able to choose fundamentals at the start of the game

At the beginning of every game, Rover asks you some questions. Depending on the answers, you will be given different genders, clothing, and faces. What if you could choose more than just basic things for your villager though? What if you could pick which native fruit you have, which pattern of ground you get, a villager limit even? There isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with the start of each game as it stands, yet it would be very helpful to choose a thing or two at the start.

Animal Crossing Items

  1. Constantly add more things as the days go on

My biggest problem with Animal Crossing is the lack of replayability after a while. Hands up, who has a copy of New Leaf lying around after they grew bored of it? You end up doing the same thing every day, digging up fossils, talking to villagers, getting seashells, selling findings, rinse and repeat. This may not sound like a problem, but after six months of daily playtime, it becomes unplayable. Why not add more areas for me to visit? Why not add more shops? Why not add more daily events? Granted, the game does do this, but eventually you realize that you have everything unlocked and have done everything at that point. From that moment on, you basically lose incentive to keep playing. The villagers get mundane, the shops have nothing new, and your house is finished.

At the end of the day, you will just realize what you are doing: walking, talking, and occasionally watering a plant. The incentive to unlocking everything will keep you going, and when you eventually get everything… you lose purpose. Granted, I find enjoyment in doing these chores. But you need to realize that it’s all that is- chores. Chores that just get boring after the hundredth time.
So there’s five ideas as to what the best Animal Crossing installment/sequel would be, in my eyes. Do you agree with my opinion, or do you think I totally missed the point of Animal Crossing? Let me know!

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About The Author

A nerd who spends all of his time playing Nintendo games and writing stuff. Who would have it any other way?