Yesterday I opened the gates to Ella, my island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Then I set my Switch down for 15 minutes while the game played an incredibly long series of unskippable cutscenes.
There is nothing more annoying than a cutscene you can't skip, except maybe a cutscene you see multiple times that never changes that you can't skip. The short animation that plays whenever a new visitor comes to your island in Animal Crossing is one of the latter kind. Whenever you have another player arrive at your island, they come in through the airport by the shoreline. Adorably, the game will show a short animation of the plane's descent as the visiting player connects to your island. Less adorably, it does it every time another player shows up.
Every player on your island will see the same cutscene, and the game will force you to stop talking to other players or rummaging around in your inventory before it starts to play. It's like having your mom come in the room in the middle of a sleepover, turning on all the lights and ruining the magic. If you're expecting a lot of people, you might as well put your Switch down and make a sandwich.
Yesterday I opened my gates and told a few of my friends on Discord that I had done so, expecting a few to roll through. Ten minutes later, I still couldn't walk 10 feet without getting an alert that someone was coming to my island, and I had better close my inventory now. In addition to that, people started arriving on my island that I hadn't explicitly invited, so even after all my Discord friends got there I was still sitting through announcements, forestalling our adventures. Right now, in the age of coronavirus, there are 10-15 people on my friends list playing Animal Crossing at any given time. If I open my gates and even a couple of those want to come through, then I basically just have to stop playing.
You can get around some of this annoyance with a Dodo Code. When you go to the in-game airport and open your gates to visitors, you can select an option that will make your visitors input a code to be accepted, thereby thwarting unwanted guests. While that will keep your island from a stream of arrivals, it doesn't solve that actual problem of: why do I have to keep watching this fucking cutscene? Another, shorter, cut scene also plays when people leave, which feels like Nintendo is playing a prank on me.
Once your visitors are in your town, things are peachy. The co-op works seamlessly once you're all together, leaving your visitors free to explore, check out your museum, sell their fruit and your shop, or grab some clothes. I just wish that the process of getting everyone together was a little smoother.