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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 4 Critics What's this?

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4.0

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Summary: In Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, players will experience the role-playing farm simulation in a three-dimensional setting for the first time. The game has a fully customizable world, and players can customize their field in any way they see fit: from a field full of tulips like you might seeIn Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, players will experience the role-playing farm simulation in a three-dimensional setting for the first time. The game has a fully customizable world, and players can customize their field in any way they see fit: from a field full of tulips like you might see in Holland, to a valley filled with water like Venice, the choice is up to you. You've never played a Harvest Moon game quite like this! Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 4
  2. Negative: 3 out of 4
  1. Nov 20, 2014
    50
    With no village to visit, drive-thru interactions with NPCs outside of the player’s front door, and overly slow pacing in the narrative, Lost Valley feels like half of a really fun game.
  2. Nov 17, 2014
    45
    While Natsume seems to have some legitimately good ideas for where they want to take their spin on the Harvest Moon series, too much of what’s been put into The Lost Valley feels awkward, underdeveloped, or unnecessary. While series fans will be able to find fun in some of what it offers up, you can’t help but wish that the development team had focused on the quality of the features they implemented, not the quantity.
  3. Nov 14, 2014
    40
    The Lost Valley offers a pitiful amount of content, and what's available takes ages to unlock.
  4. It’s so bare-bones it feels like a cheap mobile game knock-off, and the fact that it was released without even a whisper seems like damning proof that Natsume knows it. Lost Valley is a dull, almost offensively boring and watered down version of a normally fantastic series. Do not pick up this game.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 6
  2. Negative: 4 out of 6
  1. Dec 5, 2014
    8
    Doing my homework and knowing what type of game this was going to be before taking off the packaging really helped to set my expectations forDoing my homework and knowing what type of game this was going to be before taking off the packaging really helped to set my expectations for what it is - a combination of Minecraft + Harvest Moon with neither of the fully fledged features of either one, but what's there compliments one another so that I didn't really notice what was missing. Too many reviewers have gone in with a different set of expectations and given ridiculously low scores for a percieved shallow experience that didn't meet their classic Harvest Moon gaming familiarity. Rather than sit back and allow a massive corporation like Marvelous AQL (and their American publishing subsidiary XSEED) to strong arm the franchise away that they helped create here in the US, they've bravely taken the Harvest Moon franchise in an evolved and exciting direction (of course with missteps that any new game engine or IP would trip over, hence the 8/10).
    I can't wait to see what content they'll be bringing with future DLC and improvements they'll make with a longer development cycle now that the groundwork has been laid in this exciting reboot, it looks like the future of Harvest Moon is bright!
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  2. Nov 6, 2014
    5
    In a nutshell, The Lost Valley feels oversimplied and lacking the richness and depth that makes this series unique. It feels as though it'sIn a nutshell, The Lost Valley feels oversimplied and lacking the richness and depth that makes this series unique. It feels as though it's designed for a ten year old, leaving the older fans longing for what they remember spending hours playing.

    As a longtime fan of this series, I preordered the game from Natsume, expecting the Harvest Moon goodness that I've grown accustomed to. It's always been more than a farm simulation game - the more you play, the more you unlock, and the little cut scenes with the NPCs are always so cute. When I started the game, the graphics felt odd, lacking even. While I enjoy Minecraft as much as the next person, they captured that feeling while abandoning that which made the game feel like a beloved addition to the Harvest Moon series. Yes you have land to till, plants to water, Harvest sprites to save... (and the sprites are as adorable as ever) the overall feel of the map seemed too boxy and lackluster for the series. And no longer do you have to remember the NPCs favorite things, the foods they dislike... gift giving has been eradicated entirely from the game, which had been a core part of the game play. Of the features that Natsume abandoned, this has to be one of my least favorite changes. I also dislike the fact that there is no longer a town to explore.. your stores are literally just NPCs that walk around in front of your house on certain days. Gone are the days that you go to the clinic or the Marimba farm... It saddened me that "visiting" the store was as simple as talking to them while they parade around in my front yard.

    Stacking land and shaping the map the way you wanted sounded appealing to me before I played the game, as I was excited to have something similar to Magical Melody in that regard. But shaping the land becomes cumbersome after laying down the work to get your buildings and such situated.

    All these things aside, the game is still fun to play... as long as you don't have the mindset that it's comparable to its predecessors. If you're wanting a farm simulation game where you get to change the map, this is the game for you... If you're looking for a new game with nostalgic ties to games you played years ago, this isn't it. Pull out your Wii and play Animal Parade or Magical Melody. Natsume seemed determined to steer away from as much original content as possible with this installment. My hope is that Story of Seasons will have the classic feel that I was hoping for.
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  3. Nov 15, 2014
    4
    I should also mention that Harvest Moon 3D:The Lost Valley is actually a spin off game of the main Harvest Moon series. Let me do a quickI should also mention that Harvest Moon 3D:The Lost Valley is actually a spin off game of the main Harvest Moon series. Let me do a quick explanation of this. The developers Marvelous AQL are the ones who develop the Harvest Moon games, and for the longest time Natsume would be the ones to localize it under the name Harvest Moon, as it was called Farm Story in Japan. However since Marvelous AQL recently purchased XSEED, XSEED has now become Marvelous of America (still referred to as XSEED). Marvelous AQL saw no reason to have Natsume continue to localize the series in the United States as they now have an in house publisher in the states that proved their worth with the localization of a few Rune Factory games. XSEED are now the ones who localize Farm Story in the United States, however XSEED does not have the rights to the name Harvest Moon, as that belongs to Natsume. So instead of the next mainline game being called Harvest Moon: Connect to a New World, it is simply being called Story of Seasons. So Natsume decided to use the Harvest Moon name to make their own farming sim under the same name, and thus Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley was born. However how does it stand up to the main series? Well Natsume bragged that this game would be akin back to the older games such as Harvest Moon 64, Back to Nature and Friends of Mineral Town. So let’s see if this game is able to stand on its own as an actual game in the Harvest Moon series.
    So without any further to do let’s get on with the review!

    Controls

    Now in my opinion a major driving factor to how good a Harvest Moon game is how fluid a game controls and how easy things are to do. In traditional Harvest Moon games you have a separate tool for everything you need to do, and to do what you need to do you have to swap between tools. This game decides to do away with traditional tool swapping and instead favors a single button method for most of your farming needs. So you press the a button to till the ground, the a button again to plant your seeds, press it again to water the plants and then you press it one more time to add fertilizer. Straight forward right? Well not exactly. You have to be lined up perfectly with the square you want to interact with. I can’t tell you the countless amount of seeds I have planted by mistake when trying to harvest a vegetable, or how much fertilizer I have wasted thinking I was about to water a crop but instead had the wrong one highlighted. Also another annoyance I found was that when you plant a seed you have to open a menu and select which seed you want to plant, however if you miss a square and instead either water, fertilize or harvest a crop, you have to go through a menu selection again and pick the seeds you wish to plant again. This may seem like I am being picky, however in other Harvest Moon entries, doing all this was a lot more stream lined as you had to actually select the tools you wanted to use beforehand and if you wanted to switch you had to manually do that giving the player a more sense of control.

    Now the game also has a bit of a world edit function on where you can either dig up or fill blocks on the ground. The game is trying to be like Minecraft where you can try and sculpt the landscape in any way you see fit. However like with farming these controls are still downright clunky, and you cannot do basic things such as plant seeds or even jump while in this mode.

    The camera movement isn’t too bad in this game, however there were several times where the camera would get stuck in positions that were almost impossible to play in, such as in higher altitudes.
    Overall the controls felt rather clunky and took a while to get used to. Not something I have come to expect in a Harvest Moon game.

    Features

    In the features department this game is also lacking. Sure you probably get the biggest amount of farm land in any Harvest Moon game to date (and even that’s debatable with how much extra land you can buy in games such as Magical Melody) but outside of that, that’s it really. There is no central town to explore like in other entries in the game, you are stuck in a snow covered mountain that will remain snow covered for the first several hours of your play through. And this right here is what bothers me the most about The Lost Valley, you constantly hear about this place called Hillside, the town in which everyone lives in, but you can never go to it, you are stuck seemingly forever ontop of this mountain. One thing I loved about other Harvest Moon games is being able to explore towns, and interacting with people, and that actually brings me to another gripe I have about this game. The player’s interaction with other people in the game. What I loved about Harvest Moon is the ability to befriend people through various different dialogues, events and gift giving. This game gets rid of all of that to a simple talk to person once a day to raise their chemistry level, and do the occasional request for them to increase it faster. This wouldn’t be too bad if the dialogue trees with everyone feel somewhat uninspired, and they can get very repetitive. You know what I liked about Rune Factory 4? The expansive dialogue tree. In that game it took me almost two in game years to start getting repeat conversations with people, and even then there would be triggers at certain points of the game to add onto that branch in the tree. Then coming into this game it feels like I am talking to robots.

    Also the Bachelorettes in this game are nothing to get excited over either. I think the one I was remotely interested in was Catherine, but outside of that April and Emily really didn’t interest me too much. Now I am not going to complain about the amount of bachelorettes in this game as A Wonderful Life only had three as well, and A Wonderful Life is probably my favorite game in the series. So overall from the whole lack of town to very minimal player to character interaction the features in this game to me feel very lacking.

    Story, and Flow

    This games story is actually very basic for a Harvest Moon game. The Harvest Goddess is in trouble and you have to awaken the Harvest Sprites to bring her back. However along with that you also have to restore the four seasons to the valley and to do so you have to go to hell and back (and no I am not kidding with that either) to get the gems to bring back the seasons. On paper this doesn’t seem like a bad idea, however the execution is done in a very sloppy manner. The story does not progress at a steady rate, and you sometimes will have to wait longer than others to trigger different events to progress in the story. Normally story progression is not a big deal, but in this case it feels like you are punished for not progressing the story further with the endless winter, and lack of access to features and tools. I went through the entire first season and I only managed to bring back spring with about two days left, and I still haven’t unlocked all the tools and features. This is a problem because you unlock abilities that require you to use the tools and features you have yet to unlock in the first part of the game. So overall the story is ok, but its execution is poorly done.
    Final Verdict

    Natsume set themselves up on a high pedestal by saying this Harvest Moon game would be a return to the series roots. However they apparently need to go back and play those said games they were trying to mimic as they seemed to have forgotten a lot of features that make the Harvest Moon series great. Such as the social aspect of the series. However if you are a person who just enjoys the farming aspect of a Harvest Moon game, I would say go ahead and pick this game up, however even then I have a hard time saying that because farming at times feels unrewarding and the tools are locked beyond some wonky one button press controls.
    As a farming game by itself I would probably have scored this game a little higher, and if Natsume did not set themselves on such a high pedestal I would probably have been a bit more understanding.

    However the clunky controls, the lack of social interaction with other players and the overall bad flow of this game leads me to give this game a 4/10. It’s a noble attempt, however Natsume went into this a bit too fast. If they had taken their time to make this game and kept a lot of features that have been staples in the Harvest Moon series it probably would have been a much better game.

    Final Score:4/10
    +Large farm
    +Extensive customization
    -Clunky controls
    -Frame rate drops
    -lack of social integration
    -robotic like characters
    -Horrible flow of progression.
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  4. Nov 11, 2014
    1
    If you like Minecraft and are less than 8 years old, you'll love this game. If you're a long-time fan, you may want to stay away. As a fan ofIf you like Minecraft and are less than 8 years old, you'll love this game. If you're a long-time fan, you may want to stay away. As a fan of the Harvest Moon series, I was very disappointed in the huge changes made. I was so frustrated because I was expecting another A New Beginning, but instead got a Minecraft for tots. The world is just one giant unrealistic landscape of blocks. You pretty much have to dig and build your own stairs to get from one end of the farm to the other. On top of that, from the get-go, it's winter! But oddly enough you can still plant and watch crops grow. To top things off further, there's a typo on the back of the game case. Expand
  5. Dec 8, 2014
    0
    Dismal. When the game first began I thought it was just really slow, even for a HM game. But as the seasons passed and I kept playing itDismal. When the game first began I thought it was just really slow, even for a HM game. But as the seasons passed and I kept playing it became clear that yes, this really was all there is to it. No shops, no village, no sweeping storylines or romance subplots, just a single house with a single gigantic, tedious-to-maintain field; dig, plant, fetch quest, repeat. Forever. Expand
  6. Dec 18, 2014
    0
    A warning to users out there. This is not the same Harvest Moon series as previous ones. If you want to buy the next harvest moon game lookA warning to users out there. This is not the same Harvest Moon series as previous ones. If you want to buy the next harvest moon game look for "Story of Seasons", it should come out in Jan or Feb 2015. Natsume had a falling out with the developers and since they owned the title of the game, they decided to use it to make a copycat. Expand