When I was introduced to this series years ago, it was with this game, and it has led me to play other Harvest Moon games. This is a great game for beginners to the series and advanced players alike.
Story-There isn't too much of a story. You are basically a young guy who is visiting one of your older friends at his farm to find out that he died recently, leaving the farm to you. The farm is in disrepair, and your main goal is to fix it up so you can plant crops, buy animals, and make a living as a farmer.
Gameplay-The controls are simple enough, with the one exception of having to hold the R button to run. It took me forever to get used to that! You have a wide variety of tools (hammer, hoe, axe, etc.) to use on your farm. For instance, the hoe is used to till the soil before you plant the seeds. The watering can is used to water, and so on. You do have to pay attention to your crops and animals, if you decide to get some. If you do, you must keep them fed with feed which you must make or buy! You make money by shipping things that you grow, get from animals, collect in the forest, or mine in the, well, ore mine. The whole game isn't just focused on work, though, there are also festivals that you can attend and compete in such as the cooking festival, where you cook something in a certain category in hopes that the judge likes your food. You can also marry one of the elegible bachelorettes in town and start a family. There are countless things to do in this game, which makes it a great game to get addicted to.
Graphics-The graphics are very good in this game, I think. The characters, buildings, and trees all look nice, and the close-ups of the characters are very well done.
Sound-There is no voice acting in this game, but there are a few background sounds (cows mooing, chopping a piece of wood, opening a door). Also, music is playing almost constantly in the game. Unfortunately, there aren't that many songs in the game. There is the Town song, and one song per season. Then there are only about 5 other songs used rarely for special events. Therefor, you might get bored with the songs after a while, but this isn't a bad enough con to take off a point.
Fun-This game is extremely addicting, and it's open-ended. I've never gotten past 20 years, so you might die eventually, but I never have. Great fun!
Overall, this is a great game that I recommend to Sim lovers, Harvest Moon lovers, or someone who's looking for a fun farming game.
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