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Wizard

[05/09/2005] Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

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Game: Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

System: Nintendo Gamecube

 

hm4ok.th.jpg

Stolen screenshots page!

 

Developed by Natsume who have brought us other such wonderful Harvest Moon titles across many platforms over the years. This one holds bare necessities as it's previous incarnations (minus the hat and excluding the very good, but not like it's previous incarnations of Harvest Moon PS2 game, Save the Homeland) such as marriage and farming, a return to normal since the Save the Homeland on the Playstation 2.

 

Beginning of the game is very similar to all versions for veterans of the series. But for those who just wondering what this game is about. It is about a young man (or girl in some games, such as Back to Nature for Girls on PSX, More Friends of Mineral Town on GBA and the recently released Another Wonderful Life, which is the female version of this game) who must run a farm after his grandfather (or in this game, father) has died / retired / both and has left the farm for you (the character) to bring the farm's upkeep to high level of, farming and starting a family with a spouse. With an existing formula since the Nintendo 64 days of the series when it went 3D, added features since it's release since then within this 3D spectrum have been accepted with open arms. This farm sim is highly addictive and possibly the reason why fans of the series keep coming back to it and it's previous incarnations of it. I for one still play the N64 and PSX versions of the game. Of course the game hasn't changed in the game play department, but that doesn't stop the niche of fans from playing the game. As they say, “Don't fix whats not broken” and this series is a prime example of it. Not much as changed since the days of planting seeds and finding a wife. But now with the advent of the famous Harvest Moon 64 that changed the series for the better I say. Getting around ain't what it used to be.

 

Much has change since the 64 version of the game. As it is more RPG oriented, not in the save-the-world-rescue-the-princess-kill-the-bad-guy-whose-really-your-best-friend-but-is-now-evil kind of way, but within a small single player narrative such as getting to know the towns people, finding a soul mate and taking part in the town's many social-able events. Laboring and up keeping your farm is the 1st concern of this game as it is your main source of income. From planting trees, vegetables and flowers to feeding, raising and racing your horse. As with doing so, the sense of accomplishment is great when having a successful season of selling crops and various other items such as milk and eggs.

 

Some of the basic tin bits about the game and it's small history. You are the son of a farmer who has recently passed away and left you his farm. Together with his best friend, you keep the farm's upkeep in order as he will do your deliveries and organize your farm equipment. Your farm is located near Mineral Town in the neighboring town of Forget-Me-Not Valley (fits very well after examining Nami and once you get your kid). The townspeople and 3 lovely girls for the choosing are all interactive. Although you are limited to wowing them with gifts or selling them wares for cheap (to Nami for example).

 

Since the last game, which was Save the Homeland on PS2, which lacked many of the memorable elements of the past games, such as the famous marrying one of nice selection of ladies from the town. This game brings it back along with it's famous blue feather (those who play the series will know what I mean about the blue feather). With 3 choices in mind this time as oppose to, Karin, Mary, Elli, Ann and Popuri. The choices this time are Muffy, a bartender, the “dumb” one you might say, Celia, the caring one who also owns a farm and Nami, the smart one (which my sister and my self have labeled the “Karin” of this game). Not only that, the game lasts much longer compared to it's predecessors. Lasting well over 120 hours. For it's multiple endings, beginnings and middles. And having a child is actually worth the game now for you can train him to become a variety of jobs, from taking over your farm to becoming a musician. The possibilities are well explored and expanded from his birth to his eventual leave. Also new is you can now sell your various items to the towns people now because of a man named Van, who owns a small tent to who can sell your wears for you. Having such a thing can make you give discounts to people to gain their affection (or for the girl your aiming for, that wild red heart). But you cannot forget your farm it self and it's animals, your chickens, horse, cows and dog need love to. Taking to them and grooming them everyday can get you a various of import and high selling products, such as golden eggs, golden milk, a fast horse and dog for racing among other things, such as golden wool from your sheep. Things haven't changed as much if you look at the past. More animals have joined since you last saw the game such as goats, ducks and cats. Duck eggs, goat's milk and a feline friend will be adding more to the sim farm life experience. There are other activities to do if you get sick of doing farm work all the time, such as archeology, fishing, animal husbandry, cooking and cross-breeding various plant types with each other for creating unique and distinguishes fruits and vegetables. Or just spend the whole day in a bar getting drunk off your ass (have yet to test that theory, but it worked in Back to Nature!).

 

However, the game keeps changing according to the chaptering of the game. While the farm life is nice and calm, there is no time for taking a long ass break. While some of the town folks encourage you to find a spouse (if not, you will be arranged to be married by one of the townspeople) not at a snail's pace. Between keeping up the farm and balancing a life with a girl, all is not loss as town events will save you from the trouble of not having a social life.

 

Running down on more of the game, which most of these were in the past games such as your animals getting sick and upgrading your various tools. This review is just a mere mini-manual compared to what's ahead in the game as I have just given you the jist of it. And combined with the GBA game of Harvest Moon, there will be an amazing amount of extras within both universes of the game if you use a GBA to GC Connector, such as being able to visit the Mineral town in A Wonderful Life complete with interaction between both universes. Veterans of the series will not be disappointed with the this game and newbies are welcome to try it and possibly might find the reason why people like my self and others are so addicted to this wonderful game. It is truly a wonderful life. A wonderful life indeed.

 

Controls: 9 - Very responsive and very organized for the GC Controller, I recommend using the GC controller a whole lot for this game.

Gameplay: 10 – As with the past games(with the exception of the PS2 game), picture perfect as always.

Graphics: 9 – Occasional flaws within the texture rendering, beautiful none the less. So beautiful it's frightening in detail. Literally mind blowing.

Sound: 8 – Like the rest of the series, great music to farm too! But occasionally silent for some reason, but it's possible the change the music because of the record player in your home.

 

Overall: 9 – Besides some graphical and sound randomness, awesome game. We have certainly come along way with this series and I am saying it now that this series is possibly one of the best I've ever played. With it's unique style in many ways. Certainly wonderful. It's a Player's Choice now, so that means = cheap! You can see your self playing this game a long time once playing it.

 

Grade: A tooooo the MAAAX

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The last Harvest Moon I played was the GBA one. I should go pick it up again so I can link it with this one.

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I played this for 7 hours straight once. 2nd favorite series of all time. But if I remember correctly you don't get to keep living your life out once you finish all the chapters right? I think the GBA Harvest Moon or the N64 version are the best. Harvest Moon 3 on GB could of had potential if it hadn't ended so fast. And don't get me started on the PS2 version of Harvest Moon.

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I guess I'm the only one who liked the PS2 Harvest Moon. I claim ignorance, it was the first I ever played.

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I guess I'm the only one who liked the PS2 Harvest Moon.  I claim ignorance, it was the first I ever played.

PS2 HM was good, but it lacked some of the memoriable experenices that were in the previous game. ATLEAST THE DUDE STILL HAD A HAT.

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OOOOO...NOOOOOOO..HARVEST MOOOOOON...this is must be a nightmare.......my littil sis star plaing the snes V 5 years ago and until now she play it every day..... she play the N64 and PS and GBA V also.....I live in a hell :peopleseybrow::(

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Don't get the Wonderful Life Special Edition for PS2 either. They messed that up totally. Choppy framerates, washed out graphics and messy sound.

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