Despite what I wrote in this post earlier in the week (and on Twitter over the last number of weeks), I don't hate Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley.
In fact, there are quite a few things I like about this decidedly and unfortunately controversial 3DS title. Among them are its:
* art style--I'm sure a lot of people absolutely loathe how this game looks, but I'm not one of them. In fact, I'm quite fond of its low-poly aesthetics, which harken back to the days of the original PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. I especially like the bobblehead-esque human characters, and the animals are pretty darn cute, too.
* soundtrack--The Lost Valley's soundtrack isn't going to outright wow anyone or make them think it was produced by Nobuo Uematsu or someone like that. (Instead, it was composed by Tsukasa Tawada, who previously worked on the Keio Flying Squadron title and a bunch of Pokémon spinoffs.) Still, it's enjoyably subtle, if a bit repetitive. I haven't yet gotten sick of any of its tunes, though, which I'd say is a pretty good sign, all things considered.
* characters--By this, I don't mean character designs, especially as I mentioned them earlier. No, I'm talking about the characterizations featured in The Lost Valley. Each of the non-player characters you encounter in this game have unique and appealing (for the most part, at least) personalities. I wouldn't call them amazing, mind you, but I'd definitely say they're more pleasant than they have any right to be.
* story--In a way, at least. I mean, in a way, I hate this game's story with the heat of a thousand suns--mainly because it's responsible for the first, in-game year taking place in a nearly constant winter--but aside from that, I like its overall arc about returning the seasons to this desolate land by enlisting the aid of its handful of denizens.
* developer's daring (some may call it bat-shit crazy) decision to put and leave players in a completely uncomfortable situation for long periods of time--This one's another odd choice (just like the last bullet point), I have to admit, as it's the aspect of this game that is sure to piss off nearly everyone who plays it. Still, you've got to give it to the folks at Natsume (and Tabot, Inc.) for having the balls to take such a route. If only it had resulted in something that were more artistic and less ... annoying.
See also: previous posts about Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley