What’s funny is BOTH are actually Harvest Moon games. Remember when Natsume was bought by Marvelous last year? Of course you don’t. To make a long story short, Natsume was sold while both games were in development. As a compromise, XSeed published The Lost Valley under the Harvest Moon name while Story of Seasons was published without the Harvest Moon name. Same game prettymuch.
The difference is Story of Seasons plays like a traditional Harvest Moon game and follows the same formula is the previous two games in the series, A New Beginning and Tale of Two Towns (both of which I also own). The Lost Valley is basically Harvest Moon meets Minecraft. No, really. The REAL reason The Lost Valley uses the Harvest Moon name is to sell the game and everyone knows it. Harvest Moon Vets should pick up Story of Seasons if they want something they’re familiar with while those new to the series will want The Lost Valley.
I know I said this is a rview in the headline but this is more of an overview of both games. The future of the Harvest Moon franchise is uncertain as The Lost Valley didn’t sell well as many expected. Natsume really could have used the money Story of Seasons made for Marvelous. LOL.
Like Sim City and Animal Crossing, the Harvest Moon games have no “ending” per se. You can simply play the game forever if you so choose. I am wrapping up year 1 in Story of Seasons and only played The Lost Valley for a total of 4 hours in comparison.
…Let’s get to the reviews:
I rate Story of Seasons a 9/10. The game comes with a a built-in tutorial at the very beginning and things are gradually unlocked as you play the game. For those new to the series, the game is VERY forgiving compared to Tale of Two Towns but far more grindy compared to A New Beginning.
Once you build the Pottery House, Money becomes less of an issue. The Public Field Conquests are a nice new twist though I am sad to see Green Houses didn’t return from A New Beginning. It makes sense as it forces vets of the series to plan when they use the Seed House for upgrading seeds to better quality. For those who don’t know, you need to use Fertilizer to improve the quality of your crops. You then turn the resulting crops into seeds, plant them and then repeat the process until you have 5-star seeds. Needless to say it will take several in-game years.
I rate The Lost Valley a 3/10. It was just too different from what I was expecting. The pacing leaves alot to be desired to boot. The Minecraft mechanics are a nice touch but it feels too invasive compared to what I’m used to. The lack of direction in the game is also painfully obvious. It also feels unforgivingly grindy compared to Story of Seasons. Then again, I haven’t played it anywhere near as much as I’ve played Story of Seasons.
Obviously, I reccommend Story of Seasons over The Lost Valley. You’ll get more out of it regardless of your skill level. It feels like Harvest Moon as well so…yeah.