Review by longlivejoe
"Alright game I guess"
Well, between you and me, this was in fact my first Harvest Moon game in my life. After I beat this game, yeah I played the occasional Harvest Moon for the Nintendo 64 and I gave my cousin's Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town a whirl.
Well sure, once you start to play and really get into this game you will be playing 24/7 I guarantee it. This game will keep you fairly busy if you play it every day. In the review you are about to read, I will state the good points and major flaws of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life.
This game really doesn't have a well thought out plot like you were shipwrecked and had to start a farm to stay alive. You first start the game just you and your business partner. He is your uncle and his name is Takakura and you both help take over your dad's farm after he passes away. The farm is in fairly good shape, so no need to spend your starting money on repairs. This makes the game less challenging in the beginning. But then again, there is always room for improvements! In this game, one month is ten days and one full year is 40 days. Pretty short for a year, right? Well, this game has an incredible 6 chapters, and each chapter ranges from one to three years long. Animals play a big money maker in this game. You must rely on sheep, cows, horses, and goats for money. Aging is an important component of the game. You and basically everyone else in Forget-Me-Not valley ages. In this game, there are only three possible girls you can marry. Their names are Celia, Muffy and Nami. This game is primarily about your son and helping him choose one of the various jobs or careers. He can be either a rancher, a farmer, a musician, an athlete, or a scholar. (I think that's all of them) Persuading your son into a career depends on who he sees as a young child, who you befriend, and what type of items you show him on a daily basis.
The graphics for Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life are fairly good. It is a full blown 3D experience. In my opinion, aging is the best display of graphics this game has. Also the seasons show a good deal of graphics. Water and surrounding creatures such as fish and other animals (raccoons, turtles, lizards) look lifelike. But compared to some other games for the Gamecube Network, these aren't the best. Overall, the graphics won't mess you up or anything, but they still could improve.
Horrible grammar and lazy spelling errors really hurt this game. One error is with the MP (miracle potion) It calls it MQ or something (check it out for yourself I can't recall what it said). Plus, the villagers say the same things over and over again. The thing that made me mad the most was that the only button you use in this game is the "A" button. You need to press "A" for fishing, riding your horse, milking cows, processing food and just about every other control in the game. The only other buttons you use are the "R" button for calling your dog and horse (double click the R button for the horse to come) and the start button. The bad part about this game is that after chapter six, you die and must start a new file. But if you really get into the game and like it, it probably won't bother you.
This game is the most repetitive game I have ever played. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has some of the worst re-playability I have ever seen. Lack of things to keep you busy and badly planed cut-scenes really ruin the game. Some days you will be pumped to play this game, and sometimes it's a chore to just pick up the controller. But when you get farther into the game, you will start to play more because your son is maturing and picking his career.
SOUND and MUSIC: 9/10
I personally love the records and music this game puts forward. These songs can soothe you like no other after a long, hard day. And if you feel like it, you can rotate the two records you have in your possession, or you can link Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and buy new records from Van. I have never obtained these records personally, but I have heard good things about them. If you do not have a Gameboy Advance or connector cables, that's a shame. If you don't have both of these items, borrow them from a friend so you can link and get these records.
Total score= 31/50
This game scored a thirty one out of a possible fifty points. But in closing i'd like to say that Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is a great game. But, like every game, it had some flaws. Before you buy this game, rent it and see if you like it and it does not make you sleepy. Maybe in the future, Natsume will get a little more creative and filter these minor bugs and make the next best Harvest Moon game.
longlivejoe- submitted February 10, 2005
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 02/11/05
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