Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Project Happiness Has a Title - "Hometown Story"

So, do you guys remember 'Project Happiness'?

...What?  You don't?  But I...the posts..I..


No, really, fine, whatever.  I get it.

Anyways, what was once Project Happiness is now known by the official name "Hometown Story" and has a shiny new updated trailer above.  The trailer shows what is decidedly more "3DS-looking" gameplay and models and such which is appropriate of course, but other than that, not a whole lot has changed from its initial inception and announcement.  It still looks to be a game focused on you making your character a shopkeep, but also forging your own personal story by involving yourself with the locals and the like.  We still don't quite know specifics, but at the same time, the specifics are just going to be a few key points, like what we already have.  The rest of the game is just exploring those in-depth, ala Harvest Moon and its ilk, and that'll definitely be engaging enough of an experience to stretch across quite a while.

Something funny I'm seeing though is a lot of people going "Oh, this is ripping off Recettear" and deriding it for that.  Which is something that sort of happens -any- time something comes out and looks like something else, but especially so when there's few other examples of the ilk.  But there is something inherently amusing about decrying a game is 'copying' another game that the public wouldn't know anything about without the efforts of a three-person localization team.  Seriously, Recettear in its original form was released in Japan at the end of 2007, and it's only because these folks took an interest that it got released to the West over two years later.  To 'smashing' success for an indie game that's more to do with the tale behind it than the actual sales numbers for it.  Which is unfortunate, because it looks like a fantastic game and the localization is stellar, but of course it's not going to sell millions of copies, nor did it need to to be a success.

My point, of course, is that I'm pretty sure the guy who created Harvest Moon doesn't really need to 'rip off' Recettear.  Maybe he did.  We will never know for sure.  I just think the idea of Yasuhiro Wada taking a look at an indie game that was only released as a stepping stone to localize -other- games and going "Man, I need to get in on that action" is a silly one.  Of course, if that -is- what happened, then Carpe Fulgur should be proud!  It's only because of Recettear's enjoyable translation and script, I imagine, that made the game so accessible and sought out.  If this whole Shopkeep Simulation genre starts expanding a little more, than I would say it -could- be safe to say it's partly due to their efforts, but whether or not anyone is trying to 'rip off' Recettear will always be up in the air.  Unless someone, you know, -says- they were trying to do that.  Which nobody would do.

The thing I take away from all this, however, is just how funny it is that my focus on a 3DS has been ever-narrow even in the almost year that it's been since Hometown Story's announcement.  And I quote:
[...] but I can see this being yet another game that push me into finally buying a 3DS.  Of which there is now four, if this is one of those games.  And they're -all- games like this:  Animal Crossing, Rune Factory 4, and Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns, so needless to say, the 3DS will be my simulation fix device.
My list has only grown by -one- since then with the addition of Harvest Moon:  A New Beginning.  Sure, I -might- also pick up Fire Emblem as well, in fact it might be a guarantee, but I am certainly not awaiting it while gnashing my teeth.  As I have been with Rune Factory 4, if -nothing- else.  Hopefully, there are some titles out there that I have just been missing completely that will blind-side me with awesome, but I really doubt it.  Nintendo's First-Party efforts do not sparkle and twinkle tantalizingly (aside from, again, Fire Emblem which has a tepid shine to it for me), nor can I think of anything off-hand that I simply must have in the same way that I must have these simulation games.  My purchase of a 3DS XL is only a matter of time, however, likely towards E3 where I will see if there is any surprise announcement that might be of concern.  And then, well, I'll have a better foothold to find out if there are, indeed, any gems I have missed out on.  Until then, however, I still have five games to anticipate which is nothing to scoff at.

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