Ushi No Tane PHP-Update Post-E3 2019 Natsume/XSeed Summaries 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 RoundUpLast 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.

NatsumeIn 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 GamesOver 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...) Fri, 21 Jun 2019 21:36:50 +0000
June Mobage Events, E3 Details, and DoraeSoS JP TV Commercial Happy Farm'n Friday! Last weekend we finished converting the flowerbed sprinkler heads into drip irrigation to direct water to where it's needed. It was a pretty simple process for anyone else who was considering doing the same. We had to buy a few new spray heads, some 8-port manifolds to cap the top of the spray heads, and some bubblers and spray stakes to direct the water to where it needs to go; we already had plenty of drip tubing with our setup in the front yard for watering dahlias and other crops. The downside is we have these octopus-like units sticking up here and there, but it saves me time and saves water.We also harvested enough broccoli rabe to use in one of my favorite broccoli-based dishes, Beef and Broccoli with Fried Ramen. It's also a good recipe to use to upgrade packages of inexpensive instant ramen into something quite delicious.I'm still tootling around in Rune Factory 3. I found the weird shadow monster in Oddward Valley, though it ran away and dropped a super-spoiled dish. I tried to give it back to Sakuya, but she didn't want it, so I carried it around for a few days. Eventually I tossed it into the shipping bin, and soon afterwards bumped into Blaise complaining that a shadow carried away his fried fish. I'll have to head back to the valley to see if the mysterious monster appears again. I've also taken an interest in Carmen the fisher woman. We almost went out together for a quaint day of fishing when suddenly her big brother barreled in like a hurricane to put a stop to it! Oh my, Carlos is a bit overprotective of his little sister! I think I reassured him that my intentions were not evil when I had to bring him two Lover Snapper. I can't dislike a guy who reminds me of Michaelangelo the Ninja Turtle, so whatever it takes to appease him is fine with me.

June BokuMobage EventsMobage is still making adjustments to the social events in Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage, the browser-based online game with a Bokujou Monogatari theme. During the melon-milk themed Hungry Animal event, May 11th to May 20th, they had two special fields for players to grow their snacks to feed the random hungry animals, but this time the second field was restricted to only growing the special nuts that are used for gotcha pulls to win wigs, outfits, and other goodies. This limited the number of snacks players could grow to feed their animals, so the event prize tiers were harder to achieve. Then during the steampunk-themed Big Crop event, Mobage handed out prizes based on the players' ranking half-way through the event and then again at the end of the event.During June, the events are:A Harvest event started on June 1st, themed as a dew drop fairy world. Players will harvest dew-drop clover flowers and dew-drop lotus trees, while caring for umbrella cats and dew-ball otters. Awards are given at the end of the event for the amount of harvest points earned compared to all other players. During random special times, the number of points earned during harvest can be double or triple the normal amount, which can then award farmers with Friend Hearts to exchange with other social game users. These friendship hearts can then be exchanged for another group of prizes. There's also a third group of prizes based on the 10-person team that players join. This event is scheduled to end on the 9th.Then starting on June 11th is a bingo event. Farmers will grow special bingo crop seeds and hope they get three of the same crop in a row or a full board of the same crop for a max bingo, which is worth more points. In-game prizes will be awarded based on the total number of bingo points collected during the event. Players can use their Sunshine Ability to increase the number of harvestable items on their friends' bingo cards, but bonus bingo points will only be awarded if the ability is used on an active three-in-a-row bingo. Typically it is best to wait until the board is full of the same crop to trigger a max bingo and then wait until a multiplier triggers to earn bingo points. This event often has time-based prizes that no longer become available for players to win once the availability time expires.Finally starting June 21 is another Hungry Animal event. During this type of social competition each farmer will be assigned one of three random animals for a few hours. Each animal has a specific number of treats it wants before it will be full; the easiest is only 100 treats and the most difficult is 500 treats. If you don't feed the animal during their appearance time they'll go away and a new animal will appear in their place. Feed the animal to have it count towards unlocking in-game rewards. Your in-game friends can also feed the animal that you're assigned, helping to complete the feeding task for everyone who participates. The food is obtained by growing event crops on an event-specific field, with normal crops being worth 1 treat and rare crops being worth 2 treats. When everyone successfully feeds enough treats to an animal, those who feed the most snacks will be rewarded with mystery nut seeds. These seeds can be planted to harvest nuts that can be used in a random gotcha pull to win more in-game prizes.

Additional Games at E3 2019E3 starts next Tuesday (wooo!) and XSeed Games has revealed the games they will be promoting on the show floor. In West Hall, XSeed will be showing:Rune Factory 4 Special (Switch) - Woo! Even listed with a "2019" planned launch!Sakuna: of Rice and Ruin (Switch/Ps4/PC) - The game includes rice harvesting, so it's farming! The game is in development by Edelweiss and planned to be published this Winter.HeroLand (Switch/Ps4) - Known as WORK x WORK in Japan, this cute RPG takes place in a theme park where two protagonists become friends as they tackle a demon king. There's a few videos at the official JP website if you want to see it in action.Akiba's Trip: Hellbound and Debriefed (Ps4/PC) - A modern-day remake of the first Akiba's Trip game released for PSP, now for PS4 and PCBurgerTime Party (Switch) - The burger-building arcade game with local multi playerThe publisher also hinted that they have a secret "Grand New Title," revealed today to be GranBlue Fantasy Versus.Bandai Namco hasn't revealed what they will be showing yet. Also, My Time at Portia publisher Pathea Games will be in attendance at their own table in South Hall.Farming Simulator publisher Giants Software does not appear on this year's list of participating companies.I'm REALLY hoping Keita Takahashi's Wattam will show up somewhere during E3, as the Ps4 totem-stacking game is finally scheduled to be released sometime this summer. He was just at BitSummit in Japan earlier this month though. We'll hope and see! I WANT TO STACK POO DANG IT!Natsume revealed their E3 game lineup last week, and this week revealed their E3 promo goodie will be a squishy sheep keychain! In prior E3 events, show attendees could snag a Natsume E3 exclusive Harvest Moon promo item by playing all the games located at their booth.Introducing the most adorable squishy sheep you've ever seen! This little lady will be our #E32019 booth giveaway~ Just one week to go! We can't wait for @E3 :D— Natsume Inc. (@Natsume_Inc) June 4, 2019

DoraeSoS New CommercialWith the new Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari being released NEXT WEEK (woo woo!), Bandai Namco has released a new television commercial to promote the game, featuring actress Hana Sugisaki. They released a making-of video too, showing the behind-the-scenes work the crew did to film the commercial.

Until next time!

- Cher
(It's finally raining today! But next week will be into the 90s... bleh...) Fri, 07 Jun 2019 21:14:49 +0000
Upcoming E3 2019 Info and DoraeSoS Details Happy Farm'n Friday! Summertime will soon be here, so we've been working on converting some of the spray-style sprinkler heads used in the backyard watering system into drip-style sprinkler heads. The idea is to water the plants directly instead of the default SPRAY EVERYWHERE method configured by whoever initially installed the flowerbed sprinklers. It'll also allow us to water the felt-bags containing the tomatoes, this year's super-awesome crop (which is starting to grow), and the planter boxes containing the raspberries and blackberries. There's also the water conservation aspect of using controlled drip as well as saving my evening time for something else other than watering crops using a garden hose.Last week in my adventures through Rune Factory 3 for the first time, I've worked on upgrading weapons and completing requests. I'm not completely confident that Micah is strong enough to take on whatever is waiting for me at the end of Oddward Valley, but I'm getting close! I'm also practicing with the accessory Workshop and the Pharmacy to upgrade their crafting levels, as I remember during my play through of Rune Factory 2 that I wanted to craft items near the end of the game, but had zero skill in those functions.

E3 2019 LineupsThe annual, now-open-to-the-public Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) takes place June 11 through June 13 at the convention center in downtown Los Angeles, California. This year, Natsume will be showcasing several new family-friendly video games they will be publishing in the future, as announced on their official Facebook Page:Cosmic Defenders for Nintendo Switch, an indie-developed shooter game by Fiery Squirrel.Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4, which sounds more River King-ish than I've heard before. This one I've my eye on!Harvest Moon: Mad Dash for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4, a "spinoff" game that could be just about anything! Though it does include "Mad" in the title, and we know Doc is quite an interesting fellow, perhaps even describable as a "mad" scientist. Maybe we're finally getting a game featuring the silver fox himself?!Yea, that last bit is unrealistic, but a girl can dream... Natsume is also teasing some sort of show promo item on their Twitter account, though it doesn't look a thing like magnificent Doc!XSeed is right at the front entrance of West Hall this year, but they haven't announced their E3 lineup yet.Bandai Namco will be in attendance too, next to Natsume's booth in South Hall. They also haven't revealed what they plan to have available at their booth.

DoraeSoS InfoMarvelous released a new promotional video for their upcoming Doraemon: Bokujou Monogatari game, scheduled to be released in Japan in... two weeks! This time they summarize each of the four seasons, showing some of the interactive festivals and other activities:I finished playing the Japanese demo of Doraemon: Story of Seasons the other day. The demo ends on day 5 of the game, whether or not you completed the assigned task of delivering a Turnip to Mayor Yamei.

MiningIn the demo, the Anywhere Door gadget can take you directly to the mine. The blacksmith's son, Brass, handed out a pick axe for mining. The mine is an exploratory mine and not a simple mining node like in mainline Story of Seasons games. You'll dig the soil using the pick axe until you find the rope down to the next floor, dig the soil until you find the next rope, and so on. While digging you'll discover ores (copper, iron, etc.), material stone, and even fossils and other items. The deeper you go, the harder the ground becomes. Harder ground requires an upgrade to the pick axe.

Bug Catching You'll need to purchase a bug net before you can catch insects. It is for sale at Knick Knacks in Siezen Town, but the store hours in the demo is between 15:00 to 20:00; not sure if that's true for the actual game. The net costs 2000 G, and after leaving the shop you'll be greeted by Ken the town bug-catching expert. He'll show you how to catch the critters, which is pretty easy to do. Just equip the net, walk close to the bug, and press the A Button. The A Button prompt becomes available as an action once you are close enough to the insect to catch it. The bugs can then be given as gifts or placed in the shipping bin for Doraemon to pick up. Some insects will fade away if you don't catch them fast enough (e.g., ladybugs *poof* rather quickly). Bugs have star rank too, and only those with the same star rank will stack together in the rucksack.

The Town Board Near the plaza of Seizen Town is a message board that lists upcoming festivals. It also gives the weather report for today and tomorrow, along with hints such as gift suggestions to give to villagers to increase your friendship level. One of the hints gave gift suggestions for the blue "Korobokkuru" in the game (a.k.a., "Nature Sprites"). Or, in the case of the screen shot above, it is a funny request posted by Doctor Rocord who is looking to recruit healthy adults for a new experimental drug clinical trial, with a reward of 1 million G!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Star Wars Land looks sooo cooooooooooool omg omg omg omg) Fri, 31 May 2019 22:01:39 +0000
Doraemon Story of Seasons Demo on the JP eShop Happy Farm'n Friday! A little bit more waiting has rewarded me with some carrot sprouts. I didn't expect any carrots at all, but there are little sprouts growing where the seeds were dumped, so I'm assuming that they're carrots! Even this year's mystery crop is stirring in its felt bag. The ground here is not terribly great for growing vegetables, so everything in the backyard is in either a raised garden box or in 15-gallon black felt bags.The pond lily is also beginning to bloom. It used to be confined to an underwater pot, but it really needed space to spread out before it would show off its flowers. I just have to keep the little wandering rhizomes in check, as they like to break off from momma lily and implant themselves in other areas of the pond.I'm still playing My Time at Portia, trying to woo Pinky the kitty into my house. I'm hoping the Ps4 patch released this week will allow me to check out the last level of the Sewage Plant, as every monster would fall through the floor whenever I'd enter the level.I also discovered I can simply make a Cheap Bracelet to give to Wells in Rune Factory 3. Handed it over to him and he finally left his bedroom. I then helped Kuruna with a cactus flower and got beat up by a skeleton dragon. Zaid was no help at all! We eventually triumphed though. Now Sakuya wants me to hunt down a lunch-thieving shadow that was seen headed towards the fall area, Oddward Valley. Onward I go!

Doraemon SoS DemoOn Wednesday, Bandai Namco released a demo of their Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari game on the Nintendo Switch eShop in Japan. The digital-download demo is 541 MB in size. The demo starts out with protagonist Noby starting his first day helping Lanch at the old farm outside of Seizen Town. The demo skips over the introductions that will be part of the main game, so a short movie plays at the beginning to summarize what happened up to the point when players beginning their adventures as Noby:After the summary and being awoken by Doraemon and Lanch, players can go through a farming tutorial on how to till and sow seeds (Noby wanted to plant Watermelon, but Doraemon reminds him that's a summer season crop). Mayor Yamei will stop by and request that Noby grow some Turnip, but he needs it in 3 days; a Turnip takes 5 days to mature! Luckily there is a special fertilizer in the storage box that gives a super growth boost. While waiting for the Turnip to grow, Noby is free to wander around the area. You can learn about the mine, run into a little dog who needs help, bump into cute little cut scenes, and so on.I'm still tinkering around with the demo ('cuz it is oooh so cute), but so far...The seed bags are colored to reflect the season they grow in: Spring is pink, Summer is green, Fall is yellow, and Winter is blue.Friendship level is indicated by a colored heart next to the villager's name on the conversation boxes. There's also a list of villagers in the game's main menu with their friendship indicated by hearts, with a maximum of 10 hearts of friendship. This relationship screen also tells you where the villager currently is located.Noby's current stamina level is located in the game's main menu. The amount of stamina points remaining is clearly indicated and is maxed at 100 points in the demo. These points decrease as you use tools, and can be restored by eating food. Naturally, going to bed is the easiest way to regain full stamina.You've to stand close to someone to hand them a gift using the X Button. No running around carrying an item above your head in this game.Doraemon handles the shipping bin pickups at 18:00.The unnamed characters from the blog update a few weeks ago include Heren, Chuck, and Ken (the poultry farm family); the blacksmiths Smick and Brass; and the Knick-Knack grocery store owners Edy, Neral, and Tiral;Springtime social events are a Spring Harmony Day on the 14th, a horse race on the 18th, a crop festival on the 28th, and a target shooting game on the 30th.Villagers will eat lunch, so you've to wait until they finish eating before you can give a has revealed a new character named Veena, a woman who lives alone at the great tree. The villagers of Seizen Town don't know she's there. Looks like she's DoraeBokuMono's equivalent of a magical goddess. I think the hair gives it away, wouldn't you agree?Difficulty wise, the language used in the game is easy to understand if you've some Japanese background. More difficult Kanji include the furigana characters to help those who are still learning such as Doraemon's target audience in Japan. Or those of us who are learning too! So it's a great starter game for Japanese students. If you are interested in testing your language skills, and because the Switch is region friendly, you can play this game using your Switch even if you aren't in Japan.To download the demo to your Nintendo Switch, you'll first need to have a Nintendo account that is associated with Japan. Creating a Jp Nintendo account is free. To get started, visit and then...Select the Create a New Account button at the bottom of the page;Enter your date of birth (Nintendo is checking to see if you are over the age of 18), and then click Submit;On the account profile page, type in a nickname for your JP account, a unique email address, a password you decide on, and in the "Country/region of residence" menu, select JAPAN;Finish the form by checking the agreement box and select Submit;Nintendo will then send a verification pin code to the email address typed in during account creation; andType this four-digit code into the Verification Code field on the Create a Nintendo Account page and select the Verify button.The next step is to associate the Japan account with your Nintendo Switch...Go into the Switch System Settings, then to Users;Add a new user to your Switch, then select the Link a Nintendo Account button;Select the "Sign in using an e-mail address or sign-in ID" option;Enter the email address and password for the Japan associated account and click the Sign In button;Confirm the association with the Switch profile by selecting the Link button.Next, select the eShop button on your Switch menu. You may see a warning that the eShop will display in its native language instead of what your system is set for. Another message will appear that asks for the JP account password; you can check the box above the 入力する button to not prompt for a password the next time you access the JP eShop. Press the 入力する button, type in the account password, and then submit. You're now ready to practice your Japanese reading skills in the Nintendo JP eShop!The もうすぐ発売 menu is where the upcoming digital releases can be found. In there you'll find Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari and the demo download button (体験版ダウンロード). Any of your Switch accounts can play the demo; once downloaded, it doesn't have to be associated with your JP eShop profile.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Hoping I finally snag a shiny Lapras during tomorrow's PokemonGo 3-hour Lapras Raid!) Sat, 25 May 2019 00:26:59 +0000
New RF4SE opening movie and Doraemon SoS demo Happy Farm'n Friday! Mid-May means the peony bushes are beginning to bloom. I just wish I had more of them! This fellow is the first of three peony plants at the edge of the walkway leading to the front door. The lily flowers are coming up right in front of them, so in a few more weeks there'll be another splash of color as the peonies die back to their green foliage for the summer.The cherry tomato seeds that were planted to replace the bent-stem plant that wilted have now sprouted, though the carrot seeds I also planted have done nothing. I keep trying these carrot seeds every year, but they just don't seem to like me or the local environment here. Perhaps the seeds are now too old to germinate? I understand that carrots don't like hot weather, and this so far this Spring it has been at most about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and it has been raining all week long.This year's mystery crop also hasn't emerged from under the soil where they were planted. I just need to be patient... grow, plants, grow!

DoraeBokuMono DemoIn this month's edition of Korokoro Comic magazine, Bandai Namco revealed that there will be a demo of Doraemon Story of Seasons in the Switch eShop in Japan. The contents of the demo will be revealed at a later date. The game is scheduled to be released on June 13, so let's hope the demo becomes available soon!Bandai Namco also released a new promo video for the game showcasing the crop system that's typical for Bokujou Monogatari games.The video highlights Noby tilling the soil with his Cheap Hoe and fast-forwards to him buying Turnip Seeds. Each bag of seeds will cover one square of tilled soil. The planted seeds will respond visually when watered, and fertilizer can be added while the crop is growing. Crops will wilt if you forget to water them!Harvested crops have a star rank, with a maximum of 5 stars for your best crops. When shipping, you can even see the contents of what was placed into the shipping bin. The ledger at Mayor Yamei's house will keep track of your shipments and how much you've earned.The video also confirmed that both a package/retail and digital download version will be available in Japan, with a price of 6100 Yen (about $55 USD) plus tax. The game is now on the Nintendo Japan eShop for digital pre-order for 6588 Yen if you have a Nintendo JP prepaid eShop card or a credit card with a physical address in Japan. File size is 834 MB.For the English version, Bandai Namco has already confirmed that the game will be digital-only on Nintendo Switch and Steam/PC in North America, and will have a physical retail release in Europe along with the digital Steam/PC release.

RF 4 SE Opening MovieThe second live broadcast from Marvelous' Rune Factory channel aired on the 15th. Though I slept through it, the presenters did reveal a new opening movie for the upcoming Nintendo Switch release.To commemorate the second broadcast, Marvelous launched a retweet-and-win campaign for Twitter folks in Japan. Tweeters just need to follow @RuneFactory_PR and retweet a specific Tweet to be one of 10 random winners of this super cute Wooly plushie. The retweet-and-win campaign ends on May 22nd. The rules specify that it contest is limited to Japan (drat!), and the prize will only be sent to a Japan mailing address (drat drat!).Maaaaybe a super-nice seed company will consider making it a pre-order bonus for those of us outside of Japan? The fans in Japan are getting a butt-load of pre-order choices based on the retailer they pre-order RF4SE from. The 3D engraved block of Frey with the LED light-up stand is pretty interesting; there's even Youtube Video of it.As for my adventures through Rune Factory 3, I finished Blaise's Boiled Pumpkin request after figuring out that I could just experiment in the kitchen and didn't need to keep eating Cooking Bread to try and learn the recipe. The Sharace Tree even grew a room to hold a forge, workshop, and pharmacy. But now Wells appears to be stuck. I accepted a request to bring him a Cheap Bracelet, which I haven't found yet, and now he just stays in his room waiting for his trinket. There was a Catch the Biggest Fish contest a few days ago in-game and Wells wasn't around to sign me up for the contest. He just stands in his bedroom and patiently waits for me to deliver the gift he wants to give to Monica. I've to find that dang bracelet!

Until next time!

- Cher
(Strawberries are finally flowering. We'll need to protect them from slugs and tree rats!) Fri, 17 May 2019 20:32:44 +0000
Doraemon SoS Village Details and Newly-Englishized NinDori Comic Happy Farm'n Friday! The weather here appears to have skipped over springtime and jumped into an early summer. The outdoor temperature is already in the 80's! The snow peas are loving the warmer temperature! Even the thriving tomatoes are trying to produce flowers already, which have been snipped off because the plants are still really small. The bent-stem tomato mentioned in last week's Farm'n Friday did indeed wilt despite my effort to brace it upright. That's okay though. It can be replanted!Go Peas, Go!I'm also trying Broccoli Rabe this year, which is the leafy green guys just below the snow peas. It's a mix of plants grown from seed and store-bought starter plants. They've vigorously grown within the past week too. Even the bunching onions have finally sprouted. Though I grow these every year because it seems like such a waste to buy scallions at the grocery store only to have them wilted within a few days of purchase.So, progress in Rune Factory 3: I located the uni-horned village in the desert area, though the residents don't seem to do anything but hang out inside of their tents. Maybe the dwarven fellow can help me build a forage for crafting my own weapons? For now I'm trying to complete a request posted by Blaise for either Boiled Pumpkin (don't have the recipe yet), Boiled Spinach (not strong enough for the fall area to grow spinach, hey there buddy Marjorie!), or Pickle Mix (winter area is a definite no-go for turnips). I will complete the request! No canceling! Adventure awaits!

DoraeBokuMono UpdateThis week on Bandai Namco's official Japanese website for Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari, known as Doraemon Story of Seasons in English, the areas of Siezen Town were detailed. The main area of Siezen Town is divided into two sections, East and West, with a larger area to the south.West Siezen TownJust to the north of the farm entrance you'll find Lanch and Patsy's house. Lanch is the first person Noby will meet, and he'll show you around town for the first time.Nearby is the Animal Shop where Yuu and Blu live with their granddaughter, Ram. You can buy cows and sheep at this shop, which you can collect milk and wool from. Ram will explain to Noby how to care for animals.To the north of the Animal Shop is the poultry farm, Cokekko House. It is managed by a family that hasn't been introduced yet. You can buy chickens and any necessary chicken-raising tools there. After you buy a bug-catching net from the general store, the town's greatest bug catcher, who apparently is one of the boys who lives at the chicken store, will teach you how to catch insects.East Siezen TownNear the exit to West Siezen is the general goods store, Knick-Knacks. Managed by another family that hasn't been introduced yet, this shop is where Noby can buy seeds to grow on the farm. Our farmer can also buy fertilizer, tools, and rucksack upgrades here.Just to the south of Knick-Knacks is the blacksmith shop where tool upgrades can be crafted. The ore will come from the Siezen Town mine, which may also contain fossils to discover. This shop is run by a non-introduced duo.To the north of Knick-Knacks and up the grand staircase is Mayor Yamei's house. This is where Doraemon has been assigned to help. You'll find a ledger of the shipped items here, and a picture book that keeps track of the insects and fish that Noby has discovered. The mayor's house also contains the mysterious What-if Phone Booth (Moshimo Box) that allows Noby to replay scenes in the game and pick different choices from what he initially experienced. An interesting Doraemon gadget, for sure!On the other side of the grand staircase leading to Yamei's residence is the town restaurant, managed by Toran and Chef Lester. This is where Doraemon character Sneech (Suneo in Japanese) will help out. Noby can order food here to restore his stamina. Once the farm house has been expanded, a kitchen will be added to allow Noby to cook meals at home. Ingredients, utensils, and recipes can be purchased from the restaurant.Next door to the restaurant is the town health clinic managed by Doctor Rokod and Nurse Serena. This is where Sue (Shizuka in Japanese) will take up the call for help. The doctor will sell medicine to recover both human health and animal health. The site also reveals that Noby will automatically end up in the clinic if he stays awake until 6:00 am or if his health is exhausted.Southern AreasJust south of East Siezen Town is the plaza where festivals take place such as the seasonal crop contest, the winter season cooking contest, and fall season hot-pot harvest festival.To the south of the plaza is the coastline, where Noby will find the fishing shack. Seafie will sell fishing poles and bait at her tackle shop, and will teach Noby how to use these tools to catch fish.To the west of the plaza (and south of West Siezen Town) is the farm space that Noby has agreed to manage for poor-footed Lanch.And finally, to the west of the farm space, is the carpenter shop run by Penta. This is the place where Big G (Gian in Japanese) will help out. Penta can expand your house and construct farm buildings. Interior furniture and themes are also ordered here at the carpenter's shop.Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari for Nintendo Switch is scheduled to be released in Japan on June 13, with an English adaptation later this fall in North America and Europe. Bandai Namco's game is currently not available as a pre-order digital download on the Nintendo JP eShop. Since it is expected to be released in English a few months after its initial Japan release, I'm probably just going to wait for my region's release. We'll see!

4-Column ComicHere is the translated 4-col Comic from the February 2013 issue of Nintendo DREAM magazine! (As for the Christmas theme, they publish their editions two months in advance, so this initially was released in December 2012).

Until next time!

- Cher
(Moo? Moo moo. Moo, moo moo moo. Moo! Happy Moooother's Day!) Fri, 10 May 2019 18:16:27 +0000
May Mobage Events, Doraemon Characters, and Farming Simulator 19 Free DLC Happy Farm'n Friday! The tomatoes were planted in their snuggly 15-gallon black felt bags last weekend. The smallest one, a cherry tomato, had its stem bent somehow. Since tomatoes can be planted deep, the bent section is now under the soil with a bit of the plant crown above soil. If it doesn't survive there's still plenty of seeds to sprout again, so not the end of the world.This year I'm planting a crop I haven't grown before. Any guesses? The seed package says it takes between 90 and 120 days to mature, and there's been this one seed that has sprouted so far. The plan is to put the seeds in another above-ground black felt bag, water them, and then just leave the plant alone. Part of the plant are NOT good eats!I did finally defeat that mean 'ol raccoon in Rune Factory 3, but now Marjorie charges me money when I pass out and end up at the clinic. I thought we were buddies?!I'm still playing My Time at Portia too; beat up a mean rat in an abandoned cave that was stealing the townsfolks' belongings. But there are so many tasks that keep being thrown at me that it's a bit challenging to juggle everything that is going on. I was really tempted to pick Emily's prized Mr.Melon that will be her crop festival entry...

May Mobage EventsLast month's events in Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage started with the strawberry shortcake harvest event, followed by a mini tulip price themed event, and finally a strawberry mochi bingo event. This month the community events are:A Children's Day origami-themed Harvest event started on the 1st of May. Players will harvest bunny dumplings and origami trees, while caring for origami swan bears and carp banner rabbits. Awards are given at the end of the event for the amount of harvest points earned compared to all other players. During random special times, the number of points earned during harvest can be double or triple the normal amount, which can then award farmers with Friend Hearts to exchange with other social game users. These friendship hearts can then be exchanged for another group of prizes. There's also a third group of prizes based on the 10-person team that players join. This event is scheduled to end on the 9th.The Hungry Animal event begins on the 11th. During this type of social competition each farmer will be assigned one of three random animals for a few hours. Each animal has a specific number of treats it wants before it will be full; the easiest is only 100 treats and the most difficult is 500 treats. If you don't feed the animal during their appearance time they'll go away and a new animal will appear in their place. Feed the animal to have it count towards unlocking in-game rewards. Your in-game friends can also feed the animal that you're assigned, helping to complete the feeding task for everyone who participates. The food is obtained by growing event crops on an event-specific field, with normal crops being worth 1 treat and rare crops being worth 2 treats.Finally on the 22nd is a Big Crop event. During this event, players grow special crops on a dedicated event field. Harvesting these crops will increase a level bar. Once the bar is filled, then a three-card monty game triggers where players pick one of three random cards. As you pick the right card the pick-a-card chain continues until the wrong card is selected (a maximum of 5 hands are dealt), at which point players are awarded with in-game nuts. These nuts will award prizes based on the amount collected during the event. There will also be a large crop in the middle of the dedicated event field that increases its size (i.e., becoming a big crop) as players trigger the three-card mini game and earn their nuts.

Doraemon SoS CharactersThere are a variety of characters who live in and around Siezen Town in Bandai Namco's Doraemon Story of Seasons for Nintendo Switch and Steam, scheduled to release on June 13 in Japan and later this year in North America and Europe. Besides Noby (Nobita's English name as stated by Bandai Namco), Doraemon, and his three friends (not sure yet if BN is using their localized EN names), there's Lanch, the struggling farmer with foot troubles, and Pasty, the kind elderly woman who lives with Lanch. Additional characters include:The mayor of Siezen Town, Yamei. He is cautious of Doraemon's gadgets, and is strict with kids who don't help their elders.The only doctor in Siezen Town is Rokod. He puts the health of the villagers ahead of his own.Serena is a nurse who helps Rokod at the town clinic. She originally was at a larger hospital in a nearby town.The restaurant chef, Lester, makes really good food and sometimes eats what he makes for customers.Toran owns the restaurant and is married to Chef Lester.While he doesn't talk much, the carpenter Penta builds first-class products.Ram is the smallest girl in Siezen Town. She loves animals and will teach Noby how to properly care for them.Yuu is Ram's grandma and likes animals too!Blu is Ram's grandpa and sleeps a lot, though even while he's asleep he's aware of of those talking around him. He likes cows more than sheep.

Free DLC in FarmSim 19On May 16, GIANTS Software will release a free Holmer Terra Variant DLC to all Farming Simulator 19 gamers. The DLC includes two carrier vehicles and their associated spreaders: one for injecting slurry (i.e., liquid manure) and the other for manure spreading into their virtual fields.

Until next time!

- Cher
(Happy 14th birthday Fogu Intern Reba!) Sat, 04 May 2019 00:02:23 +0000
Doraemon English Localization, a 2nd RF4 Broadcast, and Golden Week Farming Sales Happy Farm'n Friday! The Snowbank Blackberry has started growing like crazy, so we set up a metal vegetable trellis for support. I've never grown this particular berry and was expecting a bush like the raspberries. Initially it appeared to grow straight up like a normal cane, but now it is off-shooting vertically on all of the growth it made last year, like teeth on a comb. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.I started My Time at Portia last weekend, since it is now out on Playstation 4 and I don't need to worry about upgrading my PC anymore. It is fun to kick trees and construct objects; hoarding tendencies from playing other farming games seem to be beneficial in Portia too. I've been trying to become buddies with Papa Bear because it seems to be easy (honey gifts) and while the bear doesn't sport a set of bathroom slippers like the magnificent Doc from Harvest Moon, he does have a bathrobe on. Close enough! Team17 tweeted today that they plan to release a patch for the console versions that will add new main story content, side quests, additional endings, new character face and hair options, a birthday for the main character, game speed adjustments, and other quality of life changes. They are also looking into adding grass to the Nintendo Switch version and MAKING THE TEXT SIDE LARGER. Bigger letters is something I would definitely appreciate.I am also making progress in my first-time through Rune Factory 3. The other night I unlocked some weird ruins in Privera Forest and got beat up by a raccoon. For the number of times I pass out and end up at the clinic with Marjorie at my bedside, you'd think we were meant to be an official couple. Alas, grandma doesn't appear to be a marriage candidate.

DoraBokuMono English ReleaseBandai Namco revealed this week that they will be publishing Doraemon: Nobita no Bokujou Monogatari outside of Japan as Doraemon Story of Seasons later this fall in North America and in Europe. The publisher also revealed a promotional trailer for the game, though it is similar to the Japanese trailer, minus the Japanese narrator voiceover.While the Japanese version has a physical retail Switch version and pre-order bonus DLC, the North American version appears to be a digital-only download for either Nintendo Switch or Steam (as confirmed by the Bandai Namco Latin America Facebook page). Europe will receive a physical release for the Switch and a digital Steam version.Southeast Asia's edition will include Japanese voiceovers with English subtitles. Not sure yet if the North American and European versions will contain the Japanese cast, the English voice cast, or no voicing at all.The Official Japanese Website updated today with some more gadgets available for Nobita to use.The Weather Box allows to plug a weather card into its mechanics to change the next day's weatherThe Mini Rain Storm will automatically water your crops every morning when placed in your fieldThe Stone Cap will make those passing by not notice that you're thereThe Pass-through Hoop lets you travel through obstaclesPlayers can also construct themed objects for their farm after buying the workshop for the farm house; you may have seen some of these in screen shots of the farm fields using different styles of fences. The Fri, 26 Apr 2019 22:38:15 +0000
More DoraBoku Updates and Patch for Next Week's Portia Launch Happy Farm'n Friday! Picked up some garden center herbs last weekend to plant into the raised bed. I like to use basil in cooked meals during the summer. Mmmm tasty. Went with good 'ol normal Sweet Basil, as Mr.Fogu does not like anything that tastes like licorice such as Thai Basil or Cinnamon Basil. The snow peas went into the garden bed too, and they're doing okay for being close to where the tree rats like to dig in the dirt. Grrrr annoying squirrels...

New DoraBokuMono InfoThis week's edition of Famitsu Weekly includes some new information about Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari, currently scheduled to be released in Japan on June 13. The article confirms that ore mining will be in the game along with fishing and bug catching. There's events as well.Players can use Doraemon's gadgets to upgrade farm tools like the watering can and hoe. Getting along with the Sheezen Town residents will also unlock more of Doraemon's popular gadgets such as the Anywhere Door that transports you to other locations in the game, Translation Jelly to talk to the villagers in different languages, and the Keron Pass frog sticker that will conserve stamina. There's also farm-based gadgets like fertilizer that will increase the growth rate of crops.The world map was also revealed in the article, showing the location of the town in relation to the farm plot. There's forests, lakes, rivers, beaches, mountains, and an event plaza. Lots of places to explore!This week's article also includes an interview with members of the development staff: Kasumi Sugita and Shuhei Yamashita from Brownies, the game's planner and designer (respectively); producer Kouji Nakajima from Bandai Namco; and Hikaru Nakano from Marvelous, described as the Bokumono production director. Some take-aways from the interview are:Kouji grew up watching the Doraemon show, and now as an adult he wanted to create a game that conveys that series' wonderfulness. He also is a fan of the first Playstation 1 Bokujou Monogatari game.Kasumi explains that the game tells the story of a great tree planted long ago by a goddess (or so the legend goes).The watercolor-like graphics were to merge together the Bokumono and Doraemon series, with the sense of nature with Bokumono along with the sense of adventure with Doraemon.The main story is the mystery as to why Nobita and friends ended up in this world, with a underlying theme of family love. There's five times as much sub-story plot as the main story according to Kouji.Each shop in the town has a story to it, so players will need to get along with those who run the shops.While the underlying game is Bokumono, there is no romance or marriage.They had a tough time picking the Doraemon gadgets to put into the game because there's so many great ones to chose from. Some of the gadgets will be used in sub-stories.Besides Namco Bandai's DoraBokuMono game, another Bokujou Monogatari game is in development at Marvelous, though Hikaru did not specify what platform the game was being developed for.

Portia Switch PatchThe farming/workshop game My Time at Portia will be out next week for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 for $29.99 (USD). Pathea Games revealed today that they plan to release an update patch for the Nintendo Switch edition that will speed up the game's load time when moving between areas. The efficiency update will be available as close to the 16th (next Tuesday) as possible.The XboX One achievement list and Playstation 4 trophy list have also been revealed.

Until next time!

- Cher
(The blueberry bushes are about ready to flower! Berries will be here soon!) Fri, 12 Apr 2019 21:20:27 +0000
DoraBokuMono Release Info, RF4S Broadcast, Portia Physical Delay, and FarmFolks Pre-Alpha Happy Farm'n Friday! I've a terrible problem with getting indoor-sprouted plants to get accustomed to outdoor living. In theory, gardeners are to take them outside for a few hours, bring them back inside, take them outside again for a longer time, then back inside, and so on until the plant can adjust to outdoor lighting conditions. The office work schedule makes this rather difficult to do for more than three days at a time, so inevitably I'll end up with plants with leaf burns because their chlorophyll can't absorb sunlight properly yet. This year the damage has killed three watermelon sprouts and almost killed off the Black Vernissage tomato plant; while it lost most of its leaves, it does have new growth on it. Whew, close call...Last weekend I started some lotus seeds that will be planted in a container and submerged into the fish pond. I do not know what color the flowers will be, as the package label of the gifted seeds simply says "lotus seeds" in Hanzi, so hopefully they'll be pretty!Now then, a bunch of farming stuff took place this week. Let's get started!
April Bokumono Mobile EventsThe responses from the game's feedback survey a while back resulted in last month's Hungry Animal event supplying two fields in which to grow animal food, rather than just a single field. That extra field did make it easier to feed other farmers' random hungry animal and earn in-game rewards.This month in the online Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage game platform, the events are:A strawberry shortcake Harvest event started on April 1st. During the Strawberry Fiesta events, players will harvest Strawberry Cream Puff flowers and Strawberry Cream Cake trees, while caring for Strawberry Roll Rabbits and Strawberry Cake Shiba Inu dogs on their farm plots. Awards are given at the end of the event for the amount of harvest points earned compared to all other players. During random special times, the number of points earned during harvest can be double or triple the normal amount, which can then award farmers with Friend Hearts to exchange with other social game users. These friendship hearts can then be exchanged for another group of prizes. There's also a third group of prizes based on the 10-person team that players join. This event is scheduled to end on the 9th.Starting on the 11th is a Big Crop Festival. During this event, players grow special crops on a dedicated event field. Harvesting these crops will increase a level bar. Once the bar is filled, then a three-card monty game triggers where players pick one of three random cards. As you pick the right card the pick-a-card chain continues until the wrong card is selected (a maximum of 5 hands are dealt), at which point players are awarded with in-game nuts. These nuts will award prizes based on the amount collected during the event. There will also be a large crop in the middle of the dedicated event field that increases its size (i.e., becoming a big crop) as players trigger the three-card mini game and earn their nuts.Finally on the 21st is the Bingo Event. Farmers will grow special bingo crop seeds and hope they get three of the same crop in a row or a full board of the same crop for a max bingo, which is worth more points. In-game prizes will be awarded based on the total number of bingo points collected during the event. Players can use their Sunshine Ability to increase the number of harvestable items on their friends' bingo cards, but bonus bingo points will only be awarded if the ability is used on an active three-in-a-row bingo. Typically it is best to wait until the board is full of the same crop to trigger a max bingo and then wait until a multiplier triggers to earn bingo points. This event often has time-based prizes that no longer become available for players to win once the availability time expires.
Doraemon Bokumono Release DateThis week Bandai Namco revealed that the Japan release of their Doraemon x Story of Seasons crossover game, Doraemon Bokujou Monogatari will be released on June 13 for Nintendo Switch, along with a new promo video for the game:The story begins with Nobita and Doraemon finding a mysterious seed, which they plant ('cuz who wouldn't want to plant strange seeds?!). The seed developed into a tree, but a sudden storm whisked them away up into the sky! When they awoke, they found themselves at the base of a large tree and discovered that Doraemon's secret tools (gadgets) were lost during the storm, meaning they can't return to their home world. The group meets a fellow named Lunch, who shows them a strange village called Season Town. They'll live and help the residents of Season Town while trying to figure out a way to return to their home world. Shizuka takes up work at a clinic, Suneo helps out at the village restaurant, Gian assists at the carpenter's, and Doraemon goes to help the mayor. Nobita volunteers to help Lunch with the desolate ranch outside of town. And with that, Nobita starts his farming adventure!Those who preorder the game will receive a downloadable Nobita Room furniture for the farm house, recreating the decor of Nobita's bedroom in the Doraemon series. There are also retailer specific preorder seed bundles available. For example, pre-orders at will receive a Four Seasons seeds of Cucumber, Paprika, Carrot, and Daikon Radish; preorders at Joshin will receive a code to download a Spring Season seeds of Turnip, Potato, Lettuce, and Strawberry; and orders at HMV will get a download code for a Flower seeds of Red Carnation, Hibiscus, Red Rose, and Hilton Daisy.
Rune Factory 4S Live EventA 2-hour live presentation took place on Thursday that promoted the upcoming release in Japan of Rune Factory 4S for Nintendo Switch. The event showed off the new Rune Factory 4 Special Memorial Box preorder, which includes a copy of the game, a digital download code for character swimsuits, a memorial book covering the whole series with character images, a love story 2-disc CD audio drama (one CD for the bachelors, and one CD for the bachelorettes), and a copy of the Switch game, all packaged together in a pretty collector's edition package for the price of 8800 Yen (about $78 USD). The price for the regular game is 4980 Yen (~$45 USD).The presenters covered the HD graphic upgrades for the Special edition, the new romance story mode, the added difficulty mode, and a new opening movie. They also played through a bit of the game. At the end of the stream the latest trailer for the game was revealed:At the end of the program they revealed that the save game data Rune Factory 4S will link to Rune Factory 5 when it is eventually released for Nintendo Switch in 2020.
Portia Physical Edition Delay in NAThe official Twitter @MyTimeAtPortia handle revealed this week that there has been an unfortunate delay in the North American physical retail console release of My Time at Portia. The digital version of the game will still be available on April 16th for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Playstation 4, but the disc version won't be available until May 14. The European physical release is still scheduled for April 16.
Farm Folks Alpha ReleaseFor Kickstarter backers who opted for a backing tier that contained Alpha Access, Overgrown has released a preliminary alpha build of their game as promised. To access the alpha, players have to log into the Crytivo account that was registered for them by Overgrown, then download the 582 MB zip file and extract its contents to their PC.
Until next time!

- Cher
(The winter storms finally stopped in my playthrough of RF2. Collected two of the Palermo Shrine seasonal orbs!) Fri, 05 Apr 2019 21:11:50 +0000