Y'all ascribing way too much to what boils down to basic nostalgia.
I've put almost equal quantities of time into every AC installment (a LOT of time) with the exception of Wild World, which was kind of half baked and transitional admittedly. They've all done great jobs of delivering their own brand of peaceful charm imo! The multiplayer hasn't really significantly ramped up either, honestly, ACGC was intended to be played with multiple people sharing it, it wasn't simultaneous but it was absolutely intended to be a multiplayer game. The development from that, to limited online, to a slightly more accessible element of sharing with friends never felt like the series took any big leap in that direction to me, especially since it was a big part of the original mission statement, so to speak. I do make a specific point of refusing to be mired down with longing for the past though, I guess. Maybe actively resisting that kind of thinking goes further than I thought.
That being said, as much as I love the NL soundtrack, GC has a really distinct iconic sound that had not been replicated since for sure. http://youtu.be/mJUahsj3PQ8