Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
Buy On
  1. Nintendo Power
    Oct 6, 2011
    The Nintendo 3DS version of Natsume's latest farming RPG isn't a major step up from the Nintendo DS release--in fact, they're essentially the same. [Oct 2011, p.84]
  2. Aug 1, 2012
    It's more Harvest Moon, sure, but it's still top-notch fun, and the inclusion of clear goals this time around should convert some new fans to the series.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 5 out of 10
  1. Nov 4, 2011
    I have played every Harvest Moon game ever made. I'm admittedly a huge fan of the series, but that doesn't mean that I can't tell a terribleI have played every Harvest Moon game ever made. I'm admittedly a huge fan of the series, but that doesn't mean that I can't tell a terrible Harvest Moon game from a great one. This one falls somewhere in between, but it does lean towards good. This game has been criticized over and over again for not bringing enough new content to the series. But does it need to? I recommend ignoring those reviews; us Harvest Moon fans have proven that we just want to manage our farms in peace. Breaking tradition with Harvest Moon does not typically result in anything good. Anyway, on to a break down of the game:

    There isn't one. The only Harvest Moon game that came close to having an actual storyline that meant anything was Back to Nature (and Friends of Mineral Town, its remake). Whenever a story is involved in Harvest Moon, it's really just a cover (usually a pretty bad cover) for some major gameplay element. In Magical Melodies, it was finding "notes" to resurrect the Harvest Goddess, but it was really just an achievement system. In Island of Happiness, it was finding something or other (sun pieces I think?) that bring back sunken islands. It was really just a way to allow the player to unlock more features as he or she plays. In this version of the game, the storyline of two feuding villages is really just an excuse to have two villages--and it's not actually a bad element of the game at all (more on this later). If you're looking for a storyline, however, then look elsewhere. This game is very shallow in that department.

    At the time of writing, there is only one other user review here, and it criticizes framerate issues in the game. That user must have a bad copy of the game, because while there are framerate issues here and there, it can be solved simply by stopping motion for about one second. Not a big deal, and certainly not a distraction from the game. As for the 3D effect (if you buy the 3DS version), it's definitely phoned in. Nevertheless, it's a graphical improvement from the DS version.

    This is key, as any Harvest Moon fan knows. We want more things to do, yet the same things to do. This is where the game totally delivers. As for the basics, you have your house with kitchen, your horse (which you can ride immediately!!), and the ability to expand your home in terms of house and property. We have maker sheds (more than before!!), and we have a robust agricultural system with the introduction of irrigation trenches (well, re-introduction as the third Gameboy Color version had them as well). Gone is the dedicated field, and now we can plant where we please on the property (okay, the field is still there, it's just covered with grass to make it look like it isn't there--but it works). The marriage system is here again, the characters are unique, and the animation is great. As for the two villages, I actually like them. Both are unique. While the storyline does suck, the game itself more than makes up for it. All the issues that opponents of the game point out are to be expected. Sure, the game isn't revolutionary in the series--it doesn't need to be! It has a few new options here and there (alpacas!!), and it truly succeeds in all areas except for storyline. For any Harvest Moon fan craving a new (yet familiar) experience, look no further! A must-buy for any true fan of the series!
    Full Review »
  2. May 23, 2012
    Okay, this is a harvest moon game. If you are familiar to these games it's much of the same(which isn't a bad thing). The problem with thisOkay, this is a harvest moon game. If you are familiar to these games it's much of the same(which isn't a bad thing). The problem with this game is poor programming. If you choose to own more of a farm than a ranch, once you grow too many crops you LAG and the game FREEZES on the screen with said crops. This made me very annoyed, because that is what part of this game is, a farming simulator. Now the farming is gone. If you went with a more Ranch style, then you're met with random freezes crossing the mountain. Besides the dreadful programming errors, there is a lot of flaws with the game's design. The most annoying would be the weekly cooking festivals, they are most boring thing to watch, and it's a shame, because it's the goal of the game to attend this terrible festival so the two towns who are split between way to many loading screens to become friends. If you really want to play this game, get the DS version, as it does NOT have the bugs. I'd suggest just skipping this one completely though, try one of the many other, WORKING, Harvest Moon or Rune Factory titles. Full Review »
  3. Mar 7, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I just got this game a few days ago and, as a Harvest Moon fan, I do like it. This game has quite a few flaws compared to its predecessors but it's still quite enjoyable. For one, the days need to be much longer. My main source of money is fishing and trying to juggle that with taking care of animals for 2 in-game hours each day and trying to marry someone in Konohana (I live in Bluebell) just isn't easy with only a maximum of 24 minutes. Sure, I could move to the other town but what good would that do? Then I would just lose some of my animals and their income until I could move back. Another issue with this game: having to make your future spouse's family happy. For example, I am trying to marry Reina. She and her uncle, Mako, have quite the different taste in items. While Reina enjoys free items found in the mountains such as bamboo, Mako likes a few harder to get fish and costly meals. Speaking of potential spouses, the game gives you no clue as to who is a bachelor/ bachelorette. I personally had to look it up to find who I could possibly marry, originally wanting to marry someone who wasn't eligible. Also, the repetitive cooking contests are enough to bore me to death. No matter what I cook, I can instantly tell which side is going to win by looking at the other contestants. For instance, if Cheryl of Bluebell competes, she inevitably has a failed dish and will lose the whole competition for Bluebell. It has happened to me every time. Finally, aside from gameplay issues, there are also some technical issues. First off, the constant freezing. When roaming through the mountains to get to the opposite town, the game freezes several times when changing frames each day. Usually a minor inconvenience, it can sometimes set the player back quite a bit. For instance, while fishing, I collected 26 fish fossils in one night, which is 104,000g worth of them. On my way back to Bluebell to ship them, the game froze, causing me to not only lose all of the progress of my everyday tasks, but an almost unnecessary amount of much-needed funds. Another issue is the lack of being able to save without going to bed. Because the game freezes so often, the ability to save without progressing to the next day would be quite useful and save the player much frustration. Lastly, the 3D function is completely useless for this title. When using it, I can hardly tell I've switched from 2D. It makes the game a bit blurrier while contributing nothing to the playability to the game.
    So the question is do I regret buying this game? NO! All problems aside, this game gives me the satisfaction of farming and marriage that I have come to expect from the Harvest Moon franchise. Could it have been better? Of course. Could it have been worse? Very much so. Don't believe me? Take into consideration Harvest Moon DS with its difficult collecting of the Harvest Sprites. I personally would NEVER want to do that again, and I only got to 72 of them. But the point is, this game could've been far worse and, despite its issues, I am quite happy with Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns.
    Full Review »