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Harvest Moon DS
Platform: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Natsume Inc.
Developer: Marvelous Interactive, Inc.
Style(s): Third-Person 2D RPG
Synopsis: Natsume's whimsical farming series moves to dual-screened pastures with the release of Harvest Moon DS. The storyline finds the serene vistas of Forget-Me-Not-Valley in danger after a witch princess cruelly scatters the land's harvest sprites. Before all 101 helpful sprites can be found, however, players must grab a hoe, watering can, or another tool to plant fields, harvest crops, and raise livestock. Farmers can also woo the opposite sex and get married. The familiar overhead perspective returns as players explore their farm and its surrounding areas from the top screen. The bottom screen displays statistics, conversations, maps, close-up views of animals, and more. The DS version also introduces a number of new festivals, items, and mini-games. As an added bonus, owners of either Harvest Moon title on Game Boy Advance will be able to unlock special features upon inserting each cartridge. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Package Contents: Registration Card
A clear, well-done manual that also offers valuable gameplay hints.
Simple and cute graphics. Some of the anime drawings of the townsfolk are a bit crudely drawn, however.
Like a persistent weed, Natsume's Harvest Moon series has cropped up on every Nintendo system since its debut -- sometimes more than once. With the DS version, the series has found the perfect platform for its addictive, farming-based mechanic, even though it doesn't really use the handheld's touch screen very much or very well. It also helps that the latest iteration is Natsume's most complete to date, with plenty to see, do, and discover in sleepy Forget-Me-Not-Valley. Harvest Moon DS lets you live in an idyllic picture of pastoral life. You start out as a young farmer with an unkempt field, a house, a cat, a dog, and a mission. The Harvest Goddess has been turned to stone and sent to another world (by accident, no less) by the Witch Princess. Compounding the problem, the Witch Princess also sent the 101 Harvest Sprites to the same world to try to find the Harvest Goddess and bring her back. You, young farmer, have the privilege of bringing back the Goddess and as many of the sprites as you can find, a task accomplished by fulfilling various farming feats. Farming in Harvest Moon is simple. Clear land. Till the ground. Plant seeds. Water. Harvest the eventual crop. Games take place in an accelerated real-time, with ten in-game minutes passing for every six or so seconds you're outside. Thankfully, farming isn't the only thing you get to do in the game. There's a mine to explore, fish to catch, sprites to find, girls to woo, townsfolk to befriend, and, occasionally, festivals to attend. Fans of previous games will find that there's more to do in this Harvest Moon than any previous version. All of this takes place using the handheld's dual screens, but Harvest Moon DS is surprisingly light on touch-screen mini-games. Aside from four animal "grooming" games, most of the action is accomplished with the directional pad and buttons. More mini-games, or the ability to use the touch screen for harvesting, fishing, mining, or cooking, would have made this game almost perfect. The game is also surprisingly buggy, freezing up at odd moments and even corrupting save files on occasion. This can be immensely frustrating, given the amount of time that can be invested in a game like this. Harvest Moon titles are famous for their ability to speed up real-life time. Play just "one more day," and you'll find yourself losing a lot of sleep as you happily grow yet another virtual tomato.
Though some variety exists in terms of who you decide to marry, there isn't much replayability here.
Though the background music changes based on the season, it still gets very old, very fast. Some voice would have been really nice too.
It's possible to lose yourself for hours or days, if you like this type of game.
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.