Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is notable for being one of the more innovative entries in the long running framing franchise, but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing for many fans or reviewers. The 3DS game allowed you to manipulate the world like never before thanks to an almost Minecraft-like ability to change the terrain, but it also left out some of the charm of the older games, like the ability to freely explore the nearby town. Series publisher Natsume says it has heard its customers complaints and will address them in the next entry, Seeds of Memories.
“We heard what our fans had to say. We got compliments as well as criticisms,” said Natsume VP of Operations Graham Markay,.”One of the main issues was probably a town. This returns to the fundamentals. Is there upgrades? Yes. Is there giving gifts? Yes. Are there a variety of bachelors and bachelorettes? Yes. This isn’t a sequel to The Lost Valley.”
Gamers will once again take over a struggling farm and work to return it, along with the surrounding area and nearby town, to their former glory. Along the way, you might just meet the man or woman of your dreams and start a family. The Lost Valley also featured these core elements, but minimized them to focus more on an overarching plot about restoring the seasons to a valley caught up in an ongoing winter. Fans seem to have preferred the more straightforward approach of earlier titles.
Players also seemed to prefer the simpler visuals of previous entries as well, as Natsume is abandoning the 3D, polygonal worlds of The Lost Valley for a colorful, 2D look much more reminiscent of the franchises earlier entries. This isn’t to say that the series is completely forgetting about The Lost Valley or giving up on adding new features. Seeds of Memories, while not a sequel to its predecessor, will bring several characters from The Lost Valley Back while also finally giving players the chance to court and potentially marry the town witch or wizard.
Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories is currently expected release late this year on 3DS and Wii U, with the latter sporting additional features that have yet to be revealed. Be sure to check back to whether or not this entry returns the franchise to its past glory.