Review by Sonic01864LUE

"A return to classic gameplay. Good Game with some flaws"

A 2nd Harvest Moon game on the same console? Surprisingly it doesn't seem like it was rushed title. It is also much different from the previous game cube title, A Wonderful Life, which was criticized for its failure to remain with the series roots. Magical Melody brings back the more classic game play that's seen in the N64, PSX, and GBA titles.

One thing to note about the Harvest Moon series is that they aren't for everyone. Many people will find these games very repetitive, pointless, and just generally boring. If you've never played a Harvest Moon title before, I would highly recommend renting this game before you buy it. There's no point in throwing money out the window.

Harvest Moon games all begin the same. Some way or another you come into possession of a farm. In this particular game you head out to Flower Bud Village (Sounds familiar to any N64 players?) because of an ad for cheap land. However there is a catch this time. The Harvest Goddess is turned to stone and can only be restored by you collecting Magic Notes. Once on your farm you farm, ranch, make friends with the villages and eventually get married. The story is very reflective of your actions. You won't see cut scenes of people you aren't close to.

This Harvest Moon, in my opinion, has a really ugly graphics style. The graphics look smooth. There are some noticeable slow downs but they occur very rarely. It's the style that really kills it. Look for a screen shot to see what I mean the style just is very off setting. I much prefer the more realistic/anime style that was used in “A Wonderful Life”. It is never an actual detriment to the game play and you get used to them over time.

The sound isn't particularly bad or good. Don't expect to see a full scale orchestra here. The Sound is very similar to the sound used in Harvest Moon 64. (Catchy midi-like music) The music changes with each season and when you enter buildings. So the music will get annoying after some play time. I personally learned to ignore it.

Game play:
This makes up for the poor graphics and sound problems that the game suffers from. The Actual “Magic Notes” section is very minimal and you can obtain them by doing very menial things. (Such as standing still…)

The true beauty of the game play comes from building up the farm and interacting with the villagers. As you progress the village around you progresses. People move in to the town and you make more friends through giving gifts and participating in the village events that are marked on the calender in your house. One of the funnest things included in this game is to have an unexpected cut scene occur and learn more about the character you are befriending. You can even befriend the wild animals.

The farming and ranching can become tedious but the game allows you to expand you're land and abilities to suit your needs.

One flaw I found in the game play I found was that the game starts out very slowly and you start with very little stamina. There is a stamina bar in the bottom corner of the screen and it is easily lowered to empty if you don't watch it carefully. This is offsetting when you are just beginning. But hang in there the game does improve once you get the farm running.

Fans should also note that this game does continue for ever.

While the game has it flaws, but the classic style game play more than makes up for the poor sound quality and strange graphics style. This is a definate case of game play over graphics.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/25/06

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