marvelous entertainment

Harvest Moon 3 (2001)

Harvest Moon 3 (2001)

Another Harvest Moon retrospective? Yes. It’s time.

Many moons (heh) ago, I played and reviewed Friends of Mineral Town (FoMT), and came away disillusioned. FoMT is on the books as a timeless classic, but… Then why didn’t I enjoy it? Had I outgrown Harvest Moon, period? Could even nostalgia no longer smooth over the experience? I had many fond memories playing the earliest Harvest Moons, and while part of me wanted to establish that I hadn’t played mindtricks on myself all these years, I was much too afraid to taint happy memories with modern skepticism, and chose to leave my Gameboy games alone. That is, until I decided to attempt some cartridge repairs, and while looking for spare parts stumbled upon Bokujou Monogatari GB3, my Japanese copy of Harvest Moon 3. Okay, universe. I read you loud and clear.

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Posted by ChronoCritic in Retrospectives
Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (2003)

Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town (2003)

I’m conflicted about Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. On release, Friends of Mineral Town (FoMT) was an innovative title that pushed the boundaries of the farming / social sim genres and raised their mass market appeal. It indisputably laid the groundwork for (spiritual) successors like Animal Crossing and the much more recent Stardew Valley. The problem, however, is just that: the game, by today’s standards – is all groundwork; all the core genre ideas are present in a neonatal sort of way, recognisable but underdeveloped. Add to that an apparent vicious insistence on making life unnecessarily difficult, and many of today’s less determined players will be put off by FoMT long before the game opens up and becomes truly enjoyable.

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Posted by ChronoCritic in Retrospectives