Sunday, September 12, 2010

Game Review- Harvest moon Island of happiness

Yet another feather in Natsume's cap. Harvest moon series seems to be very popular with an installment coming out every now and then. This one is for Nintendo DS. It was released before Rune Factory 2.

You are stranded on a village with not many people living on it. The mayor asks you to get more people onto the island and gives you a farm. It is like any other Harvest moon game. You need to farm, court ladies/men, sell farm produce and have children. However, throughout the game, you need to keep building bridges to connect various islands with yours. It is necessary to get some characters and trigger some events. I found this part very annoying. The bank balance keeps vanishing in building bridges. They require a lot of wood and money which is very difficult to earn.

This game included some new and creative ways of growing exotic crops like rice and mushrooms. You can access a Rice Paddy field which is accessable after smashing the boulder (which Charlie does for you). You can grow rice there. There are mushroom logs in your farm where you can grow mushrooms. You can also buy a seed maker which you can keep in your house. Unlike a previous harvest moon game, you needen't get a mushroom growing building constructed. These new ways of growing crops are available in your farm. I loved these new crops and ways of growing them. The seed maker was also a good invention. Besides these, you can also get a greenhouse constructed to grow crops during winter. Another great invention. Besides this you can grow fruit trees.

There is not much stress laid on animals but you can buy them and rear them much like any other harvest moon game.
The bachelorettes are beautiful and the bachelors are interesting. You need to give them gifts to court.

However, the most annoying part of this game was building bridges. It takes up too much money. The whole town is not our responsibility. Also, this is the only option that appears in the initial stages when the player doesn't have much money.

The graphics were beautiful and refreshing. Much like harvest moon DS with minor changes. The Rice Paddy looked especially beautiful.

Overall, Harvest Moon DS and Friends of Mineral Town was much better. This game also lacks harvest sprites and harvest goddess. You have to do all the farm work on your own. In subsequent games, harvest sprites have been discontinued.

The good thing was that it introduced new and innovative methods of farming. A Harvest Moon fan might like this very mucha nd want to buy it. For others, I suggest you start with Friends of Mineral Town or Harvest Moon DS.

Gameplay- 4.4/5
Graphics- 4.5/5
Story- 4.2/5
Music- 4.3/5
Enjoyability- 4.1/5
Challenge- 4.5/5
Overall- 4.3/5


Innovative farming method


Building bridges
much like other games in this series.

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