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Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley E3 Hands-on Preview

by Becky Hollada - June 12, 2014, 3:50 pm PDT
Total comments: 20

It's Minecraft for Harvest Moon.

It seems that we’ll be ramping up the farming action this year with not one but two “Harvest Moon” games. Lost Valley is, however, the real Harvest Moon, developed internally and localized exclusively by Natsume. Aside from the traditional Harvest Moon staple gameplay conventions, building and exploration are the name of the game.

The Lost Valley’s main new feature takes the customization introduced in A New Beginning and gives us more. Players can directly decide on the formation of the land on their farm by raising and lowering it, demolishing, and even adding more water. And every player can even change their farm based on priorities and personal preference. Like raising crops? No problem; there’s plenty of ways to expand your fields! Like fishing? There’s an app for that too.

Want to just shame other players with your epic building skills? Well there is now a simple building component to compliment your land modification. Insta-builder is a tool that uses materials you’ve collected and gives you various building options that you can place into your world. It can get a little clunky when you run into an obstacle while building since there is currently no way to easily demolish or modify it from the insta-builder menu. Players will have to halt their progress and rid themselves of the obstacle before they can finish, which can even require a little bit of travel at times. The process can be tedious, especially for a game that has focused on streamlining man of its elements.

One such case eliminates some of the monotony of tool usage by shaving the whole convention down. So long as the necessary tool exists in the character’s inventory, things like chopping down trees and fishing are only a button a way. I was definitely excited to see the loading screens going to and from my bag disappear.

This new Harvest Moon game is definitely a departure from the more social focus of many previous titles, but it offers us a new dynamic to the gameplay that could be a total game changer. How this will all work out in the course of a full game will be something to keep an eye out for.

CORRECTION: As has been pointed out in the comments, this game is not made by the usual Harvest Moon developer, and only carries the name due to former western publisher of the series Natsume owning the trademark to the name. Sorry for the confusion.

Talkback

KhushrenadaJune 12, 2014

Quote:

Lost Valley is, however, the real Harvest Moon, developed internally and localized exclusively by Natsume.

Whoa strangerDangerface. Harvest Moon games are / have been developed by MarvelousAQL. Their game will be called Story of Seasons and would be the real Harvest Moon. This is developed by Natsume so it is not be the traditional people however it has the traditional name.

Yeah, this isn't the true Harvest Moon, it's a knockoff that just has the name.

LucarioJune 12, 2014

SO WHICH HARVEST MOON SHOULD I GET!

KhushrenadaJune 12, 2014

Quote from: Lucariofan99

SO WHICH HARVEST MOON SHOULD I GET!

Wait for the reviews and game footage to come out on both and then you'll know. Right now, it's too early too see if one is good or bad or if they are both worth getting or passing.

However, if you need to play a Harvest Moon game right away, may I recommend going back and getting an older one such as Magical Melody available for GC or Wii? By the time you've gotten your fill of that game, the status of the two new competing harvest moon games should be known.

XyrukJune 12, 2014

So, how much did Natsume pay you guys to spread this false information, hmm? Story of Seasons is the localized version of the newest, true, Harvest Moon.

If Natsume doesn't have enough in the budget to spell-check their title screens I doubt they've got the PR funds to bribe us.

msss6June 12, 2014

It's only Harvest Moon in the West because Natsume owns the trademark, the name "Harvest Moon" does not exist in Japan. In Japan, the Harvest Moon series is known as Bokujou Monogatari. "Story of Seasons" in Japan is still part of Bokujou Monogatari. It can't be called "Harvest Moon" here because Marvelous AQL is self publishing it in the West now via XSEED (who Mavelous now owns), and they don't own the trademark of "Harvest Moon," the localized name of Bokujou Monogatari, because Natsume has rights to that name. "Harvest Moon: Lost Valley" in Japan will most certainly not be a Bokujou Monogatari game, the true "Harvest Moon" series that everyone knows.
Honestly I can see why you'd be confused, but at least look into something when someone corrects you like the first post tried. You're spreading false information and don't care to fix it, which I'd hope a reporting website would be against. Please, look into it instead of being stubborn, because your article is wrong. Lost Valley is only "Harvest Moon" in name, it is not part of the "true" "Harvest Moon" series.Here's a source:  http://www.polygon.com/2014/5/28/5759212/story-of-seasons-harvest-moon-3ds-north-america

BenjiJune 12, 2014

I literally made an account, just to tell this ignorant community manager he is not fit to fulfil his role. :/

I will never ever use this site ever again, If this site comes up in conversation I'll mention what ignorant staff members it has. (not that you care ofc)
I think the ability to read and absorb the information presented, then research to ratify information received, is an important skill. Anyone arrogant or ignorant enough to not make use of this skill deserves to be mocked for the ignorant fool that they are.
This game is called Harvest Moon. However the other game is the 'true harvest moon game'.
This game is made by natsume, who didn't make any of the other HM games, how could you ever interpret that to mean it's the true game, it's a HM game in name alone.
True as a prefix implies that although something is not recognised by title as being the real deal, it technically and rightfully is.


So this is an easy fix, backspace over the word true and sorted. But your too arrogant for that, aren't you?(which is why you deserve more disgrace than my empty words can inflict)

If you look a few posts before that you'd see I made the same argument. I'm sorry that I don't want to unilaterally change a fellow writer's article over what is really a fairly minor point.

BenjiJune 12, 2014

Sounds pretty sarcastic to me, nice way to save ass though.
But that aside, if this site has any intentions to be even minorly reliable as a source of information then do you know what you have to do every time you get data wrong? CHANGE IT!!

When I mocked Natsume for getting their own name wrong on the Harvest Moon 64 title screen, that was sarcasm. That last point was not. E3 is a pretty crazy time for us, and sometimes mistakes get through the cracks.

msss6June 12, 2014

Sir, it's hardly minor. Give credit where it's due. You're spreading false information, potentially harming Story of Season's sales because uninformed people reading your incorrect article will actually think Story of Season's is the "fake" Harvest Moon. So what if you have to edit your colleague's article, it's incorrect. Save your pride and ask them to edit it or edit it yourself. If you have "report" in the site's name, at least report the right information. Refusing to remedy a mistake is arrogant, especially when it's an easy fix.

I added a correction at the end of the article, which will hopefully clear things up.

To try and get things a bit more on track, even if this game isn't the true Harvest Moon, it sounds like they have some neat ideas in it. I enjoyed the building and customization elements in A New Beginning, and some of the similar stuff going back to the first DS game in the series, so I like that they're expanding that aspect.

I expect that this whole trademark dispute will be settled before too long, but I think a little bit of competition and new blood could be good for the series. The main line Harvest Moon games have stagnated a bit, with more focus seeming to have been given to the Rune Factory games, so I hope this can give a bit of a jolt to the traditional games.

Trust me guys, not confused. I've actually done the coverage for both this Harvest Moon and Story of Seasons; I know which is which. My comment was solely meant to illustrate the fact that Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley will be the only title actually bearing the Harvest Moon name, due to licensing. "True Harvest Moon" refers to the name only, not the content of the game in comparison to Story of Seasons.

In our interview with Yoshifumi Hashimoto at Marvelous/XSEED for Story of Seasons, he let us know he does not want Story of Seasons to be thought of as a Harvest Moon title per se. It goes in a different direction than the series traditionally does and he wanted to explore different elements and themes. He did admit it bears a different title because of licensing, but they wanted to go in a different direction than Natsume with the series and wanted their western fans to conciser this as a completely different potential series

KhushrenadaJune 13, 2014

Ooooh. The plot thickens. I'm going to get some popcorn.

pokepal148June 13, 2014

This is real high class entertainment, heck just to rile people up some more, :smug:

HEY EVERYONE GO READ NEAL'S REVIEW OF MARIO KART 8!!!

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/forums/index.php?board=7.100

Fatty The HuttJune 13, 2014

Neal gives this comment thread a 7.5

StratosJune 15, 2014

The more I read about both the more I think I will just get both. Though Story of Seasons will get the priority purchase and Lost Valley will be based more on how it turns out since the team behind it has not yet proven themselves with this genre in my eyes.

LucarioNovember 06, 2014

So it's come out and i want to ask...
Can you marry people like everyone says.
Is the game dumb like farmville?
Is it multiplayer?
and does it have a lot of content?

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Genre RPG
Developer Natsume
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley
Release Nov 04, 2014
PublisherNatsume
RatingEveryone
aus: Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley
Release Jun 20, 2015
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