Ushi No Tane - Harvest Moon Gameboy PHP-Update HM: Light Hope and 3oT English DLC Happy Farm'n Friday!

This week Natsume revealed they were releasing a new Harvest Moon game with Rising Star Games titled Harvest Moon: Light of Hope. The new farming game will be launched on the Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam game platforms. The "SNES-style nostalgic game" is described in the press release:

"In Harvest Moon: Light of Hope, players begin the game as they set out looking for a fresh start and new surroundings. During their voyage, their ship is hit by a monsoon and goes down. As they drift into a small harbor town, now in a shambles from the storm, it will be up to the player to help rebuild the town and save the lighthouse... but it won't be easy! Nevertheless, with some hard work growing crops, tending livestock, and gathering materials for repairs, players will be able to make new friends, start a family, revive the lighthouse, and save the town!"

The Nintendo Switch and PC versions of the game will be available to demo at Natsume's booth during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which takes place June 13 through June 15. Since many publishers at the show don't allow video recording of their on-floor demos, we'll see if Natsume releases an official trailer for non-attendees to watch or if we're to wait for a show attendee to write about their gameplay impressions.

The logo artwork includes the bluebird graphic from the previous game, Skytree Village, so perhaps that might imply that the great silver-maned Doc will return as well? Oh ho ho, we can hope...

Perhaps Doc is the Light of Hope! Now wouldn't that be awesome!

XSeed Games also showed off their progress with English-ifying the download content released in Japan for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. The localization team posted English text of the download-only marriage candidates, Stephanie and Woofio (complete with Woofio-style puns), and another screen shot of the protagonist wearing one of the DLC outfits inspired by Rune Factory 4 that will be included in the English DLC.

You can see the rest of the images on XSeed Game's Twitter Feed:

XSEED Games (@XSEEDGames) Twitter
The DLC will not be free, yet an official price has not been set.

There is still no news about the European release of Trio of Towns, sorry. We'll all get to play Lil' Farmers starting on May 25th though!

Until next time!

- Cher
(The end-of-season dahlia sale starts soon... so tempting...) Fri, 19 May 2017 20:14:03 +0000
Save the Homeland (Ps4) and Wada's Birthdays Happy farm'n Friday!

This week, Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland became available on the Playstation 4. The game costs $14.99 (USD) and requires 135 MB of hard drive space. The original Ps2 game was previously available to play on the Ps3, but now is also compatible with the next-generation Playstation console.

Another game released this week is Yasuhiro Wada's latest creation, Birthdays: The Beginning. The story of the game has you sucked into a mysterious dimension whereby you are fated with the task of birthing life onto cube worlds, with the goal of being able to complete your task and return home.

You use a red-suited avatar to control the land area, water area, and temperature of cube worlds, which then respond to your changes by birthing life forms. Some life forms will thrive, some will evolve, and some will go extinct depending on the environmental factors you change. Basically, you set up your cube, then sit back and watch to see what happens, making little tweaks here-and-there to try to match the factors that make certain species appear (or disappear) in the cube world. You're not completely on your own though; the game does have a library of creatures and flora with hints on their unlocking criteria. As you discover new creatures, you "capture" their detailed information to add to the library.

A demo of the game is available for Ps4 users from the Playstation Store, with the full-version of game costing $39.99. At the moment Birthdays is 25% off until May 16th. The game is also available to download on Steam with the same 25% off first-week-release sale offer.

It is a cute game and is pretty easy (at least so far). My biggest issue is the font size on the Playstation version. I can't clearly read the update ticker text that scrolls across the bottom of the screen (so tiny!), so I have to sit unusually close to the TV. As you can probably tell from the above screen shot of my game, there's lots of visual space but the on-screen text can be tough to read. The Steam version of Birthdays is possibly more legible since oftentimes a computer monitor is closer to the viewer than a television.

Last farm'n Friday was spent outside, doing a bit of field preparation with a truck-load of compost to fix up the soil in the front of Fogu HQ. I guess most normal homeowners would landscape with boring plants after their front yards are fixed up, but this farmer plans on planting a plot of crops! It's a good spot for growing some produce, I think. The plan is to grow four varieties of a single summer-season crop in this happy little spot, although I don't anticipate any of them mutating or becoming gold varieties.

Until next time!

- Cher
(It feels like it takes forever for these seeds to sprout!) Fri, 12 May 2017 17:56:10 +0000
April SoTF and SV CE Price Happy farm'n Friday!

in Japan, the mobile version of Bokujou Monogatari is still going along. The MIXI and GREE platforms are region locked to Japan, but the Mobage and Ameba platforms are not (these are browser-based and not a stand-alone app). At the moment there is a Strawberry Forest event taking place where you grow strawberry parfait flowers and then ship them. The more you ship, the better the rewards you can earn. It's mainly strawberry-themed outfits for your avatar or strawberry decorations for the interior of your room.

In North America, a retail, in-box copy of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town were added to Natsume's eBay shop. It's always a bit 'o fun to see how high the bidding goes for unopened copies of the older games, sought by collectors and fans alike. You can keep a watch on these auctions on the eBay website:

Harvest Moon More Friends Of Mineral Town GBA Nintendo Gameboy AdvanceHarvest Moon Friends Of Mineral Town GBA Nintendo Gameboy Advance By Natsume
Natsume also posted their April State of The Farm, the company's summary of what is planned for the upcoming months. This month's review covers the Wild Guns Reloaded release for PC and the toddler-friendly Harvest Moon: Lil' Farmers that is set to be released in May. It also hinted at some surprises leading up to this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) taking place in June.

In Europe, the Collector Edition created for the European release of Harvest Moon: Skytree Village is now available on the NISA Europe. The CE will be available on June 2, 2017 with a cost of £39.99 for those within the EU and £33.33 for those outside of the EU. The copy of Skytree Village that is included in the NISA Europe CE is the English version, although the retail game will be available in either German, English, Italian, or Spanish. For those who want a CD soundtrack of the Mr. Awesome theme song, head over to the NISA Europe website to order:

Harvest Moon: Skytree Village - Limited Edition
Looks like it stopped raining for a bit (we're so far at 147 days of rain since October 1). Time to pull some weeds!

- Cher
(There's several disposable foil pans out on my backyard table. Cooking outdoor turkey? Nope, just sprouting dahlias!) Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:50:41 +0000
Skytree EU CE and April 4-col Comic The Collectors Edition of Harvest Moon: Skytree Village will be available for the European release of the Nintendo 3DS game in a few months. The CE bundle will be available for preorder on the NISA Europe Online Store on Thursday, April 27.

The EU collectors edition appears to be similar (if not the same) as the North American version that was released by NIS America last November. The CE comes with a game CD soundtrack, including Doc's amazing theme; a rubber blue feather keychain; a 44-page Farmer's Diary that contains artwork, villager information, and village shop hours; six pin badges of the game's animals; a barn-themed package; and a copy of the Nintendo 3DS game. The price of the CE package will be revealed on the 27th. The game is still anticipated to be released this June.

Speaking of upcoming games, Yasuhiro Wada's latest game, Birthdays the Beginning, will be released soon in North America on May 9th and Europe on May 12th. His environment-building game will be available for the Playstation 4 and Steam platforms. In this game you'll be in charge of your little world and seeing what develops by changing the environment factors such as the air temperature, land and water amounts, terrain, and more. Will your life forms thrive or will they go extinct? You can learn more about his upcoming game on the official website:

Birthdays the Beginning Official Website
Both NIS America and NISA Europe have Collectors Editions of the PS4 version of Birthdays available for pre-order. The CE comes with a plushie of the game's main character, a world guide, a CD of the game's soundtrack, a special unrevealed bonus item, and a copy of the game.

For those who are new to farming, Yasuhiro Wada is the original producer of the Bokujou Monogatari / Harvest Moon video game series. The Bokumono series producer is currently Yoshifumi Hashimoto, who has been involved in the series for quite a long time.

And here is the translated April Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic drawn by long-time Bokumono series illustrator, Igusa Matsuyama!

- Cher
(Another sunny Friday today! Time to mow the other half of the overgrown lawn!) Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:09:05 +0000
EU eShop Sale and 3oT Popularity In Europe, many of Rising Star Games' games are on sale in the Nintendo eShop. The sale includes the EU version of Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns for 3DS, down to 9.99 € from 19.99 €. Hometown Story is also down to 7.99 €. The sale on these games will last until April 20th.

Natsume's VP of Operations, Mr. Markay, recently participated in an interview with Operation Rainfall about the 20th anniversary of the Harvest Moon series. Some interesting takeaways include:

No information available on Nintendo's plans for VC titles, such as HM 64 and HM SNES, on the Switch console.
No additional DLCs planned for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village
Rising Star Games is handling the EU release, including any planned DLC for Skytree Village
Speaking of which, RSG has launched a new website to promote Harvest Moon: Lil' Farmers, the new My First Harvest Moon style game for little kids. You can see some additional screenshots of the Android, iOS, and Amazon Kindle upcoming release on the new Harvest Moon website. The game is still set to be released on May 25th.
I've been asked a few time who the most popular marriage candidate is from Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. Well, it should be pretty obvious who's the most admired marriage candidate. Based on the popularity of the love events pages on the Fogu guide since the game's release, Ludus is the favorite among players. The popularity count for all the candidates are:
LudusWayneFordYuzukiHinataInariLisetteIlukaKasumiKomariSilukaWoofio (auu...)Stephanie
Basically, all the male marriage candidates are more popular than the female candidates. Ludus' love events page has twice as many hits as Hinata's!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Bought my first rototiller. Ooh, so hyped to till up some dirt!) Fri, 14 Apr 2017 23:08:48 +0000
New Mobile HM Game, Lil' Farmers Happy Farm'n Friday! This week, Rising Star Games announced a new mobile version of our farming series in collaboration with Natsume, called Harvest Moon: Lil' Farmers. This game will be released globally starting on May 25 for iOS and Android with a price of approximately $3.99 USD/EU. This game is a bit like a My First Harvest Moon game, meant for a young/preschool audience and doesn't require any reading comprehension to play. The game allows little kids to plant and grow their own crops; take care of cows, sheep, and chickens; and sell their farm goods to the local customers at their farm shop.

The game is developed by Daredevil Development, a mobile app developer of children's licensed character games such as Moshi Monsters Food Factory, Tilly and Friends, Paddington Bear, and Bagpuss. The game is a stand-alone app without advertisements, in-app purchases, or micro transactions.

Now when your little brother or sister wants to play with your Harvest Moon or Story of Seasons farm, you can give them a farm of their own to destroy!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Shiso has been planted, but no sprouts yet. Grow'n video game crops in real life!) Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:13:51 +0000
AWL SE on the PS4 On Thursday, Natsume announced that Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (Special Edition) is now available for the Playstation 4 in both North America and Europe. The download requires 558 MB of hard-drive space and costs $14.99 USD. In this updated version of A Wonderful Life, released a year and a half after the original Gamecube version in North America, you still play as a fledgling farmer set up by your dad's long-time friend, Takakura, to run the old farm they wanted to develop together. Unfortunately your dad passed away, leaving behind an empty land.

The Playstation version of AWL introduced Lumina as a possible marriage candidate, even though she's a bit too young in The Beginning chapter of the game for marriage. If you do win her child heart, at the end of The Beginning chapter Grandma Romana will tell her that she needs bride training first before she can marry you. Then at the beginning of chapter 2, Lumina will be presented as your wife as well as being a much older person.

You can also have a daughter in this version if you know the steps to do so, which involves harassing a pot inside of Nik, Nak, and Flak's house in the woods.

The original Ps2 version always seemed to run slow; it took a long time to get to place to place in the game. Luckily in the Ps4 version that doesn't seem to be the case. You can see the game speed in action in one of the video on its Playstation Store page. The farmer runs fast! VAROOOM! There's still a bit of slowdown in areas like the waterfall or when running down the path from Romana's mansion, but in general it runs better than the original disc version.

The best reason to buy the game is, of course, for the greatest character to never become a marriage candidate besides the silver-mane Doc, the furry loveable free spirit, Murrey. He looks as good as he did over 10 years ago when he first brushed his massively awesome bearded head through our Playstation 2s. Can't wait to reach the later chapters when he sets up his little tease show by the Blue Bar, stripping down to his undies for your loose change. Moi Moi!

The updated edition also contains PSN Trophy support. There are easy trophies, such as catching your first fish or riding your horse for the first time, and then more challenging trophies like finding all of the Tablets in Carter's excavation site (there's one per chapter up to Chapter 5) or creating your first Gen 3 crop mutation.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Anyone snag a Trio of Towns StreetPass yet? I'm still tagless in both JP and EN games... poo...) Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:00:52 +0000
Natsume QA, Sale, and SV EU Info Happy farm'n Friday! It is raining today and will also be raining be tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and so on. It rains a lot here.

It is time for Natsume's Spring Q&A session, where company representatives Pres Hiro, Boss Man, Localizer Adam, and CM CeeCee will answer public-submitted questions about the company and its published game series as best as they possibly can. Granted, questions about games they haven't announced yet or if the company is hiring won't be answered, but there are a plethora of other great questions to ask such as:

When will Doc get his own game series?Doc is a wonderful character, so he will be a marriage candidate in the next version, right?Will there should be more eccentric characters, like Doc, in future Harvest Moon games?KA-POWZA NEED MORE DOC NAO PLZ?
You can submit your questions to the company by posting them to @Natsume_Inc on Twitter, to the company's Facebook page, or to Community Manager CeeCee's Tumblr.

In Europe, Rising Star Games has kicked off their promotion of Harvest Moon: Skytree Village, announcing that the game will be available in early June. The publisher has also released an EU intro video, but it seems to be missing one key feature: there's no Doc! Egads! Perhaps RSG will reveal the great inventor closer to the EU release date. The trailer is in English, but there are French, German, and Spanish flavors of the village name on RSG's press release.

Back in the USA, there is a Playstation flash sale on a variety of Natsume-published games, including three Harvest Moon titles:

Harvest Moon: Boy and Girl = $4.49 (from $14.99)Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon (PSP/Vita) = $4.49 (from $14.99)Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley = $5.99 (from $19.99)
This sale will only last until Monday (27th) and does not include Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland, or the Ps2 Classic versions of A Wonderful Live and Innocent Life.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Finally had success with growing lotus seeds. New flowers for the pond!) Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:49:23 +0000
3oT Animal Care Info Happy St.Patrick's Day and March 17, 2017! And Farm'n Friday too! And Happy Birthday to everyone who has a birthday today.

There's not much news to disclose this week. There hasn't been an official release set yet for the download content for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, and Natsume is still going along with their 20th anniversary celebration of Harvest Moon. I'm still hoping for a Definitely Dashing Doc edition of the series.

So this week let's go over a bit about animals in Trio of Towns. You can buy and sell animals from Animal Instinct or Rural Outfitters, and each animal will have a "type" or personality assigned to them. These types give a slight bonus to the animals' other attributes such as size, byproduct amount, affection, byproduct level, and coat; hence, there are also five types:

Active = Byproduct levelCalm = SizeCheerful = AffectionGentle = CoatTimid = Byproduct Amount
As you interact with your animals and do things to raise their friendship, you'll trigger this bonus to the animals' attributes. For example, good 'ol Bella here has a bonus to her physical size, and at a month old she's already at the largest physical size possible just by interacting with her and feeding her normal Fodder. No need to feed Fluffy Treats at all. The size attribute just happens to be the easiest one to maximize. Affection is the next easiest, while the last three take the longest.

Speaking of treats, these crackers are also for sale at the animal shops once you win an animal festival. You can feed one treat per day to an animal that will also give a bonus to a specific attribute:

Soft Treat = AffectionFluffy Treat = SizeVelvety Treat = CoatCrispy Treat = Byproduct levelChewy Treat = Byproduct amount
Most players are going to want to stock up on Crispy Treats to make their animals give plus-quality goods (wool+, milk+, etc.). There is a fodder you can feed that increases byproduct level, but you have to make it yourself with the appropriate animal feed Farm Circle from Ludus' shop.

And here is March's Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic!

- Cher
(Rainy days mean more indoor video game time!) Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:23:04 +0000
3oT Release, Wild Animal Gifts, and HM 20th Happy Farm'n Friday! Sorry about last week's missing Farm'n Friday. I didn't expect to get sick last week, and my eyeballs wouldn't allow me to sit in front of my computer for any length of time before they'd become strained and uncomfortable; yea, it impacted 3DS farming time too :(

Farming time? Of course, since Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns was released last week! Now everyone in North America (or those outside of North America who own North American consoles) can try to convince dear 'ol dad that they are capable of managing your own farm. Growing crops, raising animals, fishing, festivals, and all sorts of activities are available for players to go through to experience the unique cultures of the nearby towns.

Many players have been sending me JP->EN changes, so thanks for that! It will help everyone who is going through the game.

As the Fogu guide continues to be filled in (luckily my eyes will allow for site work this weekend), here's some favorite gifts for the wild animals you can befriend:

The sparrows and pheasant love Rice, which you can buy from Ittetsu's shopThe bears love maple syrup and all types of honeyThe yellow foxes love apples, and the winter white foxes love carrotsThe weasels love walnuts, both brown and white weaselsThe parrots love starfruitThe brown monkey loves mango and banana, while the yellow monkey loves apples, oranges, and persimmonThe lemurs love grapes, kiwi, and coconutThe eagle loves sockeye salmonThe turtles loves turbans and clamsThe elegant peacocks love cherries (oh my, the blog censors it!)The shoebill, catfish and snakehead
It looks like the StreetPass is restricted between regions though. My Japanese version of the game won't tag my English version of the game, which was also the case with the first Story of Seasons game too.

Also in North America, Natsume continues to promote the 20th anniversary of Harvest Moon with a new dedicated page on their website that lists the timeline of Harvest Moon releases, starting from 1997 (my first was HM GB in 1998 ) all the way through 2016 when Skytree Village was released. So far we've been able to play many of the classic Harvest Moon games on the Nintendo Virtual Console such as the GBA games, the three Gameboy games, the SNES game, and recently Harvest Moon 64. Over on the Sony side, we can play the PS1 and PS2 games. Perhaps someday the A Wonderful Life series (that isn't the slow-moving PS2 version) will become available for those who haven't played yet.

If you happened to missed out on the 3DS Skytree game bundles, the Bluebird and Bobcat plushie+game bundles are back in stock at Amazon:

Harvest Moon®: Skytree Village Bluebird BundleHarvest Moon®: Skytree Village Bobcat Bundle
Until next time!

- Cher
(It's not raining today, so that means yard work... meh... gotta do it at some point...) Fri, 10 Mar 2017 19:09:16 +0000