Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley is a very different kind of game from the previous Harvest Moon titles, as it borrows heavily from Minecraft’s user-created style of world-building. That having been said, there are other, less drastic changes being made to the game as well.
One of these changes is that items in the game are now context-sensitive, Natsume revealed in a developer diary on their blog. When you stand in front of a tree, if you happen to have an axe in your bag, the game will automatically know that you intend to cut the tree down, and you’ll just need to press A to do it. You won’t have to open a menu to equip the tool first.
Another change is that you no longer need to go hunting for ore to upgrade your tools. Instead, Harvest Sprites act as your tool upgrades. You can ask for their help, and they’ll water your crops, mine material stones, collect lumber and more. Natsume say this change was made so the player would spend less time doing grindy things and more time exploring the land.
Finally, Natsume say you can stack 255 of each item type in your bag, which will prevent you from having to constantly run back to your home for items because you couldn’t carry everything you wanted.
Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley will be available later this year in North America. Europe will see the game sometime in 2015.