Review by bigglescat

"Not bad, but can get very dull after much playing"

Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life is the yet another entry in Natsume's farming series. This game follows the same basic formula that all Harvest Moon games follow, move to a small town, take over a farm, and begin to live a farmer's life.

Story:
You move to Forget-Me-Not-Valley after your father passes away in order to take over the farm and start a new life as a farmer. Not the most exciting story but for this type of game, it gets the job done

7/10

Graphics:
Very beautiful graphics for a GameCube game. The lighting effects are great, the settings are breathtaking and include an ocean, waterfalls, trees and more. Your farm looks nice as well and the models for characters and animals are cute and completely fit this style of game.

10/10

Gameplay:
The game is a farming game with rpg elements. Farming can be quite addicting but the farming is different than other harvest moon games. You have to water crops multiple times a day and there are only ten days per season. Crops are not worth a ton and are better used to hybridize new crops, as well as make seeds. Raising animals is fun but cows only give milk for a year unless you impregnate them. Sheep are fun to raise but are not the best for money. Chickens are an inexpensive way to make money. Social interaction is also an important feature of the Harvest Moon series. You can become friends with villagers and even get married. Marriage is required to progress the story and you even have a son. To make up for the more shallow dating concept, emphasis was placed on raising your son. You can interact with him and ultimately sway his career choices in the end. While all of this seems fun after about a year or so of in game playing the game can get incredibly dull and repetitive. This is because farming really begins to revolve around seed making and hybridizing rather than just purely raising crops. This is not too dull but could have been more exciting. Marriage gets dull after a year because of how the game forces you to wed in the first year. Interacting with your son can be cute but for awhile he does not do much except repeat the same lines of dialogue over and over again. The townspeople also suffer from this same problem because they only have a few lines of dialogue and are therefore quite boring. Also, becoming friends with the townspeople is incredibly easy and if you know what gifts they like, will only take about a year. You could also go mining and fishing and both of these can be fun and good ways to make money. However, mining can get dull after a lot of mining and fishing is difficult to master. The same music also constantly loops at your farm, unless you have Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Town to connect to to get more music. Since this game is very long the dull nature becomes very apparent after just 1-2 years of in-game playing. But since the core mechanics are still fun if you have patience you may still enjoy the same activities throughout the entire game.

7/10

Controls:

They work well for this game, no real issues

10/10

Bugs/Glitches/Oddities:
There are not too many bugs but the translation can be pretty terrible and spelling errors are everywhere. I guess proof-reading was not a top priority

7/10

Overall- 6.8/10, rounded up to 7/10
The game can be very fun and addicting but can also get dull after while, only buy if you love this genre of games and are a very patient person.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/31/11

Game Release: Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (US, 03/16/04)


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