Ushi No Tane - Harvest Moon Gameboy PHP-Update Natsume Contest Winners and MELON OVERLOAD Happy farm'n Friday! It's mid-August already? This year is flying by so quickly...

Trio of Towns Updates
The Japanese version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is still appearing on the Nintendo 3DS eShop popularity ranking for downloadable cartridge-based games for the past two-week period. The game was ranked #28 of 50, with Dragon Quest 11 taking spot #1. Not too bad for game that's been out for over a year in Japan.

XSeed is still working out the details for the game's ginormous DLC release in North America. Hoping to be able to give more information soon, the localization team posted a tweet this week of a scene from the cultural event between Westown and Lulukoko, where the Westown marriage candidates go on an adventure to try out different activities with the Lulukoko marriage candidates.

Well this STORY OF SEASONS: Trio of Towns DLC is coming along nicely 👀👀👀— XSEED Games (@XSEEDGames) August 9, 2017

Natsume Collection Contest Winners
The 10 selected winners of the Show-Us-Your-Collection contest were posted on the Natsume Facebook page. There are some impressive-sized collections! Games, boxes, plushies, promo items, and even some paintings! Congratulations to the winners! You can browse through the winning entries on the company's photo album:

WINNERS of the "Show Us Your Harvest Moon Collection" Contest!
Meh, Forget Tomatoes...
It seems to be a no-go for tomatoes this year. After the deer ate the San Marzanos and the cherry tomato still not producing anything, it's best to change pace and concentrate on something that appears to be growing better.

Maybe a bit too much better... "Watermelon don't need that much spacing," or so I thought. They were just cute little sprouts when I planted them. Now they've completely taken over the front yard crop space and are beginning to expand into the other two beds. Five different varieties were planted, and I've no idea which one is which anymore! I do know that they are producing fruit, as each melon is now marked with a bright-colored stick flag. All that compost shoveling earlier this year appears to have helped make this lovely weed-like chaos possible.

What to do with all this watermelon? Margaritas? Grilled? Though I should probably wait until I can harvest it before thinking of cooking possibilities, as the local wildlife may just steal my juicy crops.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Maybe this weekend there'll be less adulting time and more fun time!) Fri, 11 Aug 2017 19:23:01 +0000
Marv's 20th, Mobage Bokumono, and HM Collection Photos Happy farm'n Friday!

Marvelous' 20th Anniversary
In Japan, Marvelous is celebrating its 20th anniversary by launching a special website featuring its video games, music, and anime that it has published over the years in Japan. There's a little bit of Bokumono history there too, as the company became involved in the series at the time of Friends of Mineral Town for GBA (2003) after acquiring Victor Interactive; FoMT was still published under Victor, and MFoMT was published under MMV. Not every game is listed on their History page, but it is a nice overview of the many areas the company has been involved in. The opening movie includes a bit of River King, so maybe there's still hope for a new game? Ah, that would be nice!

Marvelous is also promoting their anniversary by making a 100-question quiz about the company and its products. Participants in the quiz can then enter to win a variety of prizes based on the number of questions they answer correctly: 1 correct answer equals 1 entry into a raffle for a selected prize drawing. Luckily participants don't have to answer every question to submit their contest entry! There's a chance to win an autographed Rune Factory 4 CD and earbuds (5 winners) or a framed illustration (5 winners too) from longtime Bokumono character designer, Igusa Matsuyama. The prizes will only be shipped within Japan though, so if you don't live there, you can't participate (drat!)

You can see all of the festivities on the Marvelous website:

【マーベラス20周年記念サイト】 MARVELOUS! 20th ANNIVERSARY
New Social Network Bokumono Event
In Bokumono for Mobage, the current event is themed Summer Animal Parade, where players care for accordion flowers, trumpet trees, drumming bears, and ball-balancing seals on their farm spaces. At harvest, players earn points to increase their harvest rank. At the end of the event on the 10th, virtual prizes will be awarded based on the rank earned in comparison to all other participants. Those who are rank 10 or higher will get an in-game trophy, 11 to 100 get a pink hippo wearing a dress as a farm animal, 101 to 200 get a sunflower saxophone, and so on. Naturally players will get the lower-ranked prizes too.

Harvest Moon Collection Entries
In North America, Natsume posted a huge album of the entries they received during the Show Us Your Harvest Moon Collection contest. There's a lot of plushies, game boxes, and even some unique hand-crafted items such as paintings and perler bead art! You can browse through the collections of farm'n on the company's Facebook page:

Show Us Your Harvest Moon Collection!
On the sadder note, Natsume has decided to close their official community message forum, preferring to communicate future news about their published games by using their many social media platforms.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Turns out that it was some visiting deer eating my tomatoes. Now I have zero tomatoes... dangit...) Fri, 04 Aug 2017 19:12:12 +0000
Bokumono Library Event, SoTF, and July 2017 4-col Comic Happy farm'n Friday!

In Japan, a new bazaar event has started in Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage. This library-themed event has players growing book flowers to earn bazaar medals. You can then exchange the bazaar medals for items based on the rank you qualify for: buy an item using bazaar medal in rank 1 to unlock rank 2, buy two items in rank 2 to unlock rank 3, and so on. The items players can collect are hair styles for their Nature Sprite avatars, new animals like the Library Owl and Library Goat for the farm, Nature Sprite clothing like the Librarian Wine Red Dress, and Goddess Medals. If you spend 300 Goddess Medals at the pond (yikes!), you could get a Library Koala farm animal.

The mystery seeds for growing the library are randomly given to players in higher numbers than the last Bingo event. Up to 8 mystery book seeds are given each day too. Players can use real-life money to buy Mobage Coins to buy seeds, but this time it is much easier to get the seed without having to spend Mobage Coins. This event ends on the 30th.

In North America, the July State of The Farm will be posted by Natsume Community Manager, Ceecee, on Monday the 31st. Will we get new information on Harvest Moon: Light of Hope? Will they announce the winners of the show-us-your-HM-collection contest and give out the 20th Anniversary Cow Figurines? Perhaps they will finally buckle under fan pressure and make Doc a marriage candidate? Tune in to the company social media Facebook or Tumblr sites on Monday for the latest update!

There's still no information on release date or price for the North America DLC and bug patch for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. No worries though; XSeed Games will let everyone know when it gets closer to being ready for release. 3oT has been out in North America for 5 months and will be out in Europe on October 13.

And here's Igusa Matsuyama's Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic for July 2017!

Until next time!

- Cher
(The tree rats are now eating my San Marzano tomatoes! GRRRRRR!!) Sat, 29 Jul 2017 00:52:29 +0000
Show off Your HM and RF4 Best Collection Happy farm'n Friday!

In North America, Natsume is hosting a "Show Us Your Harvest Moon Collection" contest where posting a photograph of your farm'n game hoard could potentially reward you with a 20th Anniversary Cow figurines that were handed out at this year's E3. The contest lasts until the 24th (Monday), at which case the five best collections will be selected by Natsume staff. You can read more about the contest details on CeeCee's Tumblr page:

I wonder if I can get my collection into a small enough pile to win one of those cute little cows? Might have to give it a try this weekend! I seem to have lost my physical copy of Harvest Moon Gameboy Color 3 though...

In Japan, Marvelous has announced a rerelease of Rune Factory 4 at a Best Collection price; basically, the equivalent of a Nintendo Select as we know them. The Best version of RF4 will be discounted to 2980 Yen (plus tax), about 60% cheaper than the original 4971 Yen when the game was originally released in Japan on July 19, 2012.

As a bonus, Marvelous will also be releasing a Platinum edition of its RF4 Best Collection. The Platinum edition will be priced at 6980 Yen. It comes with the RF4 game, a copy of Rune Factory 3 for Nintendo DS (a digital version is not in the eShop), and a soundtrack containing music f rom both RF4 and RF3. This special bundle will be available in Japan starting on October 26. You can read more about the re-release on Marvelous' website:

Rune Factory 4 Best Collection Official Website
I'm still in the same save spot in Rune Factory 2, tinkering around some forest while mom Dorothy hangs out at home. Barrett's blahblahblah makes me want to skip school! Someday I'll get back to it and then onto the rest of the series. Just need to find some free time.

The Japanese version of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns ranked as one of the top 25 downloaded cartridge games on the Nintendo eShop for the first half of 2017. Other games in the top 25 include Monster Hunter Double Cross, Pokemon Sun/Moon, Miitopia, Terraria, Orcarina of Time, and other popular games.

As for the issue last week with my cherry tomatoes, it seems all the plant needed was to have it shaken every day. It finally has a few little tomatoes on it, but still has a lot of flowers that don't fruit. I've never had a tomato plant that required manual shaking before it produces anything. I'd say that Sweet Millions doesn't seem to fair well for me, or perhaps it just isn't cool enough during night time yet.

Until next time!

- Cher
(PokemonGo Fest is tomorrow! I need to stock up on my Pokeballs. Go Team Instinct!) Fri, 21 Jul 2017 21:46:09 +0000
Mobage Bingo and 3oT DLC Outfits Happy farm'n Friday!

In Japan, the mobile-friendly version of Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage is having a Antique Cafe Bingo event. Players are to use a special crop field to grow mystery plants, cocktails, juice, and herb teas to produce Bingo flowers. If you happen to get the same type of flower in a row, you get a Bingo that will earn you bingo points (bpt). The more bpt you earn, the better the prize you'll receive. Some of the prizes are potions to influence your farm crops and animals, hair styles, Goddess Medals that you can toss into the pond for more prizes, the Waiter Cat or Herb Retriever animals for your farm, and even outfits such as the Coffeehouse Butler Uniform for your Nature Sprite avatar.

The downside to the Antique Cafe Bingo event is that getting a large quantity of seeds you need for growing bingo plants requires Mobage Coins, which can be get by exchanging real currency or sometimes for free by tootling around inside your Mobage account and completing quests with your Mobage avatar. Sometimes you get seeds for free at the daily login bonus or by caring for your account friends' bingo fields. But in general, if you want to grow a lot of plants to try and generate a bingo, you're expected to use the Mobage Coins. This event lasts until the 22nd.

In North America, XSEED Games posted some new screen shots of their DLC localization for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. The company confirmed that the two outfits and two matching hats inspired by Japanese voice actress and singer Ayana Taketatsu and her little pet dog, Choco, will be included in the English version of the DLC. In the Japanese version these outfits were automatically added to your closet once the DLC was downloaded and there was no materials or payment necessary to craft them. The English DLC will also include a lot of new responses to the outfits that you are wearing when you talk to villagers.

You can see the new in-game screen shots of the localization and some of the villager reactions to the outfits on the XSEED Games Twitter account:

The upcoming content update for STORY OF SEASONS: Trio of Towns...
Now that it's Summer, crops should be growing and producing, right?

Well sort of. My doofy cherry tomato plant loves to produce lots of flowers, but it won't fruit for some reason. The San Marzano growing nearby has produced fruit, but this Millions Cherry Tomato has given me nothing but millions of little flowers. Apparently it is not uncommon for gardners to have issues with their tomatoes not fruiting. It seems a few tricks to get them to produce include:

shake the plant so the pollen falls on the open flowerswait it out and hope for cooler weather (if it's too hot, the flowers wither and fall off)give up and just buy the dang things at the grocery story
At least it isn't being chewed up by tree rats like my snow peas were. Seven mature plants were cut down by little gnawing squirrel teeth. Grrr! Such crop pests!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Yes, those are Christmas ornaments hanging off my front porch. I know it's summertime; honest, I'm not completely crazy...) Fri, 14 Jul 2017 20:59:52 +0000
HM 64 in Japan, 3oT Patch info, SV EU DLC, and Chicken Shirts Happy farm'n Friday!

This week in Japan, Bokujou Monogatari 2 (or as we know it in English, Harvest Moon 64) was released on Nintendo WiiU's Virtual Console platform, along with Japan players' "SWITCH?" port-begging responses (lol, just like us!). The game requires 32 blocks of space and retails for 1028 yen (about $9 USD at the current exchange rate). It's the first Bokumono game released for Nintendo's VC in Japan. While NA and EU have the three Gameboy Color games on the 3DS and the SNES game on Wii/WiiU, Japan farming fans hasn't had any Bokumono VC support until now.

Japan players do have the Gameboy Advance River King games on the Wii U VC though: the GBA remakes of the original Gameboy games River King and River King 2 combined into one game cartridge, and the not-released-in-English Fushigi no Mori Kara.

Late last Friday, XSeed posted their first localization blog about their upcoming download content for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. The blog entry explains more details about the massive amount of work involved with localizing four separate DLCs from Japan into a single English DLC package. The blog confirms the localization of the gossip events at your farmhouse, the post-marriage event with your parents, new clothing outfits, and the inclusion of the gifted child if you had married Inari.

XSeed is also working on a free downloadable patch to fix some of the hiccups such as the game freezing bug if you enter the Lulukoko Beverage Bash when married to Ludus and the seasonal sun mixups when trying to set them in the cellar sun boxes. This patch will also include the tutorial books added into the JP game which list the items that belong to categories. For example, there's a tutorial book in the bookcase that lists every type of fish that is considered a "small fish" for cooking recipe purposes, which flowers are considered "red flowers" for crafting red cloths in the Textile Mill, and so on.

You can read more about the tasks the localization team was challenged with on their Tumblr page:

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns DLC Localization Blog #1
In Europe, the additional DLC for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village is now available for players to download. If it is similar to the North American options, there is a free Farm Decoration Set with wall and pathway construction options, a free Harvest Sprite Statute set that includes the Goddess Pergola blueprints at Doc's insta-building shop, the paid New Female Character set with the golden Doc statue (the bestest ever), and the paid New Male Character with the pretty Goddess statue. All of these are available from the Download Content menu on the game's title screen and not directly from the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

Also in EU, Rising Star Games is now selling Harvest Moon themed T-shirts. Wha? The shirt comes in five color choices (brown, blue, green, red, and white) in male or female shirt sizes, although the female styles are currently sold out.

Official Harvest Moon "Now Loading" T-shirt

Until next time!

- Cher
(This year's PotatoLand has started to flower. Soon it'll be time for harvesting!) Fri, 07 Jul 2017 20:28:07 +0000
EU 3oT Announcement Happy farm'n Friday!

This week Nintendo of Europe announced the EU release date for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns will be October 13, 2017. As they are handling the publishing of Marvelous' game, it is unknown yet if there will be a physical release or if it is a digital eShop-only release. It is also unknown if the DLC packs will be available for the European localization, as that would require translation of the DLC into multiple language!

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns crops up on Nintendo #3DS on October 13th!— Nintendo of Europe (@NintendoEurope) June 29, 2017

More information about the release, such as the price, is expected to be revealed as we get closer to its EU release date.

In Japan, to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the release of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns (June 23, 2016), both Trio of Towns and Popolocrois: A Story of Season Fairytale are currently on sale in the Nintendo eShop. The Japanese version of 3oT is 30% off (from 5,378 Yen to 3,764 Yen) and Popolo is 50% off (from 5,940 Yen to 2,970 Yen). The eShop sale will last until July 19. There are still no virtual console classic Bokumono games available on the JP eShop.

And here's the 4-col Nintendo DREAM comic from January 2012!

A while ago Nintendo DREAM made a compilation insert in their monthly magazine of Igusa Matsuyama's promo comics, starting from the beginning of the series in 2012. Now we have 18 months worth of comics from the Harvest Moon: A New Beginning series since before mid-2013 when the unofficial translations on UNOT began.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Happy Fireworks Festival fellow Americans! Please stay safe and wear sunscreen!) Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:04:28 +0000
MobBokumono and June 4-col Comic Happy farm'n Friday!

Not much to report on this week. XSeed Games is still hard at work with their 4-DLC-into-1-DLC project for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns and (hopefully) Natsume is reworking Harvest Moon: Light of Hope to make Doc into a shirtless hunk'o marriage meat. While Harvest Moon: Skytree Village is now out in Europe, Rising Star Games hasn't made an official announcement as to when they plan on releasing the game's DLC, which includes more farmland objects, the great golden Doc statue, and extra marriage candidates Edward and Nova.

In Japan, the mobile Bokumono game on Mobage has started a Candy Feast event. Players grow candy flowers and harvest candy food when they flowers mature. The candy is then fed to event animals (a raincoat frog, a candy turtle, or a hydrangea deer) before the animal leaves the farm. If you feed it enough candy before it leaves, you can get prizes such as a new hair styles and clothes for your Harvest Sprite avatar, medals to toss into the Goddess Pond, or potions to use on your farm. If you don't feed the animal enough candy, it disappears and you lose all the candy you fed it (bleh...). Filling up an animal's tummy will get you another crop seed that can be harvested for mysterious nuts, which are then exchanged for more sprite avatar customization options, potions, and tickets that are for another event that is going on where you can exchange event tickets for a duck raincoat and matching hat or umbrella.

Your farm friends can feed the animal you're stuck with using the candy they grow or you can feed their animal with your candy. Of course, you can buy the mysterious nut seeds using real-life money.

Yasuhiro Wada's latest game, Birthdays The Beginning, is included in the latest North American Ps4 sale. The game is 15% off ($33.99) if you aren't a Ps+ member, or 30% off ($27.99) if you are a Ps+ member. Farming Simulator 15 is also included in the sale (either 20% or 40% off from $49.99), but the Ps4 version of Stardew Valley is not part of the sale. The PSN sale will end on June 27th.

Stardew Valley is part of the Steam Summer Sale that started yesterday. The game is 40% off (now $8.99 USD) until July 5th. Other farming games include Farming Simulator 17 ($23.44), Farm for Your Life ($3.99), and Fantasy Farming: Orange Season ($11.19)

And here's the very-berry June Nintendo DREAM 4-col comic!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Pectin needs added sugar to solidify? No wonder I ended up with strawberry sauce instead of strawberry jam...) Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:22:23 +0000
Post-E3 2017 Summary of LoH Happy farm'n Friday!

Yesterday was the last day of E3 2017 where Harvest Moon: Light of Hope was available to play at Natsume's booth. Photographs or video of the still-in-development game were prohibited, but attendees did write about their gameplay impressions of the available demo.

What we learned is that the game still starts out with you traveling by ship to find a new lifestyle for yourself, only to sail into a storm and be shipwrecked on a derelict island. The storm that messed up your boat also caused a lot of damage to the island and its precious lighthouse. It will be your task to repair the villager's houses, shops, and rekindle the lighthouse's beacon. Ideally, you'll also entice former villagers to return as you fix the place up. To help the villagers with their repairs, you will receive requests in your farmhouse mailbox and then get more details by tracking down the villager who made the request. You'll then fetch the items (and possibly the funds) that the person needs.

The island has several environmental areas to it such as a beach, mines, and swamp. The game does not have terraforming, but there are crop mutation that trigger when you plant on different types of land. The mutation's details will tell you how to replicate the mutation, so no more guessing as to how to grow it again.

Besides growing crops, you also will be caring for animals. This includes the standard cows, chickens, and sheep, but also include the DLC animals from Seeds of Memories: the brown cow, cotton sheep, and brown chicken. The poitou donkey also returns along with a horse and dog. In this version of the series there will even be a dog festival for your canine friend to participate in.

The contextual controls have returned where you just have to press a single button to do all of your farm tasks. Push the button to till, plant, water, cut down a tree, cast your fishing line, break rocks, harvest, and so on. The Nintendo Switch version will allow you to either use the Joycon buttons or the touch-screen to control the game. Tool upgrades are also returning so you aren't taping away one square at a time.

The game itself has a flat, 2D background with 3D characters such as the animated conversation portraits from Lost Valley and Skytree Village. Another feature that is returning are the characters from previous versions of Natsume's developed series. Since the at-booth reps were stating there will be five marriage candidates per gender, and the E3 booth artwork itself featured several of them, it seems pretty safe to assume that includes Melanie, Jeanne, Elise, Nova, and Tabitha (for boys) and Dean, Cyril, Edward, Gareth, and (probably) Gabriel (for girls). Note that DOC IS NOT INCLUDED IN THAT GROUP OF FIVE?! Nooooooooooooo :'( :'(

Doc is returning in Light of Hope though, along with other unannounced characters from the past few games.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Now I must start this year's Christmas light inventory count!) Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:55:12 +0000
E3 2017 Details Next week from the 13th to 15th is E3, the North American video game media show where publishers gather to show off their latest developments and impress retailers, video game journalists, and home consumers with their show floor displays and flashy live presentations. This year welcomes fifteen thousand members of the public to attend the previously invite-only show, satisfying many gamers' wish of being able to experience the event at least once in their lifetimes.

Both Natsume and XSeed Games will be attending the show. Since there isn't a Story of Seasons game being released in the immediate future, the publisher is showing other upcoming games such as Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (action/platform) for Nintendo Switch, Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin (action/platform) for Ps4 and PC, Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection (action/rpg) for PC, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star (musou/action) for Nintendo Switch, and Senran Kaboooobra.

That's not to say that XSeed isn't doing anything related to farming. They are still working on the localization of the mega-DLC for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. This week they released a few more English screen shots of their progress, including a scene from the special cultural events between the marriage candidates of the towns and a scene of the repeatable group gossip events that trigger at your house with the candidates of your gender:

The STORY OF SEASONS: Trio of Towns DLC not only adds new events, but it updates existing ones too! Like this lovely scene with Inari XSEED Games (@XSEEDGames) June 8, 2017

On Natsume's side of the show floor will be playable versions Harvest Moon: Light of Hope (Switch/PC/Ps4), Harvest Moon: Lil' Farmers (Mobile), Wild Guns: Reloaded for PC, River City: Rival Showdown for 3DS, and River City: Knights of Justice for 3DS. They also will have a promo item available for show attendees to collect. In previous E3 events they offered plushie variants such as the blue-bandana puppy (Lost Valley) or the white-skinned alpaca (A Tale of Two Towns). This year it is...

... arg, my camera is as temperamental as CeeCee's! Maybe she'll have better luck getting a good picture of this year's E3 promo.

Also, in the July edition of Nintendo DREAM, Marvelous' Producer Hashimoto hints that he is working on something else that is Bokumono related besides the Nintendo Switch game they have already announced. Hopefully he'll be able to reveal more information soon!

Until next time!

- Cher
(A rainy weekends means indoor farming time instead of outdoor farming time!) Fri, 09 Jun 2017 23:29:15 +0000