Monday, June 11, 2012
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning Sounds Suspiciously Wonderful
Adding yet another farming and/or relaxation game to get for 3DS when I finally pick one up is Harvest Moon: A New Beginning which takes a direction that....well, I hadn't expected, but boy do I like the sound of it. Back before E3, Natsume began teasing this game (or rather, the localization of it) with clues that eventually ended with the phrase "Customization is King". More 'in the know' folks understood this to be a nod to ANB, as that is the core mechanic to the game - Customization. Not only can you customize what your farmer looks like, to a degree, but you're also put in a sort of Dark Cloud/White Knight Chronicles position wherein you can build your farm and even yet the surrounding town to your whims. If you've been reading for a long time and/or have caught a few of my posts here and there where I talk about how I enjoy town/city/etc.-building, you understand that this concept practically has me salivating.
When you start the game, you'll be able to pick whether or not you want to play a Boy or a Girl, rather than having only one or the other (which had been a theme for Harvest Moon games up until Harvest Moon DS and the 'Cute' version of it at least) name them, presumably (as this is normal, as well as naming your farm and dog and cat if you get one) and then actually customize them. Face style, Hair style and color and clothing are all things you can change from the get-go which isn't super in-depth but it's far more than any other Harvest Moon game that I can think of. Baby steps. Regardless, you're not even stuck with that thereafter, as you can still change your hair style and clothing whilst you play the game, which I am assuming is through the use of stores and the like. If I were a super hopeful man, I would suggest that perhaps more of those items will become available through StreetPass, but I am not, nor do I even really know how StreetPass works yet other than that sometimes you get free things from it.
This is all standard stuff of course, but it's welcome all the same as I eat this shit up and do so willingly because I just find it neat. However, it opens up even more after that, though the exact way is a little unclear to me. I mean, I don't really know -how- it works, but you just have supreme control over your own farm's layout and the contents of it, as well as the town that is adjacent to said farm. The way it is described is very Dark Cloud/Dark Cloud 2 in design, as you apparently can simply place down buildings wherever even after you've placed them initially, and it's just...a thing that happens. The NPCs do a little more by somewhat acknowledging it than the typical nothing in DC (well, other than telling you if they are where they want to be) by saying that they did move, but apparently that's just a power the main character has. I'm quite curious as to the in-game reasoning, but regardless, it is tantalizing.
Also new to the game, though sort of a thing in Rune Factory, is crafting, which I think takes place on a slightly more elevated level than even Rune Factory's offerings. Of particular note is a Fishing Trap that can be crafted that you simply place in water to let it do its thing. You come back later for some free fish and enjoy the fact that you can sell them, cook them, whatever, without having to actually do the fishing -thing-, though you can still do that of course. I would imagine other such world-interactive items are available as well, and they're not a one-and-done deal; they degrade and you have to replace them eventually which is good. I imagine it more depends on what you make the item -with-, if most or all things have scaling materials, but even those break eventually. As well as this, you can craft/upgrade your own tools, ala Rune Factory, and make clothes and equipment, which I imagine is how you'll get the bulk of your new threads. Which is a-okay by me, as long as it's not like "T-Shirt" and the T-Shirt can only be one color or something like that.
Speaking of new things, the post at Siliconera also mentions a couple new animals as well as a new crop which sort of plays into this customization thing. Well, the Yak doesn't, but it's cool because now you raise Yaks and harvest their milk for sale, recipes or the ability to turn it into butter for....again, the ability to sell it or use it in recipes. That's fairly standard Harvest Moon, whereas the other new animal, the llama, is not. At least....well it sort of is, because what you get from it is llama fur and while you get wool from sheep as well, you can make clothes with llama fur. Also possibly sheep wool, but mostly llama fur. The new crop, cotton, similarly allows you to make clothes as you would completely expect because it's -cotton-. It's very curious indeed, but stays close to the theme at heart which is good by me.
I think it's kind of silly that I am looking into a 3DS for the sole reason of to -buy- these types of games exclusively, but, well, that's what happens when nothing else on the system appeals to me. I'm likely going to pick up the natural things like Ocarina of Time 3D and, uh......uhm.....Well, I'm sure I'll be able to think of other things when I get the system. But for now, it's just Animal Crossing and four different Harvest Moon or Harvest Moon-likes (Rune Factory 4 and Project Happiness) which I think is honestly a little absurd considering the variety with which my Vita is going to see. I get my shooty fix with Resistance and Uncharted, the option of racing is there with MotorStorm RC, and my quirky, fun games is set up with LittleBigPlanet Vita and Gravity Rush, which is completely neglecting the other games I'm planning on getting, purely because I wanted a five and five comparison. Still, I loves me some Harvest Moon and when a title for the Vita is announced, you know I'm jumping on that too. Unless it's one of those games that has an endgame and/or is Innocent Life. (I would like another Innocent Life game if they could make it more...Harvest Moon-like, however.)