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Pangur
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 08, 2014 9:43 am 
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I don't mind the graphics to be honest. They're not outstanding or unique but their not terrible. The gameplay mechanics are what interest me the most. They seem like a breath of fresh air that the series needs while still being familiar. Once a game has good gameplay and a good story, then I don't really mind how the graphics look :)
 
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SerpentTailedAngel
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 11, 2014 3:12 pm 
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Emurii wrote:
Second, we have a game that nobody has seen before. One of the things that made the older HM games so magical, at least for me, is that I didn't walk in already knowing all about all of the characters' likes and dislikes, dark pasts, how to trigger their events, what events existed -- it was just life and exploration. I remember the first time I played HM64, it took me until about year 5 to get married because I didn't know that you even could. It took Mary confessing to me, 5 years into the game, for me to understand what I was supposed to do. But I was having so much fun with it, because everything was so new.

Now, with walkthroughs, guides based on the Japanese version, and forums, it's so hard to have a novel experience in these games. I know that I should get a silkie egg over wifi to unlock them early. I can look up every conceivable plant combination in AWL to breed the weirdo plants. But with TLV, we won't have those luxuries. We'll have to actually [i]play the game/i], not just keep a notepad of heart points or sun points or Runie distributions. We can explore.


So... after seeing the names and faces of the Story of Season cast, I stopped looking at updates, have not sought out any guides, FAQs, or Q&A threads, and fully intend to play the game by trial and error. And I'll probably be avoiding the SoS thread for a little while after the game comes out too. There are definitely some game spoilers that can be hard to avoid, but the case of Harvest Moon, I think it just takes a little self control to make the experience the sort you're looking for.
 
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Anonymous Fish
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 11, 2014 8:55 pm 
Anonymous Fish

I'm also concerned about the graphics as they look very low quality and overly childish just like how Home Town Story turned out. Despite that, I'm still going to give this one a try because Natsume has said a lot of great things about this game and I want to believe them. However, if this game turns out to be bad, this is probably the last time I can bring myself to support Natsume. Home Town Story was REALLY bad.
 
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Fishy Bones
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 11, 2014 11:33 pm 
Anonymous Fish

Natsume has also said the game is a continuation of a beloved series when that series is actually continuing under a different name, so I'm wary of whatever else Natsume says. If the reviews are good, I'll get the game, but I held of on Hometown Story and was grateful for it, and I'll hold off this time too.
 
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LeBurns
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 12, 2014 4:12 am 
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Fishy Bones wrote:
Natsume has also said the game is a continuation of a beloved series when that series is actually continuing under a different name, so I'm wary of whatever else Natsume says. If the reviews are good, I'll get the game, but I held of on Hometown Story and was grateful for it, and I'll hold off this time too.


I think Natsume knows that this is their one shot to get it right. If they blow this, if the game is really bad, they just lost the HM franchise and they know it. On the same note I hope they don't over complicate things by trying too hard. Sometimes simplicity is more fun.
 
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NessEggman
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 12, 2014 11:04 am 
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SerpentTailedAngel wrote:
Emurii wrote:
Second, we have a game that nobody has seen before. One of the things that made the older HM games so magical, at least for me, is that I didn't walk in already knowing all about all of the characters' likes and dislikes, dark pasts, how to trigger their events, what events existed -- it was just life and exploration. I remember the first time I played HM64, it took me until about year 5 to get married because I didn't know that you even could. It took Mary confessing to me, 5 years into the game, for me to understand what I was supposed to do. But I was having so much fun with it, because everything was so new.

Now, with walkthroughs, guides based on the Japanese version, and forums, it's so hard to have a novel experience in these games. I know that I should get a silkie egg over wifi to unlock them early. I can look up every conceivable plant combination in AWL to breed the weirdo plants. But with TLV, we won't have those luxuries. We'll have to actually [i]play the game/i], not just keep a notepad of heart points or sun points or Runie distributions. We can explore.


So... after seeing the names and faces of the Story of Season cast, I stopped looking at updates, have not sought out any guides, FAQs, or Q&A threads, and fully intend to play the game by trial and error. And I'll probably be avoiding the SoS thread for a little while after the game comes out too. There are definitely some game spoilers that can be hard to avoid, but the case of Harvest Moon, I think it just takes a little self control to make the experience the sort you're looking for.


This. I always play the games this way and always have. You don't HAVE to look at guides and forums if you don't want to. I am VERY selective about what topics I look at on the SoS board and hardly even go to it because I don't want to see spoilers. The only thing I've really seen about the game is the official website for the JP version, and a few screenshots of the XSEED version. That's it. It's not hard at all to have an exploratory, fresh experience with a game. Just don't spoil yourself :)
 
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Emurii
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 14, 2014 10:04 am 
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It's a fair point that any game can be spoiler-free if you want it to be, but for people like me who just can't stay away from the spoilers (even if I hold off on things like heart events I will still know who all the "secret" candidates are, and if I'm actually playing and having a hard time with something I can just look it up), I still think this is a unique opportunity.
 
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NessEggman
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 15, 2014 1:24 am 
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Emurii wrote:
It's a fair point that any game can be spoiler-free if you want it to be, but for people like me who just can't stay away from the spoilers (even if I hold off on things like heart events I will still know who all the "secret" candidates are, and if I'm actually playing and having a hard time with something I can just look it up), I still think this is a unique opportunity.


Ah I think this makes me think of a good point: as an entire community, we will be experiencing the game together at the same time (well, those of us who get it right away). There will be that fun period where NO ONE knows anything, and we all can help each other out, trading tips and telling each other about the cool things we found.

It's fun to go "Guys! I got a pink spinach!" and everyone be like "Oh, wow! What did you do to get that?!" And try to solve the puzzle collectively.

Rather than you go "Oh, hey, pink spinach..." and then there's a detailed guide on how to get it and everyone already knows about it.

I think that's a fun opportunity that we rarely see in HM/Bokumono games anymore because they have such separated Japanese and Western releases. So this will be fun for that :)
 
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Kareen
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Oct 15, 2014 3:33 am 
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For me, the biggest thing that bothers me is the script. Of the posts on Natsume's Facebook that show their progress on the script, most of their unique word choices sound really jarring and out of place in my opinion. I get that a lot of it is stylized for specific characters and personalities but they use such odd (and old) language in some places I feel like I'm reading a typeset forces script and not a conversation. A lot of SoSs dialog might be typeset for specific characters (like Elise's 'Oh ho ho ho ho!~' sort of classic Japanese mocking laughter) but at the very least it flows like a natural conversation. Or at least it does to me.

Image
What? Who talks like that? I get that you're a Harvest Sprite, so you sort of get a pass, but holy geeze that's overly childish.

Image
What're you? 85? Shucks? What? That is such a dated and stereotypical way of depicting people from the country. C'mon. Give me some creativity.


Aside from the script, the fact that graphics on the character models look so far from what the 3DS is capable of really grates against my eyes and is sort of a disappointment. Budget cuts and restrictions are understandable, and I know some people actually like the look, but we're far enough into the 3DSs lifespan to where people tend to expect more. Pixels and rough edges aren't really what I have an issue with. Proportions aren't even that huge of a deal (even though I do dislike it; the people look like mutated children to me). But the textures they use are incredibly... flat. The hair doesn't even have much of a texture, something SoS crams into much smaller portions on their polygons.

And for the character models to be the main portrait when talking to someone, instead of a 2D rendering? They should really look more like people with actual features instead of dye cut paper eyeballs, and lines for mouths and eyebrows that had just been glued onto a flat flesh colored bean. That would be fine if it was just the character model you're playing with during the game, but the portraiture? Please no. This is 2014. 2D games put more detail into their characters than this. Call me a privileged jerk, but I lived through the era of weird textures and doofy character models and I would prefer not to go backwards (I also started on the SNES like the old fart that I am; if I may date myself here).

Image


To me, even the backgrounds look strange in some places. For some of the game, they're okay. They're a little bright to me and could do with more contrast in the colors, but they're fine. But for others, like the Harvest Goddess Spring, the lack of shadows and contrast really kills it for me. It looks very strange to have so much of the same gradient in one place without anything to differentiate the varying parts of the structure when they overlay one another. Then they smash an overly textured grass around it, which isn't really a problem, but then we have other places that look like this:

Image


I can barely see the texture of the wood on the extreme closeup of the floor (versus the zoomed out view of the Spring where you would assume some of the detail is lost). It's muddled and pixelated. If I was looking at a difference between objects or character models that had different levels of detail, I could see an argument where that is normal. Moveable things and interaction-able objects tend to have their own texture style despite whatever the background is doing, but this distortion I find is from background to background. It's a really disjointed and hodgepodge style in my eyes. Even the grass on the background mountains in the Harvest Goddess Spring portrait looks strangely lacking in detail versus the rest of the space; like they dropped a green blob on the rocks and called it a day. Story of Seasons at least has a cohesive look to it.

Call me overly passionate, call me old, call me too detail oriented, but when I love a series as much as I love Harvest Moon it's almost physically painful for me to dislike the first impression as much as I do. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to get this game regardless of my complaints; I'm genuinely curious to see how Natsume does with their gameplay. I'm also going to get Story of Seasons. (Two farming life simulators in my life? Yes please). But I'm going into The Lost Valley with low expectations. I hope the gameplay is innovative enough to prove me wrong, but so far, I am very sad about where it's going.
 
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PokeFarmer
  Post subject: Re: My main concern
Post Posted: Feb 28, 2017 3:11 pm 
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NessEggman wrote:
centen wrote:
I think it's a bit disingenuous to act like The Lost Valley's graphics are on the same level of quality as the Wind Waker's.
Image Image

The Wind Waker's graphics are a very distinct style, but were still rendered with excellent quality. Look at the difference in how smooth the ears are on Link, and how jagged they are on Claire. See how you can see each individual finger on Link, but Claire's hands are a blob? Even in the background, Link has a full, distinct shadow, and Claire is given a small blob, which doesn't make sense with where the light source is implied to be and how big her head/hair is. Even the circle in the metronome on LoZ is prettier than the circle on the happy face in TLV.

And keep in mind: Wind Waker was released in 2002, a full twelve years before TLV, and so managed to do more with worse technology available. It's the style that didn't resonate well with some people on LoZ, not the quality. If TLV was rendered to the same high quality that LoZ achieved, I don't think people would be complaining about the graphics as much.

I think the graphics also get a bigger focus, because it's such an obvious deficiency. The elements they are speaking to have the potential to be good, but considering how poorly ANB was localized, I understand people being skeptical of the promises made + the terrible graphics on top of it. For me, I think the direction Natsume wants to go in seems promising, but when an known -- not indie! -- company cannot even come close to maximizing the potential of the system in the wake of independent releases from tiny, unknown companies that show it can be done, and can be done well, like Shovel Knight, Steamworld Dig, and Gunman Clive... yeah, it's a bit worrisome.


But look at something like Pokemon XY compared to TLV.

Image

That looks just as pixelated with ugly textures and ugly models. Shadows are blobs or points or just non-existent.

Shovel Knight, Steamworld Dig, and Gunman Clive are 2D games, which are not as resource-intensive when it comes to rendering, so their graphics aesthetic can be pumped up more. Not to mention at least two of the screenshots you showed were for the PC or console versions of those games, which means they're on much more powerful hardware than the 3DS, and it had an option for higher resolution (and the GameCube also had amazing graphical capabilities and stronger hardware all around than the 3DS). Not to mention 3DS games that utilize the 3D feature must be knocked down greatly in graphical power because of the need to render twice as many screens.

The graphical quality of TLV is honestly not that much worse than big-name 3DS, 3D titles like Pokemon, but I think it's the lack of variety on top of an unappealing style that really bothers people. Most of the world is the same block over and over. There's nothing to break up the monotony. The fishing screenshot is nice because it takes a picture where there's a lot in the scene, but sometimes, the game just looks like a giant green square with a low-res grass texture on it, and that's so boring.

In this sense, your point holds -- WindWaker wasn't just a bunch of giant flat areas with no flavor. There were grasses, flowers, pigs, birds, trees, rocks, paths, etc. all of varying sizes and shapes and colors to break up the monotony that would otherwise just be a giant boring plane to walk on. And TLV doesn't have that.

Sorry 'bout that, my laptop just flipped out. I know this topic is old.
 
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