Filled with cute graphics, new features, and more customizable choices, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, has made its debut in the United States!
For those unfamiliar with the series, here’s a bit of background. Developed by Natsume, Harvest Moon is an adorable role playing game as well as a farming simulation. The player can tend to crops, take care of livestock, converse with the townsfolk, and, if they so choose, eventually get settled down and married. The object of the game is to maintain the farm and develop good relationships with all the people in the town. In the past, gameplay has been in real-time, though time freezes once the character enters a building. Players can also upgrade their skills with certain tools in order to buy upgrades – hammers for mining, sickles for cutting grass, and rods for fishing! Adding to the appeal of the game, minigames abound in the game’s special events. There’s a horse-racing competition, cooking competition, training games for the town’s harvest sprites that can help you out on the farm, and many more various festivals – even a Frisbee-catching contest for your player’s pet!
Released on February 23, 2012 in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS, the newest installment of the series, Harvest Moon: A New Beginning promises to be fully customizable, allowing the player to choose a character’s gender, skin color, facial expressions, hairstyle, and more. Even outfits are customizable, as there’s a tailor in town. Natsume also promises new farm animals, new crops, and new characters! Want to move the position of certain crops or relocate your barn? It’s as simple as picking up the barn and dropping it down somewhere else. As Natsume says, “Customization is King”.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Harvest Moon series in the United States, and the North American debut ofHarvest Moon: A New Beginning was during this year’s E3, June 5 to June 7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The setting of the newest game takes place in Echo Village. Just as you’re moving in, you find that the inhabitants of the town have all moved away to other towns and villages! As the player, you’re tasked with improving Echo Village and making it more appealing by building park benches, trimming plants, and more, so that they will all move back, giving the village a “New Beginning”, hence the game’s title.
For those who want to read more about it, check out the official press release here.