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Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley Re-Tools Its Item System

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Throws in a bag of holding at no extra charge

The ability to raise and lower the land is one of the bigger and more obvious changes seen in Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, but there are some other tweaks to the farming formula worth noting.

In the first of a monthly series of developer diaries, producer Taka Maekawa discusses how the development team has altered the tool system to create a less restrictive experience for players:

When we sat down to design Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, we wanted to really study what made the game fun. We wanted to maintain the core value of hard work leading to great rewards, while minimizing anything that may detract from a fun game. We took a long, hard look at the tool system and decided to go back to the drawing board. We came to the conclusion that gameplay should flow, so we made three core changes to the tool system.

The first renovation to the system is context-sensitive tools that eliminate the need to go into a menu and equip them manually. A player at a tree, for example, will only have to hit the A button to start chopping it down right then and there. We noticed this change in our first impressions of the game and appreciated the way it streamlines gameplay, even if it may not be possible anymore to try silly things like milking a rock.

Tool upgrades are also a thing of the past now, with Harvest Sprites stepping in to offer help with tasks such as mining, watering, and lumber collecting. No specific ores or materials are said to be needed to upgrade tools anymore, saving more time.

Finally, the farmer's bag has received a deluxe upgrade to hold a great deal more stuff. An item can be stacked up to 255 times in one slot, reducing much of the need to run between the house and other areas. This also means that, if you play your cards right, you may never find yourself lacking a potato to give your sweetie-to-be, every day, without fail, forever!

What do you think of the tool system changes in The Lost Valley? Are they a needed modernization, or do you feel you'd prefer the older way of things? Let us know below.

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User Comments (27)

Morpheel

#3

Morpheel said:

The seemingly oversimplification of a few things has me slightly worried, but I still can't wait to try this out myself.

Tops

#4

Tops said:

I'm honestly so excited for this to hit! I'll still read a few reviews but the score would have to be pretty darn low for me to give this a skip.

Doobie

#5

Doobie said:

I'm more looking forward to the other Harvest Moon game getting published soon! This looks a little to "different"

SphericalCrusher

#6

SphericalCrusher said:

I'm very excited for this game! I'm a fan of "the old way" but this sounds like a very fun and stream-lined setup.

Stu13

#7

Stu13 said:

As someone who's never played a HM game before, I'm actually considering this one. It just looks really appealing to me. Not even sure why, honestly.

k8sMum

#9

k8sMum said:

As I've mentioned on Fogu, I am concerned as to the point of the game. If all inconveniences are eliminated, no planning is required. I like mining and having to find rarer ores/items. Everyone wants a bigger backpack but usually they are earned.

The more learn about this game the more worried I get.

ryuudou27

#10

ryuudou27 said:

I've always used the upgrades as short term goals in HM so their removal makes me worry that this one won't hold my interest as well.

RupeeClock

#11

RupeeClock said:

This isn't really a real Harvest Moon game though, it's just using the name.
The next actual Harvest Moon game is gonna be Story of Seasons, because of who is developing it.

Burning_Spear

#12

Burning_Spear said:

HM fan who owns every game but considering skipping this one.

The tool upgrades are a staple element of the game. They add an RPG flavor and should not be disturbed. Making the rucksack too big is also a bad idea. This game is about resource and time management. It simulates work and is not supposed to be a breeze.

bluecat

#13

bluecat said:

Rather get Story of Seasons, which is an actual Harvest Moon game - this one is just using the name because they own the rights to it here. Not liking the changes I'm seeing here, it just doesn't feel like Harvest Moon to me.

But hey, I'll wait for the reviews. :)

midnafanboy

#14

midnafanboy said:

@ModestFan93 Oh you're so awesome to try to ruin my day you can't.Yes i would love a cookie old sport.And here is some cheese for replying to me for no reason well done.

Windy

#16

Windy said:

This is going to be awesome! Minecraft meets Harvest moon. It could not be more perfect unless your friend from the other side of the world could come visit you and actually help with the farm or go collect items the farm might need. There is so much potential there for the best online game made for 3ds.

Zombie_Barioth

#17

Zombie_Barioth said:

@bluecat
Thats what I'm thinking too, it seems more like Minecraft with a hint of Harvest Moon to me than anything else. If your just going to change or remove what people have come to expect from Harvest Moon then whats the point?

I'm sure it'll be a fun game, but it seems more like an attempt to attract fans of the series to their own game than their own spin on it.

LUIGITORNADO

#18

LUIGITORNADO said:

Honestly...when are they going to make a for reals farming sim? I'm okay with the cartoony look, but I'm so tired of all these f-ing gimmicks.

flaviox123

#21

flaviox123 said:

I'm excited but a bit worried, change is good and making things easier like the new tool usage is very important as we are not losing any useful gameplay aspects (changing tools all the time). But I think that taking out the tool upgrades is a huge downside as completing them all was something you usually look forward to. Well, I'll be waiting for a review and hoping for a Demo =D

Oaf7724

#23

Oaf7724 said:

I'm a little worried but I'd rather a game make changes then just rehash the same thing over and over. I'm upset about removing the tool upgrades though, but maybe there will be some kind of cool alternative. I just hope the game isn't mindlessly easy.

Looking forward to the review!

Donjwolf

#24

Donjwolf said:

@LUIGITORNADO Buy Farming Simulator or Farming Simulator 2014 then.

I dunno why people don't like these updates. It makes farming loads more convenient, with a bigger backpack holding 255 at a time, and being able to chop trees and mine without selecting the tool first. I find these changes awesome, and sure beats wasting time getting the tools out just to chop ONE log, or running back and forth from site to your house just to drop off stuff for storage because there's no room.

I'd get things a lot faster in a day with these changes. Right now the game sounds way more appealing to me than Story of Seasons.

Windy

#25

Windy said:

@Donjwolf I'm very excited as well.

I am hoping for some real online co-op where friends could actually come in to visit and help you farm. The game actually hinges on that for me. I love the new graphic look though and may still pick up the game if the online play isn't that deep. So I am on the fence a bit. They really need to go online with the series in my opinion. Cause really it has pretty much felt the same from the GameCube versions up to New Beginning. That's not necessarily a bad thing cause they are great games. I'm hoping they just 1 up it to real co-op

bluecat

#26

bluecat said:

@Zombie_Barioth Yeah, the more I learn about this game the more likely it seems I'll pass on it. I mean...I wish them luck and all, I like Natsume as a publisher, but I kinda wish they had focused their resources on something else.

DeltaPeng

#27

DeltaPeng said:

My first and fav harvest moon experience was PS1 Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. The items and tool management was always a bit of a hassle, but I'm glad to hear they are streamlining the process.

Agree with Oaf7724, keeping the tool upgrades seems like a better option, adds the feeling of advancement.

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