Have you downloaded the latest update for Animal Crossing New Horizons on Nintendo Switch? It features some expected (and unexpected!) new items and features. It has also managed to spark anger and backlash on Twitter.
The initial download of ACNH update 1.7 unlocks a letter from Nintendo containing a set of maracas for use in anticipation of the upcoming new ‘Festivale’ event, happening on February 15, 2021. New items also became available for purchase from the Nook Shopping app: a Resetti model for Groundhog’s Day, a cheering Megaphone (available in various colors and styles) and a football rug for the Super Bowl, as well as Throwing Beans for the upcoming Japanese holiday Setsubun.
More items are coming next month, including a Chocolate Heart and a Heart Bouquet for Valentine’s Day, Ogre Masks and costumes for Setsubun, and items celebrating the upcoming Chinese New Year and Korean New Year holidays happening in mid-February.
Back in the olden days of Animal Crossing, you had to know someone in Japan (or who had a Japanese game) and visit them via WIFI to get your hands on some throwing beans. Having international items available for easy ordering is so much better! I love learning about other cultures, and being able to have a set of maracas or throwing beans is like taking home a souvenir.
I learned about Setsubun many years ago because of Animal Crossing. You can read a little about the celebration from my blog archives, when we celebrated Setsubun in Wasabi in Animal Crossing New Leaf using my Japanese 3DS back in 2013. These days we are quite spoiled in ACNH, much like in the real world. We can easily order a traditional item from another country and have it delivered straight to our mailboxes now – there’s no need for a WIFI visit with a friend in another country.
But of course, people on the internet love to complain. Certain people on Twitter are angry that some NPC characters remain missing from ACNH. Listen, I want Brewster to come back as much as the next person. But for these twits on Twitter to say that the game is boring really makes me roll my eyes. It’s sad that some gamers can’t appreciate the fun and freedom of a sandbox style game like Animal Crossing. Even with Nook Miles and Nook Miles + missions to keep you busy every day, many gamers are not satisfied with the slower roll-out of main holidays, features and characters in Animal Crossing New Horizons.
However, I remember the Animal Crossing developers discussing the problem with time traveling throughout the history of the franchise. “We think that in order for the players to play for a very long time, and also for players to share the experience with their friends or family, we do think that playing without traveling would probably be the ideal way,” Nogami [Producer of ACNH] said in an article from the Washington Post in 2020.
I believe that Nintendo specifically released ACNH this way to combat the TT’ers and prevent them from being able to get all of the items before the actual holiday date. I think this was the right move for Nintendo, as much as it may upset some of their fan base. But the fact is that time traveling is unfair, and like any other developer, Nintendo has the right to try to prevent people from taking advantage of the game.
Animal Crossing is a game that helps you simulate life skills, like working hard, paying off loans, and buying and selling stock. It seems that there is another life skill at play here that some gamers are not keen on practicing: patience.