Take a look at what Natsume brought with them to LA this year for E3!
The second day of the Electronics and Entertainment Expo started for me with a trip to the farmland to do some “harvesting.” If that didn’t give it away, I was stopping by Natsume to spend some time on the newest Harvest Moon game for the Nintendo Switch, Light of Hope, as well as the newest installment of the River City franchise, Knights of Justice. Both games look impress so let’s get right into playing them!
I started with River City: Knights of Justice since the game station was available when I arrived for my appointment. The story and characters trade in their tough cityscape for something a little more medieval this time around and that isn’t the only thing getting a change. In this installment, the game has a more RPG feel to it where you travel to town to town via map and upgrade your character by purchasing things in the town. You’ll have to equip the items that you purchase for your character in the menu just like a regular RPG.
The game has a look and feel of a 3D environment meets 2D pixelated characters, similar to the look of the past River City games. The demo wasn’t too long but you got the idea of the controls and equip menu screen. After you leave town in the demo, you head to the graveyard where you have to fight the undead but you can’t hurt them by regular means. It took a minute but I figured it out that you could only hurt the enemies by throwing things at them and there were a lot of them. The graphical style is pretty cool and taking the River City franchise into medieval times should payoff for Natsume. Knights of Justice will be a Nintendo 3DS digital only release June 20th.
The booth was jam-packed and it could be for only one reason, the give-away that Natsume does every year. This year it was a cow! All kidding aside, the crowd was there to see the newest installment of the Harvest Moon franchise debuting on the Nintendo Switch. In Harvest Moon: Light of Hope, you’ll be given the task of doing just that, becoming the “light of hope” for your town.
The lighthouse in your town is damaged and it’s up to you to repair it and in turn will repair the town. The more progress you make on the lighthouse, the better the outlook on the town will look/feel. The main issue I have with Light of Hope is the lack of online play where you could have had it unlock after the main game or something like an Animal Crossing style of town interaction. However, there is endless gameplay so after you do beat the main game, you’ll be able to keep playing forever since there are five eligible people to marry in the town.
Controls are straightforward and were kept easy to use because Natsume decided to keep the One action command button. There won’t be a need to constantly go back into the inventory for that item you need with the one action button. The development team decided to take things out that fans didn’t find fun from the previous game and the main culprit was terraforming. This time around, there will be crop mutation. All you will have to do is plant something next to another plant and it could mutate, it’s that simple.
You might be able to get seeds in town of this plant so you can grow the mutation anytime you want so this will give your green thumb something to work at. Fishing returns but they were barely biting in the demo but the controls are simple for it. Think of Animal Crossing/Pokémon fishing in terms of throw the line in and wait for the mark above your head. When the mark appears, and here’s the difference, rapidly push the button the reel in the fish. You’ll be able to use fish in town for all kinds of things. Harvest Moon: Light of Hope should be released by the end of 2017 or at the start of 2018.
Harvest Moon: Light of Hope and River City: Knights Of Justice are two games Natsume should be very proud of and are really fun! Kicking butt in one and starting a family in the other. Natsume has both ends of the spectrum covered.