The tale of the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons saga is a slightly confusing one. The developer, Marvelous AQL, has been making the games for several years, but the publishing rights have primarily rested with Natsume, which incidentally owns the IP. In recent times, Natsume has decided to continue producing its own games under the Harvest Moon name, though the content of these games hasn't been entirely pleasing to everyone. Marvelous has thus taken it upon itself to continue producing Harvest Moon games under the new moniker of Story of Seasons, which is published by XSEED Games.
At any rate, there's a new game in the Story of Seasons series coming to the 3DS in North America next year, called Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. It sounds a lot like the last game, which certainly isn't a bad thing, with the big change this time around being that you'll have three towns to interact with, complete with unique people, crops, animals, and more for each. Here's a brief description of the game, straight from XSEED:
In celebration of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the longest-running farming and life simulation series, the beloved Bokujo Monogatari franchise – now known as STORY OF SEASONS in the West – returns with its biggest adventure yet in STORY OF SEASONS: Trio of Towns. Settled on a homestead in the middle of three distinct and uniquely themed locales, players can explore a diverse landscape as they search for new ways to grow their farms and friendships. Extensive customization and gameplay options are on offer in Trio of Towns, with each village offering its own variety of regional crops, lads and ladies to romance, animals, festivals, furniture, decorations and more. More ways to play sprout up as players connect to one another locally or via the internet to chat, trade, and enhance items on a mysterious multiplayer island.
It all sounds like it's shaping up nicely, and Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns will be making an appearance in XSEED's E3 lineup next week, so expect some footage of the game very soon.
What do you think? Did you like Story of Seasons? Does this sound like it interests you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Can I get gay married yet, though?
I rather have Stardew Valley come to the 3DS.
I swear there are 800 farming sims on 3ds.
Any news about a european release?
Hahahahahahahahahaha you made my day!
@invictus4000 hahaha. I would've probably said OVER 9000!!! but we get the point.
Oooh.... finally USA version will be available.
Well, I still don't really like about character design.
It looks too feminine for me (for some characters).
I still found a Bishounen again for eligible bachelor (Ew.... why the designer likes to design beautiful male with girly looking face ? I thought she was a girl at my first impression)
Fortunately, the 3D characters rendering on this game has been fixed. No more square jaw like previous game. But the Mario costume for boy player it doesn't suit at all (AT ALL). The other characters design doesn't look so nice appeal for me. It more like Rune Factory style but minus dead eye looking (I don't like Rune Factory character design AT ALL. I feel irritated to watch characters with Dead Eye Staring style like that.)
Oh, yeah. It has been so long we haven't got Bokujou Monogatari games with very close emotional expression, proper gesture just like previous games on Wii (I like Tree of Tranquility a lot than next installment because i can see and feel their expressions. I want to see their gesture when they want to express something, not by novel visual style. By that style, I can't catch any emotions and proper gesture from any characters. Rather, it looks very awkward and weird to see your character receive something by raised the item in the air. Such a wrong body language.)
I need to watch again very close the latest detail, because i still think twice to buy this game. Well, better wait for Japan version first.
I liked the Japanese subtitle better. "Trio of Towns" feels way off to me.
I have been away from farm sims for too many years, so I gave it I try when it came to discount during the spring sale a couple of weeks ago - and because it is created by the real HM team in Japan, before Natsume took over the name to make a different game that is ruining the series pedigree.
I really enjoyed the experience! It has a good feeling of growing town as you grow your friendships, family and farm - and it is quite rewarding when you realise your experience with the game has also grown.
The characters, most of them, are lovely and heartwarming, although there is some annoying types - but it seems to go with the players preferences.
The farming is also more dynamic and intelligent, but it needs planning if you want get the best of it - it is essentially the traditional farm sim mechanic a little more diverse and a little more well paced.
But there is one problem, that is kind of expected, with the slow paced evolution of everything.
Although there is never a dull moment thanks to the great content and things to do, so the day soon ends and there will be other thing for the next day.
Just hope in this new game all three towns are available from the beggining, them we may have more content and diversity from the start, kind of solving the slow evolution and growth that commits farm sims. And also a more engaging multiplayer, one that people does not abandon after a couple of months from the release.
so we will get harvest moon and story of season and both are E3 titles !! ... hmmm i'll pass not my thing of games
Really love the Story of Seasons series (and back when it was Harvest Moon too). Never finished Story of Seasons...maybe I'll try and fire it up and clear it before this one! Still, glad to see there is still something to look forward to in 2017!
My interest in this series wilted with the release of A New Beginning. There isn't one perfect Harvest Moon game, but the ones I enjoyed the most were these:
1. Harvest Moon 64
2. Back to Nature / Friends of Mineral Town
3. The Tale of Two Towns
@Popful How were you able to complete Tale of Two Towns? I played it for so many hours and upgraded the Konohana farm quite a bit but it would take forever to get all the upgrades on both farms and get access to the mines, so I stopped playing.
Well, I did not forecast another Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons games competition but it looks like we are getting one for certain! The upcoming Harvest Moon: Skytree Village will finally be getting its own town for realz but Story of Seasons is getting three! Do not be fooled, though, b/c a trio of towns does not a good game make.
More like 'dont be fooled though, b/ c the name Harvest Moon does not a good game make anymore'.
I never completed it or any other Harvest Moon game, because it takes too much time and effort, and the payoff isn't always great. As long as my interest is held by something, I keep at it, but I usually quit after Year 2 or 3.
@Tasuki I would like to see StarDew Valley as well. It's a shame that the Rune Factory developer went under, that was a really good series.
I'm glad people know harvest moon is just a name now.
Still working on SoS but I'll get this day one.
Gah. Every time a new Harvest Moon (the real ones from before) was announced, I planned on getting it, but never did before another sequel was announced. Then it changed to Story of Seasons and I've been meaning to get that... Now there's yet ANOTHER sequel announced! XD So many installments.
Hm, I'll have to wait and see about this one. The SoS games have been good so far but I just don't get as into them as I do with the older games. 64/BtN, Magical Melody and A Wonderful Life are still my go-to HM games.
@Popful I live on the Konohana farm and I just wanted to fully upgrade it before I moved to Bluebell Town and upgrade it to the fermenter to make butter, cakes, and yogurt just to complete the recipes. I fully upgraded the fields, got married to Mikhail, and improved friendship with all cooking festival participants to at least 5 flowers each. Upgrades are tied to one-per-month and it takes a while to get through just one month.
@k8sMum Well, wait until Skytree Village comes out b/c there's only been one non-Marvelous-developed Harvest Moon game since the transfer to Xseed.
Gah, still a year left of waiting. ;__; I'm so psyched about the three towns aspect, I hope it delivers.
I started two New Games, boy and girl, Bluebell and Konohana. Never moved to another town. In the first game I took it slow and got the hang of things, and then could do much better in the second.
I have to say that The Tale of Two Towns is easily my favourite Harvest Moon game of them all. Well, I love the setting of 64 and Friends of Mineral Town better, but this was the experience like a blend of new and old (I don't like the new style the series is currently doing), and I felt it was as close to those early HM games as it could be + lots of improvements on how you farm and what you can do.
I'm probably so enthusiastic about this particular installment, because I skipped all the other games in the series that I did not mention earlier, and since the series is only improving little by little, jumping into Two Towns right after Mineral Town felt like a tremendous change for the better. Especially the message board stands out. It's a brilliant new (?) addition, as you can not only learn what the townspeople like without trial and error, but it's also a chance to trigger new conversations more frequently.
Edit: I think the game would have been even better if you could trade between your own two farms. That way, whenever one of your farmers is short on something that you need by tomorrow, you could always rely on this feature. Just stock up on different items, and you're good. They should really implement this in Trio of Towns.
@Popful My favourite thing about Two Towns is making trenches in the gigantic Konohana fields. When I look at my fields with all the various trenches, it's like an obsessive's dream-come-true. You're the first person I've found whose favourite is Two Towns. The message board helped me gather butter and cheese to complete more recipes which was helpful since you don't get the fermenting maker in Konohana. I'm almost at Request Lv. 10 so I can get the Oracle's stamina boost requests. This may sound cheesy, but I was looking forward to getting the big house so I could get the bathroom which recovers stamina. Item management in this game was always a challenge as I usually have every slot filled and the fact that you can't discard Wonderfuls when you find them pissed me off. I love the seed maker, though, b/c it makes getting money a lot easier. I like the fact that in Story of Seasons you can combine products of different star ratings to save space. I wonder if you get to choose one of the three towns to live in this installment. I loved how in Two Towns you had to marry the musician, Mikhail, to unlock songs of previous HM games, except there is no music player to play them again.
Oh, you can unlock songs? That's pretty neat. Better than a music player, though, would be an option to choose what music you want to listen to as you farm or explore.
I like that cooking is the central theme of the game. Thanks to that, the player is encouraged to spend more time in the kitchen and come up with new recipes. It's the first time I cared so much about this aspect of the HM series.
Another good design choice is the addition of the Star Rating for the items. What it does is make the player look differently at what is essentially the same thing.
I'm pretty sure that the real name of the next installment is Friends of the Tale of Two Towns + One More Town. Being able to choose which town you want to live in was one of the best things about the game. It's what made it the most replayable title in the series, in my opinion, so I doubt the developers would choose to take a step back.
If you care to listen some more, then my ideal Harvest Moon game would be smaller in scale, and it'd do away with many things that are considered essential, which is why it'll never happen, or if it did, nobody would probably accept it as a HM game.
It'd be about a child who comes to the country to spend the summer with her grandparents, who are ALIVE for a change. I know that having a child protagonist automatically eliminates the marriage aspect, but I'm aiming for a purer and more innocent experience with this. The premise is simple, but it's all the more precious that way--there's no need for something over the top, like in Harvest Moon DS.
Since it's only summer, the game would need to be made longer, so each day really lasts long, and you can do lots of things without having to rush. You can make friends with local kids and play games. Character development is deeper, the conversations feel natural, nothing is forced.
It may not be a game with a clear goal. You just spend the summer, help out at the farm--a slice of life kind of game. If you like, you may go for a walk in the forest or visit the town. It's like a little sandbox, where you're free to do whatever you want, only unlike certain other sandbox series, the pleasure comes not from harming people, but interacting with them and helping them. That's the part of the original HM series that remains intact.
I'd want the visuals to be less cartoony and more believable, because if it's a game that is meant to be enjoyed by simply being in that world, it's important that everything looks really pretty, and you could have a good time just looking at the environments that are so rich, so alive.
The sounds of nature are the game's music. You can hear the wind, the flow of water, some bird that only sings at this time of the day, at this point in the game, and details like that are everywhere. Each day is filled with unique happenings, you don't see the characters stuck in a loop--they live their lives in their own ways, and nothing looks like it's scripted.
And that's precisely why there's only summer. You can have all the details planned out with great care for a short period of time like this, while having the game run indefinitely, like it seems to be the case with the HM games, invariably results in repeated dialogue, events, etc.
I wouldn't want the player to quit after getting bored due to the fact that nothing new is happening. If there's a finale of sorts (summer's end), then there'll be this feeling of completion once you reach it.
In short, it's like Tamagotchi, only much-much more elaborate, and with a human character. Sounds cute, no?
@Popful I read that the player resides just outside of Westown (where your character's relatives live) and can travel to the other two towns so I don't know yet if you must make a decision to join one over the other two as it seems like the player's town affiliation is Westown (the Country and Western-looking town). There are part-time jobs you can accept from the recruiter (similar to the message board system of Two Towns).
There are 9 songs from past HM games that Mikhail plays during the Fall Music Festival. Being that it is once a year, you might have to play the game up to year 9 to hear them all. People online have identified that he plays (so far): The Winter theme from Back To Nature/Friends of Mineral Town and the Fall theme from DS Cute. Two heart events with Mikhail each play an older song: the Wedding theme from Back To Nature and the Fall theme from DS.
The in-game clock might have to be slowed for your ideal version of Harvest Moon. You might add a particular goal to complete by the end of summer with a big payoff but that might detract from the sandbox nature of the game you have idealized however it's hard for gamers to want to play games without objectives. I would also add to your realistic take on it. It would be nice if it included the natural environments similar to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, only without the monsters. I would like the game to have swimming underwater, just like MH3U. Enhance the fishing aspects by giving unique animated models for each and every type of fish. How about swimming alongside non-aggressive sea creatures of the deep?
The idea of part-time jobs is also something I considered, but only if the player character is old enough to handle a wide variety of tasks. Perhaps, 14 years old?
Some of my favourite HM music is from Back to Nature. The melodies are just really nice and memorable. But to play for 9 in-game years only to hear songs from the previous games that you can listen to by simply playing those games. . . That's something the series has been doing for as long as I can remember. It wants you to grind, grind and then some more. To earn your fun. It's like spreading the good stuff too thin.
You're right about the need for a primary objective. I'm not yet sure what would be good, but it may come in the form of tasks that the girl's grandparents have for her everyday, but it doesn't sound big enough. Still, it'd be refreshing for the HM series to include this type of challenge, where you have a mini goal for the day, and you know the time by which you need to accomplish it. Since the passage of time is slower, it should be manageable without having to rush, and you could even do something else and still be on time.
Another nice addition would be arranging for dates (as in meeting a person, not necessarily with romantic intentions), and you decide what time and place it is, what each of you should bring along, etc. Or being able to call the characters on the phone and have a little chat, which wouldn't be the same conversation as when you meet and talk outside. You could maybe ask for help with just about anything, and then that person's schedule would change if they're available. That's a lot of planning, though.
If I can make it into the game industry, I'll definitely try to realise that one vision in one way or the other.
Great! Now the question is when it's gonna come to Europe?
@Popful It does seem absurd to play that long just to hear one classic song, but I'm more interested in getting all of the upgrades which seems like it might take up to Year 9 to do. I want to know if there is a person that exists that has done this b/c it would take forever!
Now that you mention it, I would appreciate a more nuanced dating system like the one you mention. One where you don't have to look up the precise time, day, and dating spot to meet your intended bachelor/ette. I used fogu.com to gather a lot of research just to play Tale of Two Towns. I encourage you to try and make it in the game industry and realize your goals.
No one's asking the important question: will Hamtaro still be available as a pet?
Tap here to load 32 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...