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4.5 out of 5 stars
Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning - Nintendo 3DS
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174 of 184 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
This game was officially released today, but I was fortunate enough to get my pre-order copy 4 days early and I've been playing it pretty much non-stop since then. I cannot say enough good things about it.

It's not as "pretty" visually as Tale of Two Towns (that game had a lot of texture!), and the 3D is terrible (when is it not?), but A New Beginning makes up for any lack of "prettiness" with its awesome gameplay. (And, don't get me wrong, it isn't a BAD looking game by any means!)

Everything I thought "Gee, I wish I could ________" from the last game was added into this game. For example, instead of pushing A to pick up an item while foraging and then pressing Y to put it in your bag, you simply press A and your character puts the item into their bag automatically--completely streamlining the process! They've also added the option to buy recipes to cook from, rather than trial-and-error experimentation (which, I don't know about you, but that led to countless "fail" dishes on my end!).

But even with all the little things to make the gameplay easier, Natsume's added just enough new challenges to keep things interesting. In addition to your stamina bar, you now have a "health" bar. And the stamina bar decreases much more quickly than in Tale of Two Towns. In ToTT I saved my cooking for the monthly cook-offs, but in A New Beginning I've found that I actually have to EAT food at some point during the day if I'm going to get all of my chores done! :O Eating the food actually MEANS something in this game!

Sleep also has more significance in A New Beginning. You can no longer keep your character awake all hours of the night and still wake up refreshed at 6am the next morning. If you stay up late and/or work your character too hard, you'll find yourself sleeping in the next morning. It puts new meaning to the old adage, "Early to bed, early to rise."

And, of course, the new customization feature is awesome. It's a bit limited (don't be expecting Saints Row or Skyrim levels of character creation here!), but the fact that you can choose your own look at all is pretty amazing for a Harvest moon game. There's 3 face types, 4 skin colors, about 8(?) hairstyles, and 2 starting outfits to choose from.

You're given a lot more freedom when it comes to customizing your farm (and later the town itself). This allows you to prioritize your activities more efficiently and play the game how you want. That level of freedom helps to really suck you in.

As Dunhill (one of the NPCs) says, "This is your life. Find something you want to do with it and do it."

I'm going to be playing this one for a long time to come.
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115 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2012
Verified Purchase
I have to be frank--I don't think the Harvest Moon developers have given us a truly good, solid portable iteration in the series for a while. I quite enjoyed (and still do!) Harvest Moon DS (the first entry in the series for the Nintendo DS) and its sister, DS Cute. I wasn't hugely fond of Island of Happiness. Grand Bazaar and Tale of Two Towns were both absolute flops, in my opinion. So I had my doubts about this game, and I went into it with a pessimistic attitude. I even bought one for a friend as a birthday present so we could compare opinions.

The game has a slow start, for sure. Especially if you're a seasoned Harvest Moon veteran, you'll find that the tutorial at the start is long, drawn-out, dry, and utterly pointless. Yes, it's a new game on a new system, but Harvest Moon is such an easy game to figure out I found the tutorial a headache more than anything. I skipped the entire thing by pressing the A button and was able to figure out all the controls and the menu within about forty-five seconds. On the other hand, it's good for true beginners and especially those who have never picked up a game console before in their life. The REAL slow start, however, is not the tutorial. (I wish!) Instead, it's the fact that Echo Village is almost completely deserted when you move in. There is an explanation--the town is falling apart and most people have packed up and left--but still, for the first season there is virtually nothing to do but plant some seeds, forage, and chat with the few villagers who do remain there with you. One of my favorite parts of Harvest Moon is breeding animals and raising them, so it might not be a bad idea for you to give it a try.

Where the game does shine initially though is with the customization system. For the first time in Harvest Moon history, you can customize your player character to your heart's content. Hair color, skin color, eye color, eye shape, even two different outfits to pick from at the beginning. My understanding is that a hairdresser moves into town eventually and you can change your hairstyles later in the game and get new clothes. I also believe that one can cross dress of sorts--males can dress and look exactly like females and vice versa. This is a new step for Harvest Moon, as one could theoretically play as a boy, wear feminine clothes and hairstyles, and still marry one of the local girls. Vice versa, of course. Very interesting, I'm experimenting with this by playing as a boy with a girlier name, pink hair, and big pink eyes. We'll see how it works!

The controls in this game are nothing to hit home about, but good enough. You move with the circle pad, open the menu with 'X', jump with 'B', interact with things with 'A', and zoom in and change camera angle with the directional pad. Not being able to move your character with the directional pad, only the circle pad, may be a learning curve for some but it's really easy to get used to. The inventory isn't great this time, slightly cumbersome but it's all about getting used to it. I adjusted quickly. For those who enjoy moving their character around the map with a stylus (think Island of Happiness and Sunshine Islands), sorry to disappoint. The touch screen contains a map, the time, the season, and a place for the menu to pop up. I find being able to change the camera angle very helpful. The circle pad works extremely well. Everything else is pretty average.

The graphics are nice! As is typical with Harvest Moon, they won't blow you out of the water and they don't really take full advantage of the 3DS's capabilities. I love the people's designs in the game, absolutely adorable and lifelike. They blink in their portraits! The animal's sprites are precious and the trees/flowers/rocks/wild animals/water/etc. all complement each other nicely. The only thing I don't really like about the graphics is the grass. All solid green, no texture that I can see. It's not enough to make me really dislike the graphics, however.

Characters, though I admittedly have not seen much of them yet, are excellent this time around. Hana in particular, from the initial cast, is downright adorable. Be wary, though, the first bachelors that stroll into town are moody! Don't let that soil your view of them from the beginning, they will open up to you with time. And once Rod moves in, you'll have a bachelor that's nice right off the bat. The bachelors are all fairly good-looking with well-rounded and varied personalities. You may love them all, hate them all, or be able to pick and choose. That's no different. I love the bachelorettes--Witch Princess is back and she's got a whole new look! Michelle is my favorite by far, I'm a sucker for pink.

Animals get huge praise this time around. A ton of variety and they all look amazing! I absolutely love the cows. They're almost comical. The other animals, some new (don't want to spoil everything!) don't leave me wanting for much, either. Pets are back and better than ever--I won't spoil much, but they do have some hilarious consequences if you feed them too much or don't take good care of them! The crops, unless you are very into that aspect of the game, are same as always with some new ones thrown into the mix. No real surprises there.

The town, as I said, is absolutely dead in the beginning. A couple of buildings, some of which aren't even occupied, and your farm. But unlike previous Harvest Moon games, when you just waited for someone to move in, you take an active role in bringing people to your village. Blueprints make an introduction here, and you can purchase them, gather the materials required for them, and build new things for your village! Some plans are required to bring some characters into town. But follow that formula and your town will soon be bursting. Eventually, I believe you even get to change your town's name if you complete all the Blueprints. There is also the introduction of the Travel Agency, and you guessed it, vacations! There are several places to choose from and they're a great idea for honeymoons, birthdays, or just because.


+ Good controls
+ Nice graphics
+ Great cast of characters
+ Customization
+ Animals/Pets
+ New Crops
+ Longevity (I can see myself being hooked on this until I go blind!)
+ Town building system
+ Travel Agency
+ Multiplayer (haven't experimented with this yet, if you try it and have feedback, leave a comment!)
+ An enormous amount of new little bells and whistles and features that you have to discover for yourself!

- Ugly grass
- Horribly slow start
- Inventory may bother some
- Characters repeat themselves often when you talk to them

That's really it. In my opinion, it's easily the best Harvest Moon so far and there's so much to see and do that even after you've done and seen it all you'll want to keep going forever. It's not perfect, but as you can see, the Pros greatly outnumber my superficial little Cons. It's an amazing game with few flaws and it's just waiting for you to pick up and play. So get out there and happy farming!
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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
Verified Purchase
I've played many of the iterations of Harvest Moon over the years. My favorites were Harvest Moon DS Cute and Friends of Mineral Town. This offering, other than a slightly different look, brings little that's new to the play. You don't have to clear weeds, logs & stones from your fields (which I rather enjoyed doing) but keeps the agonizingly tiresome system of moving your animals around. The chickens aren't bad, you just pick them up and move them outside (or inside), but the cows...come on, Natsume, surely you can do better than this!

Having to push each cow out of the barn every day takes forever & is an insult to cows everywhere (I grew up in a ranching community & I can assure you, a cow knows where the barn door is). Adding insult to injury, the cows tend to get sick/and/or ' moody' if you leave them out in the rain or in the barn too long. Honestly, these cows get more vapors than a troop of Victorian ladies on holiday in the Costa Brava. You can take them to a spa to cure their 'stress' but really....

The only bachelor available early in the game is Neil. He's cute but so surly that I would rather have picked up my ax and gone all Lizzie Borden on him than give him the cow treats he likes so much. The bachelors' attitudes toward you are indicated by the color of their 'heart' icon but there is no indicator of the villagers' friendship levels for you which is annoying.

In a similar vein, it would be nice if you could click on the town upgrades you're performing and see what percentage of completion you're at. As it was, I had to run around, repeatedly counting items to try to decide if I was 'done' or not. Also, moving and placing items is a lot more difficult than it should be. You can only place items in 'edit' mode and your point of view is so close that it is often quite difficult to find a spot; if you need to, say, chop a tree or move another item to make room for what you're trying to place, you have to first return to the studio, then go out, chop the tree or move the item, return to the studio, enter edit mode & try replacing your house or item.

Collecting insects & fish is fun (you do this in the forest and along the river; other venues open up as you progress through the game) and cooking is interesting and useful. As other reviewers have pointed out, eating food matters in this game although I have done ok selling all my dishes for cash & sleeping when I need to. I haven't gotten to the later stages tho so that might change. The graphics are ok but nothing exceptional. The animals are cute but, as I have said, so stupid that it takes the bloom off their cuteness. I didn't use the 3-D feature because it gives me headaches.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2012
Verified Purchase
Been looking forward to this game for months, pretty much preordered it the second I had the chance to. When I first started it I was a little annoyed because the Intro/Tutorial takes forever to get through and there is no skipping any of it. It was pretty awesome designing your own character though. Sure the number of choices wasn't huge, but it is more than any Harvest Moon game has had in the past and I'll take it. Once you get through the first day or two the game does kind of start slow, mostly because there is nearly no one left in the town and you only really have foraging to do to pass the time. As you get more people though, it begins to pick up and soon you have tons of things to do each day and you find yourself foraging only for the things you need or that sell for a high price when cooked. It is fun to see the town grow and change through your efforts, kind of like playing Dark Cloud really. I do wish there was some more stone around though because that stuff is extremely difficult to find and you need a ton of it to do any building. Sure you can buy it from the blueprint shop, but I prefer not wasting the money. Overall, there is a ton to do in this game and I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface yet.

Basically if you are an HM fan, why haven't you bought this game yet? It is completely worth it.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2013
I am fairly new to the Harvest Moon series, I only started with Tale of Two Towns. There are some definite improvements in this game compared to that one. Many of them have already been touched on by other reviewers. For example, the clothing and hairstyles are very much expanded as well as town customization in general. I also liked that in this game, *I* am the carpenter and can develop things at my own pace rather than having to wait on Eileen to post on the message board once per season. I do kind of miss the request system, because you could get rare or out-of-season rewards from villagers, which isn't an option with this game and its blueprint system. Yes, eventually you can exchange these things with Sandra, but it's expensive, and by the time she gets to town you can likely find everything she has yourself. It's nice how much earlier in this game you can unlock the mine, also. The vacation destinations are also a nice addition, although in some of them (Ancient Ruins, anyone?) there really isn't much to do.

However, this game also has some really irritating quirks that the last one didn't have. The biggest issue for me is the slow, drawn out cut scenes that happen ALL THE TIME. At first, you don't notice it so much because it's only when Neil opens/closes his outdoor animal shop. But even that on its own got really annoying, really quickly. I pressed every button on the 3DS, thinking surely, like EVERY OTHER GAME EVER, there would be an option to skip a cutscene you had seen before. But no, you have to watch it anytime you happen to be in town near his opening/closing times. It gets worse as the game progresses as there are more and more outdoor merchants. They ALL have an un-skippable cutscene for both opening and closing. Then, on your farm, there is an un-skippable cutscene if you have pets that help you graze the animals, both in the morning when they graze the animals, and in the evening when they put them back in the barn. It's completely maddening after a while! I find myself interrupting watering my crops, and running toward my farmhouse to get inside, to avoid the pets cutscene at 7am. These various scenes really interrupt the flow of the gameplay.

Also, if you're looking for an eligible bachelor, the pickings are pretty slim. Neil and Allen are outright d-bags (Neil says things like "Aw, why do I have to see your face in the morning?" and classy Allen says things like "You look like a dog." Charming.) Soseki is a guy who is attractive looking, but makes a huge deal about being "old" (though he doesn't look that old) and is a hypochondriac. Rod is pretty sweet but unfortunately looks 12. That leaves you with the caramel-skinned, white-haired Prince Amir and his butler Sanjay, both of whom are very nice, but are also the last and most difficult bachelors to attract to your town. You have to give a "commitment ring" to your bachelor of choice to see the upper-level heart events. But god help you if you decide, after that, that you made a mistake, and want to pursue a different bachelor. It's more work to get OUT of the relationship than it is to get into it. You have to give HORROR gifts and avoid festivals until you get back down to either black or Purple Heart level, and then ignore them for 31 days before you can trigger a breakup scene. There's a blue feather that's supposed to express something that you can't say in words (that you want to marry them), so why the hell can't there be a red feather or something that says "You're a jerk, and I think we should see other people?"

The bachelors and other villagers repeat the same dialogue over and over without much variance. The problem is, even after you befriend them, they still recycle their old dialogue. This means that in one breath, Neil will tell you he hopes you stay together forever and that you're inseperable, and then in the next he will threaten you if you "mess with the animals in the forest." So instead of getting progressively nicer, the characters who are kind of gruff in the beginning end up seeming a little bi-polar. I had been courting Neil until, after winning the Cow Festival, he refused to congratulate me, called me an idiot, and told me not to cry. This was at RED HEART LEVEL (the highest). Bachelors shouldn't be saying stuff like that at that level of intimacy. That was the last straw. Now, I've been trying to get out of the relationship for 3 months so I can hook up with the beautiful Sanjay. All the time, I find myself missing my sweet, uncomplicated Cam from ToTT.

Other minor annoyances include having to take pets to the festival grounds to play with them instead of being able to play with them at your farm (just try finding time in the day to do this!), villagers spend major amounts of time eating every day (in 2-hour blocks) in which space you cannot give them gifts, and the inability to place more than one barn/coop on each space of the map, or switch animals between existing barns/coops (perhaps, for example, I would have liked to keep all my chickens on the east farm, and all cows on the west, etc.) Instead the animals are put into the barn you choose in whatever order you buy them in. Since the full range of animals isn't unlocked until Summer of year 3, unless you majorly plan ahead, you won't be having all your sheep in one barn and all your cows in another.

This being said, if you get used to the times/places you have to avoid in order to miss the cutscenes, and are okay with just "settling" for the best available bachelor rather than really liking someone, this game is still pretty fun. While I have seen some graphic artifacts at times, it doesn't have anything near the freezing issue that ToTT had. Despite the issues, I still find myself sinking a lot of time into this game. However, I'm sure as soon as Animal Crossing: New Leaf comes out in the US, I will probably never pick this one up again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2013
I absolutely love this game!
I have been a huge Harvest Moon fan for about 10 years now, and started with A Wonderful Life and Another Wonderful Life. I also played Magical Melody on the GameCube, and own Animal Parade for Wii and also played Tree of Tranquility for wii (it is so similar to Animal Parade I didn't bother buying it).

First off, I will say that the first HM game I bought for a handheld device was More Friends of Mineral Town. While I was just happy to have another HM game to play, the graphics weren't fantastic (although they were okay for the time), and the gameplay was like a condensed version of the gaming system versions. I also tried Harvest Moon Grand Bazaar, and hated it.

I gave up pretty easily on HM games for handheld devices.

This summer, I bought my 3DS XL because Pokemon X and Y were released in October. I didn't have any games to play on it while I waited, and so I figured I would try out either A New Beginning or Tale of Two Towns. Based on some reviews and my own personal tastes, I am glad that I did not purchase Tale of Two Towns.

However, I have nothing but GREAT things to say about A New Beginning.
The graphics are incredible, a HUGE step up from the old graphics on GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS. It is more suited to the graphics of the Wii version games, which I think are marvelous.
Also, the joystick on the 3DS makes for excellent gameplay. I think that's one of the things I disliked most about playing HM on other devices.
The storyline is great, you have so much personalization to do! From your appearance, to your farm, to your town structure. It is so much fun to rearrange everything as the town grows - which it does as you progress along the storyline.
The Town Restoration project is fantastic because it is challenging, and takes a long time to complete. I always feel empty when I play a HM game and finish the story so quickly, but I am not having this problem at all.
I am currently at the end of Summer in Year 2, and have almost completed my 5th restoration project, and can honestly say this game is FANTASTIC.

I am so super picky with my HM games, and if you have high standards this game is sure to please.
It is challenging in that it takes a long time and some effort, and you get to see real progression as the town grows, new areas are available to you, and more townspeople arrive.

Over all, I highly recommend this, and almost enjoy it more than the new Wii HM games.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2013
Verified Purchase
This game is hard to put down. A while back I got interested in the Harvest Moon series, having never played a game before I did a little reading and once I saw that it didn't matter what game I picked up, as there's not really much of a continuing story to them, I had to choose between this and A Tale of Two Towns. After seeing all of the negative reviews for ToTT I choose this, though I do intend to give the other one a chance eventually, and I don't regret getting this game. It's so hard to put down, and I am currently in Spring of Year 3.

What's the story? Well you're a youth (Male or female.) who's moved to a small little town where you'll be taking over the familiy farm, growing crops and tending to live stock. When you arrive in town you'll find that it's very, very small. So small that some residents had just packed up and left as you get in. So in addition to handling your farm you'll also be working around the town, building new buildings, once the residental blueprints seller moves in, you'll also have to gather materials for this stuff so be sure to pick things up when foraging around the forest and mountains.

Once more people moved in, a few come in after a set time while others you'll have to build their homes before they can move in, you'll be able to do more. There'll be festivals to look forward to, you can do garden tours, you'll even be able to date and eventually marry certain characters.

The game is a lot of fun, and at times hard to put down. There have been nights where I'll say "Okay just one more (In-game) day, and then I'll go to bed." Next thing I know one day turns into five. If you're a fan of the Harvest Moon, or Rune Factory games, this is for you, if you've never played a HM game before then I'd say that this is a pretty good place to start.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2013
Verified Purchase
The first Harvest Moon game I ever played was the N64 version, and I fell in love with it. It's so simple, but there's just enough to do to keep you interested and playing for hours. I bought this game, partially because I had to spend $25 to get free shipping on Amazon, but mostly because it's been a while since HM64 and I wanted to try out a newer version.

Positives: There's so much to do, and I like that the days are longer in the game. I also like that you can choose your gender and that the bachelors/bachelorettes don't look like 6 year old children anymore. There are new animals and crops, and some things have been made easier to achieve, while other things are harder, making the game take longer to complete. You can also change the way your town looks and where all the buildings are! I put the bachelor I plan on marrying closest to my farm so it takes less time to walk to his house and give him gifts. You can also go outside during typhoons now, so your animals won't get sick and it won't be a completely wasted day. I love the graphics, too! I think they look better than the screenshots I saw from Tale of Two Towns when I was deciding which game to pick. There's also two slots for separate games, and they can be deleted when they are finished. I'm thinking of making a second game where my character is male next.

Negatives: The game is really a giant tutorial, unlike HM64. The tutorial when I first turned on the game was maddening, and I couldn't sit through it all at once. Seriously Dunhill, I know I sleep on the bed and cook in the kitchen. I'm glad there are options to skip certain parts of the tutorial, but it was still a good 45 minutes and I had to take a break for a little while because it was driving me crazy. When the tutorial was over, I thought I was finally done! But wait, the Harvest Sprites have to talk to you in your sleep sometimes and tell you which buttons do what and "helpful" hints about the game. I would much prefer to have the entire tutorial out of the way at the beginning and not have villagers and harvest sprites tell me in the middle of the game that I can use the A button to pick things up.

Overall: The positives outweigh the negatives for me, especially since I'm done with the tutorial now so I only occasionally have to sit through another one of Dunhill's speeches about new members in the town and new festivals, etc. I pretty much spend all of my free time playing this game and I'm probably about halfway through the main story line after owning it for a little over a week now. Definitely worth it, and don't let the tutorial scare you (just read a book and press the A button a lot).
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
I waited for some time before posting a review on this game as I really wanted to get to know it first. Also, I haven't been able to put it down. I am not sure I can pinpoint exactly why this version is so addicting but I will do my best to sum up what I enjoy about it and what little tweaks would have made for better gameplay. I must say though that I would rate it 4.5 stars if possible the reasons for which I will explain later.

First off I am always happy when HM uses the D-pad controls because trying to play this game with a stylus is no fun at all. So kudos to Marvelous/Natsume for keeping those d-pad controls. Customizing your characters gender, skin, hair, eyes, clothes, etc. is really fun and I hope they keep expanding on that. You can change your hair during the game also at the salon and purchase clothing once you have built that shop too. I like that you are given goals on building the town homes, shops, and decor. I really enjoy having tons of things to do...the more the better, goals really make the gameplay for me. For freshing your health bar the better quality your food the more health you can restore. At first I wasn't sure that my character would have enough energy throughout the day, but since you have a kitchen right away and can purchase some recipes I either fry or boil eggs as they are easily accessible once you have chickens. If you wake up from a late night eat a quick treat to put your character back to full health.

I really like that as your farm expands you can have 3 barns and 3 coops so you have a lot of animals. At first I couldn't figure out why I was able to make multiple barns and coops and not put them on my main farm site. You can only place one barn/coop per area of your farm (i.e. central, west side, east side). I never like on the Wii versions of this game when you could have 10 animals and that's it...Boo! I want a huge farm which dozens of animals. Same with the growing a ton of them. My farm has no space left and I still wish I could grow more, LOL. Only wish this game wouldn't let you waste seeds. I have misfired many times and it's quite aggravating. Argh! I also wish there were more marriageable boys. Two of them look almost identical...8 would have been nice number I think. Oh, and I love the bee farming. How cool is that? Use perfume you create in the makers shed to upgrade that honey! It took a lot of foraging to find all those honeycombs but the bee farming is great for HM. Still working towards that greenhouse though. I love that there is one in this game!

Some tips I could mention would be to participate in those pesky garden tours early so you can fulfill that requirement when it comes along. Seeing as three tours takes 3 seasons just put anything you can on that garden space, hay bales, crates, stuff you can take from the town just to get it over with. Foraging is great at the beginning of the game for making money...make use of that. Save all your small boulders and branches, you will need them later. Even items like bottles that you catch with your fishing traps will be needed to create items in the Maker Shed. Make friends with Iroha the smithy girl quickly so you can upgrade your tools. She likes scrap metal which I gave her a lot. You can have multiple of each tools which is nice. I currently have two of the ultimate watering cans and you can have more. I like that. Hatch 10 chickens to unlock those silkies. Try and breed your Alpacas early if you want to unlock the brown ones (You need to have three Alpaca babies). You need that brown wool for the speedy brush which really saves some time and it took me until winter year 2 to unlock those critters. Speaking of time one of the things about this game I wish was different is that time never stops and I feel that in your barns, sheds, and house that it should. I have tons of milk to process into cheese but since the shed only lets me process 10 at a time and time is ticking away during this entire process it is difficult to find time to do this. Oh and that Ax of yours can cut those trees down all over the main part of town. I didn't realize this at first, not sure why, but chop those babies down! They regrow wherever there is space so don't worry about it. Grow herbs and soon as you doesn't take long once you have the seed maker to upgrade there quality with fertilizer and making seeds. Use herbs with your milk to upgrade your cheese quality. So a new cow with a low star quality milk can make a very high quality cheese if you have a 5 star herb.

I also do not like how the horse and pets lack the interactions of the cows, sheep, etc. I wish you could give the pets and horses treats and could brush them. I find it annoying that the horse will disappear on me when I go into the mine. Nothing more annoying than a late night run to the mine only to come out and you have to walk home. Another thing...the horse has a really funny gait to it...walks weirdly, like it's flowing over the ground until it starts to trot or gallop. Little things like that could have been polished up a bit. I enjoyed the horse more in the Wii games. Once you have the farm bell I really don't see the point of dogs and cats...which is kind of disappointing. I wish they had a purpose or were more interactive...follow you around, dig holes for seeds, bring you fish, chase of predators, something. The leash thing is a little strange. I thought I was going to put it on the dog but instead I just wave it in its face and run around holding the leash with the dog running around behind me...kinda silly.

The Mine I admit is my biggest bone of contention. It takes FOREVER to find the gems and metals I need. I am constantly having to save the game and reload dozens of times just to find a Jade or a silver. Even when the trade shop opens at night (when that creepy woman moves to town..poor woman looks a fright!) having the items for trade to get the gems I need takes extensive gardening and hoarding of goods. I think the mine should have expanded over time and had more resources. It definitely makes the game very challenging to acquire the resources to expand the town and update your farm.

Another annoying thing is the excessive cut scenes. They need to stop! I run like crazy from the town whenever the shops are opening as you have to watch a cut scene every time they open and close. Every time! The first time is enough! I wish I could opt out of those scenes. And whenever I go to bed late I have to watch a cut scene about oversleeping every morning. Okay the first time, not so much the 58th time. There are also cut scenes with towns people that deplete the time from your day. They can happen unexpectedly and next thing you know your back in your house when you were previously on your way to the mine with only an hour to spare before you had to hit the hay. I really feel cut scenes shouldn't take more than 30 minutes from your game clock and should put you back to where you were when it started. So make sure you save frequently. I save before I put my character to bed and before festivals in case I need to change the entry level.

Don't let all of my little issues and odd quirks I have mentioned discourage you from the game though, it really is one of the best HM games I have played and I have played more than I can count. I would say it 90-95% perfect and I hope they do something similar in the next release with some better graphics...these weren't the best like other reviewers have said, and the 3D has been turned off for most of my gameplay.

Lastly, there are two things I do wish were added to the Harvest Moon game, the ability to harvest more than one crop at a time (it's horribly time consuming), and a faster way to feed the troughs in the a lever that drops the fodder from above or something. An upgrade you can work towards in your barn.

If you need further gameplay help look online for, they have some great gameplay info with pics of the game.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2013
The beginning is incredibly slow. I could barely make it through the first spring. But somewhere around the first day of summer, things really picked up! The first two bachelors don't have the most winning personalities, but the other four are worth putting up with it. Money isn't much of a problem, and winning affection from the villagers is easy. I'm not a fan of the garden parties, but I can see why people might find them interesting. Over all, aside from a few minor complaints, this is a solid Harvest Moon game and well worth the time.
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