Story of Seasons: Cherished Friends of the Three Towns announced as Harvest Moon 20th Anniversary game!

Have we really been farming for that long?

Story of Seasons Cherished Friends of the Three Towns announced as Harvest Moon 20th Anniversary game  Everybody Plays
15th January, 2016

It may only feel like a few short years ago that we first picked up the virtual spade and went tending to our fields, but along with being the 20th annniversary of Pokemon, 2016 also marks the 20th anniversary of everyone's favourite farming/romance-'em-up, Harvest Moon. And despite having technically lost the rights to the Harvest Moon game, Japanese studio Marvelous aren't willing to let the occassion go unnoticed, and have a brand new Harvest Moon-style game in the works for the 3DS. We've seen the title of the game translated from Japanese to be either Story of Seasons: Cherished Friends of the Three Towns, or Story of Seasons: Precious Friends from Three Villages, but whatever it's called, one things for sure - it'll be the next game in the series to come out on 3DS!
As is often the way, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu got the exclusive, and released a picture showing various new characters who'll be in the game, along with shots of a beach area, and a field with cows in it. And although we may have said the same thing about the recently released Story of Seasons, we'll say it again for its sequel - it really does look similar to Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life! And that's not a bad thing - the art style of the characters and animals, the tones of colours used, even down to the fishing boat on the shore of the beach in one of the pictures is giving us a strong feeling of nostalgia.

Story of Seasons Cherished Friends of the Three Towns Screenshot

There's plenty of new character art too!

While we aren't quite fluent in Japanese and its three alphabets, we do know at least a few details about the game, as shown in the pictures above. Firstly, in terms of gameplay, it doesn't look like there'll be any major diversions from the series' roots, which is probably best described as Animal Crossing + romance + light farming. Secondly, there'll be at least 3 areas to visit, with each area (or village) perhaps having its own farming speciality, like in Harvest Moon Tale of Two Towns, where one village raised animals and the other farmed crops.

We've heard mention that the top right image in the above picture is called either Lulucoco Town or Rurukoko Town, the bottom right is Wes Town, and the centre right picture is of Tsuyukusa Village. Either way, we can't wait to find out what each village has in store for us!
As usual, we'll have the choice of playing as a male or female character, with the character designs for bother shown on the bottom left of the above picture. And on the bottom right are the characters Noel, Miranda, Megan and Frank (shown from left to right), although whether you'll be able to woo your way into one of the series' trademark romances with any of them remains to be seen (looks like you're stuck with Frank if so, ladies - Ed).
With more news set to follow soon, we can't wait to pick (and hopefully customise) our character, and get to know those villagers!

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