Ushi No Tane PHP-Update Doraemon:SoS Review and an intro to SoS:FoMT Happy Farm'n Friday! Every year I make an attempt to grow something I've never grown before, which is pretty easy to do with the wide variety of garden crops available throughout the world. This year I picked out a crop that I know Mr.Fogu likes to eat and yet I've never grown it before.The mystery crop this year was Jicama, or at least an attempt at growing Jicama. It grows similarly to a potato, with vine-like foliage above ground and the tuber below ground. It seemed simple enough; plant the large seeds in the soil and then just give it some water. What I didn't take into account was the unusually cool summer season here in the Portland area. We only received a few days of high-90s (Fahrenheit) temperatures at the end of August, when typically we'll reach into the 100s for a while. Mostly the weather was in the mid-80s the entire summer season. Since Jicama is a tropical crop, it just wasn't warm enough this year for it to grow well. The vines never matured enough to flower and move onto root production. It was an interesting experiment though.

Review: Doraemon: SoSSo last week the SoS spinoff game, Doraemon: Story of Seasons was released in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia for the Nintendo Switch and PC/Steam platforms. This game is a Doraemon story with SoS features, kind of like Popolocrois: A Story of Seasons Fairytale from a few years ago. Doraemon is not meant to be a full-blown SoS game with all the bells and whistles of the farming series. Rather, it takes basic game play aspects of SoS and melds them into a cute tale staring a group of kids and their robot cat from the future.The game beings with Noby Nobito, the protagonist of the Doraemon series, trying to decide what to do for his summer project. He stumbles across a large seed and decides to grow whatever plant this seed belongs to as his project; I would do the same thing if I found a weird seed on the ground! Noby fetches his friends Sneech, Big G, and Sue to show them the tree that sprouted from the seed. Suddenly a windstorm blows through their town and sucks the group of five and the big tree into the sky, planting them (ha!) into the unknown world of Natura.Noby and friends are tasked with trying to find Doraemon's gadgets that were lost in the windstorm and landed in various places around Natura. Hopefully when the gadgets have been collected they can be used to calm the Elder Tree and return the group back home. This basically involves the player triggering cut scenes as friendship is raised with the villagers. There doesn't appear to be day-of-the-week requirements for storyline events to occur, so players shouldn't have too much difficulty unlocking the storyline events if they run around the various areas frequently enough.There's a lot of lighthearted humor in the game's dialog. There's plenty of quirks with the villagers such as livestock shop owner Taurus' constant sleepiness, Chef Cafet's insatiable appetite, and Mark's obsession with trying to find "Harvest Sprites" in the forest, as he takes off mid-day to go on his sprite hunt and leaves Gennie to mind the store on her own.In this game, fishing has an interesting trait whereas the fish will take longer to bite the hook the more you catch fish in the same area. It is described in-game as the fish become cautious the more you pull them from the water. Basically, the fish will bite the fishing line's hook fairly quickly during the first few times you fish in an area per day, but then take much longer to bite on your third cast, fourth cast, and so on. There's bait in the fishing shop that is used to entice fish to keep biting if you really want to keep fishing in a particular area that day.Farming has been simplified to field crops, chickens, cows, and sheep. The field area available on Noby's run-down farm is HUGE, and there are a lot of fence options and decorations that can be added to the field. The tool upgrades from the town blacksmith will help to make farming tasks easier, but these upgrades require a lot of materials. For example, an iron-quality watering can requires 50 building stone, 40 copper ore, and 50 iron ore. That's a lot for a basic upgrade!There's also a nap feature that allows players to take a on-screen sleep break wherever they desire! The nap can be used to recharge stamina or can be used to pass the time while waiting for shops to open.Natura's watercolor-like qualities are very pleasant to see, as it feels like playing through a mural. I know some players don't like the Japanese-isms that are voiced throughout the game, but that can be turned down (or off) by going into the game's options and turning down the volume on the voiced bits. The white border surrounding the game's screen cannot be removed, as that acts as the edge of the Natura painting.In general, this is a cute game with an interesting story and a farming system that is clean and easy to understand. The beginning of the game is an hour or so of dialog, but once you get past that Natura opens up. The controls can be a little awkward sometimes, as the "talk" and "eat" commands are both tied to the A Button. There's been many a times I've walked up to a villager to chat, only not be close enough and end up eating the food I had in my active bag slot that was intended to be given as a post-conversation gift. Likewise the daily villager dialogs don't vary too much from day to day, but that's true for SoS games as well. If you're on the fence about Doraemon, it may be good to wait for a discount before jumping into the world of Natura. I don't see myself playing too much of the game after the main storyline is finished, mainly because I've other games to play such as...

SoS:FoMT Released!The remake of the 2003 Gameboy Advance games, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is now out on the Nintendo Switch in Japan. I've had a few hours to play it so far, and have made it through the first week in the game (adulting gets in the way!). So I'll have more information as I get the chance to play through the Switch game.At the beginning of the game you can choose one of the four protagonists as well as three skin tone options. After choosing your name (max limit of 8 characters) and birthday, you can choose to play in Normal mode or in Seedling mode. The easier mode starts out with 2500 G (instead of 500 G on Normal mode), you earn a little bit more money when shipping items to Zack, friendships are easier, and there are 18 Turnips already growing on the farm field (9 ripe and 9 unripe). You can't switch between Normal and Seedling after the game begins. The farmer's clothes can be changed on the first day of the game by using the mirror inside the farm house, and clothing options can swap between old-farmer overalls and new-farmer parka clothing.So far it feels like a mix of Friends of Mineral Town and More Friends of Mineral Town. Both bachelor and bachelorette heart events will trigger regardless of the sex of your protagonist, and events are not tied to one per day. I've seen heart, rival, and random events all on the same day.One quality upgrade in the Switch game is with fishing. Zack will give a fishing rod when first visiting his house, just like in the GBA game, but knowing when to reel in a caught fish is now easier. The bobber goes into the water as expected, but the joycons will vibrate when a fish has been caught on the line. After the vibration ends, just press the A button once to reel in the fish. No need to mash the A button anymore or watch for the "!" to reel in the fish. Just feel for the vibe!

Stranded Sails Released!A second farm'n adventure game, Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands is now out on Steam, GoG, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Ps4 for $24.99 USD. For a limited time there is a 15% release discount on Steam, GoG, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. So many farm'n games!

Until next time!

- Cher
(It's another rainy weekend, plenty of indoor farming time!) Sat, 19 Oct 2019 00:33:20 +0000
Doraemon Release Day, 1 Week untili SoS:FoMT, and Stranded Sails Demo Happy Farm'n Friday! Since I had been working on filling in missing pages on the Sunshine Islands guide, I decided to pop my 'ol game of SI into my 3DS to look up some shop inventories. But on the title screen there was only the option for New Game o.0 Apparently 10+ years ago I used my JP copy of the game and never started a game of the EN version! So it's like I'm playing for the first time, which has actually kind of been fun. Raised a couple of islands, unlocked Will and Lily, built a chicken coop, and just about to upgrade the farm house.I've also been playing Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure. That game had an unexpected difficulty jump once I reached the Tropical map (Arapaima are tough to catch!) and I'm finding that I don't have enough materials to craft the necessary fishing lures for the next challenges. Fishing isn't as simple as I assumed it would be! Gotta catch 'em all!

Doraemon:SoS Released!Today's the day that Doraemon: Story of Seasons is out in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. The game is available on both Nintendo Switch and Steam/PC for $49.99 USD. The game is digital-only in North America, and both digital and physical in EU. The physical copy of the game comes with an actual package of tomato and basil seeds for players to plant; though this time of year is not the best time for growing tomatoes. The digital copy requires 788 MB of SD card space.The Nintendo Switch edition also has a free demo available for those who want to give it a try before deciding to commit to buying a Doraemon game. The demo content is the same as the Japan version demo, which gives Noby the task of growing a Turnip in 3 days to present to Mayor Ryam of Natura.The game languages are English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. All of the little audible spoken phrases are still in Japanese ("Ohayoooo!") but the game's dialogs and user interface are displayed in the game's chosen language. The character names in the English game are based on the US version of the Doraemon anime series (Noby, Sneech, Big G, and Sue), but in other languages the names will be the Japanese names (Nobito, Suneo, Gian, and Shizuka).Keep in mind that this game is not a full Story of Seasons game, but does have the feel of an SoS game. There are crops, festivals, bug catching, fishing, friendship bonds, and so on, but it does NOT contain a marriage system. Noby and friends are children and not married in the anime series.In Japan, two new fix patches for Doraemon:SoS were released last night, bringing the game to version 1.0.5 and then to 1.0.6. The version .5 patch fixed a gadget event with the magical spirit Vera, and version .6 updated the caught bug list trophy from "catch the largest size regardless of quality" to "catch a 5-star." No idea if these updates are in the outside-Japan version that was released today.I'll be playing this here and there over the weekend and into next week, though it may have to be put aside for the upcoming SoS:FoMT game. I don't have any plan to make a thorough Fogu guide for the Doraemon spin-off game. I'm only one person who farms on the weekends, and there's a mainline SoS game coming up!

SoS:FoMT NewsThe latest edition of Famitsu Weekly contained a 2-page article about Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, which is scheduled to be released on Nintendo Switch next week in Japan. One of the notes in the article says that pasture grass will regrow without water. Basically as pasture grass grows, it will spread to other non-tilled areas but not onto already cultivated soil.The mirror inside of the farm house can be used to change the color of your basic clothes as well as put on costumes such as the pre-order bonus cow costume. In Famitsu's screen shot there are listings for overalls colors as well as colors for the new-protagonist parka outfit.Another confirmation is the existence of Ruby and Van from A Wonderful Life into the GBA remake. In the original game, players used the GBA-to-Gamecube link cable to unlock these two characters in their GBA game. Van would open his shop in Doug's Inn on Wednesdays, where he would sell the Record Player, music records for the player, and some common ores. If you happen to give him a Van's Favorite item (that randomly appears in your mailbox as a lottery prize in MFoMT), then he would give the option to purchase some very high-end items like the TV Remote that allowed you to watch every episode of the television shows. When Ruby would visit on Sundays at the Inn, she would give you cooking recipes.For their Switch appearances, after the currently unknown criteria for them to unlock in the game, Van will open his shop on Wednesdays at the Inn. Also on the 15th of every season, Van will open a pet store in the Plaza. The Famitsu article shows his inventory of a Pet Treat for 1000 G each, a blue Penguin for 30,000 G, and an Orange Penguin for 30,000 G.As for Ruby, the Famitsu article simply says that she comes to Mineral Town from Forget-Me-Not Valley once a week to buy ingredients.

Stranded Sails Demo Released!Next Thursday (the 17th) another farm'n themed game, Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Island, will be released on all three consoles and Steam/PC. In this game you play as the child of an exploratory sea captain whose ship crashed on a deserted island. Finding yourself suddenly responsible for a crew without a ship, you explore the islands to locate materials that can be used to construct a boat to escape the cursed islands. Players will also be tasked with growing food at the shipwrecked camp by finding seeds while out exploring the islands. The food can then be eaten raw or cooked to restore stamina.A separate demo of the game is now available for free for PC users from the Roka Publishing website. This prologue demo is 640 MB in size and begins one day before the story of Stranded Sails.The prologue starts out with you learning about how you'll sail the next day with your father and his rambunctious crew, but until then you've to sleep until morning. During the night you dream of an island adventure with a talking parrot as your guide through your dream. The prologue basically teaches you how to use the controls, grow crops, and so on.Stranded Sails PC Prologue Demo

Until next time!

- Cher
(I keep catching myself spelling the game's title as "Stranded Sales." Doh!) Fri, 11 Oct 2019 22:17:18 +0000
SoS: FoMT Updates and Stranded Sails Release Date
Happy Farm'n Friday! The steps taken to protect the Chinese Shawo Radish sprouts worked so well that I made a second grow bag of Chinese Red Meat (watermelon) Radishes. Both crops are happily growing away in their rat-free containers, and it's been raining frequently enough that I haven't needed to water the seedlings.I'm still picking fruit off of the two tomatillo plants that randomly grew back from the prior years' dropped fruit. With the first one that replanted itself, it was left to trail along the ground and grew similarly to a bush. The second tomatillo plant was supported with a metal trellis so it would grow vertically like a tree. The trellised tomatillo plant is producing much larger fruit than the bushed tomatillo, but there's fewer of them. The bushy tomatillo plant is producing smaller fruit, but there's more of them. It's kind of interesting how simply changing the way a plant grows will impact its productivity.

SoS: FoMT UpdatesThis week Marvelous posted a few more video tweets for their upcoming Nintendo Switch game, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. In their first video, the protagonist is visiting carpenter Gotz to order a house upgrade. There's a couple of interesting things with his inventory:Gotz's construction menu is available for us to browse, showing the farm house upgrade, the chicken coop upgrade, the livestock barn upgrade, and the Town Cottage vacation house that cost 10 million G to construct. The Town Cottage will sit next door to Saibara's blacksmith shop if players fork over the big bucks for its construction.Another note is that the farm house upgrade costs 3000 G, 150 Lumber, and 50 Material Stone. In the original GBA game the first upgrade cost 3000 G and 200 Lumber, as the stone-type lumber did not exist in the game. So the amount of materials is the same in SoS:FoMT, but the type of materials has been expanded to two.The other option in Gotz's inventory appears to be house customization options. In the original game players would have the option to style their farmhouse windows and mailbox after the third farm house upgrade was complete. We'll have to see what magical goodies appears in that section of Gotz's inventory.After Gotz starts working on the ordered farm house upgrade, he takes 3 days (as expected) to complete the job. On the morning of the third day, the farm house has been expanded and a kitchen installed! The newly-build kitchen doesn't include the eight cooking utensils (knife, frying pan, mixer, oven, pot, rolling pin, whisk, and the seasonings).In a second video, the protagonist was down to 10 points of stamina and opted to use the hot springs on Mother Hill to recharge. It takes about 2.5 hours of sitting in the spa to recover 155 points of stamina (from 10 to 165). Each Power Berry icon under the stamina point level measures 15 stamina points.a third video was published by GEO, one of the retailers offering a preorder bonus. Their bonus is the cute sheep costume for the protagonist to wear, which they show off in their video. If you're really quick you can catch Barley and May hanging out by the Hot Spring as the protagonist runs by on their way up the hill.

Stranded Sails Release DateRoka Publishing revealed this week that the island exploration and farming game, Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands, will be released on October 17 for PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One for $24.99 USD. In this game players will be exploring the mysterious islands while collecting materials to help the shipwrecked crew survive until the player figures out how to build a new ship to return home. The farming aspect is used to grow food for the player and crew to survive on. Keeping the crew happy with home-grown crops can unlock new tools and camp benefits. There's also puzzles to solve and baddie ghosts to combat. PC/SteamNintendo SwitchXBox One(No Playstation 4 page available)

Don't forget that we also have another farm'n game coming out next Friday. Bandai Namco's Doraemon: Story of Seasons is scheduled to be released on October 11 outside of Japan. Available on Nintendo Switch, this game has players taking on the role of Noby, as he and his friends (and his robot cat Doraemon) are sucked into an unknown world called Natura. Each of his friends help out with the villagers of the town of Gaea, while Noby takes over managing the local farm. Using Doraemon's magical gadgets, Noby has to work the farm while also trying to figure out how to return back to their own world.Nintendo SwitchThe game will be digital-only in the US (742 MB) and both physical and digital in Europe. A PC/Steam version will be released in the future; there isn't a Steam wishlist page at the moment.

And near the end of this month (29th) we get Harvest Moon: Mad Dash for Ps4 and Nintendo Switch! There's a lot of farm'n coming out this October!

Until next time!

- Cher
(The local stores have their Christmas merchandise out already. Oooh yea!) Fri, 04 Oct 2019 19:57:58 +0000
Reel Fishing Road Trip Game Review and Farm'n Game Discounts Happy Farm'n Friday! The weather was clear last weekend (i.e., wasn't soaking wet), so I put the anti-squirrel plan into action to protect the second round of Chinese Showa radish sprouts. Those dang tree rats destroyed the first batch of seedlings... grr...The seedlings are now in a felt grow bag that I typically use for growing tomatoes, with an border of plastic leaf gutter guard around the interior edge of the bag to give some height to the next layer of protection. Then topped with deer guard netting clipped to the gutter guard with metal binder clips. The felt bag is deep enough to support the vertical growth of the radish root, as these grow into tall radishes (like daikon) rather than round radishes. There's plenty of space for the leaf growth too. I'd like to see a tree rat get through this crafty setup!

Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure ReviewLast week was the release of Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure, a story-based entry to Natsume's long-time Reel Fishing game series. Road Trip is available for Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam for $29.99 USD.The adventure starts out with three university students (Sean, Neil, and Alice) trying to decide on the topic for their group project. They head to the museum to clear their heads and come across a mysterious Legend fish painting. A man standing nearby overhears the friends discussing the art and tells them he knows a little bit about the artist. He directs the trio to a nearby town for more information, where they learn that the local fishing waters are full of trash that have kept away a lot of fish, including the mysterious Legend. Now it's up to them to clean up the water to entice the Legend to return.Players mainly control Sean, the group's fishing fanatic. Sean does the casting and reeling, while Neil and Alice stay back at camp. Each "day" in the game starts at 10:00 am and ends at 3:00 pm, when Sean announces that it's time to return to camp; in real-time, a "day" lasts about 5 minutes. Sometimes I'll catch a few fish during the gameplay day, and other times I can snag up to 9 fish. If the time hits 3:00 pm and you're still fishing, the day won't end until you've reeled in your line.Catching a fish is pretty clear; just toss out the line, wait for a bite, and then reel in the fish. There are two reeling options: a slow reel and a fast reel. The faster Sean reels in the line, the more tension there is. The line can break if there's too much strain on the fishing line, so it's a gentle back-and-forth between reeling, pausing to let the fish swim, reeling, and so on. When the fish is finally reeled in, Sean will take its picture and collect some trash from the river such as plastic bottles, string, lumber, and so on.After returning to camp for the night, Neil can then use that trash to craft new rods, reels, and lures. New reels and rods make it much easier to catch fish, especially once Neil start getting into A-rank fishing tackle. Neil can also upgrade existing reels and rods, though with the amount of trash that Sean collects it's just easier to craft better equipment than to upgrade the tackle Sean already has. It does use less trash to upgrade equipment than to craft new equipment, but it's just a matter of fishing for a few days to collect enough materials to craft new stuff. The in-game shop also sells trash if you just need a few more pieces to craft the next-level of fishing tackle.Alice dreams of being a chef, so she handles the dinner meals and snacks for the trio. Ingredients must be purchased from the in-game store (Sean doesn't bring home food, just trash) and are used after picking that night's meal. Alice has to cook every night, and can choose the no-ingredient Box Lunch if necessary. Each meal does add a benefit to Sean's day such as a stamina or EXP bonus for the next day.After the friends go to bed for the night, their activities are tallied to increase their experience levels. Leveling up earns Ability Points that can be spent to unlock new friend features such as new recipes for Alice or additional lures for Neil. Sean's handiest ability is his Angler's Focus - a mini-game of sorts that triggers when fish jump out of the water while they're trying to escape. If the displayed buttons are press correctly, the fish goes dormant for a short time and allows fast reeling without concern for line tension.The game's story is divided into chapters. After catching the necessary fish for that chapter, a scene will play back at camp that night. Some of the scenes are goofy, while some scenes are of the friends contemplating how they're going to spend the rest of their post-university lives. All the while the mystery of the Legend begins to reveal itself as the waters become cleaner.The game itself does have some nice details to it for being a simple fishing game. The foliage at the fishing locations will move in the breeze, there's birds that fly across the screen every so often, and even the trio of friends will wear different clothes each day. Another detail is the game can be played in either English or Japanese; you just switch the language from the game's title screen.Overall it is a fun little fishing game. If you've ever been interested in trying a fishing game, give this one a try! You can read more about the game on the platform pages:Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure - Steam StoreReel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure - Playstation StoreReel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure - Nintendo

Farm'n Game DiscountsThere's a variety of Nintendo Switch digital games on sale, including a few farming games!EuropeStardew Valley = 20% off (8.79£, ends Oct 13)My Time at Portia = 30% off (17.49£, ends Oct 7)Farming Simulator Nintendo Switch Edition = 60% off (15.19£,ends Oct 13)North AmericaMy Time at Portia = 30% off ($20.99, ends Oct 7)Farming Simulator Nintendo Switch Edition = 60% off ($19.99, ends Oct 13)Farm Expert 2018 = 10% off ($26.99, ends Oct 12)JapanMy Time at Portia = 30% off (2306 Yen, ends Oct 7)

Weekly JP SalesDoraemon: Story of Seasons has finally dropped off the Famitsu's Top 30 Sales this week. But that crazy Fishing Spirits is still in the top 10! That must be a super fun fishing game if it beat out both Doraemon and Rune Factory 4 in the top-30 chart.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Gotta wake the Wind Fish soon!) Fri, 27 Sep 2019 22:15:29 +0000
SoS:FoMT Hidden Candidates, HM: LoH Complete EU Release Date, and My Time at Portia Sale Happy Farm'n Friday! It's been a wet week here at Fogu HQ. The lawn grass has grown exceptionally tall, and yet it can't be mowed because it's too wet outside. On a positive note, being indoors all last weekend has given me time to work on filling in missing pages on various HM guides.The next batch of Shawo Radish sprouts appear to enjoy the rain. I need to get these guys into the ground soon! I've an idea rolling around in my head to protect them from those pesky tree rats, who apparently are not appreciative of the stale Cheerios I left them as a peace offering (at least the crows enjoyed the breakfast cereal). Now they've targeted their attacks towards the round "squirrel proof" bird feeder. The tree rats are too large to fit through the protective cage that holds the bird seed, so instead they jump onto the cage and then jump off when they hear me walking down the hall towards the backyard, causing the globe to spin and dislodge the sunflower seeds via centrifugal force. And since they are technically eating the seeds off the ground, where they belong, I won't go into frenzy-raaar mode to chase them off. Clever little buggers...

SoS: FoMT Hidden CandidatesThis week Marvelous revealed that the secret marriage candidates from Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town will also be available as challenge candidates in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. The candidates are the Goddess, Kappa, Won, and Gourmet. All of these candidates will require the base requirements of the upgraded farm house, a big bed inside the farm house, and a red-level friendship heart color. The challenge that these candidates don't have visible hearts on their character portrait that would indicate their current friendship level.Goddess is the ultimate completionist's candidate. Her marriage requirements in the original GBA game were to catch every type of fish, collect all 9 Goddess Jewels, ship at least one of every item that could be sold via the shipping box, discover all of the items in both mines, be in year 5 or later, and confess to Carter the player's interest in marrying the Goddess.Kappa generally has the challenge requirements as the Goddess, though players will collect the Kappa Jewels and confess to Carter about their desire to marry the green fellow. This candidate does have an additional requirement of telling the Goddess about their interest in marrying him. In the GBA game, after tossing in 20 gifts into her pond, the Goddess will appear and ask the player if there is a special someone they are interested in. The player has to choose Kappa from the available list to start their courtship of him.Won is the easiest of the four secret marriage candidates. The player has to buy the Flower Vase from him as well as raise his friendship to trigger special apple-themed love events.Gourmet is a long-game candidate because he only appears once per year in the game, on the day of the springtime cooking festival. After the contest is over, Gourmet can be found in Rose Square for a couple of hours; during this time he can be given gifts to raise his friendship level. Once the clock reaches 8pm, he leaves Mineral Town until the next springtime cooking festival takes place. Besides his rare appearance in town, players also have to complete the recipe book in the kitchen and win each of the five cooking festival judging categories. It will take at least 5 years to complete Gourmet's marriage criteria.The quality improvements made to the rucksack in the Nintendo Switch version will help with completing these candidate requirements. Now that items can stack in the rucksack, instead of taking up one space in the rucksack with the GBA version, it will be possible to bring stacks of stamina-recovering food while spelunking to reach the bottom floors of the mines to complete Goddess/Kappa criteria. Likewise the stacking element also makes it easier to flood Gourmet with gifts while he's available in the plaza, without having to run back to the farm house to grab another group of eight gifts like in the GBA game; though having the Teleport Stone makes this a little easier.SoS: FoMT will be released in Japan (both retail and digital) in less than a month!(Is that a tree rat emblem on Gourmet's armor? Naaaah that can't be what it is...)

New SoS:FoMT ComicThe long-time series character designer, Igusa Matsuyama, recently penned a new story comic for the Official Japanese Website. In it he tells a short story about "Yuuto", the yellow-hoodie protagonist from the upcoming game. It's a cute tale about Yuuto's first crop, the people he meets, and the other activities he participates in while waiting for his turnips to harvest.Special Short Story

LoH Complete in EURising Star Games has announced that the "Complete" edition of Harvest Moon: Light of Hope will be released in the EU region on October 25. This version of LoH contains the special edition and the four DLC bundles on a single cartridge (Nintendo Switch) or disc (Playstation 4). The "Complete" edition was released by Natsume on July 30 in North America.

Portia SaleThe farming/construction game My Time at Portia is on sale. The game is 30% off in the North American Nintendo eShop, and 40% off in the North American Playstation 4 Store. The game had a new patch released yesterday for all three consoles (Switch, Ps4, and XBox) to improve load times, add voiceovers, and correct bugs. The Nintendo sale ends on October 7, and the Playstation sale ends on October 1.

Weekly JP SalesDoraemon: Story of Seasons is still in the Famitsu's Top 30 Sales for last week, clinging onto spot #30 with about 1200 additional copies sold. That brings the total at 93,390 sales since the game was released in Japan on June 13.

Until next time!

- Cher
(I'll have a review next week of Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure!) Fri, 20 Sep 2019 21:37:07 +0000
HM: Mad Dash Relase Date, RF4 Physical CE, and new In-Dev Farm'n Trailers from TGS Happy Farm'n Friday! The replanted radish seedlings have sprouted, but I don't trust those dang tree rats to leave them alone if the seedlings are placed unprotected into the garden bed. I've been trying to appease the little buggers by putting out stale Cheerios by the backyard patio door. So far they haven't bothered the radish seedlings, but they did dig holes in the soil of the potted Goji Berry plants that were nearby. Such pesky critters!

A Dashy Release DatesThis week Natsume announced their upcoming four-player party-hardy game, Harvest Moon: Mad Dash, will be released on October 29 in North America for Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch. There's also a new reveal trailer to check out!Last weekend we played some games with our board game group, and Mr.Fogu was trying to explain to them how to play Mad Dash. Maybe I can get him to play some other farming games too? Auu, someday we could farm TOGETHER! Yea, I can wish I guess...Speaking of Natsume, next week's release of Reel Fishing: Road Trip will now include Steam as a platform along with Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

RF4 CE BundleXSeed Games revealed a special "Archival Edition" for the North American release of Rune Factory 4 Special is now available for preorders from their company store for $59.99 USD. This special release includes:A copy of the Nintendo Switch gameA CD Soundtrack, including three new songsA 160-page artbookThe swimsuit DLCThis is similar to the "Memorial Box" that was available in Japan, but with a CD soundtrack containing music from the game instead of a 2-disc drama CD.You can preorder the Archival Edition, or the normal version of the game, from XSeed's website:Rune Factory 4 Special

Tokyo Game Show Farm'n!TGS opened yesterday and two upcoming farming games have released new trailers to entice virtual farmers to check out their fields-in-development. Today we have new gameplay trailers for Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands and Snacko!
Stranded Sails is scheduled to be released this year, and Snacko is estimated to be released in 2021.

Weekly JP SalesFamitsu's Top 30 Sales for this week has Doraemon: Story of Seasons still hanging on at spot 27 with +1500 additional copies sold, putting its total at around 92,100.The latest contest for Doraemon concluded this week, with the winning field designs announced on the official website. The game is scheduled to be released next month in North America and Europe.

Until next time!

- Cher
(The dahlias in the front yard still haven't bloomed this year... sadness... ) Fri, 13 Sep 2019 19:37:52 +0000
SoS:FoMT on the JP eShop, Coconuts, and JP Sales Happy Farm'n Friday! I had planted my little Shawo Radish seedlings into the garden bed last weekend, and it only took a day for the tree rats to discover my little raddy babies. Only two of the 14 sprouts survived the squirrel onslaught... waaaaaaa nooooo!Now the remaining sprouts are each surrounded with a cage of gutter guard that I found in the furnace room. The stuff is used to keep fallen leaves out of the roof gutters, but it appears to also work well for protecting precious seedlings. Next I'll have to replant the radish seeds. The first batch of seeds sprouted rather quickly, so this won't be too much of a setback. It's still an annoyance though.I plan on pulling up two of the tomato plants too: the Black Vernissage and the Purple Russian. The vernissage is too mushy-tasting, and the russian is constantly being eaten by tree rats because the fruit takes so long to ripen. They also split a LOT and the leaves curled. It isn't growing very well in my local climate.

New SoS:FoMT InfoThe digital edition of Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is now available for preload on the Nintendo eShop in Japan. The digital download is 999 MB in size; for a comparison to other digital titles, the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is about 5900 MB (5.8 G), Final Fantasy 8 is about 2600 MB, and Undertale is only 221 MB.The preorder is currently 10% off with a sale price of 5637 Yen instead of 6264 Yen. Along with being on sale, digital preorderers will receive a DLC cow costume for the farmer, which can be worn by using the mirror inside of the farm house.
🌟ダウンロード版予約開始🌟予約購入すると10%オフの特別価格&発売日にすぐ遊べます。特典は「ウシの着ぐるみ」です🐮ご予約はこちらから✨⇒牧場物語 #再会のミネラルタウン— 『牧場物語』公式アカウント (@bokumono_PR) September 5, 2019
You can see the costume in action in the above tweet. There is also a gold-colored cow in the barn interior scene. Maybe a contest winner? We'll find out soon enough when the game is released next month in Japan! The 10% discount will last until September 30.The JP Switch eShop is region locked when it comes to adding funds, so you'll need to use a Japan-region prepaid card/code, get crafty with Paypal, or if you have a Japan-region Nintendo 3DS, use the 3DS to add funds to the eShop (which isn't region locked) and then transfer the 3DS funds to the Switch eShop.Also this week Marvelous tweeted a short snippet of Jennifer's black heart event. If you wanted to watch the scene unfold, you can check it out over on their twitter feed; I'll leave it unembeded here for those who don't want to be spoiled about her events.SoS:FoMT Jennifer black heart event

Mad Dash ObstaclesThe couch-party game Harvest Moon: Mad Dash is expected to be released sometime this Fall. Players will inevitably run into obstacles on the playing field that will hinder their progress to match crops to ship before the time's up. Today, Natsume added a Facebook note on how to deal with the coconut obstacles when working on a beachy field. Initially the falling coconuts can be an annoyance if they hit the player on the head, but when combined together they can create a tasty beverage that boosts the Power Meter. You can read more about coconuts on the official company Facebook page:Falling Coconuts in Harvest Moon: Mad Dash | Natsume, Inc.

Mobage September EventsThis month in the social online Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage there's a ballet-themed Harvest Event scheduled from 1st until the 9th, a Bingo event starting on the 11th and ends on the 19th, and finally a Hungry Animal event from Sept until Sept 30.

Weekly JP SalesFor this week's Famitsu's Top 30 Sales, we have:Rune Factory 4 SE = Unfortunately has dropped off the top-30 chart. Last Famitsu public sales data we have was at 52,400 copiesDoraemon: SoS = +1700 copies (total of 90,500), moved up to #28 from #27I didn't expect to see Doraemon outlast RF4, but maybe it'll return to the chart soon. The Fishing Spirits game is still selling well, with a total of 144,100 physical copies sold.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Preloaded and ready to go with SoS:FoMT!) Fri, 06 Sep 2019 20:45:28 +0000
SoS: FoMT Updates, PAX West, App Discounts, Atomicrops, and FS19 on Stadia Happy Farm'n Friday! It's slowly becoming Fall season and the time for happy sunflowers. Earlier this Spring I planted a few varieties in the dirt at the top of the stairs in the front yard, but it seems the tree rats discovered the seeds and fewer sprouted than I expected. Oh well! Most of the sunflower sprouts were the same variety that grew last year, as they replanted themselves, but one of the new varieties was called Teddy Bear; a fuzzy sunflower with lots of leaves and a height of 18 inches (45 cm) to 24 inches (60 cm).Well, it definitely produced a fuzzy flower and lots of leaves, but it apparently forgot about the height! A six-inch tall sunflower is still cute, I guess.I also started the Chinese Shawo Fruit radishes last weekend, as they are cooler-weather crop. It's a green radish that is suppose to have a sweet taste, at least according to the seed package.

New SoS:FoMT InfoThis week Marvelous revealed the mysterious new marriage candidate characters in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. The female candidate is Jennifer, a wandering traveler who left the city to be closer to nature. The male candidate is Brandon, who we met the other week thanks to Producer Nakano's interviews at ChinaJoy. Marvelous also released character artwork and screen shots of Gotz and Zack, and a screen shot of steam-punk Gourmet judging a cooking festival.A new promo video was also added to the website, adding in-game scenes of Jennifer and Brandon:
Also in the new movie:At 1:25 and 2:16 of the video you can see the protagonist has two rows of 8-slots of rucksack inventory.At 1:54 you can see a scene from the Elli/Doc black rival event.Moustache-free redesigned Won briefly appears in the lower-left corner of the collage of screen shots at 2:40.A new 10-page comic was also uploaded to the official website. The comic walks the reader through the story of the game, starting with the protagonist remembering the youthful time he spent on the farm. Now it is his time to try his hand at farming! Page 7 of the comic hints that Ruby from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life may make an appearance in Mineral Town.In the original GBA game, Ruby and Van would appear in the game after players connected their GBA games to the Gamecube game via a GBA-to-GC link cable. Ruby would bring new recipes for you to cook, and Van would set up a shop on the second floor of Doug's inn. Van's shop included ores like Copper and Silver, the Record Player (which we have already seen in the farmhouse in SoS:FoMT), and records for the record player that changes the background music on the farm. In MFoMT, a wine bottle called Van's Favorite would randomly appear in the farm mailbox. Giving this wine bottle to Van when he's in Doug's inn will give players the option to buy a very special item for 1 million G!

More PAX West Farm'nLast week the team developing Farm Folks announced that their farming game would be playable at the Crytivo booth during PAX West this weekend in Seattle. Since then another farm'n game has jumped in: Stranded Sales - Explorers of the Cursed Islands will also be at PAX this weekend in a playable format.XSeed Games will also be at PAX this weekend, but Rune Factory 4 is not expected to be available in playable form. Instead, XSeed will be showing off HeroLand, Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin (which does have some farming to it!), No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again, Burgertime Party, and Granblue Fantasy. Check them out at booth 1315!

HM App SaleNatsume is having and end-of-summer sale (noooo not end of summer! I'm not ready!), and you can pick up Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories and Harvest Moon: Light of Hope for 50% off. This sale is available on both iOS and Android versions. In the US the mobile version of LoH is $6.99 (regularly $14.99), and the mobile version of SoH is $4.99 (regularly $9.99).

Farm'n on Google StadiaGiant Software's popular game, Farming Simulator 19 will be available as a launch game on Google's cloud-based video game console, Stadia, when the console/service launches this November.Stadia is a streaming game console (about $130) with a monthly subscription and a mix of free/paid games. In the future, Google will release a version of Stadia that doesn't require a monthly subscription and will allow players to buy the games they want to play.

Atomicrops Early AccessThe Farm-Marry-Kill shooter game, Atomicrops, will be launched in early access exclusively on the Epic Games Store on September 5th. Players inherit the last farm in a post-apocalyptic world, where they'll shoot the ground to till, water, and grow mutant crops that can be sold to the local townsfolks. Woo a spouse to get a fellow partner in farming, protect your farm from night-time baddies, and explore the wastelands to find rare crop seeds. Kaboooom!

Weekly JP SalesFor this week's Famitsu's Top 30 Sales, we have:Rune Factory 4 SE = +1700 copies (total of 52,400), dropped from #19 to #22)Doraemon: SoS = +1500 copies (total of 88,900), dropped from #21 to #27And the fishy fun Fishing Spirits Switch game sold another 8500 copies for a total of 134,400. Go fishing!

Until next time!

- Cher
(2 months to go until Christmas Light Extravaganza installation time!) Fri, 30 Aug 2019 18:52:02 +0000
SoS:FoMT Secret Candidate Revealed, New Kitty Farm'n Game, and Farm Folks at PAX West Happy Farm'n Friday! The local kids are heading back to school on Monday. It's kind of an odd day to return. When I was a kid in public school our first day was always the Tuesday following the September 3rd federal holiday, Labor Day. A lot of parents are upset with the August start date because it interrupts their family vacations, as traditionally the first day of school was after Labor Day. But on the other side, starting earlier also allows for a 10-day winter break; we only got a 5-day break when I was a kid. So I guess it evens out.

New SoS: FoMT BachelorThe long-time farming fan site Ranch Story (now restructured as a Wiki, Tumblr, and Reddit board) posted a translation of another interview that took place during ChinaJoy (August 2-5) with the game producer, Hikaru Nakano of Marvelous. You can read more about the interview on the Reddit topic that includes points, such as the game not supporting motion controls, but the GameCores interview also included a screen shot of the male secret bachelor, 布蘭登, which translates into English as "Brandon."This new character marriage candidate appears to be a woodcarver at Gotz's carpentry shop. Remember that Marvelous already confirmed that the Best Friends system from Harvest Moon DS Cute is built into SoS:FoMT, so Brandon might be a marriage candidate for both protagonist genders; though there's no confirmation yet from Marvelous about the details on which male candidates are available for the male protagonist to court.Marvelous also tweeted some new videos of Mary's and Doctor's black love event. The replies to the Doctor's event were somewhat mixed, as some of the Japanese players don't like his baby-faced redesign while others like it.

【結婚候補紹介】~ドクター~ミネラルタウンのお医者さん。いつも患者さんのこと考えていて、町の人たちからとても信頼されている。真面目な性格を気にしていて、もっと患者さんと明るく接したいと思っている。 #牧場物語 #再会のミネラルタウン— 『牧場物語』公式アカウント (@bokumono_PR) August 20, 2019

【結婚候補紹介】~マリー~本が大好きで、自分でも小説を書いている。普段はお父さんの図書館の受付をしていて、図書館を利用する人には、とても好意的。 #牧場物語 #再会のミネラルタウン— 『牧場物語』公式アカウント (@bokumono_PR) August 22, 2019

Farm Folks at PAX WestThe funded-by-Kickstarter farming game, Farm Folks will be at the Crytivo booth during PAX West next weekend in Seattle, Washington. If you've tickets to the show, you can stop by the Crytivo booth from August 30 to September 2 to play a demo of the game.Overgrown is still hard at work developing the game. Currently they're posting weekly updates via their Kickstarter page. The alpha-release was launched to applicable backers earlier this month and they've been busy squashing bugs and making improvements.

New Farming Game - SnackoDo you like cats and farming? Well yes please!! A new kitty-themed farming game is in development for PC and Nintendo Switch by indie developer BlueCurse. Snacko places puuuulayers in charge of restoring the Island of Snacko by building a farm, town, and decorating the area while also discovering why everyone left the island in the first place. MEOWW!
Snacko is a farming cat-venture game. Play as a cat who is determined to revive a once-populated island with many great resources and places to explore. Farm, fish, cook, craft, and fight your way through 4 distinct biomes, each with their unique puzzles, recipes, and creatures. Decorate your farm and town to suit your tastes... maybe you'll even attract some new animal friends to move!The game is anticipated to be released sometime in 2021. You can learn more about kitty farming on their official website:Snacko - Kitty Farming Game

Weekly JP SalesAnother week and another jump for Doraemon: Story of Seasons in Japan, moving from #23 to #21 in Famitsu's Top 30 Sales for last week, selling another 2700 copies in its 9th week since release, setting its overall sales to 87,400. Rune Factory 4 Special dropped one slot from #18 to #19, selling 3000 copies and putting its 4-week sales at 50,700.And yet again, that super-duper fishing game, Fishing Spirits, is still going strong and sold 31,400 copies last week. Gadzooks, that's a lot of fans buying a fishing game!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Sent out a request for PokemonGO friends, got 57 responses! Thanks everyone! ^_^) Fri, 23 Aug 2019 21:23:22 +0000
SoS: FoMT Heart Events, new mobile BM in China, Mad Dash info, and D:SoS Release Date Happy Farm'n Friday! The tomatoes are starting to be harvestable; that is, when I can get to them before something else does. There's a local mouse that has been partaking in the tomato crops, eating the meat of the tomatoes and leaving just the shell of the fruit behind. Originally I assumed it was a tree rat, but the tomato branches holding the fruit aren't strong enough to support the weight of a squirrel. Last night I heard something scurrying up the backyard patio screen door to reach the bird feeders, and caught sight of a mouse attempting to feast on the birds' sunflower seeds.The Cooper's Hawks are still being fed by their parents. I can hear the kids right now calling out to let their parents know where they can drop off their hunt spoils. Last week there was just a single fledgling, but sometime this week a second one showed up. Not sure if the new fellow is from the same nest or a neighborhood kid trying to get a free meal. They're more interesting than a Junco nest, that's for sure!

Doraemon Release DateBandai Namco announced this week that their version of Bokujou Monogatari for Nintendo Switch and Steam (PC), Doraemon: Story of Seasons will be released on October 11th in North America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. The game is a combined effort by Brownies (Fantasy Life for DS), Marvelous (production supervision), and Bandai Namco (publisher). The game puts Doraemon, Noby, Sue, Sneech, and Big G on an farming adventure as they try to unravel the mystery of the great tree in the watercolor world of Natura.In North American the game will only be sold as a digital download, while in Europe both digital and retail releases will be available. It is not publicly available on the North American Nintendo Switch eShop or Steam store quite yet.

Story of Seasons FoMT UpdatesThis week Marvelous released two more romantic video clips for their upcoming Nintendo Switch game, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. The first video is the beginning of Rick's Yellow Heart event, and the second is the beginning of Elli's Black Heart event.【結婚候補紹介】~リック~病気がちな母親のリリアの代わりに、一家の大黒柱として養鶏場を切り盛りしている。妹のポプリのことがとても心配で、時に過保護になってしまうことも。 #牧場物語 #再会のミネラルタウン— 『牧場物語』公式アカウント (@bokumono_PR) August 13, 2019 【結婚候補紹介】~エリィ~真面目で頑張り屋さんな女の子。看護師を目指していて、町の病院で手伝いをしている。弟のユウのいたずらにいつも悩まされている。 #牧場物語 #再会のミネラルタウン— 『牧場物語』公式アカウント (@bokumono_PR) August 15, 2019
With Rick's romance event, he clearly has a green heart color during the yellow heart event. Producer Nakano did mention in his A9VG interview from last week's update that they had expanded on the romance portion in the remake of the Gameboy Advance game. In the original game there were love events at black, purple, blue, and finally yellow heart colors; heart color stages green, orange, and red did not have romantic events associated with them. In the remake we've seen romance events at black (Elli and Cliff), purple (Karen and Popuri), blue (Popuri), and now green (Rick's). Pretty interesting!

Mobile SoS from Tencent GamesNew information has been revealed about Tencent's Bokujou Monogatari mobile game being developed in collaboration with Marvelous of Japan for the China gaming market. The mobile phone is officially titled Bokujou Monogatari OL (牧场物语OL).Bokumono OL features either male or female protagonists and include crop growing, animal care, and fishing. There's still limited information about what other features will be part of the game or if it will ever be released outside of China.You can see a preview movie for Bokumono OL over on Weibo:Bokujou Monogatari OL

Harvest Moon Mad DashNatsume explains how to combine playing pieces together on the playing field to make harvestable plots in the farm-themed party game, Harvest Moon: Mad Dash, coming out later this year for Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Up to four players can pick up plots on the playing field and put them together into areas large enough to produce crops and fish. Making the right combinations will complete the shipping requests and fill up the Power Meter, which will trigger a mad dash of harvestable goods once it fills to the top. And yes, it is actually fun. You can read more on the game's mechanics on Natsume's recent Facebook post:Natsume Inc. - Growing Crops in Harvest Moon: Mad Dash

Weekly JP SalesDoraemon: SoS jumped up from #27 to #23 in Famitsu's Top 30 Sales for last week, pushing another 2100 copies for a 8-week total of about 84,600. Rune Factory 4 dropped from #11 to #18 with 3500 sales, putting its 3-week total at 47,700.The Fishing Spirits game is still selling great and is back at #2 of 30. At least Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure is scheduled to be released next month, so I guess I can take care of my fishing itch in a few weeks...

Until next time!

- Cher
(Took Intern Reba for a quick vet checkup this morning. Even with a Thundervest and kitty calming pheromones, she's still a raging ball 'o hiss!) Fri, 16 Aug 2019 21:43:04 +0000