I remember playing the most recent Harvest Moon title and thinking that a bunch of things could be done to make it better. Then XSeed had to go and bring the latest game in the Bokujo Monogatari series to E3 and address pretty much every complaint I had, and they did it with series producer Yoshifumi Hashimoto in tow. The quick little hands off demo I received of Story of Seasons gave me plenty to get excited about, as some immediately visible changes showed me that the series is going in the right direction.
Off the bat, the visuals are now fully 3D, and they are incredibly soft, which is a rarity on the 3DS, normally you expect jagged visuals, but in Story of Seasons, everything looks soft, and the 3D effect feels like it actually has a place in the game now. The game is also much faster now, with streamlines made to farming, watering, selling, and resource management, making the overall gameplay much snappier. The short demonstration showed that farming is now a much faster affair, meaning you aren't slaving over each individual plant or crop.
Players will be tasked with bringing an economical boost to the sleepy Oak Tree Town, and along with rival farmers, will give the town the international renown it deserves. By competing with rival farmers you can earn more plots of land to farm, but can also lose them if you aren't keeping quality in mind. You can also visit other players and their farms via Wi-fi connectivity, where you can give them gifts or help them farm as well. There's also the requisite love interest, though the early demo didn't give us a chance to check it out, but players themselves will be able to check things out when Story of Seasons launches this winter.