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09-19-17 02:31 PM
09-19-17 02:31 PM

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What We Know About Harvest Moon: Light of Hope


09-19-17 02:31 PM
Eirinn is Offline
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It's been known for a while now that Natsume is finally bringing a new Harvest Moon game to PS4 (perhaps there really were hidden motives behind the remasters that didn't really remaster anything much?), but as time progresses we're of course learning more and more about what we can expect. Let's take a look at what we know so far.

Natsume Abandoned Nintendo Gamers?

No, it's going to be on Switch too.

Yes, you read that right: Natsume is showing that maybe they were the ones with the brains in the long running Natsume and Marvellous team. Or at least that's what I would think if it hadn't taken them three years to do it.

You see, there are several gaming platforms out there, and one has an install base of around 64,000,000 and is growing steadily still, then there's a massive crowd on PC, yet you lock your series, without an exclusivity deal, onto not only one brand, but one platform? In what world is that good business sense? Especially when you consider that the platform sitting at around 64,000,000 sales grew three million in three months (3.3 million from April through June) and continues to move around a million per month, has had users calling for an installment of your game on their system for years now, and every time you release one, even a poorly handled remaster, it sells like hotcakes.

But enough Natsume bashing. They were slow to get some sense, but they finally did. In short Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is set to be only the second (to my knowledge) truly multiplatform release of a Harvest Moon game ever for whatever crazy reason, and is slated for PS4, Switch, and PC via Steam. Now there's some good thinking. Maybe one day they'll even test the waters with Xbox, but since this multiplatform release idea took them two or three years to come to, and Marvellous has yet to do so after around two decades, I wouldn't hold my breath on a Harvest Moon release on Xbox for a good while, nor would I anticipate Story of Seasons hitting Xbox for the next...well...ever at this rate. Here's to hoping that this move proves highly valuable for Natsume and shakes Marvellous up a bit.

What's It Look Like?

This might seem like a shallow question to those who haven't followed Harvest Moon as of late, and I would have thought so as well, had this been asked prior to the release of Seeds of Memories, but seriously... have you seen that game? The graphics were confused and didn't know if they wanted to be 16-bit, modern, or poorly drawn fan art. It was beyond ugly, the proportions were completely off and just made the game difficult to approach. Skytree Village improved upon this mess, but the characters still looked pretty bad.

So of course when they said this game was going back to it's SNES appearance, people were excited. After all, full on 2D is worlds better than some deformed monstrosity coming out again. But does it look like the SNES version?

No, not at all.

It looks like a fanmade graphics hack of the original, with the world looking a lot like the original (which is awesome), but the characters are still a little awkward and don't really fit in with the world as a whole ー they look like they've been stretched a good two feet taller on the rack or something if we're going to be honest here. It's not nearly as bad as the last two though, so don't worry about that. In fact, here are some screenshots for your viewing...well not really pleasure, but viewing sort-of-comfort.






Not terrible, but not good. Kind of okay, I suppose. Almost cute in a really really weird and not cute at all sort of way.

About The Gameplay

There have been several interesting bits of information about the gameplay revealed so far, including:

Context sensitive controls.
No more digging around in your bag for the right tools: now you can simply press the action button and the game will automatically use the appropriate tool. Facing a tree? Out comes the axe! Facing your crops? There's the watering can!
It seems odd, but I've accidentally cut down one crop too many thinking I had my watering can equipped instead of my sickle, so I'm kind of glad to see this mechanic at least being experimented with. Besides, it's more realistic. I mean, who would raise a tomato crop and cut it down two days before maturity because they thought they were raising a watering can, and not swinging a sickle?

Candy goods.
Not having played Seeds of Memories personally, I'm not familiar with these, but apparently you can now get candy items from livestock, such as chocolate eggs from a candy chicken...or something like that.

Simplified gathering.
This is one that I noted personally, not something that has been touted as a feature by Natsume. In the videos (which can be found below) the player is shown chopping down trees. When the trees fall, the lumber is automatically collected, rather than requiring the player to pick up the pieces. I'm hoping it automatically deposits in your wood storage like it did in the earlier titles instead of requiring you to stuff it into that ridiculous bottomless rucksack of yours and carrying it home to deposit it.

The gameplay looks like a step back toward the old Harvest Moon titles, back before Marvellous tried to make it more of a dating sim than a farm life sim. Take that how you will. Regardless, this seems like a mash up of what Natsume has been trying to do with the series in recent installments and what Victor (now Marvellous) was doing with the installments between Harvest Moon and Harvest Moon: Back To Nature. They might not get it right, but at least they're trying to tweak the formula until they get it how the fans want it.

That's all for now. What do you think of Light of Hope? Will you be picking it up?
I'll leave you with some feature highlight videos. Note that the above screenshots were taken from the following videos.

Spotlight video 1

Spotlight video 2
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(edited by Eirinn on 09-19-17 05:45 PM)    

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