Ushi No Tane - Harvest Moon Gameboy PHP-Update 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
Skytree EU release and Nindori May 4-col Comic Happy Farm'n Friday!

This week, Harvest Moon: Skytree Village was released in Europe via Rising Star Games. The EU publisher also released their own launch trailer for the farming game, which includes the amazing Doc in the Meet New People section, since who wouldn't want to meet Doc!

Doc Doc Doc! Fri, 02 Jun 2017 19:48:47 +0000
An Overview of HM: Lil' Farmers This week, Harvest Moon: Lil Farmers was released for Apple and Android mobile devices. The game costs about $3.99 and is geared towards small children (4 years old or so). It is not a full-sized Harvest Moon game with marriage, festivals, villagers, and so on, and was never meant to be one. For that, we have the upcoming Harvest Moon: Light of Hope.

This game is for little kids who want to try out their first Harvest Moon style game. Basically you have a farm with mini games for animals and crop care. To interact with each option, you use your finger to drag the icon from the top of the screen to the activity you want to do: the milk bucket goes to the cow, the clippers to the sheep, and so on.

The game doesn't have any words to read (since it is for little ones), so you just drag your finger around to play the games and collect products. The wool clipping and milking games are similar to the touch-screen games from Harvest Moon DS, where you rub off the wool and rub the cow's udder. The egg collecting game has you lifting the chickens into the air and you've to drag the nested eggs into the basket before the chicken flutters back down to its nest. A horse is available for washing and brushing, but it doesn't produce any goods. Since this is preschool level of difficulty, you can't technically fail a task; just keep at it until it has been completed.

As for crops, there are eight varieties to grow: cabbage, carrot, corn, onion, potato, pumpkin, strawberry, and turnip. You just pick a soil plot, pick the seed, and then drag the watering can and fertilize onto the crop while it is grown. Since crops only take a real-time minute or two to mature, the kids can watch them grow until they're ready to harvest. Then just pick the trowel icon to harvest the plants.

What do you do with the things you collect? They end up in your farm store, where customers appear to request them. Then you simply drag the goods that matches their talk bubble into the basket and hand it over. There's no money exchange (everything is free!) and once you run out of an item, you have to go back out to your farm and get more of them by playing the mini games again. The more friends you give your farm goods to, the more they'll ask for (up to 3 per person).

On the downside, the game doesn't keep track of your progress if you fully exit the game, as there's no save feature (at least in the iPad version). If little Joey is in the middle of growing crops and has to exit the game to take a bath, he would find that all his growing crops and harvested items are gone once he reloads the app from the title screen. The progress does carry over if you just temporarily close/minimize the app. A toddler probably isn't going to mind so much though.

Also this week, XSeed Games also shared a few more screen shots of their English localization progress of the combined download content for Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. This time it is the red kimonos that were added in the fourth winter-themed DLC pack in Japan. You can see the screen shots on XSeed's Twitter feed:

XSEED Games Twitter
Until next time!

- Cher
(3-day weekend?! Time to plant the front-yard army of seedlings to guard over back-yard Potatoland!) Fri, 26 May 2017 18:03:18 +0000
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