Friday, October 18, 2013
I Haven't Talked About The New Harvest Moon Yet
No, no, I don't mean Rune Factory 4, but I haven't gone deep enough into that quite yet either. Just last week, Harvest Moon: Connect to a New Land was announced for the 3DS, further solidifying my purchase of the system even if I would really just prefer them making Harvest Moon/Rune Factory games for the Vita. It seems silly to be getting excited for a new game when I'm -still- excited for Rune Factory 4 and I haven't even really played A New Beginning just yet, but, well, we all know that I am excessively prone to silly things. This is no exception. However, there are some very big, very real reasons to be excited for Connect to a New Land just from what little information has been shared for now.
First off, they seem to be taking some of the improvements from A New Beginning and keeping them baked in going forward, which is always a good sign. Specifically being able to pick a Male or Female protagonist at the beginning is still relatively new to the Harvest Moon series, strange as that seems, so to see the trend almost become 'standard' now is good. I personally hold no interest in playing the female character of a Harvest Moon game simply because I play the games to woo virtual people and I'm just...well, I'm not interested in wooing the virtual dudes in Harvest Moon and Rune Factory games. However, having that option baked in to the game's very design means that you're definitely set to get at least five characters, male and female, who are wholly interesting since their inclusion is partly being interesting enough to date. Rune Factory never has a problem with having interesting characters, datable or not, but Harvest Moon games have had fairly small casts in the past which is helped some by ideas like this since, at the very least you get -more- characters.
Keeping with the 'More is better' theory, CtaNL will be featuring a "Safari" area which will hold a host of exotic animals that you will be able to tame and bring back home with you in case the animals you get in Harvest Moon proper just aren't enough for you. Which...in all honesty, might be true. There has been expansion in that field (heh) with the last few games, taking the potential roster a bit away from the traditional Cows, Sheep and Chickens, adding in Ducks, Alpacas (At least one game, if not more) and probably at least a few more things that I can't really think of right now since I haven't played ANB for more than twenty minutes. All in all, the amount of animals that are tamable in Harvest Moon games is said to be doubled in New Land, but I'm hoping they're using a bit of an inflated figure to start, since double of five is just ten. Which is...not a big enough number to tout as "double" or "twice as much" since you can just say ten.
Some other information from the Famitsu article that broke the news and details of the new game also mentioned what is very, very obvious from the name of the game itself - you'll be able to visit other people's ranches. It's unclear as to how this'll be managed - the theories seem to be an Animal Crossing-esque Street Pass method where your Farm 'State' is saved and loaded elsewhere so that someone can visit it as it was in that state, ala the Dream Suite (for your town) and the Happy House Academy Showcase (for your house specifically) or just straight up Wi-Fi traveling to the other and co-habitating the same space, perhaps working side-by-side and whatnot. That alone is rather amazing, since it's basically one of the big things Stardew Valley had on the Harvest Moon games it was clearly inspired by - multi-player farming, as inane as that might sound to you. Which it shouldn't. Because farming is serious business.
The game will also feature something called a "Trade Station" which will allow you to buy and sell particular things from and to other countries (unknown if this is in-game countries, or real-world countries) as a new little facet to the business numbers side of the game. Because as we all know, you're not doing all this farming and animal rearing for your health and happiness - there's gotta be some cold, hard green involved, yo. Farmer's gotta make bank so he can upgrade his house and get a few of the locals under their belt as a little pick-me-up between field chores. And to buy new things like new animals and new barns and plants and tools and such, you know, responsibly growing what is generally accepted as a business to a very nice enterprise. But also the opulence and the making it with the locals. Mostly that. Maybe.
The game likely won't be out in the states until late 2014, if not 2015 since it's still in development and will assuredly hit Japan months before a localization is even announced, but I think the series has expanded a niche enough in the states and elsewhere that it's a safe bet on coming out over here. If nothing else, I'm sure a few particular people at XSEED would love to localize the game, and we would all absolutely love for those people to handle it as well. Because XSEED does great work, you see. And also @Hatsuu has the absolute best tweets about Rune Factory and Harvest Moon in general that I always just love reading. So I want more of them. As should everyone.
you'll be able to raise a friggin' reindeer in New Land, I don't even