Update (Mon 27th Apr, 2020 10:30 BST): Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been available for just over a month now and negative user reviews (as well as a good number of unjustified negative scores) are continuing to fly in.
Last month, we reported that Nintendo's latest major release was being review-bombed by angry and upset fans. Many users had taken to review site Metacritic to vent their frustrations - sometimes fairly, sometimes just to jump on the bandwagon - and the situation has actually been getting worse ever since.
As it stands, negative review scores have now overtaken positive ones, dropping the game's average user review score down to 5.1.
As stressed in our original article below, some of the criticisms presented in the site's user reviews are completely valid - the one island per console rule is almost always the reasoning behind any low score - but plenty of others are simply piling on for seemingly no good reason.
The quotes below are taken from '0/10' reviews - note how the first user hasn't actually played the game, and we won't even try to analyse that last one.
"The game is probably fine but you can't fully experience it if you are the second player on the same console... This has to be the worst game design decision ever made... Shame on you Nintendo. "
"Locked to a single island per console in a disgusting money grabbing attempt from Nintendo. Also a stupid game in general- who likes doing chores to get out of debt from a raccoon?"
"Nintendo games are really going down hill and the problem is the fact that people are buying there games due to nostalgia before there parents were divorced."
Original Article (Tue 24th Mar, 2020 10:15 GMT): Once again, a major release on Nintendo Switch is being review-bombed by disgruntled players.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been a huge hit with critics - ourselves included - and seems to be going down wonderfully with the majority of players who have been sharing screenshots of their islands on social media over the past few days. Some players aren't as happy, however, taking to review aggregator site Metacritic to pile on its user review system.
The game currently has an overwhelmingly positive rating of 91 based on 58 reviews from sites and critics, but the user score currently sits at 6.5, with an increasing number of negative reviews coming in each day. The average score isn't as bad as it could be thanks to an even larger number of positive reviews, but the written reviews themselves make for grim reading.
Almost every negative comment concerns New Horizons' multiplayer, and specifically the way in which only one island can be created per Nintendo Switch system. As we've come to expect, rather than assessing all aspects of the game calmly, users have taken the opportunity to drag the game down with a score of zero to prove their point. Here are some choice comments:
...If you have more than one person in your home that wants to play the game, you need two Switches. Worst decision I have ever seen, this even beats EA. Congratulations Nintendo, you have officially become the worst video game company this year!
Bought to play with the wife. While it is possible, we can't have our own islands. After research, Nintendo has apparantly LOCKED EACH SWITCH CONSOLE to one island each... From now on we'll stick with our Playstation 4. At least Sony respects its customers.
The limitation of one island per Switch (not per cartridge, per Switch) is nonsensical. It‘s obvious Nintendo is just trying to sell more Switch consoles... Sorry but this is an instant 0/10.
It's not just the multiplayer that has people riled up:
The objectives of the game are not clear, there are multiple tasks but none lead to a greater objective or at least I did not see any interesting narrative that was spun in the background, it's sad and embarrassing that having superior hardware such as the Nintendo Switch the developer has opted for that annoying world in perspective of roller and they would not make the jump to the more open world as other sagas have done.
Now, criticism of the way in which the game handles multiplayer is certainly valid - it's easy to understand why fans would be upset by the limitations - but hurtling scores of '0' at it certainly isn't. The single-player content is truly fantastic, and the game does offer workarounds for multiplayer, even if the setup doesn't match up with everyone's hopes.
Thankfully, at present, the majority of negative reviews do bring up some valid points despite their nonsensical '0' scores, so hopefully this won't get too out of hand. Other recent games like Pokémon Sword and Shield, Pokémon: Let's Go, and Astral Chain also faced the review-bomb treatment.