Review by Aqlex239

"A Great Harvest Moon, but something is missing...."

Let's start out by saying that I'm a big Harvest Moon fan. I've played a bunch of Harvest Moons, and I always enjoy them. I'm sorry if that makes this review a little biased, but I hope it won't. The game is very well done, and it does not have too many flaws. I do feel like the game is missing something, but I'm not really sure what it is. Anyway, on to the review.

Story (5/10) -
This story is nothing amazing or new. You're a farmer, you move to an island, you help revive the Harvest Goddess, and you bring more people to the island. This is probably a little more complex than a few other Harvest Moon games, but they're basically all like this. The thing about this is: I don't care about the story. That's not what Harvest Moon is about in my opinion.

Graphics (9/10) -
For a Wii game, this has very nice Graphics. I think it's safe to say that this is one of the best graphics seen in a Harvest Moon game yet. The new character models are different, and though I don't like them as much, many people like them more. Everything is a little too cartoony and colorful, but there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. All in all, nice graphics.

Controls (9/10) -
This game has motion controls, but I can't tell you much about them. I never use them. They're all very similar though, and I've heard of a few people accidentally setting them off while they raising their arm to scratch their nose, but this has never happened to me. You can just use the A-button if you'd like, which sounds fine with me, and they even let you use the classic controller. I only wish that opening your rucksack was a little faster (you have to hold down C for a few seconds). The only place where the controls don't work well are the mini-games, but they don't really offer anything anyway.

Sound (6/10) -
One of the crappier parts of the game. The music is okay, though for some reason not as catchy as I've found other harvest moon music. It's also a little low quality, but that doesn't mean much. There is nice music that plays all the time. Sound effects work okay too. I wish they would have voiced many of the characters in the game, but they only did a minute amount of voice acting for the main character. Unfortunately, it's terrible. There are very few lines, but that's okay because they sound like someone is trying to record something with a crappy DS mic, while speaking unemotionally from across a long room. I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled a random person off the street to record those few lines for $10. Sorry, I got a little carried away there...

Gameplay (8/10) -
The gameplay is pretty dang good. The island is full of things to do, and you can never get everything you want done in a day. As you get more money, you can plant more crops and get more animals. They take up more and more of your time, but they get you more and more money! For some reason, it's very addicting to slowly make money, upgrade your tools, and save up for even better things. The mini-games suck, but seeing as they're just mini-games, I'm not counting them as part of this. I think that this game is one of the best translated and least-glitched Harvest Moons yet! One of the bachelors is unmarriable due to a glitch though, and some of the loading times take insanely long, especially when you just exited your house and you realize you have to go back inside for your axe! A few areas of the game lag a little, but it doesn't last long and it doesn't affect you in any way. All in all, this is a very good harvest moon game.

Replay Value (7/10) -
The game doesn't take too long to play. Once you beat the story, get all the animals, and upgrade everything to the max, there isn't much to do, and doing all that only takes like 2-3 in-game years. Because it's so short, it allows you to play all over again. This Harvest Moon game also has a New Game+, where you can play as your child but with all your old stuff and money. That, in my opinion, is a very nice reason to play again. More games need to include some kind of New Game +.

Overall (8/10) -
Once again, one of the best Harvest Moons yet. Good Graphics, Good controls, Good gameplay, and a decent replay value. The story isn't much, but that doesn't matter, and the mediocre sound doesn't affect how fun the game is. You will probably get addicted to this game for a while. This game has very few flaws, and of all the problems I've seen, only one of them was annoying (the unmarriable glitched bachelor, Calvin!). This is a good game.

Rent or Buy? -
If you've played Harvest Moon before (and enjoyed it), I would just buy it. It's one of the best Harvest Moons out there so far. If you're new to Harvest Moon, rent it first. The game isn't for everyone.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/10/09

Game Release: Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility (US, 09/30/08)

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