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In Harvest Moon: Animal Parade, the divine tree which once stood in the middle of the Harvest Goddess' pond is weakening, the creatures are beginning to leave the land, and the five bells have lost their power. The Harvest Goddess believes that only the strength of the Harvest King can help revive the earth and bring the tree back to life. It's up to the player to help the Harvest Sprites ring the five mystical bells, summon the Harvest King, and revive the Harvest Goddess' tree and the land.
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Now, the game isn't 100% perfect. It does take a bit of time for it to load whenever the scene switches to something else, which can be a little frustrating when you're trying to run around to find something or trying to get somewhere quickly, but it's not the worst loading lag I've ever dealt with. I also have found the game to be a little less easy to maneuver around, compared to the games for the DS/3DS. The menus and what not are much simpler and the customization is a little more limited, since the game platform is different.
But overall, I've always really enjoyed this game! It's fun, easy, and a good way to kill time. Though on that note, this is also the kind of game that can take a very long time to see to completion just because everyday there's stuff to do and lots of still requires the game time to advance so far, so you have to play the game in real time for so long before the game time will be the time you need it to be for an event or what not. It's still better than Animal Crossing, which often reflects real-time in the game and progresses at the same pace,but it can be a little repetitive to wake up and feed the animals and water the plants and pick the crops and etc. etc. etc. every game-day, so be aware of that if you're unfamilar with Harvest Moon style games.
The first and most prevalent change is the overall layout of the island; it is no longer Waffle Island but Harmonica Island. It isn't just a name change, it actually is a brand new island to explore and places to visit. The layout isn't as circular as TOT's was, it follows more of a hub-and-spoke pattern where your farm is at the center of the island with the other farm, town, and mining districts branching off from there. Makes travel a bit more tedious but you can open up shortcuts later on between a few of the places. The detail in each area is also noticeable with even the Wii slowing down as it tries to render some of the complex environments (The Garmon Mines is a nice offender of this). However, they did remove the long, excess loading times inbetween areas by having quasi-loading sections that switched the camera view from almost 3/4 sideview to a mostly top-down view to help assist in loading the next area without player knowledge or due impact on gameplay - a very nice touch. There are plenty of fishing spots, a forest for collecting lumber and stone material, no less than three mines to scour, and dozens of additional sidequests and things to do the more you get friendly with the townspeople. Overall, a mass improvement over TOT with the environment you play in.
The gameplay hasn't changed too much, but there a few little tweaks from TOT which seemed odd that I'm not sure I care for; it seems getting honey is a lot harder now and bees appearing less frequently. The recipe lists have dropped the awesome grid-based view and went with a rather drab text list view which only lets you view four recipes in the list at a time which makes it more of a chore to sift through. And a few other quirks that baffle me why they bothered to change at all since it functioned so perfectly in TOT. One good change however was the gratuitous amounts of money required to purchase everything the game has to offer. In TOT, you could easily reach your money cap and have already bought everything by the end of the second year and have it become boring since its no longer challenging to earn money. Not so here, things are very pricey and promote tactical decision making in what you deem most important for your farm and I'm already at the end of year 2 and have yet to buy everything the game has to offer - much needed change imo.
Finally, the story - it isn't anything to write home about and I actually was able to finish it before the winter of my first year; so it wasn't anything overly special. What is more interesting is the multitude of different inserts of personality the developers have given the existing characters from TOT. Some even act differently to how they were in TOT making you love them rather than hate them if they stayed the same from TOT. So kudos for making each character a bit more unique and offering far more cutscenes and quests for a good majority of them. It seemed even well into my second year I was discovering random events between characters as I continued my progress to 10 hearts with everyone. Which reminds me of another change I didn't care for, it seems merely talking to people doesn't increase their fondness for you as it did in TOT, it seems its gifts and gifts only which can slow the process down.
Overall, I prefer this version over TOT in a heartbeat and I think this is the more definitive title of the two. However, due to some odd gameplay changes and mechanics I didn't care for and wish they kept from TOT, I can't give it higher than 4 stars, but its still a solid HM game regardless! Perhaps rent first, then buy? (Is renting even an option still?)