This actually really surprised me, as I'm sure it did for many others. Today, we're going to be briefly going through the new features shown in the Nintendo Direct, which we'll post below.
Nintendo introduced Amiibo for the New Nintendo 3DS and Wii U last year. Since then, Happy Home Designer and Amiibo Festival have been released as Amiibo compatible games - but it's only now that New Leaf has been compatible. Amiibo cards and figures can now be scanned using the bottom screen of the New 3DS or the NFC reader for old DS's when you talk to Wisp.
Amiibo now allows you to move in any villager you like simply by scanning the card and inviting them from the new Campground. There are also a few special characters based from Amiibo figures which can be moved in as new villagers. Examples of this are the new Cece and Viche squirrels based from the Callie and Marie Splatoon figures. You can see more about the Amiibo figures and what they each do on Squishy's new page about the update!
Similar to the campsite, you'll be able to invite villagers to move into your town from here the day after scanning their Amiibo with wisp. Also, every day will come with a new NPC character in a different RV. You obviously can't invite these to move into town, but you can buy their furniture with MEOW coupons.
The campground is owned by Harvey the hippie dog, who also runs a shop here. You can purchase exclusive items from him with MEOW coupons. Which brings me on to...
A new camera feature can be accessed from the title screen, allowing you to take real-life photos with your players, your villagers and any characters from any Amiibo cards you want to scan.
Mutual Exchange Of Wealth (MEOW) coupons and the Coupon Alocating Terminal (CAT)
As I've mentioned, you can only use MEOW coupons to purchase items and furniture from the Campground. These can be obtained by completed tasks known as Initiatives that will appear on your brand new TPC (Town Pass Card). The CAT machine is placed outside your town hall, and flashes when you have coupons waiting for collection.
Puzzle League & Desert Island Escape
Two brand new mini-games are available in this update, and they can be played through two new furniture items - the Wii U and 3DS you might recognise from Happy Home Designer. You can find these items through fortune cookies, and they allow you to play a picross-style game called Puzzle League (on the 3DS), and Desert Island Escape from Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival (on the Wii U).
Puzzle League is a brand new game, but Desert Island Escape is from the Wii U game released earlier this year. I don't think the game was particularly successful, but out of all of the mini-games featured on it, this is the one that's most appealed to me. You can see a video of Jeff playing it on Amiibo Festival here.
Random note: Nintendo has taken a casual stab at themselves with the fortune that comes with the Wii U, which reads 'Great artists aren't always appreciated in their own time'. Many seem to think this is a reference to the bad reaction the Wii U got, and I think this could be right.
Nothing in particular has changed in the dream suite...apart from the fact that everyone now has to have a brand new address. This also means that if you try to insert an old address, it comes up with nothing.
Out of all the things about the update, this is the only bad thing I can see. It means that many people's old towns that have since been deleted (including my two old towns) and can never be accessed again. So those beloved lost towns are now gone. It also means many towns 'famous' in the community (Aika Village, for example), are now lost if they're not updated.
There are 50 new villagers have been added in this update through a new series of Amiibo cards. You can see the cards here - although the page is in Japanese.
If you have a fully expanded house, a new useful feature includes a brand new 36 page closet you can access from anywhere inside your house.
Linking Happy Home Designer
The update comes with the ability to link your copy of Happy Home Designer. This can be done from the title screen, but I haven't linked my copy yet. As far as I can tell, all this does is gives you the chance to order giant furniture only available in HHD.
This doesn't come with linking HHD, but we will also be able to move furniture and organise furniture using the same touch screen controls as that game. This comes with adding the secret storeroom.
- You can exchange one MEOW coupon for 3000 bells (this can be done at the ABD in the post office)
- You can sit on rocks
- Items that take up two spaces can be placed on tables/bookcases
- You can shake trees with an item in your hand (as long as it's not held by two hands - like a shovel)
- Villagers no longer move where there's a pattern (although I can't see how this would work if you had patterns in every single available spot - maybe they put a limit on the amount of patterns you can place.)
- You can turn off the chat for people on the Club Tortimer island - I'm pretty sure this is for each individual person
- There is more leeway when placing public works projects
- Instead of completely restarting your town, Tom Nook will buy it from you. These bells will be in your new town when you start
- Net glitching has unfortunately been patched, but a few other small glitches still work
I think that this is a great addition to a game that really needed it. The community is bigger and better. The campground is awesome but it's all the little details that get me playing the game more. The only bad thing about it is the whole Dream Suite dilemma. I look forward to discovering more in the update and have high expectations for a sequel in the (hopefully near) future.
Overall, I like the update. As long as you get over the fact that yes, it does include DLC (and that's just where Nintendo appears to be going these days), it does include some good additions.
Something I really like is the fact that it's obvious Nintendo have been listening to their fans. A lot of people have hated the PWP limit, annoying players on Club Tortimer and the fact that you can't choose where villagers can move. Nintendo have tweaked the game slightly to please fans without changing too much or making it confusing.
Although I have to say, I am wondering how much this is going to effect the next Animal Crossing game (whenever this may be). A lot of thought and brainstorming has obviously gone into this update, and I'm sure this will have an impact on the next game. Honestly, I would have much preferred a new game for the Switch in the first year after release rather than this update. But at the same time, I do like and appreciate what we've been given.
Other news: Laura Kate Dale has tweeted to say the PAL release date for the Nintendo Switch is March 17th. I'm not completely sure that this is 100% accurate, but I have seen some big fans/blogs that do trust the source.