User Rating: 5.3 | Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town GBA
The Harvest Moon series has spanned across plenty of consoles and handhelds such as the GBC, SNES, N64, PS, PS2, and so forth. This is basically Natsume's biggest "RPG" series. The reason why it's quoted an "RPG" is because it's not entirely an RPG. There isn't no type of battle system in Harvest Moon, while other games in the genre actually have a battle system. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is a bit different from an RPG. If you played any of the Harvest Moon games before, you'll know what Harvest Moon is all about. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town isn't some sort of successor of sorts to another previous Harvest Moon game. Instead, Friends of Mineral Town is a port of the Playstation version of the game, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. Well, it surely isn't a direct port, but Natsume has basically added some inspiring extras in the game to keep you playing longer than ever. Or so that's what Natsume wants you to believe. Simply put, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town could of been a much better game. Basically, the story goes a little like this: You are a city boy, who used to play around in a farm with an old man who ran it. It seems you two were close and the old man just seemed that you were just a succedaneum grandson to him, although you weren't related to him at any costs, as the story tries to make you believe. After a while, your old 70-something year old...friend...dies and leaves the farm and it's duties to you. Now this is where it begins. Simply put, you have three years to clean up the farm and return it back to it's prior state and make it a healthy farm by doing your best. In the process though, your going to have to woo and marry a woman of your choice (there is 5 total) and partake in holiday festivals and mini-games. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town has you repeatedly doing things that often make the whole game tedious. For example, if any of you actually played any of the Harvest Moon games, the first thing your going to need to do is to clean up the outside part of the farm. This is where you will have to plant your crops - that is, until you have enough money to buy other things. Cleaning up the place isn't as fun as it looks. You do have some tools such as the sickle and hammer to begin with, but you won't really be able to start planting any crops and make some money until you clean up the farm. It gets so tedious and repetitive, you will probably have no time doing any of the chores. Not only that, but your going to have to deal with the process that all Harvest Moon games must deal with...actually begin making some money. Before you do that though, again your going to need to clean up the farm. If you actually took the time to do such a thing, your ready to begin...another tedious chore. First off, you must make a batch of holes in the soil that you are given with and start planting some seeds. Whether it's cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. it doesn't really matter. After planting your seeds, your going to have to water them daily so they won't rot and die. If you forget about them, you can say bye-bye to your crops. The game has you doing so many chores at once it makes the game fall apart. If that wasn't enough for you, later on when you have the money, your going to have to purchase some animals such as cows, chicken, and sheep. Your going to have to feed them daily as well to keep what is your livestock alive. Too bad they will get sick anyhow and turn into deadstock. You see, missing one day of not feeding them can easily get them sick, and it's only a matter of hours or days before they die. It's like wasting plenty of money on useless things. You have your hands FULL of chores every single day. Not only that, you must keep your animals as happy as they can be or else they will die. Some examples are the cows. To make them happy, you can simply use the brush and brush them daily. Missing a single day of brushing them decreases their rating of liking you. Missing two days can easily get your cows angry and thus begin to not like you. Do it a few more times and they will die. What about the chickens? In order to make them like you in a nice way, you're going to have to...pick them up and throw them repeatedly. Obviously, if you haven't already knew, it gets very labyrinthine and complex in just a short period of time. Think you had it bad? Your going to have to marry a woman from the SAME five choices from the previous Harvest Moon games. Delivering presents and spending time with them raises their love meter, which tells you how much they love you. It definitely gets tedious here, wasting money on things you HAVE to get for your woman. Add that to the plenty of other repetitive chores you need to do. Missing one thing can destroy a full year's worth. Enough with your daily life, because it's as tedious as it can get. Graphically, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town looks pretty good for a GBA game. There might be some areas where Friends of Mineral Town might of been improved from, but it's still graphically pleasing at some times. If Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town could of been improved in another area of interest, it's definitely the sound. Throughout the game, you will be hearing the same sound and music for a whole month game-wise, which is pretty long. The music sounds a bit garbled at times, but luckily Natsume fixed it up a bit, because it could of been much worse. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is not only such a tedious game, but even it's controls are. To open up your rucksack menu, you need to press A+B. To scroll through your items, your going to have to press L+A. To scroll through your tools or eat an item that your holding, you need to press L+B. To view the world map, you need to press L+Start. To view your own farm map, you need to press L+Select. You see, all these combinations of buttons you need to press just for the most simplistic tasks turn out to be a daring frustrating game. It's hard to remember most of the combinations, if not, all of them. Prepare for a trip to the instruction booklet if possible, because your going to need it plenty of times. In the end, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is again, another simple disappointment for the Harvest Moon series. Prepare to suffer from alot of chores, and if you can't deal with them, then there is no point in buying the game. The controls don't help it in any way, but instead makes the game more frustrating and tedious then it already is. Although it has some good points. The game looks good graphically, but that's not saying much. It also might be fun to do the things around town and partake in any festivals, but it's not enough to help this game from being a good one. Anyone looking for another Harvest Moon game - don't buy it. The only thing the game will bring you is pure frustration.