Harvest Moon ushers in Happiness, Tranquility

Natsume plans to launch new DS, Wii titles this summer in belated honor of franchise's 10-year anniversary.

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Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility
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The original Harvest Moon released for the Super Nintendo planted its first seeds in Japan in 1996, with a localized edition landing on US shores a year later. Despite the 11 years that have passed since then, Japanese gamemaker Natsume said today that it would be celebrating the franchise's 10-year anniversary with two new installments in the franchise, slated to arrive for the Nintendo DS and Wii this summer.

On the Wii, Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility players will once again pick up the shovel and the spade to revive a town that has fallen into disrepair. With the protective Mother Tree mysteriously away from her post, players must rectify the island's decrepit condition by undertaking a variety of activities that foster the earth, and restore the spirits of townsfolk. Natsume promises Tree of Tranquility will make use of the Wii Remote in a way that will "give players the chance to feel like they're really farming."

In Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness for the DS, players will channel their inner Gilligan, attempting to create a paradise after being shipwrecked on an island. This island isn't deserted, however. Players will cultivate first their farm and then an entire town, with the goal of tying the knot with one of the locals. Island of Happiness will also feature online competitive play via Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection.

Both Tree of Tranquility and Island of Happiness will prominently display 10th-anniversary-branded packaging, and Natusme will also be offering a line of collectible plushies as preorder bonuses at select retailers to honor the milestone.

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