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Harvest Moon: Light of Hope - "Feature Spotlight - Farming Enhancements"

Hi again, everyone! Taka here. I’m the producer for #HarvestMoon: Light of Hope. Today, we're showing off the second in our series of Feature Spotlights for Harvest Moon: Light of Hope, a new title coming to PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch!

Today, I'd like to focus on the farming enhancements coming in Light of Hope. As you can see from the video, we're focusing on speeding up gameplay, with the ability to till, sow, and water your crops faster than ever!

But the big exciting feature we'd like to focus on is your Farming Friend! What's that, you ask? Well, it's an icon that will appear after you sow, water, or fertilize your crops to let you know if you're raising them at their full potential!

And that's not all! One of the best things about your Farming Friend is that after you've harvested a crop, your Farming Friend will now display exactly what crop you'll be harvesting! No more guessing in case you forgot exactly where you planted what crops. And what's more, if your Farming Friend displays a question mark over a crop you've already harvested, like a strawberry, you'll know that you've succeeded in producing a MUTATED crop! Awesome!

In short, your Farming Friend is designed to make Harvest Moon: Light of Hope more user friendly and fun to play.
We hope the Spotlight Feature video sheds a little more “light” on this exciting new change to farming, and we look forward to seeing you again in our next Spotlight Feature segment!

Happy Farming~

Natsume - River City: Rival Showdown due out this Winter, Harvest Moon: Light of Hope info coming soon

RIVER CITY: KNIGHTS OF JUSTICE IS HERE!

The classic Kunio-kun brawler has gone totally medieval and launches into a fantasy RPG setting with River City: Knights of Justice, available now exclusively on the 3DS eShop in both North America (http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/river-city-knights-of-justice-3ds) and Europe (http://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-3DS-download-software/River-City-Knights-of-Justice-1237676.html). Sir Alexander sets forth on an adventure where your choices directly affect who will join your party, and you'll need hearty allies as you wield not only dangerous fists and quick feet, but weapons like staves and magic to boot!
We also have a little news about a pair of upcoming titles…

RIVER CITY: RIVAL SHOWDOWN

Kunio has just three days to figure out just what the heck is going on in town, and each of the 50+ choices you can make will affect which ending you receive. Each playthrough will reveal more of the story, and of course also give Kunio plenty of opportunity to make enemies shout "BARF!"

We're pleased to confirm there will be a limited physical edition for Rival Showdown, and we'll have more details regarding how that will work closer to the game's release this winter.

HARVEST MOON: LIGHT OF HOPE

Shipwrecked! You've ended up on an island that has been destroyed by storms, and cared for by the few remaining islanders remaining. They explain that the destruction has spread even to the island's important lighthouse, and they plead for you to stay and help repair the town and their precious lighthouse. The question left for you is simple: will you be a Light of Hope?
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Switch. It's the first console Harvest Moon in many years, and the first for all three platforms. We know fans are very anxious to see their first look of Light of Hope! We've been hard at work on development since showing off a very early build of the game during E3. We'll be revealing more regarding the game, including first screens starting in August, so please stay tuned!

Harvest Moon: Skytree Village launches free/paid DLC packs in Europe and beyond

Videogame publisher Rising Star Games, in partnership with Natsume Inc., a worldwide developer and publisher of family-oriented video games, today announced that four new downloadable content packs are available for Harvest Moon: Skytree Village.

Two free DLC packs and two paid DLC packs are now available to download, further enhancing and expanding players’ farming adventures. Available for free is the ‘Farm Decorations Set’ which offers 16 new customisation items, walls and decorations. Also free is the ‘Harvest Sprite Statue Set’ which offers five new customisation items including a Harvest Goddess-themed pergola and a Harvest Sprite statue.

Available for €3.99/£3.99 is the ‘New Female NPC Set’, which includes new bachelorette Nova and a statue of Doc the Inventor. Also available for €3.99/£3.99 is the ‘New Male NPC / Statue Set’, which features new bachelor Edmond and a statue of the Harvest goddess.

The new female marriageable candidate is Nova, a kind and strong-willed girl who showed up in Skytree Village, yet how she got there is a bit of a tale in itself. Her father is a human from the surface world, while her mother is of the tribe of Gorgan from the Underworld Kingdom. Since she was raised in the dark and damp underground mines of the Underworld, the surface world is still a bit strange and confusing to her. Help her learn the ways of the surface dwellers! This DLC also includes a statue of the eccentric creator, Doc!

The new male marriageable candidate is Edmond, a grand mage, who trained both Gareth and Tabitha, and whose knowledge of the world far exceeds either of them. Despite this, he is rather calm and introspective in comparison to the slightly arrogant Gareth and boisterous Tabitha. He has returned to the land of the Harvest Goddess after some time, but what brought him back? Is there some sort of deeper secret he hides within? Also included in this DLC is a statue of the beautiful Harvest Goddess!

Natsume says successful titles like Stardew Valley are good for the Harvest Moon franchise

Coming from a GamesBeat interview with CEO Hiro Maekawa...

“It’s a good thing that there are several farming simulations sold to users and consumers. They have several choices. Not only that, but that means we can expand the genre of farming simulations. That’s good for the game industry in general. That’s my way of thinking.”

I have to agree with Maekawa. Stardew Valley will certainly get some people to give other similar titles a try, including the Harvest Moon franchise. It's raised the profile of the whole genre.

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope - more info on controls, characters, animals and more

- tackle tasks like clearing the land, growing crops, shipping produce, and raising animals
- this will entice more villagers to return to the island
- once you bring them back, you’ll can help them with requests and take advantage of more goods, services, and features
- drawn backgrounds and soft-edged 3D character and animal models
- cut-scenes have lively, animated models standing behind their dialogue boxes acting out associated emotions
- zoom way in or way out (using the ‘ZL’ and ‘ZR’ buttons) during gameplay
- Natsume is calling the visual style ‘retro plus’
- there is a single ‘action’ button
- walking up to a weed and pressing ‘B’ will pluck it, for instance
- pressing the same button in front of a planted seed will water it
- clear land, till land, plant crops, pick crops, break up stones, cut down trees, and store found objects with the same button
- portable mode has touch screen and button controls, leave you to pick which you want
- move by tapping and then holding a swipe outward in any direction
- till, plant, or water a whole section of land by dragging a finger across it
- plenty of dating events and festivals
- cast includes characters from the original game, Harvest Moon 64, Back to Nature, and Friends of Mineral town
- specific characters include the buff florist Dean, shy and flustered Jeanne, and Melanie
- includes targeted gift giving, sparkling conversation, and careful event triggering
- pour your affections into animals you raise on the farm
- animals include cows, chickens, sheep, horses, dogs, donkeys and more
- you'll find a cow that gives chocolate milk, a ‘chocolate chicken’ that lays candied eggs, and a pink sheep for cotton candy

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope's visuals meant to evoke the original game, doesn't include same-sex relationships

Coming from a Polygon interview with producer Taka Maekawa...

- 2.5D style is meant to evoke the very first Harvest Moon game
- uses 3D-rendered models
- flat perspective and grid-based, limited range of motion
- Switch version will have full touch controls
- no same-sex relationships available,
- Maekawa says that Natsume will introduce that element “when the time is right”
- Maekawa didn't say whether this was a statement directed at Light of Hope, or for the series in general

Harvest Moon: Light of Hope - first round of gameplay info

- touchscreen capabilities
- transition from normal joystick and button inputs to touchscreen inputs with no trouble
- players can water plants in a more mapped trail rather than a straight line when using the touch screen
- a monsoon has shipwrecked you on an island that's suffering from deterioration and depopulation
- save them with your powers of gathering materials and building things
- revive this town by improving it as you build up your own prosperous lifestyle
- tool system carries over into this game
- one button can accomplish anything you need to do on your farm
- you can waste stamina as a result of using a tool you didn't intend to