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 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 ignoringI 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!… Expand