I've always loved harvest moon games, so when i heard one was coming out on the gamecube I couldn't wait to play it. The game itself starts off very differently to other harvest moon games, if you've played them before. In this game you start off at a farm but this time the game doesnt really rely on your crops but instead on your interaction with other characters. The game spans over a 30 year period so you can see the world around you change over time and the characters around you change, for example some characters might move into your town , move out or maybe die. Although I said crops aren't a major factor this time around you can still plant them, they just don't really get you that much money compared to the high prices of milk. Theres a new feature in the game where you cna make hybrid crops too, which I think is a great idea and adds further depth to the game. The game this time has months of 10 days, which doesnt sound too long, but when one day takes you 24 minutes they are defintely long enough! The graphics are excellent, when you change seasons its gradually done day by day rather than instantly, so for example you can see leaves slowy falling off trees in the Fall. The game like previous harvest moon games focuses also on you getting married, there are 3 girls to chose from each with very different characteristics. It's important you marry a girl you like because it will alter the outcome of your future, as early in the second year you will have a child to look after!! You have to get married by the end of the first year, so this is really one of your main abjectives to begin with. The range of animals availble this time has increased, there are now different breeds of cows available and bulls. Theres also sheep, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, ducks and a horse for you to ride around your town on. The only downside i thought of the game is the fact that it takes ages for the days to go by, and although there seems a lot to do, to beign with, you start doing things for the sake of it instead of somehting new to do. I kept on going fishing when i had nothing to, which can become tedious after a while. I'd also like to have seen more to do with farming because as the game suggests its a farming sim. I used to quite like having to clean up your farm at the beginning of the game and maintaining it, I also liked the role of crops in the previous games. So inconclusion this game is really just what the gamecube wanted, something different, and something original. If you havent played previous versions of the game it doesnt matter, as this game is quite different to their approach anyway. I'd therefore recommend this game to anybody as long as they have the patience to get into this sort of game, because if you don't you probably won't get very far as this game certainly needs dedication. The game sets itself perfectly for a seqaul as there are areas which could be addressed, but until that one is made, make the most of this version!
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