Review by FuzzMaster
"Not the greatest Harvest Moon, but defineatly worth it."
This game is another in the Harvest Moon series, and that is reason enough to give it a try. The concept remains the same. You still run around, planting crops, and taking care of your animals, just a farmer trying to make his way in the universe. This game is really addicting, so Natsume made it quite long.
Gameplay - 8/10
The gameplay remains the same as always. Natsume has made plenty of well-needed improvements. Such as, when your watering your crops, a little grid appears to tell you which one you are about to water. Natsume has added a LOT more realism to this Harvest Moon. For instance, cows stop giving milk after forty days (A game year), so you have to impregnate them again in order to get milk. Also, the crops now grow a difference pace than other crops. In other Harvest Moons, if you planted crops the same day, watered them the same amount each day, then they'd be ready the same day. Now some might die, while others live, or some will be ready a few days later. I had only two complaints about the Gameplay. One was moving your animals. Every day, you have to push your sheep towards the spout in the field, then brush them. Pushing them around can be extremely frustrating until you get it right. Two, you only have three girls to marry. What's with that? In other Harvest Moons, you got five or six.
I give Gameplay and 8/10.
Story - 7/10
Like all Harvest Moons, the story here isn't something you'd find from a Final Fantasy game or anything, it still remains as bland as ever. This time, your father has died, and left the farm that he founded with his best friend, Takakuru, to you. However, it isn't one of those ''Vanquish evil'' stories (You already KNEW that...), it's one of those stories that develop as you go on, thus, chapters.
I would give this a lower score, but how can you make a story about a farm interesting without going on about demons in the shed? I give Story 7/10.
Graphics - 9/10
There's no doubt about it. Graphically, this is the best Harvest Moon yet. More or less. The environments, houses and all that look great. Grass sways in the wind, when you ride your horse by a hill, you can see your shadow on the hill, overlapped by the trees shadows. Simply beautiful. The weeds sway in the wind, mist floats up from the waterfall. It's incredible. However, the character models are, in a way, sub par. Some characters eyes or kind of pixelated, some characters are kind of blocky, but overall, really good. By sub par, I meant these graphics should have taken control of all the GameCube's graphical power, like Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles did.
These aren't the best that GameCube can do, but I'd give Graphics 9/10.
Sound - 6/10
The sound here was really unimpressive. The music, when you actually hear it, it's quite good. But mostly this game is just boring, ambient sounds. You can change the music that happens on your farm, but you need records, and there's only one other that you can get without Friends of Mineral Town. Some houses have some *OK* music, but you hardly ever need to enter them. And the sound effects... UGH! At first, I had to turn my sound off because the sound effect of my character walking on gravel annoyed me so much. Until my horse came, my sound was off. The sound of your cow is so bad it drives me nuts. I can't stress my point so much that the sound here is awful.
I give Sound 6/10.
Replayability - 8/10
It's a Harvest Moon game! You can replay as much as you want! The possibilities for this game are endless! I don't need to say much more.
Final Recommendation - 8/10
Buy it, and if you don't do that, at least rent it. This game is GOOD. Fun, addicting. This game is great, and you'll have a really good time with it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/03/04
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