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on November 4, 2011
I love Harvest Moon, and this is a fun game, but it should be noted that this game has some pretty nasty freezing issues that are unavoidable. They're very sporadic--almost random, in fact. So while there are times you can play just fine and not end up with a freeze, there are other times when the game will freeze on you multiple times in a session and you'll lose your progress.

Really, you shouldn't waste your time on the 3DS version of this game. The 3D isn't the best, and the DS version runs perfectly fine.

I'm rating this with one star not because it's a bad game, but because loyal fans had to wait an extra month for Natsume to release a $40 that was clearly not play tested enough. I'm frankly ashamed that Natsume is not commenting on this issue and is actively deleting tweets and messages on their site to cover it up.
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on November 6, 2011
I became a fan of the game since it was in gameboy colour and I was so excited to get this new one for the 3DS...but I have been miserable since I've gotten it. The game is like all other Harvest Moon Games games; you're a farmer and well...you farm. The biggest problem is the game freezes and you can only save at the end of the day. So if you have the best day of you're life: the girl finally says yes to your proposal, you catch that rare fish, you complete a really hard quest or you worked so hard to get a truckload of money all that can dissolve right in your hands. It is just frustrating when the game freezes and you basically have to pop out the cartridge and put it back in again because the DS wouldn't respond either. It would have been a fun game but there is no possible way you cane enjoy it to its full potential.
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on November 9, 2011
- The 3D is completely tacked-on, and characters look like they're floating above the ground.
- Occasional severe and mysterious framerate issues.
- Once, the game froze as it loaded a new area. I had to hold the power button until the 3DS finally shut off.
- Extremely repetitive gameplay compared to other entries, and I'm a long-time Harvest Moon fan.
- Annoying sound effects. Generic music that plays at double the speed while riding a horse. Terrible!
- Clunky, frustrating menus and item management.

I've been playing Harvest Moon since it debuted on Super Nintendo. I can't believe how drastically the title changed since then, and I would not recommend this title to anyone - fans or otherwise.
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on April 27, 2013
If you really want to play this game but don't feel like paying 50 bucks for the DS version and don't want to get the glichy 3DS version, I'm happy to say that the digital version, available through the 3DS eShop, seems to be fixed!

I have been playing this a lot and haven't encountered any problems at all, so if you're a fan of the series and want to play this fantastic game I'd recommend you to get it through the eShop. It's a little more expensive than this, but it's worth it!
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on June 4, 2013
Well I read plenty of reviews that said it had freezing issues which I thought was quite the problem, but I felt that the issues were caused by running the 3D element. It was quite a bit cheaper than the DS version and it had the petting mini-game, so I went ahead and got the 3DS version, thinking that, either way I don't get 3D so why not spend less money?

I was right! I've had it since last october and have not ONCE got a freezing issue and I even run the 3D for short periods during various festivals and events.

As for the game itself...if you like Harvest Moon, your going to like this. It's a great little game and lots of fun. I love the addition of being able to change your outfit, the bachelors and bachelorettes are all very interesting, the alpacas are super cute, and the ability to focus on either plants or animals more means you get to do more of what you like.
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on November 13, 2011
I love Harvest Moon. One of the best things about the game is that it's very task oriented, and you can work a single day at a time, while collecting objects, taking care of animals, and growing crops. I will say one thing about this game: I love the controls. I love how intuitive they are and the Tool Selection part is especially nice. I also love how friendly they chose to be with the storage system- I haven't run out of space yet, and the cart upgrades that your horse can pull are very handy. The animals are adorable- even if the Petting Game gets old after the first three times. My beef isn't with the game, or the game controls, or the town, or the townspeople. I love all of that.

My beef is the same as everyone else's: the freezing. I have only experienced freezing back in the days of Harvest Moon 64, and even then it was rare at best. I think my entire lifetime playing that game, I only glitched and frozen maybe three times (and that's being generous). This game? It's gotten to a point where I go up a mountain and pray to the Harvest Goddess that I don't freeze. And then I usually do anyway. I have no idea who the heck tested this game, but clearly they did not test it enough. Nastume should be completely ashamed of the quality of testing done on this game- especially with how long they made everyone wait after the release date got pushed back again and again.

Now I agonize over the question- Do I return the copy I got for a new one and hope it doesn't freeze AS much? Some people claim they never freeze while playing, others say it is as frequent as mine, if not more. It's not enough to keep me from playing, but it sure does dishearten you when you just finished all the chores in the morning, only to find you have to reset the game manually to do it all again. At this rate, a month takes twice as long as it should to play through. And it can only get worse, not better.

My final thought? As long as you know that the game is glitchy as can be, and are willing to play through it, it's a great game. But Nastume should really be wary, as this caused a lot of life long fans to become very discouraged with the quality of their product. This was the first game I'd gotten for my 3DS since Ocarina of Time (glitch-free, thanks Nintendo <3). It was really disappointing to see this game's concept is destroyed by execution.
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on January 26, 2014
Harvest Moon: Two Towns (3DS) / B004XIQPAO

I've been a Harvest Moon fan since the first game came out on the SNES. Some of the latest installments have been a little disappointing, like the ones which take out the marriage and courtship aspect. But Tale of Two Towns perfectly recaptures the magic of Harvest Moon by beautifully balancing farming with the social aspects (which are my favorite parts of the franchise).

Two Towns starts off with two "rival" villages, and it's up to the player to patch things up. One town (Bluebell) is livestock-oriented and with the standard Harvest Moon European country village flair; the other town (Konohana) is crop-oriented and has a beautiful Eastern style, with paper lanterns hanging from the eaves. The player picks a village (though the player can change villages later, if desired) to live and work in and focuses on rebuilding relationships between the villagers.

The beauty of this setup is that it balances a high replay value (two villages = two playthroughs) without cutting off content from the player. Bluebell players can still farm crops, they just have smaller fields to work with (or have to commute to Konohana to grow crops there at the "extra" farm; this works well with crops that don't need daily watering). Similarly, Konohana players can still raise animals; they just have a smaller farm. This balancing act works really well when you consider that earlier HM games made it pretty much impossible to tend to a full barn AND a full field at once. (Leading to exploits like time not passing indoors, or having to hire farmhands to help, or having to work all night long, etc.)

This installment also does a great job of playing up the social aspect and cooking aspect: there are 4 cooking festivals per season (so 16 total per year) plus various livestock contests, pet contests, dating holidays, etc. All of this is optional, but since a major game goal is to build relationships between the towns, it's valuable for the player to attend and/or participate since participation builds the "heart meter" between the towns. (The Harvest Goddess helpfully keeps a running track.) All this works towards making you feel like you're achieving something between two communities, and not just building up your finances.

Other neat things about this Harvest Moon:

1. Villager (and Bachelor / Bachelorette) hearts are visible through a "flower number" that frames their dialogue box, so you don't have to hunt for diaries.

2. Mountain exploration (including herb gathering and fishing) feel like integral parts of the game.

3. Livestock is easier to herd than in many previous HM games, making outside feeding not only viable but desirable (since time spent outdoors increases livestock happiness). And the pets in the game (you can own up to 6) will automatically herd your livestock in and out of the barn for you, once their heart levels are high enough.

4. Crops can be planted in plowed rows, which means that one row only has to be watered and/or fertilized once. No more tedious watering each and every square.

5. A "request" system has been implemented which lets you bring requested items to villagers for heart increase, money, and item rewards. This is hugely fun and addictive.

6. Though the two villages are separated by a mountain, it is more than easy to visit both villages in a day. (And indeed I visit them both nearly every day as part of my play-style.) You can also spend the night in the opposite village if you need to start your morning there for whatever reason.

7. The available dating partners (boys for girl players to date and girls for boy players to date; I am disappointed to see HM still has not apparently implemented same sex relationship options) are all interesting and fun people to get to know; I appreciate the series' tradition of making well-rounded characters to interact with.

8. Item management is both easier and harder to manage than before. "Easier" because dropped items don't disappear immediately (which means you can't accidentally drop stuff and lose it forever, thank goodness) (though they will disappear overnight, so remember to pick up your pet toys before bed); "harder" because some items *will* still rot in your cart storage over time, plus you have a finite amount of space (in contrast to the Unlimited Refrigerator in Back to Nature). This adds an interesting inventory management angle to the game--you can't pack rat everything, so you *will* have to decide what to use, what to give away, and what to sell.

9. There's an online/friend play system which I haven't used, but which lets you plant crops for others to harvest in a special "online sharing" area (near the Harvest Goddess' spring) and (in turn) harvest crops from their shared area. This seems like a thing I would have enjoyed as a kid, even though I probably wouldn't use it now.

10. I don't always like how games implement the DS touchscreen, but this one handles it very well in my opinion. The touchscreen is largely for inventory management, but you *can* manage your inventory without touching the screen--in other words, using the stylus in this case is optional, and you could also use the D-pad and buttons to move things from your inventory to storage and/or the shipping bin. The touchscreen also shows farmer details (like outfits and requests), and there's a "petting" mini-game with the animals which is completely optional. Almost everything the touchscreen does, therefore, is optional, which is how I like it.

To sum up: This is probably my favorite Harvest Moon game since Back to Nature (for the PS1, and which I still hold to be the best in the series). I highly recommend it, especially if you're a player who goes in for the community / festival / dating aspects of these games.

On a final note: I note a lot of people having bug issues with this game freezing. I bought a used copy of the game (so I can't vouch for how clean the cartridge is), and have played it on a 2DS (note well: 2DS, not 3DS) for weeks. The 2DS is still at the basic factory settings; I won't update the software until it becomes necessary for some reason. With that said, I have *NOT* experienced the game freezing. Not even once. So take that for what it's worth: my copy of the game has worked fine on a factory-settings 2DS.

~ Ana Mardoll
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on May 9, 2012
I first started playing Harvest Moon in 2000 with HM:64, and I was instantly hooked. The gameplay across the series is simple but addicting, and over time I've played many of the games with each new installment being as fun as the last. Before I bought HM:ToTT, I read many reviews, and I was aware that the game had lagging issues and was known to freeze after playing the petting mini-game. With this in mind, I decided to go ahead and purchase the game, and if the freezing became an issue, I could easily shelf the game and know that I had learned my lesson. However, after playing through two complete seasons, I am happy to report that the freezing has become a non-issue and lag is minimal for normal play. The characters are very nicely designed, the world is beautiful (with or without 3D), and most of all the game is FUN! For anyone looking to expand the HM universe or simply jumping into the series for the first time, HM:ToTT is a great place to start!
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on November 22, 2011
I've played Harvest Moon games since the first one, and all seem to leave something to be desired with the exception of a select few. Tale of Two Towns unfortunatley hits that mold of wanting more. A good game overall, certainly a classic to even the most seasoned Harvest Moon lovers, but the wait time in between releases for the 3DS and the regular DS versions was heavily exaggerated. While I enjoy the game I so have several reservations about it.

First, the lag. Some copies unfortunately have very noticable lag while others just freeze. I've noticed I can't stop lagging outside my home, and it tends to be especially bad when I'm trying to water crops. Second, the villages themselves. Bluebell has a surprisingly low amount of residents compared to being called a bustling European city. Konohana seems much larger by comparison, in residents at least. In terms of land, I'd say Bluebell has more simply because there are not enough residents to fill it up.

Secondly, you actually have to befriend the carpenter before she'll even think about doing any home upgrades, and you have to wait once a season. Very untypical of other HM games and quite annoying to say the least. It also appears much more difficult to befriend certain villagers. Some have their distinctive tastes such as Cam loving flowers and Ash loving milk but others, like Mikhail, like Tofu and other difficult to get items. At least the carpenter loves rocks as gifts. You also have to befriend Nori, a girl in Konohana if you want different outfits, which are again, once a season, and she prefers tea as a gift. My main reservation about this is the games gives absolutely no indication to do this otherwise.

Thirdly, item preservation. The only form of preserving anything in the beginning is a limited space storage box. Practically everything outside of rocks and canned foods has a freshness limit and residents will not accept them as gifts if they're 'getting bad' or below. Speaking of space, the space in your rucksack is incredibly limited. This is a common HM feature, but with the myriad of items you collect on a daily basis, it's not enough at times.

Fourth, the weather, the weather, the WEATHER. The weather system has been around since the dawn of HM but there's one distinct feature in Tale of Two Towns... when it rains or snows, all the shops close. If you need fodder, owl food or pet food, you better hope it's not raining all day. The weather also seems to put a huge damper on unlocking flower (heart) events. I've had Cam at green forever and I can't get his purple flower event to activate because it always rains on the day he wants to go out. It can also turn to rain from sunshine at about 1pm so making the tread from one town to the other for seeds, fodder, cafe visits, what have you, are quickly stopped. Crops seems to be difficult to grow simply because of the unpredictable weather and the fact that Gombe's shop closes twice a week, plus festivals. He also rotates his stock everyday so somedays you may not get the season specific seeds you want/need.

Finally, the harvest goddess. Normally I have no problems with her, but she has a very annoying habit of showing up in the middle of hand fishing to congratulate you for catching said fish which causes the rest of the fish to swim away. She's more like a mentor in this installment of HM, but they could have done without the ridculous praise whenever you get a flower, brush a cow or ship a turnip.

I'm fairly neutral about the weekly cooking festival. My only reservation about it is that you can't seem to speed it up fast enough, causing you to waste about 10 minutes of constant button mashing. I'm also neutral to the Despite all this, there are some positives.

Money is insanely easy to come by. By mid-fall I had around 200k, simply because there weren't enough building, cooking, or clothing requests to keep my supply depleted. Later in the game more upgrades tend to be pricier then HM's of the past, but at least money isn't so much of a labor of love.

Fodder/Pet Food/Chicken Feed is 5 meals per 1 bag. A variety of pets, including owls can be purchased. Cats take care of chickens, dogs take care of sheep and cows. Despite it's many flaws, Tale of Two Towns still remains one of my favorite HM's. It seems a bit rushed in terms of development, and has no where near the population of Sunshine Islands, but still worth a play nonetheless.
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on August 19, 2014
A friend recommended the Harvest Moon series to me and this was my first experience with it. I don't know how it compares to other Harvest Moon games so I am reviewing it as a standalone title.

There isn't much of a plot (the two towns dislike each other and you help repair their bond by entering cooking contests), but upgrading your farm and forming relationships with everyone in the game can keep a player entertained for a long time. Once you have gotten the basics down, the game is pretty repetitive. As other reviewers say, it's a little like Animal Crossing, but I personally prefer this game due to the fact that you don't need to play every day for the best results like you do with Animal Crossing.

I find it very good for stress relief because it is not a difficult game and you are never penalized for failing a person's request. Most of the game is very free and open, designed to take place over a long period of time. The more exciting parts of the game (like getting married and having a child) can take a while to get to and you have to be patient. Each in-game day takes about 10-20 minutes, so this would be a good game if you're frequently in situations where you need to kill a little time.

A lot of reviewers have reported freezing issues. I have had the game for a few months now and there have been no freezing issues (knock on wood). However, if you really want to not worry about that, there is another version for the regular DS systems that is almost exactly the same and doesn't seem to have the same issues.

Overall it is a good game. I would give it 5 stars if there had been just a little more to do, but I find it a very solid title and good for casual play.
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