"So, you're heading back to nature to enjoy a wonderful life again and pretty much save your childhood's homeland?"

[.introduction]

You're standing in front of the farm, looking over the overgrown bushes of weed and stones that have been gathered over the years. It was quite a while ago you got lost here and was taken care of an old man who owned the farm. But they are only vague memories now. He's dead now. And he left what he loved the most to you; his farm. So, you're heading back to nature to enjoy a wonderful life again and pretty much save your childhood's homeland?

[.gameplay]

Harvest Moon is a game you quickly learn to gain control over... over the control that is. Although in some cases you have to press two buttons at the time to execute an action, and in most cases these are the things you do more so often than the ones that you just need to press one button for. Except for that, it's good.

It can get a bit annoying to feed animals and water your crops every single day, I admit it. Yes, you can indeed hire some of the sprites to do your work, but then you have to give them gifts and other things to make up for working, and it takes time.

It's not easy to “let this game go”. This is the game that you get more addicted to than drugs, the game you might get tired of after some time, but when you least expect it, you're sitting there in front of you Gameboy Advance again and have no idea why or how you started with it again, even if you have tons of chores to do.

[.story]

The story is the same as always, your grandfather died and your dad doesn't have time to care of the farm. Or? No, not really, this time it's actually an unknown man that you met as a child a kept as a pen pal. A bit different, but not much. The rest of the storyline is the same as always I guess, take care of the farm and get married. It sounds so boring, but I never get tired of it. Ever. Even if it's the same thing over and over again, and the same characters, you'll still keep playing it. Always.

Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is unfortunately not nonlinear like Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, although I don't see it as a bigger problem. I guess it makes the game more predictable next time you play it, but I hope that shouldn't stop one from playing it again.

[.graphics/sound]

I know GameboyAdvance is capable of doing better than this; however, this graphic is, from what I've heard, a sort of HM 64/Back to Nature graphic. I like it alot, it really fits the game and you don't get tired of it. The music can get annoying, then again, if you hook it up with a GameCube you can change records, so in that way, you don't really get tired of that either.

Like said, the graphic really fits the game, and even if done by Natsume, these are the kind of graphics I like on Nintendo consoles, it's a lot more fun to play. The sound isn't actually that annoying, after a while, yes, but what music doesn't get annoying when being repetitive?

[.play time/replayability]

I don't think the game has an end; you can keep it up as long as you want, if you want to. There are things you can't do once you're married, so if you want to discover it all in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, you should replay it. There are so many events in this game, so you might have to play the game a couple of times to discover them all. Also, since you're able to choose from different wives to marry, that's also gives a reason to replay the game.

[.final recommendation]

Definitely worth buying. Heck, your renting time will be way gone when you finally switch off the game and get back to reality, and the bill you'll get by then will be a lot higher than buying ten copies of the game.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/19/04


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