Harvestella

All other video games not related to the main farming series - Pokemon, Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia, and other indie-developed games.
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Mikodesu
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I'm still really early on, so I can't say for sure... but I would bet there's an upgrade tree you haven't maxed out enough. :/ Shame those don't at least give us hints of what we're getting.
Spoiler:
Just based on the fact that your watering can/sprayer is upgraded by the first fairy on the farm. There doesn't seem to be a real rhyme/reason to what the fairies upgrade, so you might have to just keep pushing those until you find it.
Hopefully if somebody else knows they can say for sure.
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JustABeautifulGuy
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All the tool upgrades are done by doing the faerie tasks. You will find the Destroy Skill Lv 1 achievement in some Faeries task list.

On the other hand, I just got done with the story and it was really really good. Definitely the highlight of this game. It was super complex though so some of the stuff just went over my head but the overall writing was just top tier. What an emotional rollercoaster. Dare I say it’s comparable with other best SE titles.

I’ve really enjoyed this game more than I expected. The farming is simple and fun (and mainly the source of income for your weapon upgrades), the makers aren’t annoying, crafting and foraging is easy too (I hate it when it’s hard to get the right materials), and that cooking plays a super important part for stamina and HP during combat. I love how they incorporated the farming sim and JPRG elements together in the gameplay loop. The overall world and dungeons are very well made, probably the best a farming sim has ever looked but that’s just personal taste.

My only complaint is the socializing aspect. Even if we ignore the lack of romance, the lack of daily to daily (or even event to event) dialogues for the main characters is disappointing. It’s worse than PoOT’s case. You see a well fleshed character story event and then poof they’re back to their single dialogue any default NPC would say. They’ve marketed the socializing aspect by saying making friends so there should be no excuse for it being so lackluster.
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Somerandom
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I haven’t played the game but, is there any reason to play the game post story mode? Like is there any post game content at all?
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Shortybread
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I just got the game yesterday! :)
I've not gotten past the demo content yet, but I'm excited to get into it. The story seems interesting so far, and I'm excited to unlock more explorable areas and to see the other towns! The improvements they made to the clock are really obvious to me, since I just played the demo about a week ago. It took me around 4 or 5 days to get enough stone to make the hammer in the demo, but I did it on day 3 this time — knowing that there were gather sites right on the farm definitely helped.
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JustABeautifulGuy
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Somerandom wrote: Nov 11, 2022 4:43 pm I haven’t played the game but, is there any reason to play the game post story mode? Like is there any post game content at all?
The only post game features I’ve encountered so far is an extra dungeon and the partnership system (which isn’t that good). I am a completionist so the post game seems a bit more fun at the moment.
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Mikodesu
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So far at least... I've encountered so many side quests that I don't really miss daily dialogue. I definitely don't miss needing to design a route around town to talk to everyone to keep farming that FP. Getting more mundane comments on the weather and what's going on in the personal lives of characters you like is nice, though. Can't really blame the devs for skipping out on it though, it would have ballooned their workload significantly.

Still very early on in the main quest. I just got my first chicken. Doing a bit of the hoarding thing, selling stuff only when I need to go buy things. Part of me wants to settle in and do more farming and upgrades, but knowing upgrades are locked behind main quest keeps me inching forward.

Except for some of the bigger side quests, I'm enjoying the main quest more, so I don't want to rush through it. Side quests help balance everything out.

At this point, I really just hope Harvestella sells well enough that if not a sequel, we get something similar. It's such a nice mashup.
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Kikki
UNoT Extreme Mooomber
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To me, in a life-sim with dating/marriage aspects, daily dialogue is the single most important thing about candidate characters, and it's a huge reason why Trio is so good. (Not just lots of daily dialogue that varies by season, weather and location, but also interlinking passing-event dialogue like the 'disappearing white things' mini story that went around all 3 towns. It made the towns feel like such a real little world!)

Events are great, and I want them, too...they're my third wishlist item after strong dialogue and great character design, but they're one time only, and after they're over you have only that brief memory to think back on, if you're even able to remember anything more than a general idea of what happened. Daily dialogue and character design are things you can enjoy about the character continually. Dialogue does good character-building and, more than that, the maintenance. Great daily dialogue (varied, interesting, and lots of it) is what keeps me interested in a character even after marriage. Otherwise they all just become moving decorations in player character's house.

Mind you, this isn't really a life-sim. It's a story-driven JRPG with life-sim mechanics thrown in as an experiment, as far as I can tell. I was pretty much expecting that the romance aspect would be on the minimal side. At first I heard there was only one dateable male, then I heard two, but looking it up, there are actually 3.
Spoiler:
Asyl, Heine and Brakka.
Plus 4 'ettes. Possibly 5...I'm getting conflicting info on if Cres counts or not. So they did play unfair with those who prefer guys, unless there are still guys in there who haven't been discovered...but I doubt it, now that lots of people have finished the story. Designs are pretty nice, so that's good...I was expecting them to do a good job on character design, so they seem to be hitting my expectations. :)
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Mikodesu
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Oh yeah, I absolutely agree with you about life sims, especially anymore. The expectation is to have a more dating sim esque focus. Imo the issue with Harvestella lies with the Squeenix marketing department, not the devs. The devs made a very good little RPG. (Maybe the middle ground would be more regular dialogue for datable characters, ignoring everybody else.) The events (so far) have been fitting for a life sim though, developing characters rather than solving menial problems and moving on.

Making dating work is a separate issue, more... a la Rune Factory 4, where you have to progress the story to "unlock" datable characters.

Rune Factory still wins on the life/dating sim side, but Harvestella already takes it for plot. Farming is anybody's game, since it's all very basic.
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Kikki
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That's been my biggest concern all along. Who is SE marketing this game to?? I feel like those who get it wanting a farming life sim game will be disappointed by what is lacking that their usual sims tend to have, and those who want a JRPG will be turned off by how much sim there is. I'm not sure who the ideal market is...definitely fans of both genres, preferrably who go into it curious about the mash-up rather than expecting it to be specifically 'this' or 'that'.
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Mikodesu
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I'd all but guarantee the marketers were just looking at anybody who could possibly be convinced to open their wallets (especially since it's a bigger company). That's capitalism. :shock:

It wouldn't surprise me if they had ads more specific to life sim fans, farming sim fans, RPG fans. Whatever they thought would hook people. I doubt they really even cared how much of the game was RPG or life sim, just that it was in the game, and they couldn't (legally) be said to be lying about it. Especially these days since Square is having a hard time recouping investment on bigger projects.
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Kikki
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Hope that doesn't bite them in the butt. Convincing people to buy a game by representing it as something it's not is a sure way to stir up some hate from those who feel misled, and now when people hate things, they go on crusades to ruin them. Review bombing and etc. If they're throwing this out as a one-off, then drumming up sales by whatever means will work for them, but if they have any plans of doing something like this again, I'm afraid it'll be an automatic fail if enough people are annoyed at finding too much farming in their RPG, or not enough romance/etc in their farming life sim.

I haven't heard what the overall response to the game is. I've seen a lot of ambivalence and disinterest on Twitter, but that's from people who haven't actually played the game, nor even the demo.

I've still only played the demo, but I liked the art, didn't mind the music (I often really dislike game soundtracks, especially if they're very repetitive) and found the story quite interesting. I also already suspected that the romance aspect would be a bit lacklustre, so hearing from persons dissatisfied by it doesn't change my stance. If it goes on a decent sale (say 20%-off or better) I'll be getting it. Not sure enough about it to pay full price. I don't think I'd hate it, regardless of how far it leans into JRPG vs Sim, since both genres are favorites of mine.
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Mikodesu
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The best I can say is that it's held steady at 74% positive on Steam. Which, imo, sounds about right. Not the best game in the world, but certainly not the worst. I think its been since Trio that I would put any game adjacent to the farming genre above an 80/100. In Harvestella's case, I think it does what Portia did, leaning into being a unique experience in spite of some jank, which I value a lot. (There's far less jank than Portia, thankfully... :lol: )

As for sales, I'd say Steam or (adjacent) Green Man Gaming are your best bet until the end of the year. It might be good to double check, but from everything I've read Harvestella runs great on Steam Deck. Between Black Friday and Christmas and New Years sales... there would about HAVE to be something.
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Shortybread
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Kikki wrote: Nov 13, 2022 8:53 am I feel like those who get it wanting a farming life sim game will be disappointed by what is lacking that their usual sims tend to have, and those who want a JRPG will be turned off by how much sim there is. I'm not sure who the ideal market is...definitely fans of both genres, preferrably who go into it curious about the mash-up rather than expecting it to be specifically 'this' or 'that'.
From what I've seen in reviews so far, that's just about exactly what's happening.
RPG fans say that the combat is too simplistic (keep in mind that most of those people had 0.8 hours of playtime, so they likely weren't even past the demo content), and life simulation fans complain that the farming and social aspects are lacking. Going in with an appreciation for both genres and an open mind is definitely important, and it's hard to say how well SE represented it in marketing. I kept up with the updates we got on it along the way, so by the time it launched, I had a pretty good idea of what the game was going to play like, but I think a lot of people didn't. :(
Mikodesu wrote: Nov 13, 2022 4:37 pm In Harvestella's case, I think it does what Portia did, leaning into being a unique experience in spite of some jank, which I value a lot. (There's far less jank than Portia, thankfully... :lol: )
Yeah, I'm always interested to see what unique spins people put on the life sim genre, 'cause it has so much potential. Harvestella feels like a JRPG first, farm sim second, which feels very different from Rune Factory even though I was expecting them to play very similarly when I saw the initial trailer!
I think I was predisposed to like this game though, because even in non-simulation games, I always want some light simulation elements anyways, so it just feels like I'm getting what I've always wanted out of JRPGs I've played in the past. :lol:
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K8sMum
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I am loving the game. It's very story driven, which I like. The interactions with main characters and npcs alike are often quite moving. The game gets quite dark at times. The battles are strategic and win-able without too much stress.

I enjoy the farming due to the many types of crops and the different fields needed. I do not miss RF's soil upgrading system. It generally just gives me a headache. Achievements from doing the faeries' requests are satisfying. I can't tell you how good it felt to finally be able to smash those huge boulders! The makers don't bother me, tho I am disappointed that once set up they can't be moved.

I have to mind my budget with the economy like it is now days and spending $60 on a game like Harvestella was a big decision for me. I know it will probably go on sale. But November is a very hard month for me and I won't really breathe again til after the holidays. It's the game I need right now and I'm glad I took a chance on it.
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KAE
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this game has quickly become one of my favorites. the demo absolutely did not do it justice. have to echo what was said before about great plot with moving character stories. just fantastic writing. i have goals every day when i wake up and it makes it really difficult to put the game down.

it took me a minute to figure it out, but you can move makers once you place them. give them a few swings with your hammer and they'll be right back in your inventory.

i have no complaints with this game and am really looking forward to how they progress. character stories are great but it would be nice to see a bit more romance added. with how much goes on though, i wonder if festivals and things would just interrupt the gameplay.
Last edited by KAE on Nov 18, 2022 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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