Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. 90
    Natsume's farming simulator has never been better and spending time in this lovely world is almost as relaxing as visiting the country side in real life.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Nov 21, 2012
    10
    Best handheld Harvest Moon since Friends of Mineral Town.

    This Harvest Moon is fantastic, they fixed almost every aspect that sucked in
    Tale of Two Towns. Freshness levels are gone, you can have multiple greenhouses, there's tons of livestock, an area that auto-waters after beating part of the game. Every feature has been streamlined and made less annoying, except for cutscenes. For example, no more clicking two buttons to put a item away, all items are automatically put into the rucksack. Tons of great characters, many of which are completely new. Framerate has been improved dramatically, and if you played Tale of Two Towns on 3DS, then you'll know the pain of bad Harvest Moon framerates.

    Pacing is good after the first month, many people will complain about the slow pacing, maybe they didn't make it past the first month. To a Harvest Moon veteran, one month will feel like nothing. This game becomes extremely fun as soon as you finish the tutorial.

    Crops:
    Crops can be watered twice a day, 10 hours between, this can be mildly annoying until you unlock the auto-water land area. They are about the same as Tale of Two Towns in mechanics, besides the removed freshness rating, crops will last forever in this game! You get your seedmaker pretty early compared to most Harvest Moon games, I got mine within the first year which makes fertilizing crops worth it. Crop festivals are held once a month one the 30th and have three levels of entry, beginning, intermediate and advance - making it possible to participate every single month if you please.

    Animals:
    Livestock are a little more simple than Tale of Two Towns, making them less annoying. Petting game has been removed. They have continued the treat system, you get eight different species of livestock and two types of chickens. Your barn and coop can both hold 10 livestock each.

    Pets have been made more useful early one, they will herd (at least) five animals from your barn or coop with zero hearts (you must assign work to them in game). Pets will continually unlock much like Tale of Two Towns, but now you can sell pets if you please, meaning you aren't stuck with certain styles of pets.

    Farm:
    You get three different areas as the game progresses, one implied to be a crop area (auto-water area), and one for animals (flat area) and one for your house and other buildings (first area you get). The auto water area allows you to have 11 4x2 crop spaces that will be watered by moving a boulder everyday. Beehives and mushroom logs are in this game, along with the "paddy" crop. Each building, field and other objects can be moved and customized to wherever you please.

    Town/Wilderness:
    Your town has two plots of land, one of which is unlocked early in the game and three wilderness areas. You will decide where villager houses go, along with deciding what town decorations will be. Along with town building, you will also be able to unlock certain forest areas, gifts and blueprints with "Musical Stumps", which will be introduced to you early on during Spring of Year 1. Almost all villagers are completely new, except for Amir (I think he's in Grand Bazaar) and the Witch Princess. There are many benefits to befriending villagers and wild animals, including free blueprints, gifts and even a certain villager moving in if you befriend his wife, Hana.

    Love Interest:
    The bachelors and bachelorettes are equally wonderful and interesting in this game, you are allowed to save slots meaning you can make a boy and girl character if you wish. This game also allows cross dressing (although your character will not change sex), the first time appearing in the Harvest Moon US series along with customization. They've added a feature where you can "date" your love interest before proposing to them with a Blue Feather, which is nice because you can also break up with your love interest if you want.

    Festivals:
    Each festival you win or participate in will give about 1000 friendship points with every villager, making festivals very much worth participating in. They are pretty easy to win (especially beginner class), meaning you'll enjoy participating in almost every festival (except the Gardening Festival).

    Cons:
    The repeated cutscenes. Which happen FOUR times a day if you have pets and Neil/Rod unlocked. There are two unskippable cutscenes that occur and the only way to avoid them is to hide inside a building or run off the map they occur on when they are suppose to happen. It's not a big deal but it does cause your schedule to adjust around it (unless you don't care about the cutscenes.

    You will most likely be able to beat the game before the end of Year 2, making the game not too dramatically long, but good for most Harvest Moon players. One year will zoom by pretty fast as soon as the tutorial ends for you because the gameplay is so much fun compared to most handheld Harvest Moons.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 25, 2013
    2
    For a game that's supposed to have the customization as a fun new feature, there's not too many options to pick from. Since they're all aesthetic anyway, they should have had like 10 times as many things to pick form in every category. I don't have any helpful advice to add to this point, they just needed to put in more content.

    The game doesn't have too much in the way of systems or simulation; it's not any more intricate than the first harvest moon. Considering that this is like the 17th game in the series, it's really a disappointment. The people don't have much to them at all, you just give each one a specific thing each day until a number fills up. Not really any jobs or interactions there. The economy has fixed prices for buying and selling everything, it doesn't shift from year to year or adjust based on how much you sell of a particular thing or anything like that. It's all very static sort of stuff.

    Starting a new game is video game agony, the first month prevents you from doing most of the things until you go through a tutorial on each thing, and each tutorial doesn't show up until a specific day. It seems like designers should be aware by now that some players know what they're doing, particularly anyone that's played a harvest moon game before, and they should have tutorials that you can skip over. They even provide the info in a help menu in case you forget later on, so there's no reason at all to not have all the slow opening stuff be skippable.

    I thought that this game would be a great purchase, but it turns out that it's probably gonna be the worst 3ds game I'll have ever bought.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 19, 2013
    10
    As a long-time fan of the Harvest Moon Series (ever since I was gifted a copy of Harvest Moon N64 way back when, one of the (relatively) few copies shipped to the North American market) this game has been my favorite Harvest Moon since the N64 version and my favorite hand-held since Friends of Mineral Town.

    It has EVERYTHING I could ask for from a Harvest Moon game and then some. The start had me cringing, but if you stick with it past the first month the game goes absolutely bonkers in a snowball effect of things you can do. I absolutely LOVE the competition/festival system (you can win due to categories! IF you work very very hard). I also truly enjoy the fact that there are achievement awards for practically every major (and some quite wacky) action you take.

    Let me put it this way. The first two hours into the game I wanted to take a hammer to the cartridge and call the entire series quits. After the customization stuff actually came into play my mind was blown and this game has become one of my favorites on the DS and on any handheld system ever created. The game just gets better and better the more you play it. It is truly impressive. There is also an enormous sense of accomplishment every time you do anything significant.

    For anyone new to the Harvest Moon series, I'd say pick up this game and run with it. Don't surrender after the first couple of weeks because the pay-off is huge.

    For returning fans, this is the crystallization of 15 years worth of input and it finally gives a return as a true "New Beginning" for the series. Definitely pick up a copy for your collection, it is much much much better than Tale of Two towns.
    Full Review »