On November 4th Harvest Moon the Lost Valley was released by Natsume in the US. Why do I include the name of the developer here? Well, because like I explained in my earlier blog, this game isn’t the true successor to the original Harvest Moon series, but an independent developed game. Natsume holds the rights to the name here in the West, so when Marvelous decided to take releasing the games in the west into their own hands, Natsume decided to go and develop a game of their own. So, here we are, with the Lost Valley, a game that hasn’t been released in Japan for a change! If you want to wait for the successor to a New Beginning, wait for Story of the Seasons which will be released in 2015.
Well, back to the Lost Valley. I downloaded it at release, curious to see what they had made of it. Haven’t been able to play as much yet as I wanted to, but I decided to share my first impressions with you. Although it’s spring, you start off in a snowy landscape stumbling upon a little cabin. A voice tells you to go in and rest, and when sleeping you dream of a lady in a green and lush spring, asking you to save her. Next day, you find your first sprite. Now that you think of it, you saw him too in the snow when you first arrived.
On your first day you sow some seeds, and get to grips with the different mechanism of using your tools. Because the sprite urges you to find the spring of the Harvest Goddess, up in the mountain, and it’s up to you to dig and fill up your path up there. To do that, you use a sort of Minecraft technique. Now I don’t play Minecraft, and it took me some getting used to thinking 3D. How do I get from this low on the ground to so high up and how to bridge this gap? I liked it though. It is slow going in the game at the start. There is no town to go to, the people that you can interact with are walking in front of your house or in your village at specific times. And as its my task to bring the valley back to life, so far I’ve only seen a lot of trees and snowy landscape.
I hope to play a bit more to see what I can unlock in the next week, and to see what the game brings. Right now I like the landscaping that you can do, and I like the visuals a lot. The beginning feels a bit slow, and I haven’t found any wifi or Streetpass functionality in the game, which I always feel is a pity. But, I’ll keep you posted about my progress! This last picture isn’t from my game, it’s from a forum friend Donjwolf, who did an amazing job in the game making this waterfall. See what you can do with this game!