This is the game that answers that one burning question on everyone’s mind. The question, of course, being: Is there a way I could play a game that’s a lot like the Harvest Moon for Super NES, but instead of me doing my farm work for myself, I could have a bunch of fairy sprite things do all of my work for me? The answer that this game gives to this question is an absolute “yes.”
While I’m sure this game has a lot in common with most/all of the other Harvest Moon games for all of the other systems, I have not played them, so I can’t say for sure. In fact, I have only played through a few games in the Super NES version, and have played a bit of the N64 one. With that in mind, a lot of the improvements I will mention about this GBA version will be improvements form the Super NES version. To put it in clearer terms: Any “new” features of this version of the game may have existed in previous versions of Harvest Moon, so don’t get your panties in a twist if I call something new when it has existed for several installments of this series.
In the unlikely event that anyone is reading this and remembers the first paragraph, there might be a little confusion about just what I am talking about when I mention fairy elf sprite pixie slave things. Well, one of my favorite new features is the harvest sprites. They live in a small house outside of Mineral Town, and if you bring them presents and talk to them and such, they will become your friend and you’ll be able to ask them to help you on your farm. It is relatively easy to befriend them, and once you do, managing a farm will be a piece of cake. They can water your plants, harvest your crops, or take care of your animals. As there are seven of these little guys, there are more than enough to take care of any and all work you might have. Of course, letting them take care of your animals won’t really help you bond with them, and without a strong bond, with your animals you won’t be winning any contests you enter them in. In addition to having the sprites work for you, you can also play minigames with them. Appropriately, the minigames are farming-based.
To break the monotony of a farm boy’s life, there are quite a few festivals that you can attend. Horse racing, stargazing, and cooking are among the festival activities. Of course, festivals are not the only thing besides farming to occupy your time with. A major part of the game is finding yourself a wife among the many (six) available girls in town. Another new-to-me feature is the addition of romantic rivals. Instead of having an unlimited amount of time to find whatever wife you want to, you’ll have to compete with several guys (one for each girl) for your girl’s love, and if you don’t marry her by some point in year four, you are out of luck. This may sound difficult, but it is really quite the opposite since you can easily get a girl to like you enough to want to marry you before the first year of the game is over. Topping off the list of things to do besides farming are the character events concerning all of the people in the town, where you learn more about them and their lives.
Another big difference between this game and the Super NES version is that this game does not have a real “end.” Your father won’t come in 2.5 years and say “Congratulations, Game Over,” like he does in the Super NES version, so you can play for as many years as you want.
Since this game allows you to play it pretty much any way you want to, and since there are several different wives you could have, the replay value for this game is pumped up like John Cena’s shoes. This game is not just for wannabe farmers, and it’s a good break from the traditional monster-destroying RPGs, so you might as well check it out.