During the E3 Expo in Los Angeles which ran from June 10 through June 13, ‘Harvest Moon’ creator, Yasuhiro Wada sat down to talk about his new game “Hometown Story” for the Nintendo 3DS. Originally codenamed “Project Happiness,” “Hometown Story” marks the first collaboration between developers, Natsume, Rising Star Games, and Toybox. Wad-san has ties to all three companies and they are hoping to release the game in September of 2013.
Envisioned as a return to nature, “Hometown Story” starts with the recent passing of your grandmother brings you back to your hometown to run the shop you inherited. Unfortunately, the shop has become run down, and no one wants to even window shop there anymore. It’s your responsibility to turn the shop around and expand it. You won’t have to go it alone, though. A magical sprite name Pochica will help you get the store back up and running, and introduce you to all of the unique characters who reside in the town. The villagers will all change and grow throughout the game, and this is where the happiness comes in.
There is no shortage of the town sim games for Nintendo handhelds, including the “Harvest Moon” games. When asked about this, Wada-san replied that this was the first time that he was actually able to focus on the details to bring the story to life. This results in a deeper and more satisfying experience. Revealing one situation in the game, he described a foreign girl that has trouble integrating into the town because of a language barrier. She can be befriended by a socially akward boy that also lives in the town, who can teach her the language and bring her out of her shell.
These are the types of stories that you can expect in “Hometown Story,” where your project really is to bring happiness to the town. With music composed by Nobuo Uematsu, famous for his beautiful work on the “Final Fantasy” series, and character designs by Atsuko Nishida, the designer behind Pikachu and numerous other Pokémon, “Hometown Story” has an all-star team behind it.
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