Review by Entegy

Reviewed: 11/04/04

The most addictive game I have ever played

After beating Fire Emblem, I decided to try a series I never played before. Since I couldn’t get A Wonderful Life at that time, I went for Friends of Mineral Town. For the two months that followed my purchase of this game, it never left my Game Boy. Who would have thought that a farming game was so addictive? Read on and find out why this game is very addictive and the best in the series, even if this game is a remake of PlayStation’s Back to Nature

Gameplay: 10/10
When you first start the game, you will probably only leave your farm to buy seeds and then go back and start cleaning up your farm field and getting used to the at-first-complicated controls. The first in-game year can get pretty hectic, but once you get into the flow, you will be an unstoppable moneymaking machine. As long as you plan ahead.

The game doesn’t just focus on farming. You can court one of 6 girls. A part of marriage is new for the HM series: You can also marry the Harvest Goddess, but she has much more requirements. Once you find a girl for you, you have to find out what she likes and bring her gifts to make her fall in love with you.

You will also have to make friends with the villagers. By doing so, you can recipes and special events that have no relevance whatsoever but are fun to see.

Another big thing in Mineral Town are festivals. Every farmer needs a break now and then. They range from horse racing to chicken sumo to cooking contests. This is definitely a high point in the game.

Your farming career also ranges to raising animals like cows, sheep and chickens. Each animal gives produce that is worth more and more as you care tenderly for them. You can leave them outside, but then you must be ready to fight a wild dog with your sharp tools every so often at night.

You can also employ Harvest Sprites to help (or do all the work) on your farm once you have become good enough friends. You can also play some amusing mini-games with them to help them train for jobs around your farm. There are 3 jobs a Harvest Sprite can do, so there is one mini-game for each job and you can only play once an in-game day.

Story: 10/10
As a child you visited the country side (aka Mineral Town) and got lost. You wandered onto an old man’s farm. After calling your parents, he invites you to stay on his farm during your stay. Though you have lots of fun, all good things must come to an end. As you leave, he asks if you can write a letter to him once in a while. You happily agree.

You are now an adult and have wondered why the old man has stopped writing to you. When you go back to the farm, you find out he has died and left the farm to you in his will. You agree to take over the farm.

Graphics: 10/10
For the Game Boy Advance, the graphics are very nice. The world around you changes colours as you progress through the day so smoothly; it is as if it was the real world. The world is 3D even if it is an overhead view. Not much else to say here.

Music: (without connectivity: 7/10)/(with connectivity: 10/10)
Though there are not very many tracks in this game compared to others, the music is nice. There is one song for each season, a song for the town, a song for mini-games, two separate songs for love events, three songs for festivals and an animal death song. That makes a total of 12 tracks.

But, you can an additional 10 tracks by doing some rather complicated linking with A Wonderful Life on the GameCube. These tracks come in the form of a record that you can change at will with a Record Player in your house. Eight of the Records are remixes from past Harvest Moon games and the last two are tracks from A Wonderful Life at a toned-down quality of course. However the tracks you can get from this are really catchy (especially the two from Harvest Moon 64.)

Play length/Replayablility: 10/10
The game never ends. You can play for infinite number of Years. You will constantly be addicted to the game. There is really no replayability in the game, unless you start a new file to try a different style

Final Recommendation: BUY THIS GAME! I have never been so addicted before. You just can’t put this game down.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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