I've played every Animal Crossing, starting with Wild World, went back and got the GCN, and then played forward from there. I've been playing New Horizons for about a month, and while I think it's fun, I feel like it's lacking in what is, to me, the defining aspect.
The villagers' dialogue is no longer super weird, bordering on creepy. They rarely ever have any reaction to what you do, such as getting insults or upset with your actions. A large portion of that is that they've stripped away a lot of the options for your character to say that would evoke any emotion. It's usually either blind agreement, or a gentle decline, and that's it. Villagers are now, to me, largely emotionally vacant, and are just baseline balls of "happy". They no longer have quarrels/grudges with other villagers, it takes everything to ever have them angry or disappointed with you (literally hit them repeatedly or shove them are the only times I've had it happen), you're basically their god.
On top of this, it means their dialogue has become so flat. "Wow _____, you sure caught a lot of bugs yesterday!" No shit, that's like the main thing to do. And because of that, I hear this line from every villager, every day, as the first thing they say to me every day. I know I caught a shit ton of bugs, I was the one catching them. I don't need them to tell me that. I'd rather have the weird conversations, where they subtly imply eating bugs or other weird behaviors that they had in the first two games. In fact, I usually have to speak to them 5+ in a row to get anything more unique than "you laid paths" or "you dug fossils" or "sunny today". It's disappointing that now speaking to villagers is almost a slog to get any new dialogue.
I think AC is fun right now because building your ideal town takes time, but it's totally conceivable for it to be complete within six months. So then what's the draw once you've laid every path and pimped out your house? It's the villagers and their weird personalities. So if I have to hear the same dialogue every single day I log on, there's no staying power there. Maybe it's just bad RNG, but it happens every day to the point that I fully believe it's just how it's programmed. Maybe I just haven't become friends enough with them to get the weird dialogue, but I speak to all of them every day, so I can't imagine that's the case with the oldest villagers. If this is the case, I hope it could be just be patched to rebalance their dialogue options, or maybe recognize that a line has been said recently and can be put at lower priority. But I don't see that happening any time soon, considering the fact that they just added fundamental content to the game literally yesterday that had been missing since launch
I hope this isn't me saying "old game good, new game bad" because I think ACNH has a ton of MECHANICAL improvements that go miles beyond the old ones. Terraforming, pathing, a rebalanced economy, semi-random islands for resource farming, crafting, these were are critical innovations that have improved the game's mechanics. But in terms of content, I feel like a lot of it has been stripped down from the villagers, and in doing so, they've really weakened the foundation of the gameplay in the long term.
I decided to post here because I felt that the actual subreddit, and the Switch subreddit, would be full of sycophants who, in contrast to me saying "new game bad," would just shout "new game good" at me, and the Switch sub is probably full of people who have never played previous ones before.
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