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In the boy version, it took many game years of meticulous brushing, grooming, and talking everyday to get your animal's hearts to 10 and have a chance at winning the local competitions. I don't know if this was a bug or if it was deliberate.
I found it extremely annoying, and quit playing the game before I even got an animal to the point where it could win a competition.
I won't buy the game in this case. Animal breeding is my favourite part of the game, and it's frustrating how long it takes to get those hearts up so you can win a competition and start breeding level 2 animals.
I have an action replay thing, so if there's a code that speeds it up a bit I might reconsider buying the game.
Did you leave your animals outside...? The growth in this game is about the same as in FoMT and stuff, just a LITTLE bit slower.
If you leave your animals outside and remember to brush and pet (and milk in cows case) with the touch glove getting the red heart every day, and then talk to them regularly without the touch glove (doesn't work on chickens) then you will be able to get their hearts up in no time.
For chickens at least, I have been able to get 5 hearts on a few of them by the end of the first year. And I didn't get them until some time in Summer. I only got my cows and sheep recently, but I'm sure they will move just as quickly. In most of the other games, cows and sheep seem to raise affection faster than chickens because you can interact with them more.
Just wake me up when Tokimeki Memorial 4 is announced.
I had the same problem, acornah. The process goes faster if you do the brushing/petting minigames every single day, but for me, those minigames got old pretty fast. I came up with a different solution: invest in the harvest sprites' brushing/petting animal care team.
I get three or four members of that team unlocked, then hire them all the time. If you keep your animals outside on sunny days and have the animal care team (especially once they get good at their jobs with experience), the animal hearts will go up, and stay up.
That sounds like an excellent way to get around the problem.
Just to note that I did the whole spiel with every animal, including minigames for picking up petting, brushing, washing, milking, and shearing for every possibility every day. It's still too slow for me, and yeah, the minigames get REALLY old and tedious. It's just that I usually quit playing the game once I've got all the upgrades and have a husband/wife and child. That's why I find it hard to advance my animals to the point where they can win the competitions.
Is the horse glitch fixed? It's been a while since I played the boy version, but I believe that there was a glitch that the horse couldn't get any hearts? Is there any point to raising your horse's hearts?
Even though my horse never got any hearts it's affection level definately did rise. If you use the glitch to milk your horse over time the milk level will rise. On my current file in the boy version my horse is giving me almost level 40 milk.
In this version I don't see any benefit to your horse having a lot of affection for you. You can't milk it. I tried.