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Harvest Moon: Magical Melody cost me around £6 new and sealed from ebay and that included delivery. I'm guessing this isn't the best selling game going then?! It's £11.45 on Amazon at present, so I'm sure you can get this quite cheaply most places.
I got it because I thought it might be a nice simulation game that the grandson and I could play as a team. I could build and run things, and he could make decisions about where things went etc. It can be played by more than one player at a time apparently, but we've not tried this as we only have one nunchuck (which you need to play this game).
At first glance we both thought that this was a really good game. The idea was good, the graphics were appealing and the music was pleasant. We set about following the instructions to get our farm set up. Then we got taken off on a little story journey to find out about some goddess of crops who's been turned to stone - and told that we need to turn her back.
By the time the intro had finished, the grandson was starting to get bored. It took much longer than I expected, a good fifteen minutes at a guess. I can't say that I followed all that was going on either, so the grandson had no chance. I'm an experienced gamer really and have seen most consoles come and go over the years, so it's not like I'm just out of touch with games in general - this one is hard to follow. I assume that really you need to be familiar with other Harvest Moon games to understand the intro properly.
Once the intro was (finally) over we were able to move things around in our little house and get started with the game. Then we could go out and about in the village and enter the various shops. It's a long walk between shops, and we have to go to a seperate screen every time we want to see the map. There are no arrows or any mini maps on screen to help us which I don't think much of.
That's about as far as I can go with this review. Why? Because that's as far as we could go with the game. The instruction booklet tells me absolutely nothing about what we're supposed to be actually doing now! I get that we're supposed to be farming crops and animals, but as it won't let us buy any at the moment, we can't!! We can walk around, talk to people and go back to sleep - that's our lot.
I'm not even going to try and find out how to play this. It's clearly not the nice easy, twee game that it appears to be from the cute cover art and cheery, short blurb. It's a bit more complicated than that, and definitely intended for older children and young adults who have experience of this game. I do wonder if perhaps it works better on a different console even? Like the concept, but hate this game.
Welcome to the world of Harvest Moon, the land of farming? Yes, like in all the HM series you play as a farmer, though in this world you get the choice to play either as a boy or a girl, growing crops and raising animals on your farm, but here's a twist. The Harvest Goddess has found herself turned to stone by, well, herself, as people have forgotten her and forgotten about nature. Your duty, besides crop growing and animal raising, is to find 100 musical notes, resurrecting the instruments that will play the melody that awakens the Goddess (hence the name, eh?)
An addictive little game, the graphics though childish looking (especially for the characters themselves) are only the front of the whole, visually appealing you will see various types of weather, from sunshine to rain, from snow to storms (though you can't leave your house, hope the animals have enough to eat). Doing various activities in the game you will slowly uncover each musical note, eventually helping release the Goddess. Though you only need fifty to do this, then get given "end credits", you can continue on your game after this to collect the rest. Somewhere amongst your crop growing, animal raising and note collecting, you will be given several bachelor/ette choices dependant on which gender you choose, whom you will marry (once upgrading your house, you must build as well) and have children with (who may carry on your lineage). With events throughout each month to compete in or attend, a mine to search and explore, finding jewels for wealth or gifting, and certain types of rocks for tool upgrades, you're sure to find something to do. One hour in game is one minute real time, at a rough, keeping you going through the HM days like a breeze and your heads straight on the game, many I'm sure will find this a worthwhile game, whether for beginners to the series or old fans.
My only qualm with this game would be the length of time cutscenes can take before you're able to do anything (IE getting musical instruments), as well as the low choice of background music, but that's easily set aside when you're playing the game itself.