Review by DivineRequiem48
"A Semi-Nice Life"
HM: AWL is a great game. I can sum it up quite easily.
1. The graphics are considered bad, due to how old it is now, but for it's time, it's graphics are unbelievable, you can see the water ripple, that grass bend in the wind, and even leaves falling off the trees. 8/10
2. The storyline is a bit more in depth than some of the other Harvest Moons. People in HM: AWL actually die after they become too old. You raise child into an adult, and influencing his personality. A number of things happen depending on the person you marry, other that just being with that person, people move away, some people like you more, some like you less. 9/10
3. The game play of HM: AWL is a bit more fun, due to the reality of the game. The farm life is hard, since you need to water you plants more frequently, take care of your animals a lot more, and to obtain most fun, you need to become friends with the townsfolk. 8/10
4. The content is a bit more filled out. There are plants, wild plants, trees, hybrid plants, hybrid trees, cows, bulls, star cows, brown cows, chickens, ducks, horses, etc. In other words, more animals, more crops, and more experimentation.
Now, I'll be honest, this game is not as good as, say, HM: FoMT.
Like all games, HM: AWL has it's downsides, some huge problems, some trivial matters.
1. There is no real challenge to marrying as there was in other Harvest Moons. You can usually get them to accept your proposal in about mid Fall, whereas the other Harvest Moon games it usually took at least 2 years if you don't neglect your farm.
2. The events were not so great, just a guy playing guitar really.
3. You either are so poor, you can't do much, or so rich, the game is no fun, there is no in between.
4. The sounds were not that amazing, the sound effects I would rate as 6/10. The music is another different story, you can only hear music while indoors, and the music there is not very good (unless you have connected to HM: FoMT) so I would rate music as a 4/10.
5. A small thing that makes the game less fun is that there are very few recipes you can make. Thinking about the small amount of things you can cook brings me back to the old days of FoMT, where you had to cook certain dishes to make even better dishes, and you can use those dishes to make even better dishes. This game just doesn't spend too much for cooking sadly.
6. An even smaller problem that really irritates me is the shed outside your house. The shed was supposedly going to be a horse shed, but the programmers decided not to use it. Rather than removing it however, they merely shut it off so that it cannot be opened. Now, I know that it is not much of a problem, but if they had actually taken it out, they could have expanded the fields you have in order to grow crops, plus, it really is an eyesore.
Overall, this game has it goods and it's bads. I would suggest if you're considering buying, to rent or borrow from a friend first, and see if you like it. This Harvest Moon seems to be fun for only a select number of people, those that are patient, and love to experiment.
Also, though a good game, do not put too high of expectations on it, it will seem a lot worse than it really is if you expect too much from it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/13/09
Game Release: Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (US, 03/16/04)
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