Monday, August 5, 2013

I Am Inordinately Excited for Hometown Story

Frequenters of my blog probably know of my excitement for Hometown Story by now and by that virtue, they probably know what Hometown Story -is-, which is something I'm not utterly convinced they would know otherwise.  So for those folks, Hometown Story is a new game from the mind of Yasuhiro Wada, the guy that made Harvest Moon waaaay back and it entails a similar approach of Harvest Moon of being a simple person doing a simple task.  However, instead of farming and animal rearing as in Harvest Moon, you'll be running a storefront in Hometown Story with all the same ability to go out and charm the locals and eventually woo a spouse as Harvest Moon offers.  Basically, it's just a new spin on what Harvest Moon was built on and an appreciated one at that even though I eagerly await Harvest Moon (and Rune Factory by virtue) games like crazy.

Again, folks who read around the blog here already know just why I'm excited for Hometown Story or at least can guess as much, considering I have a whole section of posts titled "Gaming by the Numbers" in which I get all frothy and excited about doing all sorts of game math because I am just the worst nerd.  It's even more apparent when I bring up my latest post about Animal Crossing:  New Leaf, where I go a little crazy about using the Flea Market because it is basically a miniature storefront simulator with absolutely no bells or whistles.  So basically my assumption here is that a game built from the ground-up to be a Storefront simulator is going to be infinitely more exciting and rewarding, thus I am really hyped for this shit.  That I can also carve out a life for my character in the process is, well, just....fantastic gravy on top, but it's not why I'm really into it.

I'm not quite sure just what the mechanics to the game are, but that's pretty standard since it's not actually coming out til October 14th, barring a delay.  When it gets closer to being out, there'll likely be all sorts of gameplay trailers showing off how the game is going to be when it ships (there's technically demo gameplay videos out now which I've seen, but it's not very enlightening) which I will devour like delicious, delicious information, but until then I'm just stuck wondering.  The crux of the gameplay will likely be designing your store (putting down where you're actually selling things to try and control flow) and then pricing them, but how you get stock is a mystery to me.  Presumably, it's all just stuff you go out and find, perhaps you can even craft things and sell them, but I don't know for -sure- yet.  The above screenshot shows off dishes of food (which I assume you can cook and sell) and a hammer (which I assume you can craft and sell) so that's where I'm kind of coming from here, but still.

I'm not really sure why I find this kind of game alluring, to be perfectly honest.  I'm not a super huge math guy, in that I can't do very advanced things and sometimes I mess up the basics quite spectacularly.  But there's just something when it comes to video games that causes me to run the numbers almost obsessively, and it's definitely not a problem, but something of a quirk, I suppose.  As with the previous Gaming by the Numbers posts I've made, most of that is just things I sit down and -do- when I stumble across the specifics of it, not something that I play up for the posts themselves.  As stated, somewhat jokingly in the sub-text of the AC post, I really do lament the fact that I haven't played Recettear as it seems like a game that is -made- for me because of that little quirk.  Yet, Hometown Story does as well, and it manages to incorporate all the lovely features I look for in a proper Harvest Moon game (and lament when they're simply not present) so it's...just something that I'm excited for.  I've said that a lot, but I don't think I can actually state it enough, or with enough emphasis.

Hometown Story will be one of the seven 3DS games I will own by the end of the year, but it's likely going to be one of my top three games of the system by far, which is saying something strange for me, I think.  Especially when something like Fire Emblem:  Awakening will probably be towards the bottom, I haven't even popped Shin Megami Tensei IV into my 3DS yet and my excitement for Pokemon X is....tepid at best.  It's only Harvest Moon:  A New Beginning, Rune Factory 4 and this, s'far as I can tell, and it'll likely just be a shuffling match to figure out which one I actually go with to round out the list not only for myself, but for when GotY time rolls around.  I am aware that this is probably blasphemy to the vast majority of 3DS fans, but, hell, that's...just how I roll it seems.  I just like simulation games and I'm grateful that the 3DS is allowing me to explore that route and is something that I really hope developers start bringing to the Vita as well.  (KOEI, just friggin' port some of your Romance of the Three Kingdoms/Nobunaga's Ambition games and I'll be ecstatic.)

Update!:  Okay like literally right after this post, this new trailer went up and shows off a bunch of shit and I look silly now but I'm so much more excited.


I just wonder what kind of profit margins I'll be able to force in Hometown Story and I wonder if the townsfolk will not like me based on my likely absurd prices.  One way to find out!

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