Is Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley Worth Finding?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

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Harvest Moon vs. Story of Seasons

Back in June I found out the one of my favorite game series, Harvest Moon, was going to be switching from its long held name and becoming Story of Seasons outside of Japan. While I found the switch a bit weird it wasn’t until I heard Natsume was releasing a new game under the Harvest Moon name that I became concerned.

For me, Harvest Moon has always been an amazing series that takes things I dislike in real life (like being outside and work in general) and makes them an interesting experience full of wonder and magic. It really showed a younger me how much my hard work can pay off. (Nothing was sweeter than getting that greenhouse the first time am I right?)

Look at that low poly success!

Look at that low poly success!

I’ve noticed over the years that Harvest Moon games have been becoming a lot simpler in their approach to giving you an amazing farming game. While Harvest Moon DS had a truly amazing mine (going all the way down 65,535 Floors!), the newest, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, only had 3 spots you could hammer at.

Wow! Look at all the nothing!

Wow! Look at all the nothing!

I can’t say I was looking forward to Natsume’s Harvest Moon as much as I was looking forward to Story of Season but recent information has definitely changed my mind. The newest Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley updates have been very promising.

This will be the first Harvest Moon game where your animals will have “its own personality traits, called “skills” in the game.“

I think this cow has the adorable trait

I think this cow has the adorable trait

This isn’t the first time news has come out of the Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley camp that has been interesting, but it is the first time I’ve heard a truly innovative feature that expands on parts of the game I love and not watering it down.

Not only will your pet have different traits (e.g. Preferring winter and getting more affection when it is winter or preferring to be kept clean so it will appreciate being brushed more), there will also be a feature in the game to let you breed the traits you like into your future animals.

In an earlier update, Natsume said

Everything in Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley has been reinvented, renewed, and reinvigorated!

Guess whose starting to believe them? While it’s hard to let go of something old, I’m looking forward to this title a lot more now. I’ll definitely be buying both where as before I was only planning to get Story of Seasons.

How about you? Willing to give Natsume’s Harvest Moon a shot? Or will you be sticking with Story of Season being translated by XSEED? If you’re interested. check out the posts from Natsume on Facebook!

Source, 2

About Kelsey Brinson

Avid video game player and nerd extraordinaire. I play games and give people my opinions about them, sometimes while on the subway wearing a tin foil hat and sometimes on the internet! I also stream video games with help on Twitch! How thrilling!

  • Thanatos2k

    I’ll be waiting on reviews, like every game that is not called The Witcher 3 or Bloodborne.

  • Vinicius

    While I don’t like Harvest Moon, I think that split was the best thing to happen to the franchise, because now it has direct competition and it will force both series to evolve constantly.

    • Antonin Kořenek

      This. (Minus the not liking Harvest Moon part).

      Because while I loved the last few Harvest Moon games I played I constantly kept feeling that something was… off. I loved Animal Parade… but I knew some of those models were reused and there was that weird thing where all characters on screen walked and stopped at the EXACT SAME TIME.

    • Kelsey

      I completely agree with you. About the competition bit anyways. I feel like While the Rune Factory series has been constantly improving (In my almost but not quite humble opinion) Harvest Moon in comparison hasnt been improving in the same way. I cant wait to see how these two games are received and how well they compare and contrast.

    • madmofo145

      I personally ignored Rune Factory as my brother told me the first was just unbalanced as heck, but based on positive reception eventually got Rune Factory 4, and it quickly became one of my favorite Harvest Moon experiences of all time. I feel like most of the post mineral town games in the mainline harvest moon series have attempted to add features, but many fail to gel, and if they don’t work they are abandoned, where as Rune factory sounds like they’ve done a good job of adding stuff, and when it doesn’t work out, they re-implement it until it does. I also feel like Harvest Moon just doesn’t get playtested enough. I was actually enjoying A New Life, until I quickly got to a point where I realized my tools were fully upgraded, yet I could barely work my main field every day with a little time to go to town. Tasks took too long, there was no automation, so you could never fully utilize all the fields you had available, and that’s just bad design.

      If they could just work out all the kinks in some of there basic game play formulas and work from there, but while the current news is good, I worry these new features may be attached to older features that have never been fully worked out.

  • razorfall

    why not both

  • Zelja

    I initially was uninterested because I hate Minecraft, and it looks like it won’t have many characters (which is fine if I have a good FEEL for them), but then I remember that I also completely ignored Magical Melody for its looks.

    When I finally played MM seriously, it absolutely astonished me by becoming my favorite. I even enjoyed customizing the look of THE WHOLE TOWN that I had initially no care about due to the graphics – you could plant trees & build things *everywhere*. Then they took steps down in the next games. Where in MM there were (4 or 5?) sizes of house each with 2 or 3 different custom appearances (colors/skins) and you choose where to put ALL the furniture, and you could place them in the mountains, your farm, by the pond, river, in town, by the beach… in Animal Parade they went back to having alternate houses that you had NO customization over! Just one example of how HM has always been taking steps back on good features. Not really the most important one to point out, but whatever no one is reading this.

    So maybe I’ll actually find that I enjoy building my own farm, despite the Minecraft look. I’m not into sandboxing so much, I’m bored of my own head, I want to enjoy other people’s creations. What I really enjoy about HM is the feeling of comfort the games bring. LV sounds like it takes out many of the utterly irritable slow mechanisms, such as tool switching and running back to feed bins/storage etc so much, I think changes like that are vital because the advancing slowness (and yes, my favorite MM, also has much sloowwwness) of the last several games is a huge turn off to me. I’ve spent much time laughing cynically over how frustratingly slow menus open, for instance. I can’t figure out why anyone would think some of these mind numbing issues are a big deal.

    So please, LV, be enjoyable. Thanks.

    • Zelja

      Erm, a big deal is supposed to say “good idea”. Yay for no proofreading!

    • Kelsey

      I think there’s a big difference in a game being slow and a game making you work for something. I’m sorta on the fence about how LV is making tool switching and your backpack unlimited.

      While I definitely don’t want a game to be tedious, making things too simplistic is a turn off. Considering the recent news however I’m really looking forward to playing and reviewing this game myself. Hopefully its not another idea that looks good but isn’t implemented well (Hometown Story I am looking at you!)

      Sorry for the late response, this thing is allergic to email updates XD