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Anonymous Fish
Post Posted: Feb 13, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Ever since Stardew came out, there's been a lot of games inspired by both games in development. For years, Harvest Moon was pretty much one of a kind. There were farm sims and there were life sims, but none combined in that way that HM did. Now? Not so much. We have xSeed's/Marvelous' Story of Seasons, Natsume's Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, and several indie games in development.

So... What now? How do both Bokumono and Natsume's Harvest Moon stay ahead?

I've heard many complain that the series has become stagnant, so I wonder if this competition will change anything.
 
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KayDucky03
Post Posted: Feb 13, 2018 11:01 pm 
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Competition will either make or break the series. I do think Story of Seasons will endure, but Natsume doesn't look like it's going to do too well in the future.

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ChaosAzerothCat
Post Posted: Feb 13, 2018 11:35 pm 
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KayDucky03 wrote:
Competition will either make or break the series. I do think Story of Seasons will endure, but Natsume doesn't look like it's going to do too well in the future.


Unfortunately I agree, which is a shame since I love the mutation system and I can't think of another similar game to fill that niche for me.

I feel like enough people enjoy it, and based on some comments buy it just because of the franchise, that SoS should be fine. However, there's no telling since the other games are getting pretty in depth and more and more creative it seems.
 
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Kam
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 8:06 am 
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Natsume's Harvest Moon series still has name brand recognition going for it, and while I haven't played Light of Hope, Skytree Villiage was enough of an improvement over The Lost Valley that I don't think they aren't still worthy competitors in their own right.

The thing about all these Harvest Moon-inspired indie games is that they're all very openly and obviously Harvest Moon-inspired. Hell, that was one of Stardew Valley's main selling points, and was brought up in pretty much every single review, Let's Play, and whatever else of it, at least in the beginning. We may one day see games popping up that are clearly just cashing in on a trend, but games like that tend to be mediocre at best and get relegated to the bargain bin pretty quickly.

I'm not worried about Story of Seasons. The first of them apparently broke sales records, and by this point pretty much everyone who has been even idly following the BokuMono series for awhile knows about the split. Those that don't probably don't need to, or wouldn't care if they did. Despite what some people might say about the direction the series has gone in since Hashimoto took over, they're still objectively good and well-made games. Anyone looking for a farming game because they liked Stardew Valley probably isn't going to overlook it.

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ChaosAzerothCat
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 11:17 am 
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Kam wrote:
Natsume's Harvest Moon series still has name brand recognition going for it, and while I haven't played Light of Hope, Skytree Villiage was enough of an improvement over The Lost Valley that I don't think they aren't still worthy competitors in their own right.

The thing about all these Harvest Moon-inspired indie games is that they're all very openly and obviously Harvest Moon-inspired. Hell, that was one of Stardew Valley's main selling points, and was brought up in pretty much every single review, Let's Play, and whatever else of it, at least in the beginning. We may one day see games popping up that are clearly just cashing in on a trend, but games like that tend to be mediocre at best and get relegated to the bargain bin pretty quickly.

I'm not worried about Story of Seasons. The first of them apparently broke sales records, and by this point pretty much everyone who has been even idly following the BokuMono series for awhile knows about the split. Those that don't probably don't need to, or wouldn't care if they did. Despite what some people might say about the direction the series has gone in since Hashimoto took over, they're still objectively good and well-made games. Anyone looking for a farming game because they liked Stardew Valley probably isn't going to overlook it.


Honestly there's a lot of negative, and Light of Hope is 110% what I think has really screwed over Natsume. They've been called lazy before over their style, which I actually enjoy in many ways personally tbh, but it's the entire game that's called lazy this time. And by so many people. The fact that I've seen as many people as I have call it a cheap and lazy port of a mobile game is disheartening. The fact that at least a handful have been people who seem to genuinely have wanted to enjoy the game and have no ill feelings to anyone is even more so. And then on top of that is the people getting tired of the same people being in every game. IDK, maybe I'm being paranoid, but at least with TLV to STV I saw more positivity in regards to changes made and with this next step some of the people who were positive before are now saying some of the same things people who hate the series are saying.

Even though I know a decent amount about it and want the game, I also can see some issues that might cause some people confusion or being upset.
Spoiler:
The different fields is neat, but I feel like is a little better in theory than practice. I think that it's a nice compromise between no elevations and teraforming personally, but at the same time there's possible issues with having designated fields all over the place like that. I personally think it's more positive than not but can see why some people aren't a fan of it. Just like the fact that mining and fishing are so profitable and crops aren't as much. Or at least not to start? I disagree that makes crops pointless, the mutation system is fun and full of goals. And they are listening, they really are. All in all do want, but I can knowledge there are potential issues in the game.


Honestly, and I'm not target audience, the first SoS was so good in many ways but the things that were bad make me unable to replay the game.
Spoiler:
The balance and time locks were just so... poorly executed IMHO. Honestly if the last 2 vendors weren't so bad and the time locks were slightly re-balanced in some ways (not even a lot) I'd still pick the game back up. The visuals are nice, the people are interesting enough, and overall the gameplay was fun. Locking tools behind those 2 vendors and having them be that bad is not good for me, I feel like I either need to get them faster and burn myself out or I'll get them later with more relaxed play when I really have been doing so well for so long without them I won't care. Made the mistake of restarting to marry original intended target and got so confused and stressed keeping track of the stuff for the last two I freaked out and haven't played since. :lol:


Trio is a lot better in some ways,
Spoiler:
but with the way the watering can works I feel like I'm taking forever to deal with my farming despite not having to run all over creation like I did with SoS. That's.. Probably about my only complaint. Just about. There's the whole thyme issue *shudders* and the fact that the fertilizer system is a bit much, but the latter is a minor thing more like a grumble of how do you expect me to keep track of all these values. :lol: Which the answer is that's my problem and by not trying to improve all over the place or to pick a crop/season to work on at one time. I enjoy it more than SoS in some ways, but equal in others and honestly less in some. Still, it's a good game.


I feel like SoS is familiar enough and geared to its audience enough that I think it's fine. HM I worry about, people have always been negative but this last installment really brought out negative. I feel like an advantage other games have is that they seem to be making the games they want, and there's really no pressure not to. They aren't series for the most part at least, they are single games. They can have lower prices sometimes, so more people can purchase them. Little things are in favor of these other farming sims (faming sims, really typo?) but I don't know that them existing really is going to doom the existing 'main' franchises. At least not solely?
 
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RopeMaidenKirie
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 12:34 pm 
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Kam wrote:
and by this point pretty much everyone who has been even idly following the BokuMono series for awhile knows about the split. Those that don't probably don't need to, or wouldn't care if they did.


Unfortunately I still am seeing a bunch of people who are clueless about the split, especially after SDV pulled a lot of lapsed fans back into the fray. When LoH was announced for Switch, on reddit and Resetera, threads were filled with people initially very excited, and then immediately disappointed when they found out it wasn't part of the Marvelous-made series of games.

I'm not worried about Bokumono, because while the games sell well here even after the split, they still sell the most in Japan and are mostly catered to their audience. Though SDV was only recently published over in Japan in January, and it's been only the 2nd western title to be ranked at #1 on the Japan Switch eShop (after Minecraft). If SDV hasn't caught Marvelous' eye before, it probably has now by making a splash overseas.

Natsume...I'm not really sure what their end goal is here. Though I'm not a big fan of their series, I thought the transition from TLV > STV had a lot of positive changes, and I really feel like they should have stuck with their terraforming as it differentiated itself from other farming sims. With LoH...I honestly have no idea. My opinion doesn't mean much of anything, but I feel like they should have tried improving and refining on what they had with STV, as well as throwing a new cast in there, because LoH feels really uninspired to me from everything I've looked into.

Maybe I'm being optimistic, but I don't feel like Marvelous nor Natsume are going to lose much even with an influx of other indie farming sims hitting the market, even if the genre ends up getting oversaturated. If anything, I feel like the surge of popularity of the genre, thanks in part to SDV's recent success is a huge boon to these companies, because a lot of people who would never be interested in the series' in the first place, might actually give them a shot now. This is all just conjecture of course, and I could be completely wrong. Guess we'll see in the future how it all pans out.

I'm really interested in particular seeing what Marvelous does with its next entry on the Switch, because it has the potential to really make it or break it for them. It's kind of an exciting time to be a farming sim fan imo.
 
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Robinstar
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 5:10 pm 
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I’m glad I was paying attention when the split happened. There’s STILL so many people confused by it and theres STILL people who still thought Natsume made the games before the split even happened. That combination is just unbearable.

I was actually really optimistic when the split happened. I had the mindset of, “Two farm games can’t be a bad thing, right?” Yes it can, me. Yes it can. What a disappointment. I shouldn’t feel too bad that the knockoffs are of bad quality though, since the real thing is so great. It’s not really hurting me besides annoying, confused fans. People who think SoS is the knockoff melt my brain.

Anyway, I’m not worried about SoS/Bokumono. In my opinion, the games just keep getting better. It’s doing great in Japan and enough fans elsewhere were aware enough of the split for it to survive outside so far. I guess I’m a bit nervous for the Switch release since you never know what to expect from a new console, but I’m hoping for something great. I haven’t been let down yet. The absence of Rune Factory is all I’ve really got to worry about. There’s been signs, but nothing’s happened yet...

Natsume... How are they not, like, to embarrassed to keep doing this? Yeah, the Harvest Moon name is what’s keeping them alive, but... wow. The one thing I’ve noticed that’s kinda nice is how the art for the characters is looking better. Enough so that I’ve been able to go, “oh, they’re cute”. But then when I see what the game is like, it just falls apart for me. Like, never mind, not cute enough for me to buy you. I wouldn’t feel too great about buying it anyway. I bought one, and that’s enough of that. For forever. I’ll still keep watching to see what happens though. Should probably say I don’t have a problem with people who do play Natsume’s games as long as they actually know what they’re playing. I’ll never understand why anyone could like them though.

If Natsume wants to use the Harvest Moon name so much, I’d actually really like if they made more Hometown Story. It had problems too, but it had a lot of potential. That’s pretty much the only way they could get me to buy another one if their games. Spinoffs are better than knockoffs. Maybe they could throw a little bit of farm « Puppy Doodoo » into it as well. It might also solve some issues I have with fans if they switched to that.

Stardew Valley also caused confusion. I don’t really get what the big deal with it is though. People can really make a big deal out of the little stuff. And some of the fans are rather hostile towards HM/SoS and they’re fans. They’ve got some crazy superiority complex. But people who already loved HM/SoS tend to be more peaceful towards Stardew Valley. It doesn’t seem right to me. But besides that, I don’t have a problem with it existing.

There’s been plenty of other farm games based off of, or similar to, Harvest Moon and it’s never really been a problem that I know of. Kinda wish Shepherd’s Crossing would’ve done better. It was interesting. People should’ve made a nice big deal over those so there could be another good one besides Shepherd’s Crossing 2 for DS. The PSP/PS2 ones sound bad in comparison when I read up on them.
 
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Blue Rose
Post Posted: Feb 14, 2018 5:48 pm 
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A little competition ALWAYS does gaming series good. *glares at the Sims series who hasn't ever had competition and is staler than 5 week old bread*

Bokumono had the monopoly for far too long. May this push them in a creative way. Bokumono themselves will be fine, as their main audience is jpn players anyway, but i do hope SDV makes them pay attention a bit, cause they really do need to step up their game. I'm not sure how indies are gonna about in Japan, but the only thing i really see hitting them hard is if the farming sim indie game bug hits JPN players/creators and their main market is being bit into.

Natsume i don't know nothing about, but to me this isn't going to really change their overall plan/style. Only downside is that they can't rely on the HM name and being the only farming alternative currently out besides Bokumono like they seemed to used to. Because there are going to be cheaper alternatives that give players the overall same effect.

So yeah, let the clones rain on in. If a series suffers tremendously over mild competition, that only reflects its own lack of worth. I don't wish the end of any series, naturally, but a little fire under the kettle never hurt no body.

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Trurotaketwo
Post Posted: Feb 15, 2018 10:50 am 
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There's not a lot they can do with Stardew Valley getting all the attention and praise from big name youtubers and reviewers.

But you know what they can do to stand out?

A crossover with Pokemon.

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Yes, mad as it sounds a crossover might be a good way to get more people to recognize the series. It's worked with other franchises. For example, I never had any interest in the Shin Megami Tensei series until I heard that they were having a crossover with Fire Emblem (Tokyo Mirage Sessions). I also know people who've never played any Dynasty Warriors games, but became interested in trying them out after playing Hyrule Warriors. So, a crossover with a more popular franchise could very well help to promote the series. And the gameplay could be really great if they actually did something like this. Frustrated with how hard money is to come across in a Pokemon game? No problem! Just go back to the farm do a day's work and rake in the money! Your pokemon could also help with farm chores, like the monsters in Rune Factory. Basically, it could work like Rune Factory, but with Jrpg battles.

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Tiptoze
Post Posted: Feb 17, 2018 9:50 pm 
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I'd say that Bokumono stands out simply because it's the original of the genre. Sure the games that people put out (that are inspired by Bokumono in the first place) put their own spin on things to jazz it up, but I think it's hard to beat a longstanding series with a loyal fanbase like Bokumono.

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Kikki
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2018 6:12 am 
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I also feel like Bokumono is in no danger. I'm a bit more concerned about Harvest Moon (Natsume, I mean, though I don't think that clarification is needed around here) since their game feels more 'indie' than Story of Seasons does.

A crossover like Trurotaketwo suggest would certainly bring SoS to the attention of a much larger market, though I don't know how many people would actually become fans because of it...I also have Tokyo Mirage Sessions, but my interest in SMT and in Fire Emblem did not increase because of it (I already owned 1 game of each series and have not purchased any more since.) I have also played the Layton/Ace Attorney crossover, but it only made me like Professor Layton even less...having puzzles in my beloved Ace Attorney game was just an irritation for me. And Hyrule warriors...I'm waiting for the Switch version before trying it, but even though I'm not into fighting games, I want it because it has Link in it and the art character art style is very attractive. But I don't think I will end up buying any other Dynasty Warriors games because of it. (Though I won't know for sure until I try it, of course. And admittedly I am a special snowflake with a very tiny and specific list of interests.)

So I don't think that a crossover necessarily guarantees much of an increase in new fans, but just getting the name out to that large of a market (since Pokemon's market is enormous, in the millions rather than the tens of thousands) seems like a good thing...it certainly can't hurt them any. Story of Seasons has already done a crossover, but it was with Popolocrois, and that is even more niche than SoS. I don't think it garnered many new fans. (I didn't enjoy it at all, actually, as it was really just a Popolo game with the ability to grow a few crops thrown in.)

Honestly I think Stardew Valley has done good for bokumono, rather than drawing away from it.

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Shan O 123
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2018 9:40 am 
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That crossover with that one game doesn’t make any sense, well, at least in my opinion. Haven’t played it but, it looked weird to me.

However a crossover isn’t bad, maybe just not with Pokémon. Pokémon has it’s Own thing, but what they could do is add a few new outfits like what they did with Mario and RF's own Fray and Lest. And not to mention, Raeger and few other outfits from SoS are in Trio.

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Trurotaketwo
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Shan O 123 wrote:
That crossover with that one game doesn’t make any sense, well, at least in my opinion. .


It makes more sense than your stupid idea of having the main character look like your precious "Rager", (the most boring and overrated character in the history of the series) just to please your narcissism and your huge ego. Believe it or not, The series does not revolve around you.

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Kikki
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2018 1:51 pm 
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First of all, in that sentence, Shan appeared to be speaking of the Popolocrois crossover with SoS, at least as far as I can tell, since she was speaking of a game that already exists, not a mere idea, since she mentioned that she "hadn't played it yet". She also never suggested that anyone should look like Raeger. She just mentioned that Trio of Towns made Raeger's outfit one of the outfits you can get for yourself.

Second of all...please don't start trolling again. I was impressed above, as it is the first time I have ever seen you comment in a way that wasn't deliberately insulting or antagonizing, but you're already back at it, which is disappointing. It makes no sense to accuse someone of being a narcissist with a huge ego just because they don't have the same opinion as you when they are being quite polite about it, and personal attacks are not tolerated on these forums anyway.

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FaerieFarm
Post Posted: Feb 18, 2018 2:25 pm 
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Trurotaketwo wrote:
The series does not revolve around you.
News flash. Yes it does. They call it catering to your fan base.

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