Rune Factory is the new Harvest Moon. That’s what I was told, anyways – and thus, I grabbed Rune Factory 4 and have been tearing through the game ever since. I never did play Harvest Moon before it went on two year hiatus, but it looks like I may soon get the chance after all as in this week’s Famitsu, series developer Marvelous AQL revealed that a new game in the farming series is coming to 3DS, and is on track for a February release.
Now, before I go any further, it should be noted that this is not the same as the Harvest Moon “spiritual successor” that is being made by the series’ original creator Yasuhiro Wada. That game is called Hometown Story, and is due out on the 3DS (because where else are good games even released?) just twelve days from now. Marvelous AQL’s game is completely unrelated to Wada’s new creation, and is part of the original Harvest Moon lineage.
The new game’s title translates roughly to Harvest Moon: Connecting New Lands, and apparently the title has somewhat of a double meaning. According to Yoshifumi Hashimoto, the current Harvest Moon producer, the subtitle refers to both the StreetPass and Wi-Fi connectivity utilized within the game, as well as new game mechanics involving global trade with other countries in Harvest Moon‘s world. The local farm is going global! Sounds pretty awesome.
Elaborating on the new trade system — which is accessed via a “trading station” for imports and exports — Hashimoto had the following to say.
You’re able to purchase unique goods from the world’s nations, as well as send products out to them. At the start you can only trade with one nation, but as you ship more product, you’ll gain access to more and more countries. Each nation will react to your goods differently depending on their preferences, with some enjoying them but others giving more of a neutral reaction.
Beyond that, there are some other handy new features as well, such as mass-seeding and watering of large plots of farmland, and the game’s new “safari” zone. Most people will think instantly think Pokémon, and HM’s implementation isn’t too far off – various animals beyond the typical livestock fare will inhabit the new zone, allowing for new interactions and human-to-creature relationships. It all sounds pretty ambitious, and I feel like way too much of a series newbie to be worrying about global commerce. That said, I’m sure longtime Harvest Moon players will be all about it.