Review by factnfiction101

"Same old Same old + new annoyances"

I'm not impressed with the game for the fact that it takes at least 2-3 years to really start the game. The amount of time that you will have to put into this game will make you never replay it. If you're the kind of person that plays a Harvest Moon game and can get to year 5 or more, this game might be for you. If you're like me and hardly ever make it to year 5, you won't like this one.

Controls:
This is my 2nd biggest gripe with the game. You have to use the stylus to move your character, which leads to watering, planting, etc... mistakes. It just seems like another Nintendo gimmick to make their games seem better, but fails and becomes a nuisance to actual gamers.

You will be watering the same spot 2-3 times on accident. Even after you play this game for a long time, you will still make those mistakes at least every now and then. Cutting lumber or busting up a rock is horribly inaccurate. I'm not sure if it's a problem with the wood objects and stone objects, or if it is just a object detection problem. You can use the buttons or d-pad to use the item or tool in that location. The D-pad does not control your character, and there isn't a option to change this. Options are nice.

Story:
Like most other Harvest Moon games, there isn't much of a story. Of course this isn't why you're playing the game. You're playing this game mainly to grow crops, sell crops, make money, raise animals, have relationships, etc... So the story isn't important.

Graphics:
The graphics are good, but the graphics can be kinda weird. The houses (inside and outside)are bland, they could have added more stuff to them. The houses are spaced a certain distances away from each other, I'm not sure why. The houses are spread out quite a bit, so there isn't much of a town effect.

Gameplay:
Farming: The farming like most other Harvest Moons isn't realistic. They tried to bring a new growing system to it, but its poor execution makes you wonder why they did it. Certain crops need a certain amount of water and sunlight, but there isn't a way of telling how much water you need to put on each crop. The ever decreasing stamina bar hinders you so much at the starting of the game, that you won't be able to water a decent size garden. So some of your crops will be at different stages, leaving you wondering if they need water or not. This problem could have been avoided if the ground showed how damp the crop is day by day. Darker ground = moist soil, lighter ground = dryer ground. You don't need to farm much after the first or second year, you'll spend most of your time in the mine.

Upgrading: This is what you're playing the game for, and what you spend all of your money on. This Harvest Moon is mainly to earn money to upgrade your farm, which isn't a bad thing, its just that the smallest upgrade is very very expensive. To make a simple incubator, it will cost you half of your monthly earnings. There is too many upgrades, you have to upgrade incubators, feeding pin, etc... Three big upgrades to have the biggest chicken coop. The starting of the game is a really hard to decide what you should spend your money on, and anything you waste money one hurts you so you have to choose wisely.

Character Interactions: This game is much worse than the others. You'd think after 11 years and so many sequels they could improve on this, but it is even worse than the ps1 and n64 versions. Adding some random dialogue for different people in the game would be a good start. I would love to play a Harvest Moon that had good people interactions, or possibly online (one can hope).

Music and Sound:
The music isn't noticeable, and it isn't bad. The music doesn't bother me which is a plus when I'm playing a game like this. The sound effects are good, they fit with the game. Both are not really noticeable, or bothersome.

Replay Value:
This game has no replay value, unless you screw up in your first year by wasting money. Coming up with a good strategy would be the main reason for playing a new game. If you're the type that plays these games without some sort of guide, it could take you a long time to come up with a good strategy.

Final Thoughts:
I would rent this game and try it for a week before buying it. I would not buy this game. I would suggest buying other Harvest Moons before this one.
My suggestions:
Harvest Moon Back to Nature - PS1
Harvest Moon 64 - N64
Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life - GC
Handhelds:
Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Town - GBA


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 04/27/09

Game Release: Harvest Moon DS: Island of Happiness (US, 08/26/08)


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