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Mikodesu
Post Posted: Sep 03, 2021 9:33 pm 
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Imo I think 'the series is aiming for a younger audience' argument is something that tends to happen when a series' original (or early) audience has gotten older while the games themselves have stayed fairly stagnant. In your memories the games were age appropriate, mature.

Iirc the recently announced Saints Row reboot is having that same issue. The series hasn't had an entry in some years, fans got older, devs are developing as if they haven't, fans are mad. Game is for babies.

These days I could see the simplification being done in the name of streamlining. There are more crops, more maker-made 'products', more recipes than ever before, so streamlining saves development time (and money) and time fighting with ratings boards all in the same breath.

I could see the lack of a designated bar being an argument, though? :shifty: The last game I remember having a bar (that I played) is Animal Parade. Iirc the restaurant in Westown in Trio was used as a bar at night...but there weren't cocktails for sale, were there? Its been a while since we've been able to go to a bar and buy a drink. But alcohol isn't all there is to adulthood. And aside from that I think the maturity level of the series has stayed pretty close to the same.
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 04, 2021 2:18 am 
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Mikodesu wrote:
Iirc the recently announced Saints Row reboot is having that same issue. The series hasn't had an entry in some years, fans got older, devs are developing as if they haven't, fans are mad. Game is for babies.


I don't know anything about Saints Row, but the part about devs continuing to develop for the fans they first appealed to most...I'm not sure that's a fault. (Not praising it as a virtue either, mind you.) I mean, SHOULD devs try to follow their original fans' desires as they get older? Let's say that the core market was initially 10-15. If the devs always aim for that market, they have a continually renewing market. If they attempt to evolve with their first market as they turn 20, 25, 30, 40, 50...etc...the market would in theory get smaller each time as people naturally change and move away from the things they used to do as they move toward new things. Dev teams themselves are always renewing, too...the original, aging dev team members move on to other things, or even retire, eventually. At this point I don't know if there is even ONE person who was on the dev team of the first game, for example (I don't know when Matsuyama first joined as a character designer, but he's been with the series a long time, for sure.)

Ideally, I think a skilled and experienced dev who loves their game and wants it to be the best it can be, would both continue with what made the game loved in the first place, AND keep in mind that their original and most ardent customers (because you have to be pretty dedicated to stick with a series for 20 years) are older, now. I think a game that can appeal to a broad age market has to be pretty deep (or just have wildly addictive gameplay, I guess.) and that everyone would appreciate that. Particularly kids, honestly, in cases where the additions don't simply go over their heads.

Of course, this could all just be ratings-board shenanigans, too, rather than issues with the development team. They're not always completely consistent, and overall sometimes the standards for what qualifies as E, E10+, T, etc, changes. And if there was only one or two little things that was pushing a game into a T rating and taking them out was relatively simple (like, for example, removing scenes of people actively drinking, even if reference to alcohol itself remains in the game, since alcohol reference and alcohol consumption are separate ratings issues) I think it makes business sense to remove it, to make sure that you aren't cutting off a whole group of consumers with that one little thing. (This refers to parents who feel reassured to see E or E10+ on a game rather than a T, and would make their purchasing decisions based on that.)

Though for the record, personally I couldn't care less whether they include a bar or scenes of people having wine with their meal or whatever. I don't think it adds anything good to the game, nor to do I think it adds anything bad.
 
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Mikodesu
Post Posted: Sep 04, 2021 4:51 am 
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That's sort of a weird sticking point, isn't it? I dunno if its possible to keep making games in a series consistently for 20 years and to keep everybody happy. Nintendo tent-pole franchises probably do this best, but even then...

Social media is probably the best/only way for devs to actually keep in contact with fans to know what they want. More traditional, Japanese studios are slowly catching up to using that to better their craft. Eventually...they'll have to. I guess except for Nintendo. Pokemon money will keep them in the black forever.

I do agree that developing with a slightly older audience in mind is the safer method to begin with. You're already dealing with a text-heavy genre, which demands players be a certain age to fully enjoy anyway. And there are ways to write maturity without triggering ratings boards. Smart writers can almost always get around them. They always have.

I wouldn't mind having a bar back in the series though, entirely because it provides more options for writing material. Writers need options.

On the alcohol side of things, it would probably have to stick to Steam to avoid ratings boards but...I would love to see a farming sim that focuses on fermented foods. Different types of alcohol (etc), maybe including multiple steps in the fermentation process.
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 04, 2021 7:06 am 
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It's not a farming sim, exactly...well, it is, but in a Tycoon style more than a life-sim style, but you could keep your eye on Hundred Days. (Already on Steam, coming to Switch this winter.) All about growing wine grapes, making wine, and selling it. Apparently it's very accurate, even to forcing you to spend a good amount of time cleaning your equipment between uses, lol. (I appreciate your passion for wine, but not sure I want that much realism, thanks, devs!)
 
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Shan O 123
Post Posted: Sep 04, 2021 6:15 pm 
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SoS had a wine maker, didn’t it?

But yeah I’m thinking it’d be a rating thing, though I’d think adding a bar with alcohol could be tiny thing most probably wouldn’t notice it.
 
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iLoveSprites75
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 11:45 am 
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Mikodesu wrote:
Video games are weird. And game ratings (and censorship) are often arbitrary and super, super culturally specific.


I was going to say, isn't Tomodachi Life rated E10? For what?

I was wrong - it's just E, but here are some of the nitpicky things they rate:
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This is a simulation game in which players create, customize, and help Mii characters thrive on an island. Players can shop in towns, build relationships among characters, and engage in turn-based combat against “cartoony” enemies (e.g., fried eggs, steaks, beads); the brief battles are accompanied by smacking/zapping sounds and colorful light effects. The game includes mild instances of bathroom humor: a baby emitting flatulence with a gas cloud; a news reel broadcast containing the headline “Who Logs the Most Toilet Time?”


So fart humor and battling food. Lol

It is definitely nitpicky, I'm fairly certain there's wine in HMDSC, but in the newer games, I haven't noticed any alcohol or lack thereof.
 
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Somerandom
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 5:06 pm 
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The European region has way more censorship than the American version of a game most of the time. In Harvest Moon Animal Parade, some of the dialogue has been censored or outright mis translated making parts of the game not makes as much sense in context. On top of this the cocktails were changed to being called beverages. In the European version Story of Seasons, I know that players were unable to cook the turtle stew, players couldn’t drink the wine that they made, Raeger’s after dinner marriage dialog was also changed to make it less suggestive and most interestingly they changed Veronica’s dialogue in the random event with her and Angela, to make her not be concerned about Marian specifically, but rather be scared of doctors in general.

I honestly don’t get game rating systems. Some of the decisions they make are strange.
For example both Tamodachi life and Project X zone 2 are rated the same in my region despite the latter being rated as T in the US due to... certain events, characters and dialogue. They even once had a crackdown on gambling in video games at one point rating the generally harmless Mario Party DS, New super Mario bros DS and Super Mario 64 DS, PG instead of G just because they had gambling minigames. On the other side, Puyo Puyo Tetris was rated G even though Schezo was in the game.

Since the rating systems for films and games are the same in my country it is a lot easier to give a brief overview of what is appropriate for a certain age group, but even then movies and games have been getting higher ratings than what they might have twenty years ago. I think this is due to sensibilities changing but I’m honestly not sure. Tangled has the same rating as Groundhog Day, however, I would let a kid watch Tangled but not let them watch Groundhog Day. If the latter movie was released today it probably would be rated M (PG-13 for those in the US) due to the standards for a movie getting a certain rating have been more strict. This is much the same for games and I honestly don’t see how someone can say “This new game is hurting the children!” When the rating clearly says that it isn’t appropriate for them. Even though these games generally have more accessible ratings for younger audiences, I honestly don’t think kids will become alcoholics from playing older Harvest Moon games (especially with the portrayal of alcohol in 64), since it often showed the negative impacts of alcohol.

So I believe its better to judge a game on its overall content than on it’s rating. Sorry for my rant.
 
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Kikki
Post Posted: Sep 05, 2021 6:24 pm 
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iLoveSprites75 wrote:
It is definitely nitpicky, I'm fairly certain there's wine in HMDSC, but in the newer games, I haven't noticed any alcohol or lack thereof.


There's wine in both SoS1 and Trio. Both games have dedicated wineries. (Makers.)
 
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iLoveSprites75
Post Posted: Sep 06, 2021 6:23 am 
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Kikki wrote:
iLoveSprites75 wrote:
It is definitely nitpicky, I'm fairly certain there's wine in HMDSC, but in the newer games, I haven't noticed any alcohol or lack thereof.


There's wine in both SoS1 and Trio. Both games have dedicated wineries. (Makers.)

I have not played any of the Story of Seasons games. I gave the first one a try and found it wasn't for me. I've stuck to the Harvest Moon branding, actually. :)
 
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Anonymous Fish
Post Posted: Sep 10, 2021 6:49 am 
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Anna_Lynn wrote:
. It's ridiculous how much censorship has to pass through the SOS games these days, like changing alcohol to soda, no kissing your spouse at the wedding, removing animal death because it's "too dark" for the kiddies to handle, blah blah blah. Crazy to think the dev's are trying to strive for even lower than an E+10...but I suppose business is business.


The lack of kissing is killing me. We don’t even sleep in the same bed as our spouse. Magical Melody had kissing even before marriage and that was a “kiddie” title. I’m starting to understand why so many SOS fans prefer clones like Stardew and Portia now
 
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Anonymous Fish
Post Posted: Sep 13, 2021 5:34 am 
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Does anyone have any screeencaps or footage of the censored European versions of the game?
 
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Burning Spear
Post Posted: Sep 13, 2021 9:14 am 
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Anonymous Fish wrote:
Is this something that appears in all new titles? I haven't played since the Wii days, but I picked up FOMT.

All the drinkable wine is non-alcoholic. "Premium grape juice" and "Wild grape water"? I'm getting grape soda flashbacks.
They were wine in the Game Boy version.


I know a lot of the early games censored the alcohol references, but I thought that Friends of Mineral Town did not. I'm absolutely certain one of Karen's events involves her giving you her special wine. Did they censor that in the remake? That would be bizarre.
 
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Anonymous Fish
Post Posted: Sep 13, 2021 3:55 pm 
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Burning Spear wrote:
Anonymous Fish wrote:
Is this something that appears in all new titles? I haven't played since the Wii days, but I picked up FOMT.

All the drinkable wine is non-alcoholic. "Premium grape juice" and "Wild grape water"? I'm getting grape soda flashbacks.
They were wine in the Game Boy version.


I know a lot of the early games censored the alcohol references, but I thought that Friends of Mineral Town did not. I'm absolutely certain one of Karen's events involves her giving you her special wine. Did they censor that in the remake? That would be bizarre.


As far as I know, only SNES and the GB/C games censored alcohol. Everything from 64 onward had wine, minus Magical Melody.

You still get wine in that scene. You can see characters talking about wine. There’s even a winery in town. It’s just the player can only drink juice and water. The wine Karen gives you is just a special item,
 
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