Review by Master Cube 10

Reviewed: 03/19/04

A great game for a great series!

After much delay, Harvest Moon: A wonderful Life is finally in for the gamecube. But how will this game stack up with others? Read the review to find out.

Story 7/10
The story is pretty basic, your father has either passed away or moved away and he left the farm to you. After your mother (?) realized you didn't really have a direction in life, she sent you to a place called Forget-Me-Not-Valley and told you about your fathers farm. From there you and your dad's old partner work on the farm trying to accomplish his dreams. You actually play in the story as if your mother is telling it to someone, in chapters.

Graphics 8/10
Although the graphics look very good, they are not what the gamecube is capable of. That does not matter, you can tell what things are and the look pretty nice. That's all that counts. The only thing bad about the graphics is when you knock on a door half of your characters hand goes through the door.

Sound 8/10
The sound in other HM games could get repetitive, as most of you know. But the sound in this one isn't like that, to some extent. There are more music, for instance, when you name something the music changes. And the fact that you can get records to put in your house is a cool idea, to, and saves the music from being too dull. The noises, on the other hand, are great. Instead of the clear ''MOOOOO'' a cow actually makes a grunting-like noise that is realistic. And doors actually sound like doors instead of just a ''SLAMMM.''

Gameplay 9/10
The gameplay is great, but one thing lacking from some other HM games. This game is not all about crops, like others are. This one focuses more on relations and animals. Where as one crop is only one square of a crop instead of a 3x3 square in some others, there are more varieties to animals and the pond you get. You actually need a male and female to have a calf/lamb/fertile egg. And the animals don't always give you their products. A cow will only give milk until 40 days after birth, where you can get her to make milk by getting a male and letting her pregnant. Another thing that stands out from most HM's, is that the villagers change. It's not the same houses and residents in every 10-day chapter, houses may move or upgrade, and villagers may move. The time system in this HM is every second in real life is a minute, giving you plenty of time to do your work. Which, I might add, is that you have to water crops twice a day, and feed some animals twice a day unlike other HM games. Overall this is, but isn't like other games in this series. What I would also like to add, is that you, your wife, and child all get older and look older in this, and eventually you die.

Replayability 9/10
This game is all about playing a certain day, one day at a time. Therefore the replayability is high. And even if you finish the game its always fun to start over and try different things. There is not much else to say, but there is also a freeplay mode (You don't start with it) that lets you do anything you want pretty much.

As with most games, I suggest renting them. An extra 5 bucks isn't too much to try a game. If you don't like it because of the realism, or lack of crops, Get HM:BTN (For ps1) Its a great game that involves more crops and easier playing. If you do like it, buy the game at your local Gamestop/Wallmart.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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