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Found 23 results

  1. 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. 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. 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.
  2. Jason Clement

    Natsume Announces E3 2015 Lineup

    We're less than two weeks away from the biggest video game convention in the industry and now we're beginning to see publishers make most of their E3 games known (well, those that aren't holding big press conferences like Sony, Nintendo, EA, etc.). Natsume is one such company that's revealing its cards, and this year, they will have at least four titles on the docket. First up is Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories, which was initially revealed a few days ago and will hearken back to earlier games in the series. It's also the first Harvest Moon title to be coming to mobile devices (both iOS and Android) in addition to coming to Wii U and 3DS. Ninja Strike is the second game in the lineup, and it's a side-scrolling action platformer where you'll be able to choose from 5 different ninjas to play as. This one is coming to Wii U as well, presumably through the eShop. Gotcha Racing is the third title, and it's a top-down racing game where you'll be able to customize your car (also known as a Capsule Machine). There will be 12 different tracks, 6 different grades, grand prix races, and lots of Capsule Machines to unlock. This one is coming to 3DS in July. Brave Tank Hero is the last big game on this list, and it's a 3D action tank game featuring three playable tanks, 50 levels, upgrades, and tactical strategy to boot. It's coming to both 3DS and Wii U in August. Additionally, Natsume has confirmed that they'll be talking about upcoming Wii U GBA Virtual Console games, including Medabots, Pocky & Rocky With Becky, and others. If there's one thing that's surprising about this list, it's that there are no Vita releases this time around. Is Natsume pulling away from Sony for now? Only time will tell. What are your thoughts on Natsume's E3 lineup?
  3. In keeping with Natsume's usual plans of announcing most of their games before E3 starts, the company announced a new game in the Harvest Moon series today, this time called Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories. Said to be inspired by the old-school gameplay of classic Harvest Moon games, this installment will feature the usual scenario where you'll need to revitalize a farm and raise crops and animals. And by befriending people in the village and doing other tasks, you'll unlock the titular Seeds of Memories, though what exactly these are, Natsume isn't saying just yet. Also new to the series is the introduction of a bobcat, which will be wild at first, but if you manage to befriend it, you'll be able to take it on as a pet. And of course, horses, sheep, cows, and chickens are all included as barnyard animals once again. Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories will be coming to Wii U, PC, iOS, and Android this Winter. Expect more details to surface at E3 2015 in two weeks. Source: Press Release What are your thoughts on Seeds of Memories?
  4. Natsume announced today that the upcoming Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley has officially gone gold and is being prepped for a release in early November. Two versions of the game have been announced thus far; a standard edition and a collector's edition. The former will include a 5" dog plushie for anyone who pre-orders the game at GameStop (or EB Games in Canada) or Natsume's website, while the latter will be available exclusively from Natsume's website and will be bundled with a premium 12" rabbit plushie. For more thoughts and information on the game, be sure to check out Marcus' impressions from the E3 2014 demo as well as the trailer that released earlier in the Summer. Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley will release via retail and on the 3DS eShop for $29.99 on November 4. Source: Press Release Are you interested in playing this newest installment in the series?
  5. Game franchise crossovers seem to be all the rage these days! This one is quite interesting, as it is a collaboration between SRPG series PoPoLoCrois and farming series Bokujou Monogatari (known in the West as Harvest Moon until recently). For those unaware of PoPoLoCrois, it is a manga series about the power of love and friendship. It has also sprouted numerous SRPG game releases. The PSP release, simply titled PoPoLoCrois, is the only game in the series that has released in North America and Europe. The aptly named PoPoLoCrois Bokujou Monogatari, or "PoPoLoCrois Farm Story," will feature a command-based battle system and farming elements such as raising animals and crops. It will also feature characters from the PoPoLoCrois series. PoPoLoCrois Bokujou Monogatari will be available for 3DS. No release date or plans for localization have been announced yet. Source: Gematsu
  6. Harvest Moon has been through some really interesting events lately. First, there was the news that XSEED Games had gained publishing rights to a new Harvest Moon game. However, without the rights to the actual name “Harvest Moon,” they had to name it Story of Seasons instead. A week later, Natsume shocked fans with news that they also had a Harvest Moon project in the works - Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley. Natsume had a build of The Lost Valley available for play on the E3 show floor and it showed just a snippet of a very new brand of Harvest Moon. First off, the company stated how this was the “first 3D Harvest Moon” but what did that mean? It actually relates to a very interesting new feature of the series, wherein players can plant their crops at various heights by digging down or building up land. Controlling the height of land plots may change how plants grow. For example, pumpkin seeds may become normal pumpkins but become jack-o-lanterns when built above ground level. Interestingly, this intense attention to planting detail has created another big change for the series. Now, any land you can plant on—as well as many other locations—are comprised of cubes. It honestly looks a lot like Minecraft. Everything needs to be blocky to utilize land raising/lowering features effectively as each block can hold one planted crop. With that said, it is still kind of difficult to look at The Lost Valley and not feel like the game is a cousin of Harvest Moon rather than a new Harvest Moon. There are a host of quality of life improvements to the latest game as well. Players won“t need to collect their various goodies off the ground after farming activities. For example, if there are ten pieces of wood that can be collected, they will be immediately deposited to your items. Similarly, the player can carry up to 99 of every item in their backpack at a time. Finally, tools are all context sensitive. This means that you won“t have to equip a shovel, hoe, or axe to perform their respective activities. They“ll simply activate as you would expect when walking up to a task. Despite changes, there“s still a Harvest Moon game at the core of the experience. It still begins with your girl or boy character discovering a fairy and being assigned a task. However, you don“t simply reside in a farm next to a town (as most games begin). Now you“re in a more open environment which invites exploration. That“s about all we know about the game thus far but more information should be available in the following months. Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is coming to 3DS this Fall.
  7. That's right, it's been some 2 years since the last Harvest Moon came out in Japan so it's right about time for a new one. Formally announced in this week's Famitsu, the newest Harvest Moon's subtitle, Tsunagari Shintench, translates to something like 'Linking the New World' or 'Connecting New Lands'. The new mechanic this time around has to do with a trading station that will allow you to buy and sell goods from foreign nations, which allows you to obtain new stuff for your town. At the start, you'll only be able to trade with one nation, and then eventually build up from there. Series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto has said that the game will support StreetPass as well as WiFi, so you can trade with friends as well as visit their farms. Another new feature is a Safari Zone where you'll be able to visit wild animals and build up a sanctuary of sorts for them. This game is also supposed to have twice the amount of animals than previous games (though most are wild animals). There's no US release date announced yet for this new Harvest Moon, but it will be launching in February 2014 in Japan. Source: Gematsu Are you excited for a new Harvest Moon game?
  8. Developer: Marvelous AQL Publisher: Natsume Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: October 19, 2012 ESRB: E for Everyone It“s been a whopping 15 years since Harvest Moon saw its first release. Since then, we“ve seen the series span over various consoles with over twenty different entries. There has even been a spin-off series created, Rune Factory, which consists of RPG-esque gameplay with Harvest Moon elements. A New Beginning marks Harvest Moon“s first true step onto the 3DS (as The Tale of Two Towns was only a port of a DS game). Not only does it offer the classic farming action that we“ve loved for so long, but presents new and exciting features such as in-depth customization. But is this “new beginning†a step in the right direction for Harvest Moon? Right away, you“ll notice one of the bigger new features that Marvelous has decided to implement into a Harvest Moon game – full customization of your playable character. Having a diverse wardrobe in previous games was fun (and there“s an even bigger one in A New Beginning versus the other games), but this is even better. You“ll get to choose from a wide variety of different hair styles and colors, eye styles and colors, and skin color. And don“t fret if you end up disliking your initial choice. You can change any of these features later whenever you unlock the appropriate villager! After creating your character, A New Beginning“s story commences. You“re heading to an old farm in Echo Town that you“ve inherited from your father. On your way there, you come across an old man that has passed out on the path. The man“s name is Dunhill, and he explains that he“s friends with your parents and that he“s been expecting you. He also tells you about Echo Town, which is pretty much desolate since everyone has left. After some (rather lengthy) chit-chat and tutorials, you and Dunhill devise a plan to restore the tiny, barren little village so that it becomes a bustling town again. This strategy to revive Echo Town is comprised of five Town Renovation Plans. These plans have you perform tasks such as building various structures and new houses for people to move into and unlocking new festivals. There“s no time limit to completing these plans, but I guarantee you that it will take at least two or three years of in-game time to finish all five plans, which may equate to 100+ hours of gameplay for you. Nonetheless, it“s a fantastic and rewarding feeling to complete each Town Renovation Plan – and ultimately that final fifth one. It“s also a great way to have added a story to a Harvest Moon game (a series where plot is usually absent). On a similar note, let“s turn our focus to the town and farm customization aspect of A New Beginning. It“s probably the best addition ever made to a Harvest Moon title. As mentioned before, you“re able to construct a bevy of buildings and houses, as well as decorations, roads, benches, fountains, and so forth. Not to mention all the amenities for your farm. With the ability to arrange and place objects in any way that your heart desires, the possibilities are endless. My only complaint is that I wish the editing mode, where you place and arrange objects, was refined a bit more to make the process easier. Yet another new feature that A New Beginning offers is its mulitplayer mode. With it, you“re able to exchange items and interact with other players“ livestock via local connection or wi-fi. Not only is it a great way to make money since you“re able to milk and shear other players“ animals, but also for getting your hands on a particular item that you may need to make a certain building or piece of clothing. It“s an absolute lifesaver and an entertaining timewaster. And let“s not forget the most important part of Harvest Moon… farming! Each season will have you growing different vegetables and fruits on your fields (that you can also place and arrange anywhere on your farm!). It“s still as great as ever and will appeal to fans of new and old. On top of the classic cows, chickens, tomatoes, and corn, there are new animals to take care of and new crops to grow and sell such as llamas, yaks, lotus root, wasabi, and cotton. Romancing and marriage are also still very prevalent, of course. There are six handsome bachelors and six lovely bachelorettes for you to choose from – all wildly different from each other with engaging personalities. It“s super hard to choose just one person! But when you finally do settle on a lucky lover, you“ll be able to go steady with them before marriage, which offers more intimate dialogue between the two of you versus other Harvest Moon games. Unfortunately, gay/lesbian relationships are still not an option, but the crossdressing that A New Beginning offers the chance for those out there who want a semblance of that. As much as I adore A New Beginning, it isn“t without its faults. The first season that you“ll experience is absolutely boring. It“s riddled with tutorials and there“s nothing to do but forage and plant a few crops here and there until you have the ability to finally do fun things like customize the town. But please, tread on no matter how slow it may seem because A New Beginning becomes a hundred times better by the time Summer comes along. A New Beginning is the best Harvest Moon game since Friends of Mineral Town or Harvest Moon 64. Multitudes of new features such as the town/farm and character customization make for an exciting and jam-packed farming adventure. And just to give you an example of how addicting and fun it can be, I“ve spent 130+ hours on A New Beginning already and I have no intentions of stopping anytime soon. To those longtime Harvest Moon fans out there that have been hesitant to try the newer games (and to those who haven“t played a game in the series at all!): please pick up A New Beginning. I guarantee that you“ll love it. Pros: + Town/farm and character customization offers limitless possibilities and entertainment + Multiplayer that lets you exchange items and milk/shear other players“ animals + Wonderful selection of genuine bachelors and bachelorettes + Farming is as fun and extensive as ever Cons: - First season of the game is boring and littered with tutorials that may turn off some players - Localization work has more typos and grammatical errors than you can shake a stick at - Music can be repetitive and annoying Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Fantastic A New Beginning is the best Harvest Moon game in years. Definitely grab it if you“re interested in farming, customization, and cute little yaks!
  9. Just a couple days ago, Natsume reported that Harvest Moon: A New Beginning for 3DS went gold as we slowly approach its release date of November 6th. They had also recently announced that pre-orders for the special 15th Anniversary Edition (that includes a 12" cow plushie) would end on October 23rd. But as of yesterday, there's a bit of pleasantly surprising news for those who have been eagerly awaiting their copy of A New Beginning. Yup, pre-orders for A New Beginning will start shipping TODAY. And that's not just for the 15th Anniversary Edition orders from the Natsume online store, either. This also applies to shipments to retail stores like GameStop, where you will see copies sitting on shelves as early as next week. For those worried that they should have ordered the 15th Anniversary Edition for that super cute, ginormous cow plushie sooner... It's still available for purchase until the 23rd of this month, as originally said!
  10. Great news, Harvest Moon fans; Natsume announced that Harvest Moon: A New Beginning has officially finished production and gone gold, meaning that it will enter the printing phase shortly. This particular entry in the Harvest Moon series is the first game specifically designed from the ground up for the 3DS, and will feature two new animals; one of which will be a yak. Speaking of which, Natsume has also announced that, due to overwhelming demand, pre-orders for the game from Natsume's online store will be ending on October 23rd. Pre-ordering the standard version will net you a free yak plushie, and pre-ordering the special 15th Anniversary Edition will net you a 12" cow plushie; the latter of which is only available on Natsume's online store. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is set to release on Nov. 6 for the 3DS.
  11. Fans that have been following news for the upcoming farming simulator, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, for Nintendo 3DS already know about the ultra adorable yak plushie pre-order bonus Natsume is offering. Today, however, they've announced an extra special "15th Anniversary Edition" of A New Beginning. What's so special about it? A never-before-released giant cow plushie! This cow plushie is a whopping 12 inches. The 15th Anniversary Edition that includes it will only be available through the online Natsume store for $50. Pre-orders start on September 24th, so mark your calendars! For those not willing to cough up ten extra dollars, you can still pre-order A New Beginning for $40 and get the yak plushie bonus at participating retailers. Please note that you cannot get the yak plushie with the 15th Anniversary Edition, too (unfortunately!). Also, the game itself, whether you purchase the "standard" or "15th Anniversary Edition", is exactly the same. There is no special version of the game. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning will be available for purchase in North America on November 6th. Get ready for the most customizable Harvest Moon adventure yet, fellow farmers! What do you think of this premium cow plushie pre-order bonus? Will you be getting the 15th Anniversary Edition, or the standard edition with the yak plushie pre-order bonus instead?
  12. Another Harvest Moon game means another adorable farm animal plushie as a pre-order bonus from Natsume. This time, anybody that pre-orders a copy of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning for 3DS will get a yak plushie (as seen to the right). Why a yak? They're making their first appearance in the series as an farm animal you can own in Harvest Moon: A New Beginning. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is the first game in the series made exclusively for the 3DS. It brings a lot of firsts to the series, such as being able to customize how your whole farm looks and being able to change your character's appearance COMPLETELY from head to toe. That includes hair style and skin color! So far, the only confirmed retailer that will have the yak plushie pre-order bonus is GameStop. Natsume will be releasing more information on more ways to net the little guy sometime soon.
  13. Have an itch for farming this summer? Natsume's come to your rescue with their summer blowout sale then. On top of cutting prices on a few of their games, they're also including a special gift with select purchases. Let's look at those discounts first, though. Nintendo 3DS: Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove 3D - $30 Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns - $30 Nintendo DS: Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns - $20 Wii: Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny - $20 PS3: Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny - $30 For those wondering what The Tale of Two Towns is like, you can check out my review! Now, what is that special gift that was mentioned before? Well, with any purchase of a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game from the Natsume store, you'll receive a free limited edition 15th anniversary Harvest Moon tote bag. I received one at Natsume's booth during E3, and it's pretty snazzy and great for carrying a lot of stuff. The sale will go on until August 10th at 11:59 PM (PST).
  14. From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © natsume

  15. From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © natsume

  16. From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © natsume

  17. Publisher: Natsume Developer: Marvelous Interactive Platform: DS, 3DS Release Date: Out now ESRB: E for Everyone This review is based on the 3DS version of the game. Being a fan of Harvest Moon since Save the Homeland on the PS2, it made me excited to see the series get its first installment on the 3DS. This time, it boasts a thrilling new feature: being able to live in one of two towns (hence the title of the game). Does the game present itself well enough with all its new additions? Will it all warrant a playthrough over other Harvest Moon games you might“ve been skipping out on? Before the actual game even starts, you are greeted by a cheery, upbeat FMV opening sequence. Something like this is not usually seen in a Harvest Moon game, so it“s a bit impressive. The story, like one for any other Harvest Moon game, is incredibly simple. You crash your horse cart and are found by the mayors of two neighboring rival towns. They give you the option of living in Bluebell (a European-centric town that focuses on livestock) or in Konohana (an Asian-centric town that focuses on crops). Regardless of your choice, you can raise livestock and crops and interact with the villagers in both towns, as well as the ability to change residencies between either town (at a cost). It is soon that you realize that the goal of the game is to get the mayors to befriend each other and reunite the two towns. In The Tale of Two Towns, your main objective is farming, of course. Along with cows, chickens, and sheep, new animals to add to your barn are brought into this installation, such as alpacas. Raising crops is pretty much the same as in any other Harvest Moon title: dig a hole, plant your seeds, and water until they“re ready to harvest. There are new bonuses in this game, however, such as creating trenches to ease your amount of watering and being able to water twice a day to reduce the amount of time needed for a crop to mature. Other features new to the Harvest Moon series that are present in The Tale of Two Towns include a request system, hand fishing, and bug/creature catching. All of these make the game much more pleasurable and apt to keep your attention longer, as well as put more money in your pocket and make the townsfolk appreciate you more. Of course, you have the option of taking a bachelor or bachelorette“s hand in marriage, of which there is a wide variety to choose. It“s almost hard to choose just one, though! Another new addition to The Tale of Two Towns is being able to take your potential husband or wife on dates, which helps increase their relationship with you. When you two lovebirds do get married, you“ll also be able to have a baby. Throughout the game, you“ll get to experience the game“s beautiful mountain environment, as well as the unique architecture for both towns from which they derive their culture. The music is equally as fun and wonderful and I often find myself having it stuck in my head long after playing. The game looks and sounds splendid, but because the 3DS version is basically a port of the DS version, it does not take full advantage of the system“s graphical prowess. Speaking of which, it“s important to denote the differences between the DS and 3DS versions. The 3DS version does have enhanced graphics that will pop out slightly when the 3D is turned on, however, it quickly loses its charm and there“s no real point in keeping the 3D turned on (not to mention NPCs“ portraits will look slightly blurry). The 3DS“s wider top screen proves advantageous over the smaller DS screen. Other 3DS-specific features include a special animal petting minigame and Street Pass. The Tale of Two Towns is not without its faults, however, of which there are quite a few. For some reason, the game will be restrictive on what you name your character/animals/etc. Even seemingly harmless names will sometimes be blocked. The off-putting saving system, which only allows you to save before going to bed and ending the day, will sometimes become infuriating for those who are prone to wanting to save often and does not bode well with the 3DS version“s tendency to freeze. The 3DS version also unfortunately suffers from some slowdown issues. With these thoughts in mind, it is more worth it to pick up the DS version of The Tale of Two Towns over the 3DS version, especially with its lower price tag. Despite some shortcomings, you will enjoy either version of this fresh and innovating installment of the Harvest Moon series (especially when there“s alpacas involved!). Pros: + Freedom to embrace game“s challenging portions, or simply keep things basic and easy + New features keep things fresh + Cute graphics/art style and fun music Cons: - Freezing and slowdown issues in the 3DS version paired with restrictive saving system will frustrate many - Loses luster after marrying and completing “storyline†- Restrictions on naming characters/animals/etc. Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Fans of the farming simulation genre should definitely have a place for this on their shelf.
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