Harvest Moon: Animal Parade Impressions

We check out Parade to find out what's new in Harvest Moon.


The latest version of Harvest Moon was on display at Natsume's booth, and we had the chance to go eyes-on with the game as we were walked through its new offerings. For those unfamiliar with the franchise, the basic concept is that you're trying to run the most successful farm you can, while balancing your workload with maintaining an active social life. However, with each subsequent release, Natsume likes to switch things up by adding and removing features, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. We're not sure which way the latest version is heading quite yet, but some of the new features seem interesting.

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Harvest Moon has long been known to recycle characters from previous games, but using them in different roles, and Animal Parade is no different. The game features a brand-new story with new challenges and stars some of the more popular characters from the series' past. In addition, many aspects of the game have been greatly expanded, such as pet ownership. Now you can have up to three pets at a time, and they can be chosen from a wide selection of animals, such as dogs, cats, bears, turtles, and even weasels. Furthermore, you can now teach each one unique tricks, which should deepen your bond with them. Oh, and now you can ride almost any four-legged animal around, such as cows, instead of being confined to your horse--we're sure they'll appreciate it.

To broaden its appeal to the female demographic, the game also introduces a wide range of accessories that you can clothe your farmer in. In a similar vein, the game also features a photography mode that lets you take a picture anytime you want. Even better, you can set a timer on the camera, letting you position your character in the frame before the picture is snapped. These pictures can then be posted to your Wii Bulletin Board and sent to your friends' Wiis.

Although finding a mate and having a kid has long been a mainstay in the series, Animal Parade will let you, for the first time, have two kids. In addition, you can put those slackers to work right away, toiling in the fields and watering the crops. Gotta teach kids discipline these days, y'know.

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If you're a fan of Harvest Moon, stay tuned to GameSpot for more when Animal Parade launches this fall on the Wii.

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Avatar image for KrayzieJay

lol they never reviewed it. Silly gamespot

Avatar image for spooky__14

also, whats with all the mythology garbage? the town should actually be run down (like its supposed to be) when you first get there and your actions bring in money and new people and businesses to the town increasing the towns value. (SORT of like the villa on AC2) they keep trying to drag the series on by adding gimmicky little things to it. i loved harvest moon 64 and FoMT was decent too but this series is in need of a complete real rpg makeover(along with ability to play on all 3 consoles) not just cute exotic animals to return it to the glory it once had.

Avatar image for spooky__14

i'm disappointed again. i don't care about raising penguins or other crap like that i want a more indepth, deeper rpg experience from the harvest moon series. where you actually want to play for more than 3 years without getting bored, achievements/accomplishments that keep it interesting and a more compelling story and character interaction. bioware can make epic games like mass effect so i'm sure natsume can come up with something a little more realistic and interesting.

Avatar image for VXLbeast

Nice, I have been wating for a decent Harvest Moon sequel since Friends of Mineral Town for my GBA.

Avatar image for --Thomas--

Harvest Moon is really a great franchise. Can't wait for this one.

Avatar image for ZetsubouSensei

I've been waiting for this game for a VERY long time. Although its the same exact cast, its great. I loved the cast and its probably my favorite HM cast of all time. At least getting the sprites is hell of a lot easier and less time consuming. @Lazay727: SPOILER ALERT: Its basically like ToT. Send one of your oldest or youngest kid to the other island (That looks like Waffle Town), and restart the game...BUT, you see the kid and he hands you the item that you wanted to give in the previous file. You also start out with pre-level tools.

Avatar image for Lazay727

ill buy it if it has replay value. i hated how at end of tot u basically just restart the game. the gamecube game got it right but there shouldnt be an ending. i liked how the story evolved and you picked your sons career. develop that more and ud have a good game, but no it seems they just push out same old crap. we'll see though, but i doubt they'll try anything with replay. cuz then they can't rehash the same game next year and delay it 100x.

Avatar image for Dinkyfish

Please release this in the UK! We don't even have ToT yet :(

Avatar image for ariellejodoin

I can't wait for it to come out! Although, it'll probably end up like ToT where they keep pushing the release date back a month whenever it gets close... that was lame. But I've been playing Harvest moon for 12 years now.. so I think I can handle the wait. Besides I have Rune Factory and ToT to tide me over,

Avatar image for Crisco552

is the release for japan only or is it also coming to America at that time or is it even coming to America?

Avatar image for surferblue05

Has anyone noticed that all of the charecters from ToT are in here doing their old jobs?

Avatar image for RunnersNation

I'm going to wait for this, instead of getting ToT. Looks great!

Avatar image for UzukiFanRFF

i cant wait! ive been playing harvest moon since i was in first grade. (im going into 6th grade). i started with AnWL. I cant wait til it comes!

Avatar image for seaward12

looks fun but for kids im not really in to the harvest moon thing but ill see how it is

Avatar image for jnjreams76

I think i'd much rather have a new Rune Factory

Avatar image for wahyudil

mmmm .... I will think about this if I manage to finished my last HM and RF when the game out ...

Avatar image for N64ever

I can't believe Natsume is releasing so many iterations. I like Harvestmoon and I would like to get a new version, but which one?! At least I have options :)

Avatar image for riariases

@Hellooo_Nurse Yeah, I would rather have two girls. The boy in the GameCube version sucked like hell. He would always run off and start flirting with the bar waitress. Seriously? Its not cool to have a drunkard for a son.

Avatar image for eldin4444

At first, animal parade didnt sound like something I would buy, but.... to have a bear , a turtle and a weasel , and to ride a cow dude gotta have this game, well just if it reach an 8.0

Avatar image for bluedonfreak

<< LINK REMOVED >> go here please and sign up

Avatar image for ShuichiChamp24

Weasels and bears as pets......sweet! Can't wait to see more of this game.

Avatar image for Lazay727

I hope they give you better end game content. The last game at the end made no sense. Your kid leaves the island and magically apears on a new island thats EXACTLY the same. you might as well delete your file and start again because besides a brief cut scene its the same thing. That REALLY dissapointed me. I wont buy another HM game until they add some more deep replay value as far as endgame. I liked what the first gamecube harvest moon did with your kids and how you could influence them and it told a story even if it had to have an ending at least it gave you closure. Just my thoughts anyway. give me thumbs up if you agree.

Avatar image for taddia

gelugon_baat u can change your nick but i recognize u, u r the usual wii flamer i've seen in the past here on the wii's gamespot pages... u could change your pic, so at least i could not recognize u.. god sake -.-

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

I do believe that this game will not be exempted from Rule 34.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

The second screenshot (where every sentient being in it grins to the point their eyes are closed) gives me the creeps. The feature to have kids and send them to work is not new to me - I have played board games that let you do that - but here, it's just... odd.

Avatar image for Hellooo_Nurse

Having two kids would be awesome! One boy and one girl!

Avatar image for riou7


Avatar image for cinder999

best game ever!

Avatar image for Nuoi

Anything but loading screens please! :P

Avatar image for colin0606

The only harvest moon game I really enjoyed was FOMT. I absolutely adored that game. I loved it even though I was more of a shooter person. I think ill rent this when it comes out to see if I like it.

Avatar image for WillKub92

I can do what my dad does to me in a video game? Pretty cool

Avatar image for riariases

Two kids?! And you can make them WORK for you?! Yesss, I always wanted to force child labour onto my offspring.

Avatar image for pakhair


Avatar image for nightshadeA

seems like they looked at a recorded demo for 5 minutes or so since its not a totally new story (you bring back the harvest god using 5 bells althouhg it should be more beleiveable than rainbows)