Review by exarkunnn
"Who could've thought that farming could be so addicting?"
Recently, I began hunting for a good game to buy for my gameboy advance, since I haven't bought any game in ages. I started looking in the boards of gamefaqs, when I stumbled across this game. When I saw the title, I had no clue what it was (Harvest Moon is totally knew to me), and I was quite skeptic. I never thought that a farming game could be any fun, and I guess I was wrong. I read numerous reviews on this game, all saying that this game rocks, that it's the best, a classic, etc. After reading all those reviews, I decided to try it out, so I desperately searched through numerous video stores to rent it, until I found one. When I started playing it, I soon realised that all those people saying how this game is fantastic weren't lying at all.
As soon as I started playing this game, I was captivated by it's originality, this style of game was quite new for me, and I must say that i gladly welcomed the change from RTS to farming Sim. Everything in this game is a blast to me. Planning the farm, how to spend all my money, trying to get a girl to love me, getting the sprites to help me out, wandering around town, all that is really fun.
I got nothing bad at all to say about gameplay. Everything is so great. The controls are smooth and easy to learn, no too sensitive, nothing frustrating in the game, except maybe pushing the animals outside. In this game, there is numerous things that you can do: Plant crops, take care of animals, harvest, mine, learn to cook, go to festivals, woo a girl, fish and much more.
Farming: The farming, main aspect of the game, is a real blast to me, even though sometimes, at start, is quite frustrating. When you are quite poor and have no one to help you out, you depend on your crops and it takes forever to water around 50 squares of crops, then harvest them, bring them to the shipment box, do it again and again. However, once you get help, it's not as much as a chore and if your help is good enough, all you will have to do is plan your farm and plant seeds.
Animal caring: Taking care of the animals is quite easy, and doesn't take long. If you want your animals to be productive, you got to make them happy... How do you make them happy? Simple: Carry them (just one second is enough), pet them, bring them outside, bring them in when it's raining and feed them well. If you do so they will produce much more, therefore will get you richer. For that too you can get help, however the help isn't very reliable, that's why I did that myself, and it's not very long to take care of every animals.
There are more aspects to gameplay, but those two are the most important ones, and unfortunately covering them all would take too long. All I can say, however, is that the gameplay is near perfect in every aspect, except the fact that they are very time consuming, sometimes to much.
No story at all, well, hardly any story. The only story is how you got the farm: Some old guy you barely knew died and gave you the farm. Period. I'm the kind of guy that likes good stories, so I was disappointed, but I've made research and noticed that all Harvest Moon games are like this, so I guess it doesn't matter that much, since the game is still a real blast.
What to say about the graphics, other then: They are PERFECT!! I was really amazed to see how well detailed everything is for a gameboy advance game. Really beautiful. There are so many details that makes this game look almost as much realistic as some average-looking gamecube games.
The music is quite enjoyable, but for me, as long as it's not annoying, I dont give a ratsy's hind about the music, so I didn't really notice how good or bad it sounds. All I know is that the sound effects are great, and that the music isn't annoying at all.
Replayability seems the essence of this game. It never ends, and you never get tired of it. There are so many ways to play this game, so many different things that you could play for more then 100 hours without getting bored at all.
Alas, no games are perfect, and the challenge rating is the problem of this game. As soon as you get help on the farm, the game becomes WAY too easy, and even if you don't get help, it's still easy, however it takes much much longer to do everything. For some people, having a challenge while playing a game is not important at all, but for those that is, like me, will sometimes become frustrated because of this
GAMEPLAY = 9/10
STORY = N/A
GRAPHICS = 10/10
SOUND = 9/10
REPLAYABILITY = 10/10
CHALLENGE RATING = 5/10
Overall (Not an Average) = 8.8/10
Gamefaqs score = 9/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/02/04
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