Review by permanent marker
"The worst in the series yet."
Harvest Moon 3 for the GameBoy Color is the third installment on the GBC. But, is it better than the original two, or does it fail miserably? Read on to find out.
Graphics: The graphics have been improved in some areas, while they mostly stay the same. The fish tanks in the aquarium have been nicely done, and so have the movies you can watch at the movie theatre. Other than that, pretty much everything has been taken from HM2. Not the best game to play if you want pretty pictures, but the Harvest Moon series has never been about cutting edge graphics. 7/10
Sound: Ugh, can it get any more repetitive? You get one song for each of the seasons. So, for entire ''days'' at a time, you're going to be stuck with the same annoying song, day in and day out. It gets old, really quickly. You'll find yourself praying for rain, to hear the nice white noise instead. But, you can just turn off the sound very easily. 4/10
Gameplay: This is where the Harvest Moon series usually triumphs. The idea is simple, you are to take care of a farm, and make it profitable. To do this, you grow crops, several for each season, and take care of animals, in this game you can have horse, sheep, cows, and chickens. Also, the idea of being on an island, that lets you go to the mainland on certain days, makes you plan ahead, so you don't end up running out of crops or animals, and have nothing to do. The mainland also introduces many ways to relax, movies, the aquarium, etc. Sadly, these features add nothing to the game. I found myself rarely wanting to shell out the money required to watch a movie, nor did the idea of catching, and watching fish sound very interesting. Something that pains me even more, is the removal of the upgrades. Basically, you now have carpets you can put in, a television (No longer coming with your house at the beginning of the game) and a crib, if you want to have a child. Also, during a certain part of the game, you can buy a garbage disposal, which makes compost for you. Sadly, no house upgrades, or a hot house, from HM2. This left me finding myself very bored with my surroundings, with very few goals to reach. The fishing mini-game is useless, cast your line, and either catch a fish, or catch junk. Nothing more. Of course, this could be because Natsume would rather you buy Legend of the River King 2, if you want a fishing game. The introduction of marriage and having a partner to help out around the house, dumbs down the gameplay even more. I found it much easier to get your partner to fall in love with you a whole lot easier, unlike the challenge of the Super Nintendo version. This made me have to pace myself, to lengthen out the game. Your partner, will either take care of the planting and harvesting if you're a female, leaving you with taking care of your animals. If you choose to be the male, you'll do all the harvesting and she'll take care of the animals. This basically gives you half of a game. You pick what you want to do, and that's it. You can't do anything with the animals, if you're a male, or anything with the plants if you're a female. This made the game a whole lot more boring, unlike previous installments. I have to give it an average score, because it is halfway decent.
Story: I'm not going to give the story a rating, because there is none. Well, yes, technically there is. After your success with the farm in Harvest Moon 2, you now move on to a new town, and a new farm, to help out someone who has recently inherited it. Not much of a story here.
Worth playing through more than once? There's very little in me that wants to go through this very tedious game again. You might want to play as the other sex, so you can actually get a complete game, instead of half, but I gave up shortly into my next file.
Buy or Rent? I'd say rent, this isn't as good as the previous installment. If you need a good portable farming fix, get Harvest Moon 2, it should be cheaper than this, but harder to find.
Final Thoughts :
''Wow, a new Harvest Moon, with increased features, sounds like a whole lot of fun.'' These were my thoughts, when I first picked up the game. However, after about a week of playing it, I got tired, very fast. The idea of having a partner basically gives you half of a game. The reduced house upgrades, and the attempt at ''improving'' the series with a bunch of useless mini-games made this very tedious. I give this game an average score of a 5, it's good, but not good enough. Check out HM2 if you need a good portable farming fix.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 06/07/02, Updated 06/07/02
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