Why Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Summer Update Is Disappointing

Animal Crossing's next update is bringing new things to New Horizons, but really all of these things should have been there from the start.
Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons revealed what players have to look forward to in the summer update, but the new additions are ultimately a let-down, especially for fans familiar with previous entries in the Animal Crossing franchise. Many of the new updates coming to Animal Crossing villages are not original, and while they may be fun and adorable, players have come to expect more from the series by now.

The Summer Update Wave 2 trailer for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which was shared to Nintendo’s official YouTube channel on July 28th, 2020, made several reveals about the new update. First, it announced that a fireworks show will be held every Sunday in the month of August. This new update, which recently went live, even gives players the option to launch their own custom fireworks.

Perhaps even bigger, the trailer revealed that an old character is returning to the Animal Crossing universe – Luna. The tapir allows players to visit other islands in Animal Crossing: New Horizons without being online through dream sequences. Players also have the option to show off their own village’s design to other players through dreams.

The major updates that are coming to Animal Crossing may seem exciting at first, but it doesn’t take players long to realize that these ideas have been done before. Fireworks are nothing new to the games, as they have been featured in every single Animal Crossing title in some capacity. In the original game, they appear on the 4th of July as well as New Year’s Eve. In Wild World, there is a firework show every Saturday in August, starting at 7 p.m. outside of town hall, and then in New Leaf this was changed to every Saturday in August. It’s not exactly surprising that the summer update includes a firework show. Nintendo didn’t even change the day of the week the show will be held on. The custom fireworks feature isn’t new, either, since this was also an option in New Leaf.

Similarly, Luna and the dream sequences also aren’t new. The NPC was originally introduced in Animal Crossing: New Leaf as the manager of the Dream Suite through which players could visit other towns in a dream-like state. Luna allows players to do the same thing in New Horizons’ summer update, with the exception that there is no longer be a Dream Suite. Rather, players can access her services by falling asleep in any bed.

It’s not that these updates aren’t exciting or fun for players, especially those who haven't played Animal Crossing before. However, the problem is that they’re not original or surprising. Given that they were already featured in past Animal Crossing games, players were already expecting these elements to be incorporated in the game in some capacity. Perhaps they should’ve been available from the start, especially Luna’s dreaming abilities. The fact that Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ summer update isn’t offering players something that hasn’t been attempted before is what makes it disappointing.

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