Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct

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Any Nintendo Direct focusing on new Animal Crossing: New Horizons content has quickly become one of my most anticipated events, and we just got treated to the most mind blowing one yet! In fact, I think I actually need to go lie down before I faint from the 20 minutes of excitement…

The next free update to one of Nintendo’s most beloved series is coming our way on November 5th, 2021, bringing us up to Ver. 2.0. Nintendo have declared that this will be the last major free content update for New Horizons, though I’m sure we may see some minor updates in the future for the usual tweaks and stability improvements. Since the game launched back in March 2020, Nintendo have done well to keep our Islands going over the past year; and whilst some have left us wanting more from them throughout this time, this final major update finally seems to be delivering what long-time fans such as myself have been longing for and then some!

So, without further ado, lets break down all the juicy details shall we!

New spots, new encounters! Whilst some of the surprise may have been taken away from this direct with leaks from data miners, our hopes have now finally been confirmed with one of fans favourite characters making a comeback. Something new is coming to the Museum! That’s right, our favourite feathered friend Brewster is returning to the second floor, up the grand staircase at a café called The Roost. Having first made an appearance in Wild World back in 2006, Brewster is back and looking sharp in his little suit, waiting to serve us up some delicious and quality coffee, coo. I wonder if he will offer a coffee subscription? The Roost is the perfect place to unwind and take in those deep aromas of his special blends when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of island life. It’s also the ideal place to relax with your residents and even invite over your friends for a hot brew! You can even invite new characters over for a good ol’ cup of joe using the amiibo figures and cards. I’m looking forward to indulging my coffee addiction here often!

 

It seems another good old buddy is returning to give our beach piers some much needed use, as Kapp’n returns to give us a round-trip to mysterious islands only he knows, complete with his charming sea shanties to entertain us on the way! Similar to how DAL works, Nook Miles may be redeemed to take a trip to many of these islands where we will discover mysterious flora to take back and we may even encounter different times and seasons! I can’t wait to see what new things there will be to discover, perhaps even new characters would be fantastic.

Now, Harv’s island has always been a location least ventured by myself beyond the token wedding event of Reese and Cyrus. That however is all about to change as Harv’s island is now expanding beyond his photography studio to include an exciting new plaza filled with shops thanks to the assistance of another old friend, the stylist Harriet. Our favourite Gyroid Lloid is also on board to lend a hand, accepting donations to help the cause and fund new merchants stalls. This seems to give a more permanent residence to some regular faces such as Sahara, Kicks, Redd and Leif which will save us from waiting for their designated days visiting our islands. Reese and Cyrus also seem to be setting up shop, offering us customisation services for items we normally cant do on our own, including special items such as the Lighthouse where it seems we can now change the colour from our usual island exclusive variant, which is great for those unable to acquire them through trading with friends! It appears we are also being delighted with the presence of more old friends at the plaza, with all-important fortunes read by our favourite psychic Katrina, handy storage assistance with old Tortimer and Harriet is here to spruce up our hairstyles!

Toom Nook is not one to miss out on the action either, expanding his Nook Inc. offerings for even more domination, I mean services! Resident services are now helping us keep moving and relaxing with some group stretching in the outside plaza. Now we can join our residents with some stretching exercises where you can make use of buttons or motion controls to take some time and unwind. I’m looking forward to stretching the days stress away with my favourite islanders! Isabelle is also finding more ways to help us create our perfect island life in the form of Ordinances. Beautiful Island if I’m correct may see residents helping us keep our island weed free, whilst Early Bird and Night Owl will allow us to sync our islanders up with our daily lives, whether you wake up early or stay up till the early hours! Any thoughts on what Bell Boom may offer? Hopefully it will make our residents less stingy when donating their Bells to Lloid for island projects!

Tom Nook’s services is also seeing some much-needed improvement, with new items redeemable with Nook Miles and a much-needed storage boost for a max of 5,000 items which is perfect for hoarders like myself! We are even getting a storage shed that we can seemingly place anywhere on our island making accessibility to our storage and emptying our pockets much easier. Home exteriors are also getting a revamp, with new designs to match our islands changing aesthetics.

Nook Miles can now be used to spice up our lives in even more ways too with new cards to purchase! DIY Recipes+ is finally letting us cook up a storm using our carefully grown produce, combining ingredients to create a plethora of tasty treats such as salads, sandwiches, breads and bagels to soups and juices! Finally, we can put our grand kitchens to use!! These items appear to be consumable like fruits which can be used to cut down trees and destroy rocks and can even be placed for decorating lavish tables! Bon appetit! Pro Decorating License is now giving us the opportunity to get even more creative and let our decorating fantasies run wild! Finally, our dreams have become reality with the additions of lighting and ceiling décor such as lights and hanging shelves, even accent walls can now be set to really add more personality to our rooms. The important question is how many different lights will be too much before my home looks like an Ikea store?

The Pro Construction License adds a much-needed boost to island design, where bridges and inclines have now increased from 8 to 10 of each at a time, something we have all been hoping for to create the island of our dreams. It would be nice to see this expand even further in the future. 9 new fence types have finally been introduced too! Whilst some may have resorted to tricks to acquire fencing previously seen in the game but unavailable to us, now we can finally create our perfect areas with park fencing, block fencing and even corrugated iron fencing for that more rustic aesthetic. Log-wall fencing, Green bamboo fencing, log fencing (previously found on Harv’s Island) and even Frozen fencing are just some of the ones on offer, perfect for creating our upcoming winter wonderlands! Some of these can also be customised. The Pro Camera App also adds a much-welcomed tool for our disposal. As well as creating our dream islands, a big part of that is showcasing our designs to our friends and the world. Unfortunately, the current camera app left much to be desired, and many of us resorted to using our mailboxes to capture the more unique angles of our island life. Thanks to this upgraded camera, we can now get a handheld eye view of our island and residents with a new perspective. A Tripod mode will also allow us to get in on those all-important selfies with our favourite residents! Customisation as a whole also gets some much-needed improvement, with patterns now available for use on clothing, floors and walls, along with 11 new hairstyles and reactions.

Nearing the end, we got some smaller but amazing updates! Just when we thought we couldn’t get enough of our good boy, K.K Slider has now released 12 more hits along with some fantastic new artwork to grace our ears and walls! What’s more, Gyroids are back baby! I loved these little guys from previous games in the series and I can’t wait to collect them all and come up with some unique combos! They can even be customised! Gyroid fragments can even be dug up and planted then watered to mature into a full gyroid overnight! Nook’s Cranny will also be getting a wide variety of new items for sale, including an ultimate PC setup that every gamer and streamer desires! Wooden ladder set-up kits are a new DIY recipe available where we will be able to place permanent ladders to scale cliffs with ease! Lastly, a large frustration when designing our homes came from the limited manoeuvrable space on offer, especially when creating those cosy spaces with sofas with coffee tables or busy kitchens for that all important counter space! Finally, we can now utilise these compactly designed spaces by sidestepping through them! ALSO, THE FROGGIE CHAIR HAS BEEN SIGHTED! I REPEAT, THE FROGGIE CHAIR HAS BEEN SIGHTED!!!

PHEW! As if that all wasn’t enough already…there’s more! Something new is on the horizon…Going to work! That’s right, Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise will also be releasing on the same day as the first paid DLC for ACNH at a rather shockingly low price of £22.49. If you currently have a Nintendo Switch Online membership and purchase a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership, you will receive a discount and will also gain access to this DLC content as a part of it.

This new DLC takes much inspiration from Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer released for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2015 and expands upon it! Dodo Airlines has a new destination…an archipelago! This resort made up of several islands is perfect for those residents looking to find their perfect vacation home! Being recommended by Tom Nook, you can now take on the role of a Resort developer for Paradise Planning, designing tailored vacation homes for a variety of characters with Lottie. Here, characters will visit with a unique vision in mind, and you can help make their dream a reality. You can select the island it will be built on, each with their own distinctive features. It looks like there will be 49 vacation homes available in total. You can place furniture from an extensive catalogue and even add paths, fencing and trees to the outside, including at different growth points! This would be great to see on our own islands too! You can even modify the time, season and weather.

Construction for these vacation homes also sees some advancement, from adjusting the scale of the rooms to, wait…SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!! Even partition walls, pillars and different height counters have finally been introduced!! I think I’m going to die…They even added soundscapes for the ultimate immersion!!! If you wanted to spruce up the place even further, polishing items has now been introduced to add special effects to items, from a pretty sparkle to fluttering butterflies around your flowers. How cute! All this hard work is not done for free of course, as you will be paid greatly for your efforts! There is even an office shop selling unique pieces previously hard to find on your island. You can remodel client’s homes and even convince two to share! (Oh, think of the possibilities!)

Hold on, just when you thought it could get better, it does! Vacant buildings can be designed as island facilities including a school and a restaurant for islanders to enjoy!! By utilising the new Happy Home Network, you can even upload your designs and visit others from all around the world for inspiration! It seems clients of your choice can also be invited using the Animal Crossing amiibo figures and cards. Most excitingly, use of these new construction features can also be implemented on your own island. You can even gain the ability to remodel your own island resident’s homes, though this is all presumably only if you have this DLC content.

So, to finally wrap it all up Nintendo ended with announcing Series 5 of the Animal Crossing amiibo cards that will also be launching at the same time which will contain 48 new characters. I have my eye on Niko, Sasha and Ione who are so adorable and will be mine! Let’s just hope they will produce enough to meet demand along with some reprints of the previous series that I still need to complete!

It’s hard to believe that so much came out of a 20-minute Nintendo Direct! I certainly was not expecting so much and personally I feel that they have done such a fantastic job here of giving us what we wanted. I can’t wait to pick this all up on the 5th November! Will you guys be picking up the paid DLC? I would love to hear all your thoughts on this massive AC dump! Now, time to go lie down!

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Writer for NGB. Has an unwavering passion for gaming and enthralling stories. Avid collector of Collector Edition games, she is constantly on the lookout for new additions to add to her ever growing collection. Indulges in RPG's, Action-Adventures and Puzzle titles. Dragon age and Mass Effect devotee.

@Dragon_Soul

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