Review: Harvest Moon: A New Beginning “It’s Beautiful After All”

I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about Harvest Moon: A New Beginning.

Overall, I appreciate that the game developers tried to let the player have a little bit more freedom when it comes to customization. A New Beginning was the first game in the Harvest Moon series that not only allowed the player to customize their character but design their own town as well. I thought it was nice to be able to customize your character except, I will be brutally honest… I thought the player’s character looked really really stupid. Especially when he/she runs. But, hey that’s just me. And personally, I would’ve preferred if they didn’t allow the customization. I know I’m probably considered nuts for saying that since I think that’s a big reason why the game got pretty strong reviews compared to past entries in the Harvest Moon series but… I just really did not enjoy it that much. I guess I’m the type who prefers to have everything already set up and predetermined for me instead of me choosing where to put all these buildings. If you were to ask me why I didn’t like it… I think it’s because I thought it was extra work that resulted in something that didn’t really make me feel like it was worth it. Does that make sense? If they had made the editing process a little more convenient that would have been very nice. Having to run over to the area where you’d like to customize, chop down all the trees, move all the things that might be in the way, run all the way back to your house, try and put the building down, and then hope that it fits and looks good… It just takes too long. And what if you forgot to cut down one tree that you thought wouldn’t be in the way but really is? That means running from the farmhouse to the area with the tree and then back to try again. It’s no deal breaker but gosh, I wish they made it easier.

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(Look, he’s holding up his whole house! Mailbox, weeds and all)

I guess it’s also because I lack patience to make sure every single pathway lines up. Yet, I’m a perfectionist so when every single pathway does not line up I get really bothered. In order to fix it, I have to move any buildings that might be nearby…but you can’t put those buildings in your pocket like you can in other games. Nope. You can put brushes, milkers, 99 bags of fertilizer, all the eggs you can dream of, gallons and gallons of milk, seeds of all kinds, hoes, sickles, axes, bugs, fish, flowers, rocks, gems, turnips of all different qualities…you name it… You can put all of that in your little ol’ pocket. But you can’t put a building in your pocket… I mean, not even temporarily until you can adjust the pathways. You have to put them back on the field somewhere.  I want my town to look nice and was perfectly fine with how the game developers made the towns look in past entries. I wouldn’t have minded if they hadn’t given us the power to design our own town. I mean, I guess it isn’t all bad. I could move my boyfriend’s house right in front of my farm’s entrance if I wanted to.

But anyway, enough bashing the customization…

crop_waterpaddyAlthough I did not find the customization to be enjoyable or beneficial to me at all, everything else about the game was really nice! One of the best things about Harvest Moon (at least in my opinion) is how much variety there is. The recent Harvest Moons have delivered a vast array of assorted fruits and vegetables. I especially liked the paddy crops like wasabi and rice. Also, those animals… Them Yaks. Them Alpaccers and Llamas… When they dance it’s just too cute. Not to mention their wool sells for a pretty penny.

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I found that A New Beginning made everything especially accessible. It was easier to move forward in the game and at the same time still required that Harvest Moon dedication that is characteristic of the games. When I was younger and played the older Harvest Moons, I always found it difficult to really get far because things were too hard to do. Maybe it was that special rare ore that you could only obtain from mine level 90 or perhaps it was the same old thing over and over to just to make a villager like you enough to give you something you need… I remembered not really wanting to put up with any of that. Yeah, I wasn’t dedicated enough back then. I was also a kid. Nowadays, I find myself wanting to get as far as I can in the game and that meant going to the 90th floor if I needed to or befriending that villager with an assortment of hearts or things I picked off the forest floor. Yet, with A New Beginning, it’s not really such a strenuous process anymore. I greatly appreciated that.

Like all Harvest Moon games, A New Beginning starts the player off slow. At first maybe you just have one plot of farmland, one cow, one chicken, and maybe one shed for your materials. As you progress through the game you quickly earn cash and begin expanding. As of right now I’m about 100 hours into the game and have fully utilized the hilly area in the east part of the farm. I find myself growing many different kinds of crops, from herbs to re-harvestables, and somehow am able to take care of them all with just my 5 hearts (although I admit I need to at least eat one dish of food to finish it all).

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Harvest Moon is a game with many rewards. Work hard and you will reap the benefits. It has been a game series very dear to my heart. Although I was not as stoked about some of the new features that were placed in this game as I know a lot of other people were, I really enjoyed this game altogether and will give it an 85/100. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is a wonderful addition to the Harvest Moon family.

Cons:

  • Below standard visuals for a Harvest Moon game (Houses were fine but the ground textures were lacking greatly)
  • Inconvenient and time consuming customization
  • Time consuming cut scenes (Pet help! Gahh!)

Pros: 

  • Great Variety (plants/animals)
  • Fresh new ideas (paddies/hills in east farm/Vacations etc.)
  • Easier to move forward
  • Holds true to the Harvest Moon series

Also…

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Basic Info on Story of Seasons:

As many of you may know, something whacky has been going on with Harvest Moon. To put it simply, the people with the name rights and the people who actually make the games you know and love have split up. You may have noticed Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley on store shelves. Maybe you even picked it up and noticed it was nothing like what you were expecting. Well, it may be called Harvest Moon but it’s actually made by a different group of people as the ones who made say, A New Beginning, for example. (Although I hear it has a some of the same elements as the original Harvest Moon.) Personally, I will be waiting to pick up Story of Seasons. That’s the game that is being made by the people behind all the past Harvest Moons.

xseedplush610storyofseasonsAs of right now, the release date for Story of Seasons is March 31st, 2015. If you preorder the game at a retailer you’ll even receive a weird legless bunny plushie as a preorder bonus!

Is that really the whole thing? Is it just a head? Because that’s a little creepy… But… it is cute? And what is that thing between its ears? Anyway, it just looks like one of those japanese cell phone cleaners…

Strange…the more I talk about how weird it is the more I want it…

Are you guys just as excited about Story of Seasons as I am? If so, feel free to share your thoughts! Have you tried The Lost Valley? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts about that!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

7

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Links to Images Used: Customization Image || Flowers Image || Rice Paddies Image || East Farm Image || Story of Seasons Image || Preorder Bonus Bunny Image || Entrancing Chickens Image || Feature A New Beginning Image

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