Review by XxXAmyxLeeXxX
"Harvest Moon is back and better than ever."
Oh my GOD!!!!
The Harvest Moon series is pretty much along the lines of this: You have a farm. You grow crops, raise animals, and get married. You usually have a child, who then helps you. But among all that, there is a certain thing you need to do, which is the point of the game. What I mean, is that there is one main objective, and the rest is all up to you. In this game, Tree of Tranquility, you actually don't have to complete the objective to play the meat of the game. I'm not a spoiler, so I won't tell you what that objective is.
Very good sound! The music is amazingly catchy (as in all the music in Harvest Moon games) and well thought out. My personal favorite is the Winter tune. It's very piano-y, really mellow and cool.
The sound effects brought this down a tad --- A TAD --- only because you hear the same thing everyday when you wake up. I personally have only played as a female, so I hear a little jingle and my character says "Let's go!" every morning when she wakes up. I must say, though, the voice acting is limited, but when it's there it's very good. A nice touch, Nintendo!
Well, they're not perfect, but they are very good. To me, at least.
I love how realistic the environment is. When you plant a tree (or when it pops up in your field) it grows and changes over time. Everything looks realistic, but cartoony. Cartoony environments and characters is a trademark of the Harvest Moon series, though, so this isn't like a "step down" or anything. The characters all have their own look; fitness, weight, height, and size. You can usually tell their age range just by looking at them.
As with all Harvest Moon games, the controls are very nice. The A button is the function button - whenever you have something in your hands, you press A button to use it. There are many more controls to learn. This game requires the Nunchuck, so if you don't own one yet, go buy it used at Game Stop or some other electronic store so you can actually play this game.
Veterans will find the controls simple and basic (which is good), while newcomers to video games (and the series in general) will find the controls easy to learn. What more can you ask from controls? Also, you don't need to "move around" to play this game. You move the analog stick on the Nunchuck to move around and navigate through things. It's a very well thought out system.
The story is good, but not perfect. I really don't want to spoil it, but here's the basics: A very special tree has died and you must re-plant it to save Waffle Island. As I said before, I don't want to spoil it, so I won't. I know it sounds uber boring, but if I tell you anymore then I would spoil it for you!
Actually, you don't even have to complete this task to play the game. I highly discourage that you do, though, because many of the eligible bachelor/ettes come after you have started the process of completing the task, which means more people on the island and more people to make friends with! I would say the story is awesome and well thought out, but as I said earlier, not perfect.
The gameplay is amazing. There is so much to do, and unlike Animal Crossing, you actually WANT to do it. It gets addicting very fast, and it's sooo fun.
A few examples of what you can do are: Grow crops, raise animals, make friends, try to complete the story, try to woo your future husband/wife, go mining, go fishing, work part-time, and so much more.
I would say one of the game's best features (to me) is the animal selection. There are eight animals in all total, with two new ones never-before seen in any Harvest Moon game --- oh, come on, I'm not going to tell you. But they are both incredible animals with their own unique features. Then, of course, the traditional cows, chickens, and sheep come back, along with horses, ducks, and goats. That wasn't a spoiler, for the record, as all of those animals have been in (mostly) all previous Harvest Moon games.
Also, there is a huge selection of crops you may grow --- about five to six for each season, excluding Winter. But Winter still has one crop (not including flowers) you can grow, so you won't be broke if you don't have any animals in the Winter.
A score only I personally give. The most important factor of a game lies here. Worth about 30%. Yep.
Marvelous, you did it again. More animals, more crops, new environment, and nearly new everything!!! Very creative!!! AMAZING!!!
Amazing game. Very few are better than this. One of the best games I have played in a very long time.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/12/09
Game Release: Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility (US, 09/30/08)
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