Review by DeathDragon724

"Far from perfect, but a pretty solid game"

The Harvest Moon series has been relatively solid throughout for a long time, and this game is no exception. However, it does have quite a few problems, many of which are pretty major...

Graphics 9/10
The graphics in A Wonderful Life are up to par with today's standards. All of the items have a unique look in the rucksack, and all of the different breeds of cows look different from each other. All of the extra effects look nice as well (from the waterfall to the swaying of the grass). No problems here.

Sound 7/10
The sound deserves a 7 overall in my opinion. First I'll talk about the sound effects. All of the animal sounds are far from repetitive. The footsteps sound realistic depending on what you're walking on. The sound effects are perfect and well placed, playing not to early or not to late after an action that triggered them (i.e. Brushing a cow). The music, however, is a different story. Sadly, the music on the farm is very repetitive. You can change the music, but you only start out with 2 different musics (both of which don't sound too good). If you have Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, you can get more, but odds are you'll find yourself with only 2 different pieces of music. On the good side, you can turn the music off, and the music only plays on the farm regardless.

Gameplay 6/10
Ah, the bulk of any game. Keep in mind that since I added the game's control into gameplay, the score sharply fell. First of all, I'd like to say that the game is very deep and has many options. You can raise many different types of animals, including goats, cows, chickens, and sheep. Breeding cows and hybridizing crops is always fun, and the number of crops you can grow is extremely high. You can also get married, choosing from 3 different possible wives. However, there is, of course, some bad points as well. The most obvious of these bad points is the repetitive gameplay. Basically, every day is the same. Get up, take care of your crops and animals, go out to town to give gifts or fish, and sleep. Repeat. Thankfully, the routine isn't quite as boring as it may have sounded. The one major problem of the game, though, is the control. It's unrealistic to pick up a flower about 3 yards away from you. The best place to get frustrated at the controls is the chicken coop. Let's say you have two chickens. It's a sunny day and you want to take them outside. You pick up one of them and head for the door. But upon pressing the A button, the game registered that you showed the chicken to your other one, and the chickens get angry at you for doing so, even though you're not anywhere near the other chicken. This happens way too often. The controls are also extremely slow and inresponsive. For example, suppose you press the Y button to hug one of your cows. The cow falls asleep 4 seconds later and THEN the game responds to your command, waking up the cow and getting it angry at you. Also, if a chicken lays an egg by the door to the chicken coop, you're going to have one heck of a time picking up the egg. According to the game, the first 70 times you try to pick up the egg actually makes you go inside the coop. The only good new thing about the controls is the fact that you no longer throw items by pressing A while they're in your hand.

Play Time/Replayability 10/10
Can't complain here. The game spans 30 years (even though you only play 10 of them), which is more than enough time to keep you busy. Think you can beat this game in a week? Clear your schedule. Also, the replayability is quite nice. You can always try to beat it with each girl, or try a different money-making strategy the second time around.

Final Score: 8/10 (not an average)
The game just gets out of getting a 7.

Buy or Rent?
Overall, I'd recommend buying this game if you have a good level of patience. If you get frustrated too easily, or don't like waiting a long time for events to happen, stay clear.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/16/04

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