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Post-E3 2019 Natsume/XSeed Summaries | Posted at 01:36 PM on 21 June 2019

Happy Farm'n Friday!

It's finally the first day of Summer, though it is still in the low 70s here today. Currently I'm having a curly-leaf issue with one of the backyard tomatoes. I trimmed some of the plant's branches so the roots have less foliage to nourish, ensured that it was getting plenty of water from the drip system, and checked for bugs, but the new growth is still putting out odd-shaped leaves. I recall last year that this particular variety had the same issue, so perhaps it naturally has twisted leaves. No herbicides have been sprayed at all in the backyard; I learned my lesson about that last year when the weed killer took out my tomatoes!

The Spinach and Broccoli Rabe bolted during last week's small mid-90s heat wave, so it's time to replace those fellows. I'm heading to the local nursery this afternoon to see what's currently available. The tomato leaves were curling before last week's heat spike.

E3 RoundUp

Last week Natsume generously gifted us passes to the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Lost Angeles, California. Myself and Mr.Fogu flew down to spend three days hanging out with gamers, developers, and media folks covering the show for those who couldn't attend. Met some new folks such as the random fellow who watched the Nintendo Direct with me as we giddied together over the Breath of the Wild sequel announcement (and he went bonkers over the Banjo Kazooie reveal in Smash Brothers!). We even popped up on Nintendo's Instagram account as we were playing demos over at Nintendo's booth.

Mr.Fogu's goal was to play Borderlands 3 and the Final Fantasy 7 remake. He had a blast with both games! I was on the lookout for non-shooter games and anything else unique such as Boyfriend Dungeon or Ary and the Secret of Seasons. The new Doraemon Story of Seasons game was not at E3.


In South Hall, Natsume had a giant inflatable vegetable basket along with a photo booth filled with farming plushies. The booth giveaway item for this year was a spongy sheep keychain. To earn the swag, visitors were required to complete a stamp card by play each of the three demos and have their picture taken among the mounds of poofy farm animals.

The first game we tried was Reel Fishing Road Trip Adventure. In this game you and two buddies take off on a fishing adventure to learn more about the Legendary Fish. One buddy handles your fishing equipment upgrade, while your other companion handles the meal cooking. You play as the fishing hero Sean, picking out equipment, special fishing skills, and the location where you'll be fishing. There will be quests to tackle such as catching a fish of a certain size. You can spend the day fishing, but you'll be sent back to camp for dinner once the evening starts rolling in.

The other game we played was Harvest Moon: Mad Dash, a collaborative Ps4/Switch challenge game where players harvest and fish to clear the product orders that appear on the bottom of the screen. Each round has a time limit, so completing as many orders as possible before time's up will help to unlock the next stage. Each stage also has unique layouts and challenges; one stage we played had wild boars that would periodically run across the screen and wipe out our crops! Another stage had ice crystals fall from the sky to freeze our crops, requiring us to walk all over the crops to break up the ice and thaw the ground.

To earn points and clear the stage, players will pick up and place the crop squares next to each other. The placement will make the crops grow, and after placing enough squares you can harvest the crops to complete the order. There are also fishing squares where you place smaller water squares together to make larger ponds along with placing a fish square to make the fish appear. We also saw chickens and cows, which requires players to move hay bale squares to the animals so they can eat and produce goods. There's a lot of interactivity between the playing field and the players. Every so often you can fill up a meter to trigger a harvest-palooza where everyting is harvestable for a short period, allowing you to quickly complete orders and earn points until the power meter depletes.

Our board game group enjoys playing Overcooked together, so the PS4 edition is right up our path. I can see it being fun for all ages, even if you play it alone. The game is planned to be released later this fall.

Natsume also plans to release Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition Complete in the future. The physical game will contain Light of Hope Special Edition and the four DLC packs in a single game for either Playstation 4 or Nintendo Switch. This complete edition will be available at Gamestop. Alas, it does not include Doc as a marriage candidate. I did ask P.Taka about the missing silver-haired fox, but he just laughed and walked away. Drat!

XSeed Games

Over at the XSeed Games booth, an English version of Rune Factory 4 Special was situated at the high-traffic corner across from Sega's Mario and Sonic at the Olympics booth with the climbing wall. There was a strict No Photography rule with any RF4 gameplay, so instead there was a small stand-up display of Lest and Frey along with some vegetable decorations that attendees could take pictures of. There were four demo stations available.

I've never played RF4 before, so the Switch edition was my first experience with the game. I played as Frey and did some chatting with Arthur, a mysterious request board named Eliza, and even bumped into a few other characters like Porcoline and Raven. The English text was in the game, though it was still being worked on; the Bean Festival I could create using Princess Points was listed as "Spring 1" instead of "Spring 10".

After Mr.Fogu noticed the fellow in the next-door demo was out-and-about fighting monsters in his game, I wandered out of town to find some baddies to return to the Forest of Beginning. I did find a few orcs to liberate, but soon afterwards the demo ended; the gameplay was limited to about 10 minutes. It was still fun though! The booth staff member I talked with said that RF4 doesn't have a set release date yet, but it is planned for sometime this year. She also mentioned Rune Factory 5 was in development, but didn't elaborate more about it.

We only had to wait a short time to take our turn with the demo, as the short time allowed players to move through pretty quickly. Though there were more players waiting in line to play Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin in the nearby demo station, an action game where you play as a shrine maiden fighting demons using your trusty farming hoe as a weapon. Even after finding the upgraded hoe in the game's weapon inventory, I wasn't skilled enough to defeat the end-demo boss, though it was quite pretty to look at while I was getting beat up.

Another playable game at XSeed's booth was Hero Land, where you play as a RPG theme park tour guide. The demo at the booth had us going through a dungeon with our party of theme park guests, who each had their own attacks during their turn-based battles. But the protagonist was just a park guide and stood in the back while the guests would take their turns in battle. As the tour guide, every so often you could issue a command to a park guest to suggest they use a different attack during their battle, but in general the party would battle on their own. It was actually an interesting take on a typical turn-based RPG. Once the dungeon was finished, the XSeed booth staff would hand out a cute badge pin for playing the game :)

Doraemon Release!

The latest Story of Seasons off-shoot game, Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari (known as Doraemon Story of Seasons in English) was released in Japan on the 13th.

Marvelous also revealed the five Nature Sprites that will help Noby with the farm. Akka is searching for her fellow sprites Dreamy, Kiiron, Loizumi, and Kisaram, which are hidden somewhere in Seizen Town to be discovered.

Players can also obtain a golden Doraemon statue in their game, as well as special Keron Pass and the special Fertilizer gadgets, if they scan a QR code found in the July edition of Korokoro Comic. The QR code will take players to a special page on the Bandai Namco website, where they can enter their BD account ID to login in. They'll then receive a code that can be entered into their Switch console to unlock a Yamei Bag in the Knick Knack shop. After watching a cut scene, players will receive the helpful gadgets from Doraemon and can order the golden statue from the Carpenter's after exchanging gold ore and paying a fee.

MediaCreate reports that the game sold about 42,300 copies since its release a week ago. Bandai Namco will also be releasing a game adjustment patch, planned for later this month.

Until next time!

- Cher
(The blueberries are beginning to ripen! Mmmm... pancakes...)
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