Review by SirUltimos
"Harvest Moon - A game that farms fun!"
The Harvest Moon series of videogames has long been respected by gamers everywhere. Games from the series have appeared on the SNES, N64, Gameboy, Playstation, Playstation 2, and now Gameboy Advance. Now, how does the newest incarnation, Friends of Mineral Town, hold up? Well, let's check it out!
The graphics in this game are great! The tilesets used are detailed (Rose Square looks amazing due to this), the characters each have a distinctive look, and the plants actually look how they're supposed too. There are also some neat visual effects present, such as a neat day changing effect where the screen changes brightness and colour slightly to match the different times of day. The graphics are also very reminiscent of the game Golden Sun, so if you've played either of the Golden Sun games, you should know what to expect.
The musical score of this game may be it's one downside. Each season you are presented with a light, cheery tune that will likely have you humming it before long. However, these songs are catchy at first, but after 30 game days of listening to the same song, it gets repetitive and your likely to turn down your volume.
The sound effects, on the other hand, are great! They fit in perfectly with the light mood of the game, and everything has it's own distinct sound. Also, there is quite a bit of variety to the sound effects, meaning you won't likely tire from them too quickly.
Gameplay is one area that Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town can beat most other games with a stick.
The gameplay is standard Harvest Moon fare, but with plenty of nice additions that make this Friends of Mineral Town worth playing. It works like this: You have just inherited a farm, and with it you can, you guessed it, plant and farm crops! However, before your farming adventure begins, you must first clear your land, till the land, but seeds, and water until they grow. One of the great things is how many crops you plant, anything from turnips to tomatoes, corn to cucumbers. In addition, you can also raise animals, chickens, cows, and sheep, scavenge the forest and sell plants you find, and even mine for silver and gold!
If this wasn't enough, you also can try and swoon the girl of your choice (of which there are plenty), upgrade your cozy shack to a beautiful mansion, and even play with your dog! This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the various choices within the choices, the seasonly festivals, and the fun games you can play with the harvest sprites! One very cool point is that when you go into town, you will see the townspeople moving through town and going about their own business!
The replayability of HM:FoMT is a very hard area to explain. there are near limitless reasons to replay the game, get different girls, get a bigger house earlier, etc., but the fact that the game can go on for so long (5+ years game time) makes it hard to start a new game, because it could take you over 100 hours to get that far.
This game is extremely fun! The farming can get repetitive and tedious, but you'll always find ways to have fun. Also, with so many different ways to play and things to do, you'll have a hard time finding the time to do it all, and each one is more fun than the last!
8/10 (Note:Not an average)
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral is a game that I consider to be an extremely fun, beautiful game, that most people will enjoy! I recommend you try and find this game, because regrets is something you won't be farming if you do!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/24/03
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