I have been a fan of the Harvest Moon franchise for a long time. My first title was on the SNES and my personal favourite in the series is Friends of Mineral Town. Skytree Village is the closest Harvest Moon game to date to these two past titles.
Last year I played both Story of Season and Harvest Moon the Lost Valley. Both games had some pros but both had a lot more cons. Story ofI have been a fan of the Harvest Moon franchise for a long time. My first title was on the SNES and my personal favourite in the series is Friends of Mineral Town. Skytree Village is the closest Harvest Moon game to date to these two past titles.
Last year I played both Story of Season and Harvest Moon the Lost Valley. Both games had some pros but both had a lot more cons. Story of seasons I found to grate on me for having to travel the map constantly rather then focus on farming. Also I felt like my fields were not my own and that I could loose them at any moment all of this made the experience gimmicky and fall flat. The Lost Valley was equally flawed but for different reasons the endless winter, lack of town and my personal nit pick of the bed in the house facing the wrong direction drove me nuts.
For this year I decided I was going to just pick one of the games. I have watched video and advertisements and have literally agonized about it but I went with Skytree Village and here is why. First I really enjoyed the more simplistic gameplay in the Lost Valley. The return of the Sprites was nice and the terraforming felt new and refreshing. Second the character models, addition of the town and streamline of the farming controls and camera were really welcome additions. Finally Natsume went all out and decided to for the first time make a Limited Edition with NIS America and it's beautiful for only $10 more it added a lot of value to the game.
After playing the game and restoring all of the Skytrees I can honestly say I enjoyed the story. While most of the assets of the Lost Valley are used in Skytree Village it still feels new and fresh but also familiar.
The tool upgrades are fantastic harvesting crops is rewarding and no longer takes forever. The character modals are upgraded too and the town is fantastic! Crop mutations have returned and they add a nice later to the game, it's not easy to unlock them all.
The best thing the one thing they completely get is this game is first about farming and restoring the land. I can not stress enough how important this is for my as a fan of this series over the years. I want to feel like I have transformed a farm and have that sense of accomplishment and this delivers that core experience that is so important to me as the player and honest over the last 20+ years of Harvest Moon games has often been overlooked.
Things that could be improved. First the clock. It runs pretty fast if it could be slowed down a little. Also if their was some give in talking to people for events that would be great if you are one minute late you can miss an entire event like the cooking festival. The overall pacing of unlocking the skytrees was a bit off. The first ones you unlock right away but when you are after the hammer their is a HUGE amount of questing and progression before you can get it and the next Skytree unlocked. The weather system seems to be paced a bit oddly too it would always rain for days at a time for me then their would be none for quite some time. I would like to see the return of seasonal crops as well the season changes don't seem to mean as much without that mechanic in the game. And this last one is such a silly thing but in the Lost Valley the bed was backwards that is now fixed but the wardrobe is covering part of the window now. If somehow the player could move the household furniture around that would be fantastic! Money is really easy to get in this game and you don't really need to spend much of it so I would suggest instead of a Sprite taking the day off that you pay them each day for their work. It resolves the issues of needed the time to quest to progress the story without letting your crops suffer.
I also want to mention this as a caution. I have started to see many of these characters repeat now over the two games. While I understand you would want to recycle assets please start to shake some of that up a bit. Like a second merchant to Sam maybe and my last little change allow for you to be able to give your blue feather to either a bachelor or bachelorette of your choice.
Overall I adore this game. I found it to be super enjoyable and I will continue to play it for quite a while perfecting my valley and farm I am really looking forward to the next game (hoping on the 3DS or Switch or both) I think you really get what core players have been looking for and been saying in feedback over the years and I as a core fan appreciate all of the effort you have put in to make these games specifically this one that I love!… Expand