Review by TomNook20

Reviewed: 03/18/04

A wonderful game that has COWS!!!!!

Well, the Harvest Moon series has been around since the SNES days. This farming RPG has shown people the joys of raising crops, making friends, and milking cows. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (HM:AWL) is the latest installment in the series. It has been a highly anticipated game by Harvest Moon fans, but just how good a game is it?

Graphics: 8/10
As in most simulation games, graphics play a big role. Since intense fighting and that kind of stuff don’t distract you, you need a nice looking environment. The graphics for this game are very nice. They are bright and colorful. The characters were nicely drawn and the environment looks great. I have seen better graphics for the GCN, but HM's graphics still are very good.

Sound/Music: 7/10
The music in this game is verrrry nice. The tunes are quite long too. The only problem is there aren't many tunes. Everyone's house has different music, which is good, but your farm only has 2 songs. You can get some more farm music if you link up with HM: Friends of Mineral Town. What really makes me mad is there is no music in the town. The good thing is that the sound fxs are pretty good. Birds, animals, and lots of other things make noise.

Gameplay: 7/10
The concept of farming, making money & friends, and building a family is good. You must marry one of 3 potential wives. What I don't like is how long the days last. I am constantly watching the clock, and your character's speed doesn't help much. A little later on in the game you will be able to get around faster, which makes the game much better. The control of the character is great, except when you are planting and watering crops. It takes a little practice to get good at that.

Story: 7/10
In this game you inherit a farm form your dad who died. More of the story is created from what you do in the game.
Not much to start with, but the story really depends on you.

Length/Replay: 10/10
This game can be tough if you don't plan right. Starting off is the hardest part, but also a very important part. The days are 24 mins. (1hr. in HM= 1min. in real life) You will only play about 18 mins. of each day because you sleep. There are 30 years but you only play a little less than half of them. So it will average out to about 140-150hrs. of gameplay (Or more if you pause and use the menu a lot). There are many paths to choose in this game, therefore making playing HM again fun.

Rent or Buy?
BUY! BUY! BUY! It is only forty dollars! Over time even less. You will enjoy it, unless you hate simulators.

Overall: 8/10
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is an excellent game. It isn't the best game in the series, but is still a must have for GCN owners. It truly is a wonderful game, THAT HAS COWS!

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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