Pros: Fun farming roleplaying game in which you can also fish and mine
Cons: Poor background music, cannot be a girl
The Bottom Line: This is the second best Harvest Moon game in my opinion, as it has the added depth of mining, but does not force the marriage aspect on you too much.
Harvest Moon is a series of roleplaying games. In the games you play as a new farmer, who has inherited their farm (in this version it is from a non-relative you met on vacation when you were a kid). The object of the game is to take care of the farm and make it successful. I fell in love with the Harvest Moon game concept playing Harvest Moon 2 for Game Boy Color many years ago. Since then I have tried several of the newer versions, but this has been the only other one I have enjoyed almost as much as Harvest Moon 2.
The thing I like about this version is that it does have some new depth like other newer versions, such as the ability to mine, but it does not put too much focus on you having to get married. While courting one of the eligible females and getting married is available in this version, I did not even know about it until read an online guide and by then I was half way through the first year. In other versions like the Gamecube ones I felt the game pressured the marriage aspect , which I find annoying and boring to pursue as part of a video game, especially when the game forces you to be a male character.
That brings me to the main thing I dislike about this game. I absolutely hate that every Harvest Moon game I have tried since Harvest Moon 2 does not let you choose your gender. It might not bother me being a male character in some games, but I really appreciate the option to be my own gender in Harvest Moon 2 and see it as a major step backwards for the more recent versions to not allow this (I am not counting the new Harvest Moon DS Cute that is girl only, as I have not tried it).
Overall, though, I still love this as a farming roleplaying game. I enjoy planting and cultivating different crops each season from cucumbers in the spring to tending to the grass all year round. I also like that you can go into the mountain mines and smash rocks with your hammer to find precious metals or stones and also hoe to find other minerals. In the Harvest Moon 2 fishing was my favorite way to make a profit, but now mining is my favorite, although fishing is still a fun thing to do in the game.
The game is pretty easy to play and enjoy (although I am sure those more into action games will probably get bored with this game fast), but it does offer some challenge as it takes some strategy to make the farm successful. This game can be enjoyed by young kids, but if they want to really get the farm successful and have livestock then they may need some help planting enough grass and getting enough profit to afford the livestock. You do, however, get to choose a cat or a dog when you start the game and early in the game get a horse to take care of without having to do anything special.
The controls for the game are mostly pretty straightforward. You use the arrow buttons to guide your farmer around. The B button lets you use the equipped tool or drop an item you are holding. You use A to pick up items, such as flowers and wild grasses, or to talk to people/animals. To run you hold down R and use the arrows to control direction. Tapping L makes the farmer whistle to call nearby animals. The only kind of confusing control is that to eat an item you are holding you hold down L and press B. When you are not holding an item this switches your active tool.
The game's graphics are great Game Boy Advance quality graphics. The characters and scenery are not extremely detailed, but they are good enough to make them seem realistic. The animals are not quite as well done as the human characters, but they are good enough to be recognizable.
I am not a big fan of playing handheld games with the sound on. This Harvest Moon one I find even more annoying to play with sound than most other handheld games because the background music is pretty repetitive and uninteresting. The sound effects of you doing stuff like whistling and using your tolls are decent, though.
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Some of my interests include reading books (mostly mysteries), playing Wii games, bowling, traveling, and blogging.
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Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is the most advanced Harvest Moon for a handheld to date! All the elements that fans have grown to love in the Harvest Moon series are all in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town! Tons of vegetables to plant and harvest, raise different animals, marry the woman of your dreams and start a family...create your own personal adventure!