Review by fourfourtwo442
"Could've been excellent"
I'm fourfourtwo442, and here's my first review!
Anyway, Harvest Moon DS was anticipated with mixed expectations, like a few figured, the graphics weren't a big step up from Harvest Moon FoMT (Friends of Mineral Town), and the gameplay stayed the same. Start a farm with a field packed with weeds, stones and logs of various sizes, which lead to levelling your tools to remove them, which then leads to farming and planting whilst keeping friendship with the villagers and wooing that special lady that you want to marry. I have the EU version which let me tell you now is deprieved of quite a lot of features. (Read on to find out >_>)
But there's a few changes.
*There's a few spoilers coming up so watch out*
One of them is quite a good one, that being the introduction of the accesory slot, where you can put on various necklaces or bracelets etc. which can really help with farming, one example is the teleport gem, which is used differently this time around (more on that later). Another is the hugely expanded rucksack. Back in FoMT, you had 18 slots, including the tool equipped and the thing you were carrying in your hands, this time around, you start off with a backpack with 18 slots, and can be further enhanced up to 54! Not only that, you can stack up on times, for example, let's say in the old game you had 4 bodigizer and 4 turbojolt in FoMT taking up 8 slots on your rucksack, this time, each of the 4 bodigizers and turbojolts would take 1 slot for all of them, ie; 1 slot that holds 4 bodigizers and one that holds 4 turbojolts. That makes carrying things a breeze. Also, when you put an item in your hands, and you end up dragging 4 of them in your item slot (using the touch screen) when you drink it, you will only drink one, which is, well expected, but it's a good thing it does that because you can carry 99 fences of stone, wood or golden lumber and put them down one at a time, and when you drop it, the other 98 will still be in your hands, making organizing your farm a real breeze.
Now, all the gameplay is done on the top screen, so you might be wondering what goes on on the touch screen? Well that's where there are 5 menus;
* Diary, for saving and loading
* Rucksack, with 3 sections and 3 slots, one for your tool, accesory and item (basic stuff like weed etc.). Holds up to 54 items, with a maximum of 99 per slot.
* World Map; This is an awesome feature, if you have teleport gem equipped, it will teleport you to where you touched, and if you have anything else on, then if you tap a section of the map it will zoom in, and using the inacceleratable arrow keys, you can see what's going on in that maq square! If you have one of the tool necklaces equipped, you can tap a square in the map section and you will automatically use your tool on that square from ANYWHERE you are, apart from events. Great for saving time!
* Farm Summary; this is like the earnings and memo in FoMT. There is a logo of money, and beside that is your actual money count, tapping on it shows your income and outcome. There is your character portrait, and if you tap it, you can check how much experience you have with your tools, your current title (learner, apperentice, farm cheif etc.) and if you scroll down you can see your different shipped items, your animals, harvest cards, and amount of each material you have (you can choose what to make buildings out of from fodder, wood, stone and gold lumber), all with a tap of the screen!
* Sprite Station; This is like the TV thing from FoMT, by unlocking some of the many sprites, you can view up to a maximum of 9 channels here, some of which show weather, and give beginner tutorials.
You're probably thinking by reading this review why I didn't give this game 10. Well that's because a handful of negatives come with these fresh positives. I previously mentioned how the EU version is deprieved of many features, such as the Sprite Casino, where you can earn medals to hire sprites or purchase various items, only includes one casino game! Or that some of the Sprite Channels don't work even after you unlock the respective sprite!
One of the worst is the fact there is absolutely ZERO compatibility with Harvest Moon FoMT, unlike the NA and JP version when they come on certain days, in the EU version, there is no such thing.
Along with all these EU-negativity, there is also a handful of glitches in this game, such as the infamous 1 Billion G glitch, where you can randomly earn 1 billion G if you let the Harvest Sprite Fishing Team fish during winter, which can be EXTREMELY helpful, although it ruins the fun of the game and can bug your game, such as sometimes when you save, it will corrupt! There are also a lot of other glitches, some of which are hepful, like levelling the milker (which was taken out of the EU version to make us work FOREVER to level the milker up!) but most of them are annoying.
There are a total of 48 villagers in this game, if you have FoMT compatability, 14 of which you can marry!! Well if you don't have the EU version that is. Anyway, something extremely annoying in this game is that instead of just 7 Harvest Sprites, there are 101 different ones to unlock by doing various tasks such as milking a cow with the touch panel glove a certain amount of times or watering 50,000 squares!! They are categorized into different teams such as watering, harvest, etc. but you can only hire one team at a time!!! And you need to find 60 before you can get married!!
Unlike FoMT though, this game has a certain story. The Witch Princess was jealous of the Harvest Goddes, so one day she casts a spell that, by mistake, turns the Harvest Goddess to stone, and then by another mistaken spell, sends her to a different dimension! And she sends the Sprites to find her!! So you need to find the Harvest Sprites to bring her back, and it takes 60 to achieve that.
Now for the conclusion.
That one word, really defines this review, which basically summed up, means that if you enjoyed the previous harvest moon games, and are looking for a place to start all over again but with new characters and such, then this is your game, even if you are new, this game will be good, but for the Europeans, this game was lacking in some quite missed features. More customizability in this game such as a wide range of buildings to be made, which reminds me;
YOU MUST BUILD YOUR OWN COW SHED AND CHICKEN BARNS AT THE START!
Which can make the game hard to begin, but with a few good seasons, you'll be on your way!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 04/04/08
Game Release: Harvest Moon DS (EU, 04/13/07)
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