Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

Play news Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

If we found games expected during Nintendo Direct yesterday (Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak, Mario + The Rabbids 2, Persona 5 Royal), it was not stingy with surprises either. And there is one that stood out more than the others: Harvestella, a Nintendo Switch console exclusive from Square Enix that brings together Final Fantasy and Animal Crossing.

Harvestella, the RPG / life simulation we’ve been waiting for?

New license from Square Enix, Harvestella is presented to us as a mix between Final Fantasy and Animal Crossing, ie. between an artistically directed RPG and well-known wonderland and a classic life sim. To sum up, the principle is to swing between gardening / event / cooking sessions and matches in Final Fantasy style (new formula). The mixture may seem surprising, however Yet it is a genre that has been around for several years now and which is familiar to some.

The rune factory is probably the best known example. The license, which has been in existence since 2006, was originally conceived as a spin-off by Harvest Moon, which took up its life simulation page to add a good portion of action. Rune Factory, which is still just as vibrant and important today, has paved the way for many other small games that have opted for this amazing hybrid gameplay, not without some variations. In the genre, we could therefore quote My Time at Portia of course, but also slightly different games like Moonlighter, Dragon Quest Builders or the latest episodes in the Atelier series (at certain points). But despite more and more examples, the genre still remains a niche and have trouble removing the label from weeberie which adheres to his skin.

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

But with Harverstella, Square Enix seems to be offering us a more mainstream title. From what we’ve seen, it draws on each other’s strengths and will even look for other more general public licenses. A workshop-like aesthetic by removing the particularly niche alchemy aspect, gameplay as rich as Rune Factory without the very childish side, all sprinkled with a story, a universe and a combat system that inevitably makes you think of the latest Final Fantasy.

But what fascinated the players the most was, of course, the famous Quietus (Death Season), which adds a surprisingly dark side to a game of this genre. Haverstella wants to be visibly more mature and deep than her colleagues. An interesting approach, which seems to have had its small effect, interesting both the genre’s regulars and those who sought to move away from it as much as possible. From there to saying that that was what the genre lacked to democratize, it is still far too early. But Square Enix made a success of its entry, and this just as much on the form as on the bottom.

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct


Open world, battles … What we know so far

If we were only entitled to a short video during this Nintendo Direct, Square Enix immediately made a long article so we could go back in detail about their next upcoming title. It must be said that the publisher had every interest in giving us a more complete overview of Harvestella, as the game is scheduled to be released in just a few months. It is indeed on November 4 that the title will be available on the Nintendo Switch, of course, but also on the PC. Also note that it is already possible to pre-order it on Steam (soon also on Nintendo eShop). These pre-orders also allow us to know the price of the game, which amounts to € 59.99. At this price, we still expect very solid gameplay and content. Here’s what Square Enix has revealed to us so far:

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

life simulator

Do you want a moment of relaxation? You will find everything you need in Haverstella. The game does not seem to have surpassed in terms of relaxing activities. In addition to managing your plantations, you can also go fishing or raise your livestock. The resources you get can either be sold or used for cooking. The small dishes that are thus composed will, in addition to looking delicious, help you in the fight. Note that Harvestella also has craft mechanics allows you to make useful items for your home or dungeon exploration phases.

Who says life simulation also says a strong penchant for socialization. Life is much cozier with friends, and so is Harvestella. To do this, talk to your neighbors and complete a series of quests for them. To thank you for your help, they will provide you with seeds and other particularly useful items for your adventure. If you increase your affinity with certain characters, you will even be able to learn more about the game’s history and this terrible Quietus, which threatens your plantations and your tranquility. A priori, they should even be able to help you in battle. Suffice it to say that it is in your interest to discuss with the characters you will meet in Harvestella’s big world.

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

Open or linear world?

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

In the Square Enix game, you do not have access to a single small town. Nemea, Shatolla, Lèthe or Argène are all places you can discover and maintain. Each city is different from the previous one (coast, ice, etc.) and you can get there using the world map. Around each of these places there are dungeons that you can go through in peace and quiet. So no open world on the horizon. But if places to discover seem pretty linear, they promise to be big enough to allow players to feel some freedom. Especially since the presented environments seem particularly varied and you can even explore the seabed using a submarine. And as if that were not enough, the seasonal system will regularly change these different environments.

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

The seasons, central to the story and gameplay

During the presentation, Square Enix placed particular emphasis on the seasonal system. This is true to say not surprising for a game of its kind as you will have to adapt your plantations and other activities to them. Note that thirty days pass in the game from one season to another and that each transition is characterized by the emergence of Quietus, also called the time of death. The latter releases a deadly dust that forces the inhabitants to remain confined to their homes and destroys all crops. It will therefore be necessary to plan your stocks and plantations after this death season, which will get longer and longer as the game progresses.

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo DirectHarvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

These seasons are therefore particularly important for the gameplay, but also for the history of the title. The whole plot revolves around this mysterious Quietus and the possible solutions to eradicate it. It is also in the middle of Quietus that our adapted protagonist wakes up in a small unknown village. He quickly makes it his mission to discover the truth and stem this threat. During the discussions and other missions with the daughter of the future Aria, the Brigadier Asylum or the missionary Shrika, you will gradually find The path of the lumi bikes, these four crystals control the seasons and hide a terrible secret. But to do this, you will have to resort to weapons.

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

combat system

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

We said it, Harvestella’s world has different dungeons. They are, of course, filled with monsters that you will have to defeat. To do this, select the class that is yours. So far, Square Enix has only wanted to reveal three, but promises us much more. First we have the warrior, a specialist in rapid sword attacks; the shadow wanderer and his murderous twin leaves and the magician, adept at magical attacks from a distance. Note that it will of course be possible to switch between the different classes immediately.

As for the fights themselves, they seem pretty standard. We are in real time battle against small monsters or big bosses. Multiple attacks are possible, the interface is readable and familiar, and you can form a team to overcome the various dungeons.

Harvestella: everything we know about THE big surprise from Nintendo Direct

So far, that’s all we know about Harvestella, but Square Enix invites us to be on guard for the next few months. New information should actually fall on the big surprise of this Nintendo Direct.


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