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Found 13 results

  1. The farming series known in Japan as Bokujo Monogatari (which was originally Harvest Moon in the West before Marvelous started self-publishing the game) is getting its next entry in the West as Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns fairly soon. XSEED has announced that the game will be hitting 3DS on February 28 and will be getting a pocket plushie of the new in-game capybara pet with pre-orders. Also of note -- costumes based on Nintendo's Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad will also make an appearance in the game. Each will have a special effect on the main character as listed below: Mario's outfit and hat: Gives a running speed boost Luigi's outfit and hat: Improves luck at fishing Princess Peach's Dress and Tiara: Makes you better friends with people Toad's outfit: Recharges stamina over time Trio of Towns' main hook gives the player three unique locales to explore as they look for new ways to grow crops and such. Each town will also offer its own crops, potential love interests, animals, festivals, and more. Source: Press Release Are you interested in checking out Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns when it releases?
  2. Developer: Marvelous Publisher: XSEED Games Platform: 3DS Release Date: June 2, 2015 ESRB: T for Teen To see Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven exist here and now is a bit surprising. No, not exactly for its localization, but because its development should've technically grounded to a halt after former Rune Factory developer Neverland shut down. After Marvelous Entertainment absorbed much of the old studio, however, they also managed to round up something strongly resembling Neverland's former development team to eventually bring Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven to fruition. With so much flux through the course of its development one can only pray that the final product was a success. Yet, having played Neverland's last game, the charming Rune Factory 4, I can't help but feel like Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has fallen from grace in comparison. It starts off from humble beginnings with the main character, named 'Luchs' by default, who runs an inn. After a crystal collecting expedition to meet ends is nearly met with his death, Luchs is luckily saved from monsters by a pink-haired swordswoman. As it would turn out, she ends up being an amnesiac with little recollection beyond her name, Charlotte, and the inclination to address Luchs as "Master." So, out of thanks, and by following his father's ambiguous advice to treat any future inn guests as "family" (which may or may not foreshadow future party members to come), Luchs decides to let Charlotte stay until she recovers her memories. Now, let's get this out of the way first: Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven is not a spiritual successor to Rune Factory by any means. With the exception of its quite negligible "farming" aspect in the form streetpass functionality, you'd be hard-pressed to find many strong similarities. Instead Lord of Magna is essentially a hybrid between turn-based strategy-RPGs with some rather light dating elements in-between. But, a casual glance at its presentation can certainly evoke the feeling of Neverland's previous works. More than anything else, Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven is most certainly a cute game. From the colorful character portraits, chibi in-game models, and XSEED's signature tongue-in-cheek localization style it feels like something you should like from the offset. I wish that alone was enough reason for me to like the title, but it simply isn't. The best way to describe Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven is that it is... plodding. It doesn't pertain to just one aspect, but rather it encompasses the whole experience from the narrative, gameplay, and even general animations. Everything simply moves at a snail's pace making whatever adorable charm it has at a first glance sadly short-lived. This issue is most noticeable through its combat system. It's novel at first, blending turn-based strategy-RPG gameplay with free grid movement, akin to something like Skulls of the Shogun or Makai Kingdom, while also having a domino-like mechanic for enemies. Yet, the initial novelty of toppling reinforcements like bowling ball pins is quickly lost due to their damage sponge leader enemies that summon them. Battles eventually boil down to whittling down on a single target, them summoning reinforcements, and repeating the cycle ad nauseam. It is not even that the game is hard at all but it somehow finds a way to easily take a half-hour or more even if there are very few enemies. This is made even worse by the very slow, unskippable attack animations. And frankly, this saps out any fun out of the combat because there really is no real depth or variety to compensate it. I wish I could say there is more to the storytelling and character interactions to make one able to overlook it, but that is also not the case. The main narrative meanders a lot, which does not speak well for something that is actually rather short for RPG standards, and only abruptly decides to take itself seriously after 80% or so through. The storytelling is also written in a way the expects you to have developed a relationship with the various heroines when it doesn't really flesh any of them out, considering how late some of them appear. I feel like XSEED tried to inject far more personality into the characters through their humorous writing than the template they were given to work with. Heroines have a total of four optional romantic-ish events to individualize them, and ironically, despite their lack of depth, they are very missable because the title actually limits how many you can see total in a half-hearted attempt to add replay value in other playthroughs. Even on a technical level, Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven feels unfinished. General in-game animations are quite choppy with their transitions and there is some heavy slowdown in combat when multiple enemies are felled or spawned at once. Audio is also unimpressive with the generally mediocre dub where, despite not fully voicing the script, finds a way to make players quite weary of the phrase "Do you have the power? Are you the one?" in particular which repeats every chapter. The soundtrack does fare better but like a lot of the game it is quite forgettable. No one part of Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven truly stands out. It feels like a mishmash of unrealized concepts, and with its troubled development it is perhaps less surprising that it seems like that. But, more disappointing than it not realizing its potential as a game, or the development team's former standards, is that it is just not very enjoyable to play. It is cute to look at, and is generally inoffensive in its mannerisms, but the title has very little else to it to justify your time. Pros + Lots of personality in the localization + Cute overall aesthetic Cons - Incredibly plodding pace to both the storytelling and gameplay - Dull, monotonous combat system with way too many damage sponge enemies - Jerky animations and awkward visual transitions Overall Score: 4.5 (out of 10) Below Average Beyond its cute exterior Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven really does not offer much for those who see past its initial facade. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable 3DS code provided by the publisher.
  3. Jason Clement

    Marvelous Cancels Kaio: King of Pirates

    If you have enjoyed Keiji Infaune's few games he's made after leaving Capcom, I have bad news for you; Comcept and Marvelous's Kaio: King of Pirates—a game about anthropomorphic pirate animals—has been cancelled. The title was one of Inafune's first announced games after starting his own companies, Comcept and Intercept, some three years ago. It was slated for release on 3DS in 2014, though details on the game were extremely scarce from the beginning. In addition to the game, Marvelous had plans to make the IP a cross media product (presumably bringing it to TV and comics and such), not unlike what SEGA is doing with Sonic Boom (which also has its own comic, TV show, and toy line in addition to the much lambasted video game title from 2014). The details of its cancellation are somewhat cryptic though the company mentions "sudden changes in the market environment" making developing the cross media project difficult as the main reason. Marvelous now stands to lose 461 million yen ($3.8 million USD) as a result of the move. You can see the original trailer for Kaio: King of Pirates below. Marvelous is best known for developing the Bokujō Monogatari (previously known as Harvest Moon as published by Natsume in the West, but now known as Story of Seasons after self-publishing through their Western subsidiary, XSEED Games), Rune Factory, and Senran Kagura series. Source: Gematsu What are your thoughts on this game's cancellation?
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.