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Topic: Criticisms you have of AC as a whole

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Ard
 
Name
Andiél
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/27 10:13pm
So for many of us, this is our favorite video game series and it means a lot to us. But, that doesn't mean we can't criticize certain aspects of it from time to time, and think that it was built on some faulty decisions.

For example, a lot of people praised the whole "game that plays to a real world schedule" aspect. That's great and stuff, but it falls a bit flat when nothing in the game is realistic at all.

Furniture turns into little leaves that you shove into your pockets. A small dresser can fit an elephant slide, but doesn't have enough room left for a piece of paper. Construction on buildings gets finished in like a day, when in reality this would take months.

So, why put limitations to make the game have any realism at all?

Diehard fans of the Gamecube version will not enjoy this rant...

But when the game came out, it was already dated. I realize it was a port of a 2001 N64 game. But hear me out.

Before that point, there were many games with seemingly infinite inventory space. Why did 15 have to be a limit? Why did a separate tool pocket not exist, when it had been a thing in other games? Even 40 still seems limited.

If this is to make it "more realistic", well it falls flat. Because nothing in this game is realistic.

And how about not having to go through so many dialogue text boxes when we just want to buy or sell things? How about just menus that pop up instantly.

Why do all the furniture icons look like leaves? I guess back then it saved space, but nowadays, a small photo would be nice.

There were always things in this series that made me wonder why they made it the way they did.

Any criticisms of the series you have?
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yankees24cano
 
Name
Cano
ACNL Town
Last Active
5:31pm
My biggest complaint is that completing the catalog is one of the biggest goals most people have in the game and all 5 games allow trading to complete your catalog but all 5 games have or had a way to duplicate or create items.

I know some people focus more on decorating their house/town and like the ability to get whatever they want for cheap/free but it makes it very tough to play the game with others without being exposed to items obtained by hacking or duping, either directly or indirectly. I wish Nintendo made way to get items for free, similar to universal codes in AC:GC, but made it impossible to sell those items or exchange them with someone else so everyone had the option if they wanted it but there'd still be a fair and reasonable economy in the games.

With the pocket space thing, I think it's about slowing things down a little. Part of the fun in AC for me is that it takes a while to get everything done. With 40 pocket spaces and fruit stacking, you can collect 200k bells worth of fruit in one go which is a ton. I agree that the 15 slots from AC:GC without stacking seems too small but at the same time, if they give you too many spaces you can do things way too quickly which can take the fun out. I like that you buy extra spaces in AC:NH though so if you don't want the extra you can just avoid buying them so an unlimited option you could choose not to get, especially if you could get it and then reverse it, wouldn't be too bad.

I'm guessing the pocket thing was just about saving time and money. For the most part it doesn't bug me too much. The one thing I don't like is the toolbox you drop for tools. I wish they would still show as the tool when you dropped them. I'm guessing it's less of a space issue and they just decided that their time would be better used on things people will see more often and care more about.
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Ard
 
Name
Andiél
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/27 10:13pm
Oh also- some items still have no interactivity whatsoever. The elephant slide is still a giant hunk of plastic that does nothing, to this day.
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PennyGwin
 
Last Active
8/27 5:25pm
Ard - Interesting thread idea!

"Why do all the furniture icons look like leaves? I guess back then it saved space, but nowadays, a small photo would be nice."
This is because of Japanese folklore, which is still playing a part in the games and parts of their design to this day. Even though Tom Nook, Timmy, and Tommy have been localised as raccoons with occasional hints from neighbours that they might not actually be that species, they are tanuki. Tanuki were said to play tricks on travellers, an iconic part of which involved transforming things like worthless leaves into valuable goods and/or money. You don't want to know what they purportedly used to create fake food, but let's just say that this makes the new use of toilets in ACNH a bit meta, because you're only getting out what you put in... They would also get people lost, purely for their own entertainment*.

*This is something which ACNH ramps up to extremes - you're basically out on a deserted island because you've been pranked by three tanuki into giving them your hard-earned money for them to laugh behind your back at your efforts after they've stranded you on a remote island. This is probably lost on a lot of fans outside of Japan, but the moment that they first ran that trailer about the Nook Inc. Deserted Island Getaway Package, I immediately chuckled at it because I love folkloric influences in video games (it's something that I can happily spend hours at a time researching) and I got the joke.

There's a YouTuber called Gaijin Goombah who has made multiple videos about tanuki - one specifically covers Tom Nook, and another is about the tanuki that Tarin is transformed into in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and both will shed a lot of light on this topic if you haven't already looked into it before. I haven't linked these videos here because Gaijin Goombah sometimes covers mature topics (actually mature, not "Ohoho blood and guts!"), but if you're interested in how folklore influences Japanese video games, I highly recommend looking up his videos.

Anyway, the reason that the icons are still only leaves is because it's always been a humourous little meta comment on the nature of the simulation - it's a literal tell that none of it is real, albeit a very culturally-specific one.

"Construction on buildings gets finished in like a day, when in reality this would take months."
Putting aside the obvious game-design reasons for this for a moment (I'll get back to this in a moment, as game-design is another field of interest for me), this is a gameplay element that is also justified by the magical powers involved in the above folklore. Even a game that doesn't have much story benefits from small narrative elements like this to justify its mechanics.

As far as game-design goes here, and this addresses several of your points about realism or lack thereof, there comes a point where you will want to stick with arcade-style abstractions for certain concepts even in a simulation game, because otherwise it will become very tedious very quickly. For example, it's better to just choose an in-game bicycle from a menu than it is to implement and expect players to master a QWOP-style simulation of how the player-character's leg-muscles are moving and interacting with the pedals and inertia of the bike.

"So, why put limitations to make the game have any realism at all?"
For a communication/creativity-based game, this makes perfect sense - psychologically speaking, constraints give rise to creativity, and this is something that's particularly well-known to veteran game-designers whose careers have encompassed machines that had a lot of limitations and trade-offs and whose careers have been built upon what they did with those limits.

I have both Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Minecraft on my Switch, but I've done more creative things with ACNH over the last week than I have with Minecraft over the last three years, because ACNH's constraints encourage the mental processes that let you create better concepts more so than "Here, have everything!" will for most people.
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Ard
 
Name
Andiél
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/27 10:13pm
PennyGwin - Wow! So I guess all this stuff has a reason. Thanks for the explanation!

I realized that AC is a very Japanese franchise. I know Nintendo is a Japanese company, but many of their franchises seem to translate well into other regions without too much context lost. Like how Mario and Donkey Kong were based on Hollywood movie and cartoon characters, so they're more "western". (Although Mario Bros. 3 had the tanuki suit and leaf. The suit retained its name overseas, but I don't remember if the leaf description called it a "raccoon tail" or not.)

Pokemon is another franchise that is very heavily Japanese, I noticed. By this, I mean their folklore, religion, and culture. Not only nearly all of the Pokemon designs themselves (at least the earlier generations), but the overworld in general. Heck, the first 4 regions are based on regions of Japan! And things like the shrine in the second generation, and the towers in Gen 1 and 2, etc. I know some of it did have to be altered a bit when translated, and entire concepts scrapped altogether to make the game better suited for an international audience.

But Pokemon doesn't compare to AC. And now knowing the info you told me, that makes it even more obvious! The Gamecube one especially had to have so many changes made to it. Although, they didn't have to change anything. But they thought that gamers abroad would be confused by much of the very Japan-centric furniture sets and buildings and whatnot. Some of which we've never gotten in a game to this day.

As a comparison: Pokemon Gen 2 kept their shrines. They kept the tower designs. But then again, Pokemon is meant to represent a totally fictional world. Where AC is a bit more realistic, in many ways. So I guess replacing a "mythical shrine" with a wishing well was the right thing to do in this instance.

I also agree with you about getting everything at once- that scares me away from some games and apps. And can be a bit overwhelming. Whereas in AC, the little bit at a time helps me ease into it, and I don't have trouble designing things. Even Happy Home Designer did good with this, by giving you limited furniture and adding more and more per each house designed. I never feel overwhelmed with it.

Although I think some of my points still stand. I want a functioning elephant slide!!
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PennyGwin
 
Last Active
8/27 5:25pm
Yes! We all want a functioning elephant slide!

Anyhow, glad that I wrote something useful! There's so very much to dig into with these sorts of influences in Animal Crossing that it's unreal - hell, these days, localising Kapp'n and family as "sea turtles", for example, most likely wouldn't even happen, as kappas have become a bit better-known outside of Japan. The localisation team for the GameCube installment had a massive job to do back then, though, because you're right - Animal Crossing is very Japanese, even when localised.
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Ard
 
Name
Andiél
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/27 10:13pm
^I think back in those days of Nintendo (late 80s to early 00s), they assumed that Westerners "wouldn't get" any Japanese traditional aspects, due to internet not being so widespread and some of us being rather sheltered from the rest of the world. It was an understandable business decision to change some franchises so drastically.

This was also very evident in anime, especially in the Pokemon anime (remember the "donuts" that Brock used to make? ).

But I feel like now they've relaxed a bit, and realize that those of us outside of Japan either know about their culture or we wish to learn more, so they leave that stuff in. And it helps the rest of the world learn!
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707penguin
 
Name
707
ACNH Town
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Last Active
11/27 7:48pm
"My biggest complaint is that completing the catalog is one of the biggest goals most people have in the game"
I don't think this is true, actually. I know some people try to do this, but my guess is that it's well short of a majority.
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Hulachee
 
Name
Hyperion
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/14 6:31pm
I do wish that some more furniture items had more interactions rather than just decorations.

Sliding down the elephant slide would be cool.
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Nerdyplatypus
 
Name
Katie
ACNL Town
Last Active
5/2 1:28am
I don't mind a lot of the things in the first post, ahah.....I really like limitations in my games; if it's too easy I just can't get into it. Even with a supremely lax game like AC, I like feeling like I'm working, yknow? (Not saying your crit isn't valid - it is! - I just wanted to toss my thoughts in.)

Honestly, biggest criticism? The personalities. Don't get me wrong; I love the personalities we have! But the appearance of a well fleshed-out world and characters is bound to come apart with the setup we have. Since there's what, eight personalities, but *ten* villager slots, that ensures that the charade of living people is going to collapse...twice. For some it works out, since the villager's appearance often gives even ones with the same personality a different vibe, but you can't just go about reading the exact same text from two different villagers. Surely we could afford to create a few new ones, you know? Why not a Smart villager? Nervous? Quiet? Artsy? Clown?

I don't particularly see the need for them to be gender locked, either. Surely to goodness we can afford a couple female Jocks and Normal guys.

My other complaint is that Lazy feels less Lazy in this game and more.....I dunno, Weird Kid? Silly? Which is still a very good personality.....that could have been its own addition, so we could get another personality AND a lazy schlub.
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Ard
 
Name
Andiél
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/27 10:13pm
^Hey, better to have 8 personality types in 10 villager slots, than 6 personality types in 15 slots, like Gamecube had!

But yeah they need to fix this. I hope for it in each new installment, and it never happens.
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707penguin
 
Name
707
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11/27 7:48pm
"I hope for it in each new installment, and it never happens."
Except for New Leaf, when two new personality types were added, right?
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michael_patryk
 
Name
Mike
ACNH Town
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7/11 2:50pm
I agree, nerdyplatypus. The lazy villager gives me much more childish, immature vibes this time around. Again, not a bad thing but almost feels like a different personality.

I’m very thankful that New Leaf introduced two new personalities. Would have been amazing if we got an additional two for New Horizons as well.

Maybe I didn’t notice it as much in past games, but I definitely feel like some of the personalities are a little too strong. I.E. literally EVERY single thing mentioned by my peppy villager is being a pop star
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Ard
 
Name
Andiél
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/27 10:13pm
707penguin - I mean that there's only 8 possible personality types still. For a town of over 8. So there'll be repeats in a full town.

We need a better system than just a small number of possibilities. I know it's not possible to give 300+ unique personalities but we need something.

michael_patryk - Yes! And the lazy villagers talk about nothing except food and bugs in their walls.
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707penguin
 
Name
707
ACNH Town
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11/27 7:48pm
I feel like the jocks are more of a caricature than any of the other personality types.

One problem with more personality types is how quickly the required number of sets of interactions between villagers increases. Interactions between jock and peppy characters are programmed differently than interactions between cranky and big sis characters, for instance, and the number of combinations gets large fast. With six personality types, only 21 (six choose two plus six) different sets of interactions need to be written, but with eight personality types that number grows to 36 (eight choose two plus eight). With ten personality types, that number would grow to 55, more than two and a half times as many as were needed with just six types.
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spookies
 
Name
Aimee
ACNL Town
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10/3 9:57am
I think my biggest criticism is the fact that there are animal characters.. but also meat. Like, what? Also, there's an octopus species of villager, but you can catch octopi in the ocean as well. It just kinda bothers me. Also, I wish there were more personalites. And more octopus villagers.
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707penguin
 
Name
707
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11/27 7:48pm
I do wish that they would remove octopodes and frogs from the list of catchable creatures. It is rather disturbing.
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PennyGwin
 
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8/27 5:25pm
It's a rather Disney-inspired design element that seems to occur in a lot of productions involving anthropomorphic animal characters.
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PeanutFan14_
 
Name
Alicee
ACGC Town
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5/17 5:00pm
How on new leaf and city folk the grass disappears. Also how all the trees face the same way stresses me out because it isn't realistic.

Also when you put bugs and fish in your house they are in tiny tanks and the hamster cage is too small for the hamster
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tujunga
 
Name
Alex
ACNH Town
Last Active
10/5 4:35am
My biggest complaint is that completing the catalog is one of the biggest goals most people have in the game

It really seemed that way in NL too, but its even more apparent now for some reason.


One thing I've always despised about the fishing, when you cast the reel in and your fishing bob is like .1 pixel off from the field of vision the fish has. So you pull it out, then you try and adjust and you adjust wrong and it still doesn't see the bob, then you cast again and it was perfect this time except when your bob was midair the fish turned around, and then suddenly your character can't cast the rod cause the river isn't wide enough or the beach is somehow invisibly in the way or the fish starts moving away. Like why....
I do not have a solution for my problem in terms of changing the game. But it kinda feels outdated doing that now. Same fishing from 2003 as 2020. Don't get me wrong though, fishing is one of my favorite ways to make bells but when it wants to argue then it really puts up a fight for nothing.

Another similar issue arises when I dig or plant flowers or pick up items. When the game refuses to pick up or put down what is right in front of you. Trying to pick up an item on the ground when there are 9 things in a grid, 8 around you and 1 you're standing practically on top of, why is the idiot picking up the item behind them before the one they're standing directly on top of? Why are the flowers going diagonal when my character is more than 50% standing on one square of the grid? Why will it pick up all the furniture on the floor before it picks the item off the wall, when I'm pressing the stick into the item to direct it to the wall. But no it'll go and do it's own thing. I would think, logically, that the item closest to you or the one you're pushing the stick toward should be the item it's focusing on, not do some weird back twist the developers did not intend for you to see to grab the item behind me.
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abbyv6436
 
Name
Abby
ACNL Town
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5F00-0145-B1BC
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11/27 9:48pm
(This critique doesn't apply to NH, the rest of the game, yes)
Villagers randomly moving! My favorite villager once randomly moved out, I gave her my only perfect pear, next thing you know, she's gone! I'm glad they removed that in NH.

And as a whole, how strong the peppy villager type is. Every word that comes out of Chrissy's mouth has to do with being a pop star.
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Ard
 
Name
Andiél
ACNH Town
Last Active
11/27 10:13pm
^That's only a thing in recent games, very much NH... peppies wanna be pop stars all the time, lazies talk about bugs in their homes + food, jocks know nothing except exercise (tbh this has sorta always been the case but it gets worse),...
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General AC Discussion Board » Topic: Criticisms you have of AC as a whole

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