Random Article


Review: Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley (3DS)

 

 
Overview
 

Game Length: N/A
 
Developer(s): Tabot, Inc
 
Publisher(s): Natsume
 
Platform(s): 3DS
 
Release Date: 19 June 2015
 
Platform:
 
Gameplay
4.0


 
Visuals
6.0


 
Audio
5.0


 
Gratification
4.5


 
Value for Money
4.0


 
Total Score
4.7
4.7/10


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


Terrain elements aren't all that bad

Negatives


Stamina is a constant issue | Laborious gameplay | No sense of 'reward'


Bottom Line

The Lost Valley or Valley of the Lost?




6
Posted June 19, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Harvest Moon THe Lost Valley Header

At first one would think that a Mincraft themed Harvest Moon title would be a winning recipe. In fact, it should be but unfortunately execution is severely lacking in this novel concept. There could be various reasons for this, the most blatant of which would be the state of the licensing and disarray throughout the development studio itself. The series was originally created / developed by the now redundant studio, Victor Entertainment Software, until 2003 that is. The series then moved on to Marvelous AQL for development while the publishing shifted to Natsume for American territories and Rising Star Games for the PAL regions. When this many fingers are in the pie something is bound to go astray. Intellectual property issues prevailed and now Natsume own the rights to the Harvest Moon name… in a nutshell this is how Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley was born. A rebirth, if you will, of a classic series completely disconnected from Marvelous AQL. I know, it’s a bit of a shamble… and it shows in the final product.

The Lost Valley continues with the standard concept of the series; refine a productive farm to enlighten and uplift the surrounding village and its populace. Somewhere along the line this model has acquired a paranormal, mythological element which simply doesn’t fit. Soon on you are given the task of rejuvenating the Harvest Goddesses’ powers in order to bring the four seasons to the village. Sure, this is a new take on the franchise but it’s this fresh premise that simply reiterates the idea of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

The controls are clunky. You quickly adopt the camera rotation notion using the L and R trigger buttons and to be fair it works quite well in the 3D environment. This isn’t the reason for the controls’ downfall though. The actual farming mechanic, the key objective to the game, is frustrating at the best of times. To initiate the activity menu or ‘Cultivating Mode’ you press Y and a number of options become available to you. Your tools are essentially selected for you resulting in monotonous button pressing until you’ve covered the required surface area. This also allows you edit your terrain to your liking which is easily the most time consuming yet rewarding aspect of the game, especially if you have to have every block precisely symmetrical to the next.

After a laborious tutorial section, engraved in a ridiculous plot, you eventually get to start a family. This acts as a way for you to obtain new objectives. The supporting characters also act as your assorted shopping points where you can buy and sell seeds, lumber and other necessities needed to complete your repetitive day to day chores. All this provided you have enough stamina to complete your errands. Unlike the Animal Crossing series you aren’t interacting in a real-time manner. After a brief session of gameplay you are required to retreat home in order to rest after a ‘hard’ days work. You do level up along the way which makes this predicament slightly more bearable. Unfortunately your sense of reward remains absent.

Overall, Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is paved with good intentions along with various terrains. If you have yet to play a Harvest Moon title and enjoy some basic Minecaft-ing then perhaps you’ll get some joy from The Lost Valley. Implementation throughout the game is poor and fans of the series will have very little reason to embrace the change in formula. The Lost Valley is a Harvest Moon title by purely by name and a general hypothesis only. Be wary of this entry to the series even if you are an overenthusiastic fan at heart.





Garth Kaestner

 
Retro games, Tottenham Hotspur and Banjos. Yeah I think that sums me up... or does it?


  • Sir GIF Sexy

    The only HM I played was Friends of Mineral Town and will never, ever go back to the series. The insane amount of time and emotion I invested in FoMT back on the GBA was… Dear god, that was my WoW. That was my hell.

    • CrawleyCreative

      Is this like or better than Animal Crossing?

      • Sir GIF Sexy

        The GBA game was like, a toned town version, I’d say. Less animal-people kidnapping. Similar in concept.

      • I’ve always preferred Animal Crossing.

  • FoxOneZA

    Nintendo know to make adorable characters 🙂

  • I love a good old Harvest Moon. damn! 🙁