Review by Mad Monarch Gyl
"Just a copy of Back to Nature? Think Again!"
Okay, who won't love such farming game? Well at least for those who just started playing one they do tend to fall in love with the game instantly but for those long time ones then I have nothing to say. Okay there are like almost a dozen Harvest Moon game out there and if you'll try to look at them separately you'll notice that two or three of these games are somehow very familiar from each other and if not it would only have a couple of new things in them. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town can be quite easily be compared to Harvest Moon: Back to Nature of it's PSX counterpart then again it is rather familiar to Harvest Moon 64 itself. Okay, since they're all familiar then why would people still purchase them? It's because that they've got an added features that they're hoping to find in one game. There are people thinking of not wasting money on games that are very much like the one they've already had then again let's go down the stretch and see why Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town scores a 8.
Farming at its finest, or so what you might hear on every Harvest Moon games. I've been fond of their very simple gameplay yet with all the stuffs in the game and after playing it like a day or two straight you'll know yourself that it ain't just about farming. Anyway, the game features the very same farming concepts in the game as it follows the HM:BTN or HM:64 style. Like Potatoes grows within the range of 5 days, an egg could turn into a chick after 4 days, stuffs like that and at the same time the whether are still up there giving you a good or a bad time farming. You'll also get the very same farming tool to start with and a very messy farm that regenerates itself when starting a new game. The very same tool levels follows but this time there's a new equipment known as the 'Cursed Tool' much like a higher level equipment it's a step higher than Mystril(I think) and simply the title cursed gives it a cool ring to it. Anyway putting everything into settlement the game is naturally taken from either HM64 or HM:BTN as it has very familiar concepts and people to it. Now let's talk about why it is way different from the said titles. To begin with since the GBA version couldn't support longer characters translating the jap to english will still give you the very same people of the game though you'll notice some new stuffs. Anyway, the girls are still there all 5 of them as well as their rivals and their parents. The Mineral Town is quite different now as the place is rather re-organized and arranged in a very new order. Time doesn't fly to fast in the game or at least that's what I feel. You can still woo and marry a girl and at the same time get a baby from them. The same way applies on wooing them. Everyone's favorite merchant's present but now Won resides on Zak's place instead of the bar. The very same seeds still applies though with some that are left out. There'll be more forage-able items found in the game compared to the said titles. The upgrades are better. More selection and gives you the chance of earning a house and a lot in town. We've all bragged about Harvest Moon is that you'll only get a chance to save before going to sleep this time you'll be allowed to save almost anywhere and anytime. The very same tools and animal concepts works as well. Lastly, the Festivals are new and has a couple more addition. Controls are rather tricky though as it requires you to check out the handbook for more info since it'll be using combinations of shoulder buttons and normal ones. With that I think that's about it.
The very same story applies. You've got three years to settle things down and earn the right to keep your grandfather's farm. Events follows much like the said titles and some new different ones unfolds. Basically you'll find the story very familiar though as it would mainly aim for you to strive hard to be able to earn the respect of the villagers as a predecessor to your grandfather's work.
The graphics are like the PSX version but is put into a GBA format. You may think that it may sound or look bad but they've done a nice job working things out. The visuals are quite great s you'll really notice the harvest moon theme it had. The characters are drawn quite perfect and the houses and structures found are rather nice looking. The surrounding and the environment do change as certain whether and season comes. The animals moves quite very much lively and the animation when farming or using tools are rather good. The rain is even better here than the PS2 HM.
The sounds are great. Nice background music which is rather a very cheerful one and a very good responses on animals when tools are used on them. Also you'll notice some sound when giving something as it represents how they like it. The game would only feature different music depending on the type of setting your character's in whether it's raining hard or there's a typhoon they've done a wonderful job with it. Some responses are great like dropping off things and stuffs.
With 5 girls to marry and different farm regenerated each time the strategy and time organization really will make you wanna play them over and over. Basically it's up to you to stop and start a new game after earning the right on the farm.
But it or not? Definitely a must Buy for harvest moon fans out there. You'll gonna love this game. Well renting it costs another money so why not just check out BTN and N64 and ask yourself ''Shouldn't the game be good if there's <insert-good-feature>?'' They why not try and find it in HM:FoMT.
Overall : 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/22/03, Updated 06/22/03
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