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E3 2015 Hands-On: Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories


Leah

Last year, we were met with a Harvest Moon game that wasn“t actually part of the long-lived Bokujou Monogatari farming series. You see, XSEED is now publishing the Bokujou Monogatari games in North America. But because Natsume owns the rights to the Harvest Moon name, XSEED couldn“t title the recent Story of Seasons as such.

 

Natsume decided to take advantage of the fact that they still had the Harvest Moon name, and so they delivered their own brand new creation called Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley for 3DS. This Minecraft-esque farming simulator paled in comparison to the Bokujou Monogatari series and was extremely repetitive and empty.

 

It seems Natsume hasn“t given up hope, however. They“ve listened to fans“ criticism of The Lost Valley and are aiming to make a (hopefully) better game with Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories. Very eager to see how different this upcoming title from Natsume would be, I had the lucky opportunity to try Seeds of Memories out at E3.

 

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Natsume boasts that Seeds of Memories is “inspired by the old-school gameplay of the very first games.†If you couldn“t guess from that, yes, Seeds of Memories has a top-down 2D view like the older Harvest Moon games versus The Lost Valley“s completely 3D one. The graphics alone already show a definite improvement over those of The Lost Valley. While it“s not a complete throwback to the days of old with pixels and such, it“s still a nice 2D cartoony art style that suits the game.

 

Unfortunately, Natsume“s demo for Seeds of Memories at E3 didn“t really go into gameplay such as taking care of crops or animals. All it had you do was go around the town and talk to villagers. “Wait, Leah. Did you say ”town“?†I most certainly did! If you played The Lost Valley, one of the first things you probably noticed was the lack of a town, which was one of the biggest factors in making the game feel terribly empty. Thankfully, Natsume realized how important such a thing was in these types of games and implemented one in Seeds of Memories.

 

Seeds of Memories“ plot is pretty basic as far as Harvest Moon games go. Basically, you must “unlock the titular Seeds of Memories†by performing tasks such as giving a villager their favorite item or catching a giant fish. In a way, this premise sounds very much like collecting musical notes in Harvest Moon: Magical Melody for the GameCube. If you liked that particular Harvest Moon title, then Seeds of Memories might be right up your alley.

 

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Natsume hopes to release Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories sometime this winter for Wii U, Steam, iOS, and Android. While the demo that Natsume presented at E3 didn“t really show much to judge it properly, I am really hoping that Seeds of Memories is a lot better than The Lost Valley.

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