Ushi No Tane PHP-Update 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
New SoS:FoMT News and Doraemon:SoS Contest Happy Farm'n Friday! In the summertime we'll typically get a bird's nest somewhere around the house. Usually it is a Junco nest in the flower baskets that hang off of the front porch, which makes it difficult to water the flowers without upsetting momma bird and the chicks.Last weekend we discovered a bird corpse under one of the tall tree in the front yard. Then we found several more! Soon we located a Cooper's Hawk nest high up in the tree next to the driveway. The nest had been there for weeks and we didn't know! The chick is now old enough to fly on its own, but it doesn't know how to hunt yet. When it's hungry it will hop around the trees and cry out until its hawk parents bring it various small birds they've caught. Yesterday Mr.Fogu found the fledgling hanging out by the backyard patio door underneath the song bird feeders. Naturally the Juncos, Chickadees, Pine Siskins, and the House Finches stayed away from the bird feeders until the juvenile hawk flew away. It's outside right now crying for its parents to bring it more food, even though I observed it devouring a bird earlier this morning.At least it isn't eating my tomatoes, eigh? There haven't been as many tree rats around with the hawk family living close by, so the raptors are welcome to stay here for as long as they want!

SoS:FoMT UpdatesThis week Marvelous revealed additional character redesigns for their upcoming game, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, scheduled to be released in Japan on October 17th.Ann and Kai have been added to the roster on official Japanese website along with Manna, Duke, and Doug, which leaves the two new marriage candidates, Won, Gotz, Zack, and Gourmet as unknowns; portraits of hipster Kappa and the Goddess appeared in previously released screen shots.More bits of new information came via an interview with the game's producer Hikaru Nakano of Marvelous that took place during Chinajoy 2019 last week and posted on Chinese video game news website A9VG:Players will be able to dig holes to descend through the mines, and new ores have been added too.Players can raise multiple pets.Both male and female protagonists can wear costumes; we've seen the chicken, sheep, dog, and chick costumes that are available as preorder bonus items at specific JP retailersIn the original game, players were to push each animal out of its barn to graze on the grass, but in the new version there are herding bells that take care of that task.There have been additional background music added to the game.The child still won't grow into an adult in the Switch remake.There will not be any multi-player network features.The same festivals will be in the Switch version, though no new festivals have been added.They are considering making an option to turn off the character portraits when talking to villagers.The extra cottage is still in the remake, but the interview doesn't specify if it is all four vacation villas or just a single one. In the original GBA game unlocking the beach villa required players to connect to A Wonderful Life for Nintendo Gamecube, which obviously won't be available in the Switch remake.There will not be a greenhouse added to the game.The original GBA game has P-grade animal goods, which is a 1 in 255 chance of coming from an animal that produces G-grade goods. Hikaru is noted in the interview that this has improved in the remake.The most significant revelation from the A9VG interview is the inclusion of same-gender courting being available in the Switch remake of Friends of Mineral Town (at least in the Asian version he was being interviewed about). Hikaru explains that the male protagonist can court the girls and also the other male characters. Instead of a marriage ceremony, a friendship ceremony takes place; basically the Best Friends system from Harvest Moon DS Cute. Only one partner can be selected to participate in the ceremony.It is unknown yet if this also holds true for the female protagonist, as Hikaru specifically stated in the interview that it was the male protagonist who can pursue other male characters. In the original GBA game the male protagonist had 6 marriage candidates (Ann, Elli, Goddess, Karen, Mary, and Popuri) while the female protagonist had 8 (Cliff, Doctor, Gray, Kai, Rick, Kappa, Won, and Gourmet). Perhaps this is Marvelous' way of adding additional candidates to the male protagonist. Both protagonists have one new mystery candidate in the Switch edition.

Doraemon:SoS Picture ContestBandai Namco JP is having a show-off-your-farm photo contest for players of the Japanese version of Doraemon: Story of Seasons. From now until September 1, players can Tweet a screen shot of their in-game farm and tag their entry using the hashtag #ドラ牧牧場コンテスト. The grand prize winner will receive a framed copy of their farm picture placed in a special Doraemon Bokumono picture frame, and 9 second place winners will receive Doraemon items.You can learn more about this latest contest at the Doraemon:SoS website:牧場コンテスト開催! | スペシャル | ドラえもん のび太の牧場物語 | バンダイナムコエンターテインメント公式サイトDoraemon:SoS hung on another week in Famitsu's weekly sales data, selling another 1900 copies last week, putting its 7-week sales number at 82,500 copies. The North American release date is scheduled for Fall of this year.As for Rune Factory 4 SE, the game sold 6200 copies last week, putting its total 2-week sales at about 44,100. The game is ranked #5 out of 30 on Nintendo's JP eShop rankings.As for my adventures through Rune Factory 3, I finally asked Carmen if she's like to marry me because apparently I have to get married in RF3 to finish the main story line. I'm glad I moved forward with that, as I didn't know that plot point would unlock the final dungeon. I'm getting closer to finishing the game, I think!

Until next time!

- Cher
(A thunderstorm rolled through this afternoon and watered all the crops!) Fri, 09 Aug 2019 21:29:32 +0000
More SoS:FoMT character reveals and details, new Pumpkin Days, JP sales data, and Good Life delayed Happy Farm'n Friday! The first ripe tomato of the season was eaten by a bird, but that's okay. There's plenty of tomatoes still coming in. I don't mind sharing one or two, though I hope they don't eat all of the tomatoes! An unknown critter ate the foliage off of the two carrots that are growing, but left the root part still underground. Yea, I only have two carrot seeds that grew larger than sprouts. I may be good at video game crop farming, but I'm not that great when it comes to actual crops, at least with certain types! I've never had much luck with carrots. At least the carrots look as though they are trying to regrow their missing leaves. Stupid tree rats...
SoS:FoMT UpdatesThis week, Marvelous revealed the redesigns for four more marriage candidates in Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. Mary, Elli, Gray (now hat-free), and "Doctor" were added to the official website for bachelorettes and bachelors. That just leaves Ann, Kai, and the two new mystery candidates. There's no official confirmation yet that the special candidates from the original GBA game (Goddess, Won, Kappa, and Gourmet) will also be included in the Nintendo Switch remake, but I'm hoping they'll be in the game too.The official website also introduced the redesigns for Basil, Anna, Saibara, Ellen, and Stu. That still leaves Zack, Won, Gotz, Duke, Manna, and Doug as normal villagers that have yet to be revealed. The game isn't out in Japan for six more weeks, so there's plenty of time left to tease us with more information!One of the improvements being added to the Switch version is with the handling of chickens. In the original Gameboy Advance game, the chickens had to be moved out of the coop one at a time. If players wanted to keep them in an area close to the coop, a fenced enclosure of wood or stone lumber would need to be placed in the crop field. This fence also prevented the chickens from being spooked or attacked if a wild dog appeared on the farm at night. In the Switch version, there is now a herding bell on the outside of the coop, assumedly to move them all outside and inside as a group. The poultry coop is also surrounded by its own fence. No idea if this means that animals cannot stay outside overnight like in the past few releases of Story of Seasons. Also it appears that the cows will get their cute little bells when they're outside in the pasture area; the screen shots on the updated animal page shows the indoor cows without bells tied to their tails. The livestock barn also has an outdoor herding bell.The site also shows off some of the villager's shops, for those whose redesign have been revealed, as well as some of the festivals at the bottom of the updated pages. The chicken sumo festival is confirmed to be returning along with dog disc toss during summer Beach Opening Day, the fall Harvest Festival, and the spring/fall horse race where you can bet on the winning horses to win medals that can be exchanged for festival prizes. While not pictured, the page also confirms the fall Music Festival and winter Starry Night.There were also two additional videos released this week. The first is one of the farmer using the kitchen in the farmhouse to cook up some food.自宅を増築すると、台所で料理ができるようになります。調理器具やレシピを集めて様々な料理に挑戦! #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) July 30, 2019 You can see that the protagonist's health (the face) and stamina (the berries) are a bit low, so she cooks up Udon; players will now be able to choose the quantity of dish to cook rather than one-at-a-time in the original version. As always in Mineral Town, players will need to own the appropriate cooking utensils before they can use them in the kitchen. She then moves onto making Spicy Stir Fry. While the recipe for Stir Fry is in the original game, the flavor of "spicy" is not in the original game. Players could improve the stamina and health recovery of their cooked recipes by adding extra ingredients to the base recipe, but the name of the resulting dish wouldn't change. After eating the Spicy Stir Fry, both the protagonists's health and stamina recovered.The second video posted was a short clip of Popuri's purple heart event, with the remixed love theme playing in the background.【結婚候補紹介】~ポプリ~カッコイイ男の子に出会うことを夢見る、養鶏場の女の子。いつか町を出て都会で暮らすことにあこがれている。喜怒哀楽が激しくて、ちょっぴり甘えんぼうなところも。 #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 1, 2019 In this video, the honey tree by the farm house has dropped some grapes on the ground, and the farm mailbox is indicating there is a letter waiting inside of it for the protagonist to read. Also note that there is a toolbox by the front door of the house, on the outside - that's another improvement from the original, where the tool storage could only be accessed by going inside of the farm house.The last bit of news is with the name-that-daisy contest, with Orange Venus being the winning name. Corobokuru Smile came in last place (drat!).
New Farm'n Indie Game - Pumpkin DaysA new farming/dating simulator game, Pumpkin Days, was originally Kickstarted in 2014 by the small independent game developer Pumpkin Interactive. This week their work has finally become available on Steam via Early Access. The game has players taking over a farm in one of two towns: the tropical Wahoo Beach or quaint Pumpkinvale. Farmers can visit both towns and interact with the town residents, and even court them for potential future romance; players can court dateable characters regardless of gender. Likewise players don't define themselves to be male or female; they can customize the look of their non-binary character to be any visual shape. Besides growing crops and flowers, there's livestock care, cooking, fishing, mining, and even farmhouse customization.If you're interested, you can check it out on their Steam store page or on their official website:Pumpkin Days on Steam StorePumpkin Days Official WebsiteFuture planned updates to the game include possible bug catching, animal breeding, and fossils/artifact hunting.
Japan Game SalesNow that Rune Factory 4 SE is out in Japan, we've two games we can track sales for via Famitsu's Weekly Rankings!Doraemon:SoS (Week 6) = +2100, total 80,500Rune Factory 4 SE (Week 1) = +37,900, total 37,900I'm assuming next week Doraemon will drop off the top-30 chart, as it is holding spot #29 of the chart. RF4SE came in on spot #4. Interesting, a fishing game also released last week, Fishing Spirits (a 4-player arcade game ported to Nintendo Switch), took the #2 spot with 47,700 week-1 sales. And of course, no game could come close to Fire Emblem: Three Houses's JP sales at 143,100 copies.
The Good Life DelayedSWERTY's farmy mystery game, The Good Life, is now expected to be released in Spring 2020. The murder-mystery set in the English farming community of Rainy Woods was anticipated to be released at the end of this year, but White Owls needs more development time.
Until next time!

- Cher
(Fishing Spirits looks like so much fishing fun... Bandai Namco please localize!) Fri, 02 Aug 2019 22:45:59 +0000
Lot'sa Videos: SoS: FoMT, RF5 Teaser, Doraemon:SoS; and HM:LoH Complete Happy Farm'n Friday! The temperature has jumped quite a bit here, and I didn't understand that Mr.Fogu's watering schedule for the vegetables is not as frequent as I'd like it to be. Some leaves on the tomatoes turned crispy, and the top of a raspberry cane shriveled up in the sun. Oops! After pouting for a bit about my crunchy tomato plants, he showed me how to press a few buttons on the automated watering system to manually turn on the drip line system for a few minutes. Now if it has been a really hot day, I just come home from work and boop-boop-beep push a few buttons to water the raised bags and beds. The front yard still has to be watered by hand though.

New SoS: FoMT VideosThis week the Official BokuMono Twitter Account released two additional videos for Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, scheduled to be released for Nintendo Switch in Japan on October 17.The first video shows the male farmer fishing off the dock at the beach and eventually catching an empty can, which he places into the garbage can in the plaza. In the original GBA game, throwing that empty can on the ground will negatively impact your friendship with the villagers. No word yet if that's still the case in the Switch remake or if items will bounce on the ground when dropped like they do in the recent Story of Seasons games. The video also includes the remade Mineral Town theme song.
川や湖、海では釣りができます。たまに空き缶や長靴などが釣れることも。ゴミはゴミ箱に捨てましょう。 #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) July 23, 2019
The area around Mother Hill is showcased in Marvelous' second video. The farmer can be seen heading up to the hot spring by the mine and Goddess Pond, picking up a wild Red Grass along the way. The background music in this video is the chipper fall theme song.
マザーズヒルではたけのこや栗など季節にあわせて様々な山の幸を手に入れることができます。ときには野生動物を見かけることも。 #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) July 25, 2019

Rune Factory 5Rune Factory 4 SE was released this week (25th) in Japan for Nintendo Switch, and along with the release Marvelous aired another live stream special on its YouTube, Periscope, and NikoNiko Video channels. Joining Underbar, Hira, Maika Maekawa from Marvelous, and Milikine were Hitomi Nabatame, the VA for bachelorette Clorica, and special guest Takahiro Fujimoto, the VA for Porcoline, Blaise and Sherman (RF4), and Herman and Douglas (RF2) in the Japanese versions of the game. They played the game together, showed off some of the art sent to them by Rune Factory fan artists, and made spicy tomato juice. At the very end, they aired a teaser trailer for Rune Factory 5, showing two separate protagonists.

After that, poor Maika was jokingly "sealed" so he couldn't reveal too much about the upcoming release, but he was able to explain that players of Rune Factory 4 SE will have two characters from RF4 appear as guests in their future game of Rune Factory 5 (i.e., RF5 will check for RF4SE save data on the console). He also mentioned that RF5 will have a purple theme to it.Rune Factory 5 for Nintendo Switch is scheduled to be released in Japan sometime next year. No English release specifics are available yet for either Rune Factory 4 SE or Rune Factory 5.

FarmCon 2019Starting tomorrow, the Farming Simulator expo, FarmCon19, will take place in Harsewinkel, Germany. On Saturday and Sunday, farming video game fans will gather to watch live farming eSport matches in the Farming Simulator League (FSL), meet up with other FarmSim enthusiasts, and learn about the future of the series from GIANTS Software. Keep an eye out for the Twitter hashtag #FarmCon19 or follow the official Farming Simulator Twitter Account for a rundown of the fun times taking place this weekend.

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope SE CompleteA new package bundle of Light of Hope will be released next Tuesday in North America. The Special Edition Complete for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 is a new physical release of the game that combines the Special Edition base game and the four DLC extras into one game. This release edition is ideal for players who can't buy the four separate download content add-ons that unlock house interior redesigns, farm decorations, clothing options, and the four new marriage candidates (none of which are the magnificent Doc, hmph!). The Complete edition will be for sale at retailers starting on July 30 for $29.99 USD plus applicable tax.

Harvest Moon: Mad Dash Pre-OrdersThe farming-themed interactive party game, Harvest Moon: Mad Dash is now available for pre-order at Gamestop in the US. The retail edition of the game will come with a bonus pre-order squishy sheep keychain, the same one that was given out as a promo item to attendees at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June. The game is esimated to be released for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4 in September, but an official release date has not been announced by Natsume yet.
Harvest Moon: Mad Dash for Nintendo SwitchHarvest Moon: Mad Dash for Playstation 4

Doraemon: SoS Week 5 SalesThe magical robot cat spin-off Bokujou Monogatari game for Nintendo Switch has sold another 3100 copies in Japan since its release on June 13, putting its current rank as #23 according to sales data from Weekly Famitsu, with a total of 78,300. Bandai Namco Asia released another promo video this week, showcasing bug catching, fishing, mining, and tool upgrades:

Until next time!

- Cher
(We're going to stop you Team Go Rocket! Gotta save 'em all!) Fri, 26 Jul 2019 21:34:05 +0000
New SoS:FoMT Video, RF4 broadcast #4, New Doraemon:SoS video, and Stranded Sails Beta Happy Farm'n Friday! The blueberries have all been picked and the snowpeas are beginning to run out of energy. Things aren't winding down though, as the tomatoes are ripening their fruit. Even the gimpy twisted-leaf plant has lots of little green tomatoes on its branches. We also have tomatillos, though I didn't plant them where they are growing! They just sprouted there. I guess tomatillos are the crop that just keeps on giving, year after year, so to say.The front-yard crops are still duds. There's a few 'cucs growing on the pickling cucumber bushes, but for the most part nothing else is productive. Not even the zucchini is doing well. I had tried mixing some decent bagged soil in with the crummy stuff at planting time, but not even that helped. Bleh!

New SoS: FoMT VideoThis week Marvelous released another promo video for Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. This new video with the upbeat summertime theme song shows the farmer riding the horse around town, which is a new quality improvement from the original GBA game where horse riding was restricted to your farmland and the Spring/Fall Horse Race festivals. The video also shows a convenient new gap in the fence line just north of Yodel Ranch, which appears to tie in with the new gap in the stone wall from the original reveal video, making an easy shortcut from the southern path of Mineral Town to the center path of the town.In the video you can also briefly see Gotz at the top of Mother's Hill. If you're really quick, you can also spot an unrevealed character walking up the path at about 5 seconds into the 16-second video.
馬は大きくなると背中に乗れるようになり、草競馬のレースに出場させることができるようになります。毎日ブラッシングして愛情込めて育てよう牧場物語 #再会のミネラルタウン 『牧場物語』公式アカウント (@bokumono_PR) July 18, 2019

Rune Factory Channel UpdateOn the 25th (Thursday) at 8PM Japan Time (+9 GMT), a new broadcast will air on the official Rune Factory Channel in Japan. Presenters Underbar, Hira, and Milikine will be joined by special guest Hitomi Nabatame, who is the voice actor for character Clorica in the Japanese version of the game. The broadcast will also include a secret guest to be revealed during the show. To commemorate the release of Rune Factory 4 Special, scheduled to be released on the same day, there will be new information revealed about the upcoming Rune Factory 5 game currently in development by Yoshifumi Hashimoto's studio, Hakama.You can watch the broadcast live when it airs on the following websites:Youtube LivePeriscopeNikoNikoToday is the 7th-year anniversary of the original Rune Factory 4 release date in Japan, released on July 19, 2012. Happy Rune Factory 4 day to everyone!As for my adventures through Rune Factory 3, I helped build a flower bouquet and held a festival, but the Sharace Tree still won't bloom. Now Wells is trying to tell me I have to... get married?! Whaaaa?! I DONNA WANNA GET MARRIIEED! Oh well, I guess if it is for the greater good of the world (and to finish the game). Look out Carmen, you've a new main squeeze, besides your brother Carlos...

Doraemon Updates and Week 5 SalesDoraemon: Story of Seasons is still selling in Japan, but beginning to decline in numbers. Famitsu reports that the game sold 4000 copies last week, putting its total sales at about 75,200. The game currently holds the #14 slot in sales numbers for last weekBandai Namco of Asia has released a new promo movie for the game, stating that the English name for the game's world will be called Natura.

Their video shows scenes from the Japanese game, while explaining in English how to complete favors (i.e., requests) and give gifts. The Asia version of the game will contain English text with Japanese voiceover.

Stranded Sails BetaRokaPublish is looking for an additional 200 testers to actively try out their upcoming Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Island game. To earn a chance to participate in the beta, candidates can sign up for the Stranded Sails mailing list, where 200 random registrations will receive an application and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for the beta around August 5. The beta takes place from August 7 until the 18th, and it is reserved for the PC/Steam version of the game (Not Switch, XBox, or Ps4). Stranded Sails is scheduled to be released sometime this October.

Until next time!

- Cher
(How the heck is it almost August already?!) Fri, 19 Jul 2019 19:52:45 +0000
New SoS:FoMT Videos, Stranded Sails Release Info, and Doraemon Sales Happy Farm'n Friday! Earlier this year I made an attempt to grow Goji. The shrub isn't as easy to sprout as I thought it would be. Two of the plants survived after the multiple attempts at growing them. After growing large enough, the two went into larger pots and placed outside on the patio.That's when those pesky tree rats got to them. Apparently, the leaves are rather interesting from the viewpoint of a squirrel, and the little rats plucked the leaves off of both plants. I don't know if the leaves were eaten or if the squirrels were simply being jerks and pulled them all off, but they left me with two potted sticks. Thaaaanks...After being stripped naked by voracious tree rats, the plants were moved to a higher spot and started to recover a bit. One of them is still trying its best to grow, but this other one has happily sprouted new leaves and stems. Perhaps in a few years we'll have goji to harvest? We'll see how it goes!
SoS:FoMT New Promo VideosThis week Marvelous released two promo videos on Twitter showing the protagonists in the upcoming Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town taking care of crops an animals.In the fall-themed crop video, the protagonists tills the soil, plants seeds, harvest some ripe carrots, and then ships the carrots. The carrots stack within the rucksack, which are then shipped as a stack. In the original GBA game players had to ship each crop individually. Though hiring the little Nature Sprites made things so much easier! The background music played in this video is a remake of the original fall-season theme song:畑を耕し、種をまいて、水をあげて作物を育てよう。大きくなると収穫できます。収穫したら出荷してお金にかえよう。町の人にプレゼントもできるよ#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) July 9, 2019
In the second video, the protagonist is caring for animals inside of her barn. She brushes her alpaca and sheep, milks her cow, and adds fodder to the feed bin. With the updated stacking functionality, adding fodder is much faster than in the original game. The background music played in this video is a remake of the summer-season theme song:動物たちに毎日話しかけたり放牧したり、愛情たっぷりで育てましょう。愛情度があがると副産物のランクがあがっていきます。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) July 11, 2019
Stranded Sails Release InfoOriginally announced last January, the tropical farming and exploration game, Stranded Sails - Explorers of the Cursed Islands, is now scheduled to be released on Playstation 4, XBox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam/PC this October.In this game you play as the daughter or son of an exploratory ship captain, when you and the crew become shipwrecked on an island within a mysterious archipelago. You take the lead to bring the crew back together, by growing crops for food, building housing for the crew to live in, solving puzzle, fighting baddies, and exploring the cursed islands for a way to return home.You can learn more about this island farming adventure over on the Playstation Blog as well as on the official website for the game:Stranded Sails - Explorers of the Cursed Islands - HomeYou can also sign up for the developer's Discord channel at the official website
Doraemon Week 4 SalesDoraemon: Story of Seasons is still selling pretty well. Famitsu reports that the game sold another 5600 copies, putting its total sales at about 71,100. It's inching closer to 100k!
Until next time!
(Hmmm... what to add to this year's Christmas light display...) Fri, 12 Jul 2019 19:37:46 +0000
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town Announced by Marv/Xseed Happy Farm'n Friday! I'm not going to bother with the standard "I'm growing blah blah blah" this week. Let's just get started!

The Return of Friends of Mineral TownThis week Marvelous announced a remake of a fan-favorite Bokujou Monogatari game for Nintendo Switch. Called Bokujou Monogatari: Saikai no Mineral Town (Mineral Town's Reunion), this new entry into the series is a recreation of the original Gameboy Advance game from 2003. XSeed Games have also announced the localization of this new game, now called Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town. The Japanese version will be released on October 17th of this year (both physical and digital), with North American and European versions to be assigned an official release date at a later time.This remake includes the original characters from the GBA game, but will be a combined version of Friends of Mineral Town and More Friends of Mineral Town. Players can choose to play as a male protagonist or a female protagonist in the same game, as well as choose to play as the original overall-wearing Pete and Claire styles, or upgraded yellow-hoodie Pete and Claire styles. The original character designer for the Bokumono series, Igusa Matsuyama, redesigned the characters for a fresh look to the classic characters.Marvelous has opened the official website for fans to visit see the updated character designs and the quality-of-life improvements that have been added to the game:牧場物語再会のミネラルタウン|Nintendo Switch
New Promo VideoA short video of the game was also released, showing the game in motion and its various new features:Players can interact with the streetlights; walking past one shows an A button prompt.Crops have Star Rank (1-star to 5-star), but eggs, fish, milk, and wild items do not have Star Rank.Mayor Thomas is awesome, as usual!The watering pond appears to have moved closer to the entrance to the farm instead of being south of the farm house.The game now includes additional varieties of the standard animals as well as new animals such as angora rabbits and alpacas. The rabbits reside in the poultry barn.There are also new crops (soybeans, chili pepper, etc.), though the official website implies there are no winter-season crops (just like the original game)Seeds are sown in a 3x3 square.You can now walk across the crops (couldn't do that in the original game)The players stamina appears as a number value on the screen.The step-counting Pedometer is back!Items now stack in the rucksack instead of each item taking up one slot of space.It appears the same heart events are in the remake, as the video shows the beginning of Popuri's blue heart event (at 50 seconds) and the end of Cliff's yellow heart event (at 52 seconds).The record player is shown in the player's farm house, which is an item that originally could only be obtained through the Gamecube connectivity with A Wonderful Life. The Switch doesn't have a GC connection cable, so there's bound to be an easier way to unlock the Record Player in the remake!There are also new pet options like cats, penguin, and capybara.A new marriage candidate for each gender will be eventually revealed.Like the other villagers, the Goddess and Kappa have also been redesigned. Kappa has a sporty new beatnik look.The game still includes original features like hiring the "Nature" sprite team, mining, and festivals such as the horse race, dog frisbee at the beach opening day, fireworks, and harvest festival. The villagers are event standing in the same locations during the Fall 3 festival as they do in the original game:
Pre-Order BonusThere are also several Japanese retailers offering perks to entice farmers to pre-order the game from their stores.An original reversible tote bag from WonderGooA strawberry cow keychain from Beak TakarajimaBadge pins of Cliff+heroine and Rick+heroine from Stellaworth. HMV also has a pin badge of a strawberry cow, and Animate has a pin badge of a chickenFour bean dishes (i.e., little plates) with cow motifs from EbtenA wearable duck costume download code from Rakuten. There's also a wearable sheep costume download code from Geo, and a wearable dog costume download code from has a wearable chicken costume download code and a cow-themed notepadYou can see images of the protagonist costumes and other goodies on the pre-order benefits page.
Name-The-Daisy ContestUntil July 10, Marvelous invites fans of the series to vote on a name for a new species of Gerbera Daisy. The winning name will also appear as a flower in the game. The vote is being hosted on the official Bokumono Twitter account, where players can choose between "Orange Venus," "Corobokuru Smile" (woo go smile!), "Farm Shine," and "Marriage Fleur." There is also a secondary retweet-and-win contest that is only open to players in Japan. Retweeting the specific tweet will enter players into a drawing to win a Nintendo Switch. More information about picking your choice for the flower name can be found on the official Bokumono website:Flower Naming Contest
Bokumono Now on InstagramThe PR team for Bokujou Monogatari now has an Instagram account to go along with their existing Twitter account.

Doraemon UpdatesIt's week 3 since the release of Doraemon: Bokujou Monogatari in Japan. Famitsu reports that third week sales were about 8700, putting its total sales at 65,500 copies.A second DLC was made available for download today (the 5th), updating the game version to 1.03. The latest patch makes some corrections to in-game events and festivals, and made adjustments to stability and usability. A future update, version 1.04, will make additional in-game balance adjustments.

Mobage July EventsThis month in the social online Bokujou Monogatari for Mobage there's a hamster-themed Harvest Event scheduled from July 1 until July 9, a Large Crop event starting on July 11 and ends on July 19, and finally a Bingo event from July 21 until July 30.

Until next time!

- Cher
(I hope the Goddess, Gourmet, Kappa, and Won are still marriage candidates!) Fri, 05 Jul 2019 18:34:15 +0000
Steam Summer Sale, Doraemon Patch, and Rune Factory 4 SE Stream Happy Farm'n Friday! We've a lot growing in the backyard of Fogu HQ!Today I picked some more blueberries from one of the blueberry bushes, the remaining tiny strawberries from the strawberry bed, some snow peas from the raised beds, a ity-bity raspberry, and a single marionberry that Mr.Fogu hadn't eaten yet. The bin of raspberries doesn't produce much, so I'm hoping that the new drop-line watering system will help cultivate more canes for later, as this particular variety likes to produce raspberries again during the fall.The marionberry grows long canes that have been trained around an old tri-frame tomato cage. Currently it's producing canes for next year while this year's canes are producing fruit. Later this summer I'll cut the old canes out so there's more room for the new canes. It has to be grown in a container, else it will spread everywhere! Kind of like the plants in my next door neighbor's yard, which is overgrown with blackberry vines that reach up and over the top of the fence that divides our yards. On the bright side, I may end up with blackberries thanks to him!

Steam Summer Sale!Online game platform Steam is having its summertime sale on a plethora of games until July 9. Many of our favorite farming games are discounted:Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Compete Set (base game + DLC) = 50% off ($14.95 USD)Stardew Valley = 20% off ($11.99 USD)My Time at Portia = 20% off ($23.99 USD)Farming Simulator 19 = 20% off ($27.99 USD)Fantasy Farming: Orange Season = 30% off ($9.79 USD)Harvest Life = 65% off ($5.24)Little Dragons Cafe = 70% off ($17.99 USD)Stardew Valley is one of participating game in the summer sale race-off contest. Completing tasks in Stardew Valley will earn points towards your selected summer sale team's race car driver.

Doraemon Sales and PatchFamitsu reports that Doraemon: Bokujou Monogatari sold another 14,500 copies, bringing its sales total to 56,700 since its release on June 13.A patch was released this week to update the game to version 1.02. The patch made some adjustments to the game's mechanics and fixed in-game hiccups:Fixed a bug where tools will disappear from players' inventories. The impacted items have been added to the inventories of the blacksmith and Nature Sprite shop for players to get again if the items went missing.Special items that didn't make it to players' inventory during a cut scene can be obtained again by replaying the cut scene via the Replay Box.Items received from stamps can't be shipped anymore.A lot of items have had their prices adjusted. For example, beneficial Fertilizer was 400 G per purchase and is now 20 G. Selling a Golden Cheese will now earn 300 G instead of 150 G.The amount of stamina recovered when eating an item have also been adjusted; some increased (Butter now recovers 6 points instead of 2 points) and some decreased (Cookies now recovers 16 points instead of 33 points).Adjustments to chickens' stress reduction when interacting with the birds were made.The Flour Maker machine now makes 1 item instead of 10 items.Noby now moves a bit faster as well as charging tools is faster.Fixed various bugs like getting stuck in the general store, festival scenes now only occur during the festival times, and fixed errors in the game's text.According to the Nintendo eShop, the game was the 10th most popular downloaded game last week.

Rune Factory 4 Channel Special #3The third streaming special for RF4 took place last Wednesday. In this episode the presenters covered the battle mechanics and the new "hell" difficulty level, taming monsters (they had a lot of fun with their dragons!), participating in the Turnip Flurry festival, and even playing through a hell-mode battle. You can watch a recording of the 2-hour presentation over on the Marvelous JP Youtube page.The presenters also revealed that DLC will be available in RF4 in the form of "Another Episode." This DLC contains voice dramas and illustrations for each of the 12 main characters (Lest, Frey, and the five marriage candidates); the game comes with the Another Episode for dragon Ventuswill. The DLC will be 700 Yen, but Marvelous will make the Another Episode DLC a free download for Rune Factory players until August 26. After that, the DLC will cost the 700 Yen.Players can now pre-order the digital version from the Nintendo Switch eShop at a discounted rate of 4840 Yen, about 10% off the normal price of 5378 Yen. The game requires 3.6 G of SD Card space. The download discount will be in place until August 7th.The game is scheduled to be released in Japan on July 25, with a North America release planned by XSeed Games for later this year.Marvelous JP is offering another retweet-and-win contest for the little Wooly plushie. Participants in Japan can retweet this tweet to enter a lottery to win. Ten random winners will receive a Wooly plushie prize.As for my adventures through Rune Factory 3, I finished the winter dungeon, got yelled at by Kurura, and now I'm helping Shara build a flower bouquet for some reason or another. I play the game before bed and was half asleep when she was telling me the reason why! I've also been wooing the potential candidates. Initially I was going for Carmen (am I marrying her big brother too?), but Raven is a bit mysterious. Once I figure out what's up with Raven I may have a tough choice between mysterious-and-moody or the fisherwoman. Though the game hasn't explained to me how to get married yet. I've the large bed in my house, and Carmen is my bestest buddy, but I'm not sure what to do next. I'm sure it'll reveal itself at the right time. Adventure awaits!

Until next time!

- Cher
(The transplanted hydrangea is starting to bloom. Looks like it took to its new location well!) Fri, 28 Jun 2019 21:09:33 +0000
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