Harvest Moon: A New Beginning
Developer: Marvelous Interactive Software
Released: February 23, 2012 (Japan)
November 6, 2012 (North America)
Available On: 3DS
Every Harvest Moon that comes out, I purchase. Not because I’m totally in love with the game, I am, but because I love to see what they do with each game and the ease of the user interface for the series. In A New Beginning (we’ll shorten this long title to ANB) your character moves into a small town that is losing people at a rather rapid pace courtesy of the failing economy in the town. Your job, as is trending with the current wave of HM games, is to save the town with your farm by growing crops, collecting items all over the area, and shipping as much as possible. You also end up building up this town, all the buildings you need minus the blacksmith’s building you build with blue prints you must purchase. As you build, they move in and the town and starts to hustle and bustle again. You’ll also meet with some Harvest Sprites and the Harvest Goddess, and a varied array of suitors eligible for you to win, marry, and raise a family with.
You get to pick your character; boy or girl, shade of skin (which is a first they give you 4 options; white, pale, tanned, or brown), eye color, hair color and cut, and clothing. Then you move in and they start the tutorials after you save your teacher and mentor, Dunhill. Unlike past HM games, you don’t actually plant your crops during the tutorial, they just show you pictures so you won’t be able to use them as a starting point. Everything you learn in the tutorials has a back up reminder in your bookcase. ANB does not require the use of the touch pad, its an optional piece for everything. A and B buttons are used to confirm or cancel options, the joystick for movement.
The newest feature of ANB is the online features, which you can play with friends or people you don’t even know. Finally you can go online, go to other people’s farms, and interact with the world to see how they have set up their farms and such. I haven’t fully explored and opened this section of the game, there may be more than I am posting but it is a very nice feature added into the game. I can’t wait to see the future games and if they can interact with past games like this one.
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning has followed the path of its predecessors in being an adorable and all around happy game. Even the worst events in these games are performed to allow the player to feel sadness for the event but still enjoy the game overall. It’s always been a highly recommended series, especially for new gamers, children, and hardcore gamers who need a break from the mainstream games.