Review by Fig455

"Oh, what a wonderful life it is!!!"

My first Harvest Moon experience was fairly recent, it being Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town for GBA, and I have been eager for the release of AWL on GCN ever since.

I found AWL to be a tad overwhelming the first couple of hours. The instructions are rather vague and most actions are learned through trial and error. Upon booting up the game I was extremely pleased w/ the graphics. They are lush, colorful, detailed, yet maintain a certain ''simplicity'' that keeps them unique and recognizable as an HM game. Sound is sparse and not this games strong suit. The cow sounds like a constipated dinosaur!! Music is almost non-existent save for when you are at home, Overall I would describe sound/music as ''adequate''. Control is another weak spot for this game. I found the previous titles to be rather simple and easy to control, but this game is different. You must be in a very exact spot to initiate an action. This spot tends to be extremely small and this can make gameplay somewhat frustrating, especially at first, until you become used to the system. Story is very typical for an HM game, Father dies, leaves you a neglected farm, odd people live near the farm, etc. The strong suit IMHO is the depth and variety of gameplay options and freedom to do anything you wish to. There are limitless ways to run your farm. What you grow, animals you raise, how you spend free-time, etc., is ALL up to you! You get 3 choices for a wife, the townsfolk are fun and diverse, and you choose which of them to befriend. Who you befriend has an impact on what profession your son assumes when you have one.

All in all, fans of the series, fans of Animal Crossing, and anyone interested in a beautiful, blood-free, G-rated game w/ high production value, high attention to detail, and almost limitless freedom to do whatever you please whenever you you please to do it will all be attracted to this game for one reason or another. Once familiar w/control scheme and settled in w/ the game I couldn't (and still can't) put it down!! I love it, look forward to re-playing it several times and Give it an overall Rating Of ''8''(not an average) Plus it's only $39.99!!! Buy it now!!!! I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it. I am 28, and the 9 year-old I baby-sit, and my 51 year old father both play it as well!!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/21/04

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