Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
Hard to enjoy
on 20 June 2010
I was quite disappointed with this game, even though I am a big fan of harvest moon. Although there are many of the elements that make the games so addictive in Tree of Tranquility, for me it is far less playable than others.
It is far less charming overall than just about any other harvest moon game. I found the art style and especially the character design a bit soulless and odd, and the graphics just aren't very good.
Even where the landscape is attractive, lots of it can't be seen because of the static camera. This also makes it quite hard to play at first, as if you run down the screen you just can't see where you're going. Finding your way around is quite problematic for the first few hours; the area is huge and this combined with the map being near useless (it basically only shows which areas are next to each other) makes even simple things like finding your way back to your house at night become difficult.
If you push past this, however, there is a lot to do in ToT. The activities present in most harvest moons-- mining, cooking, fishing, finding a spouse and, of course, growing crops and rearing animals are all present, and most are bigger and have more features than ever before. There are new activities as well, such as growing flowers and having a part time job, but many of these are pretty pointless. There is definitely loads to do, though, and as each activity is well-developed there is lots to absorb you if you can really get into it.
But getting into it is the main problem with ToT; although it can be addictive, it is nowhere near as much as other harvest moons are, and it is just far less enjoyable. This is down to gameplay annoyances, such as frequent loading screens-- even if you just wander into an area by accident, which will happen often at first-- and smaller problems, including the dull character design and the script, which is often boring and without the charm and wit that could make you smile when playing other harvest moon games.
I would not recommend this to anyone except for big fans of the series, and then only after they had played the other games. There are many better harvest moons out there and they all take ages to exhaust; although this is your typical one in many ways, it lacks much of the charm that made many people fans of the series.