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Harvest Moon: Animal Parade Wii
Harvest Moon: Animal Parade (Wii)
Member Name: cath_del
Harvest Moon: Animal Parade (Wii)
Advantages: Loads to do throughout the game, a lot of levelling object up involved
Disadvantages: Repetitive actions may get annoying for some
The game itself probably only appeals to those who like the satisfaction of levelling up a character while building up successful relationships and gaining income in various ways. It's almost like a farm meets The Sims type game, and is definitely an acquired taste with people willing to do repetitive tasks.
You start off with a character that has already been created with a preset look, however throughout the game you have the ability to unlock costumes so it isn't completely uncustomisable. From that moment on you then follow their journey to creating a successful farm in a place called Harmonica Town. When you arrive at your newly bought farm, your Harvest Spirit named Finn says that you need to help the Harvest Goddess get over her lack of power. This leads you on yet another journey to release all the Harvest Spirits and give nature back its power.
Time passes in the game as you complete various tasks, so it isn't as boring as a real time game and allows you to skip through days as fast as you want using the sleep feature which will start a new day. The time that passes isn't too fast or too slow, so it gives you just the right balance to allow you to do enough on your farm. Your health decreases throughout the day as you do various tasks, so you have to make sure you get home to sleep or go to the sauna part of your farm when you have low health.
One bonus of the game itself is that there is no goal that you have to reach within a certain time frame or a way in which you have to play the game. While there are goals to complete to follow the storyline or just unlock small little features, you can complete them whenever you want as they are always available in all the seasons to finish. The missions that they give you are relatively hard to complete, but are similar to the previous Harvest Moon games in that you have to work out how to solve them and usually this involves collecting items, harvesting specific crops or visiting specific people.
The main thing you do to gain money in Animal Parade is to grow crops, harvest them and sell them. The seeds for these crops are bought at another farm near yours, and then you must care for them by watering and fertilising them every day until eventually they are grown enough for you to harvest. Once you have harvested them, they are then graded in their quality from Decent, Good, Perfect to Shining with prices altering for quality when you sell them. Some seeds have the capability to grow the crop back, whereas others you will keep having to buy seeds.
The way in which you farm was done well, as you could use the Wii remote features to do multiple things on the plot or an area at a time. Most of it just requires you to shake the Wii remote to water, put seeds down, mine or chop wood. I didn't find it to be as repetitive as I thought it would, as if you time your crops well enough, you don't have to sit and harvest 500 crops all at once.
Aside from raising crops however, you also have various other things to do throughout the town where you can use the things you get from them to make jewellery, build extensions to your properties, build furniture and cook food. These tasks include fishing, mining, finding herbs or cutting down wood. While you do need equipment to do some of these things, they can be purchased relatively cheap and as you do them, you level up equipment which adds yet another satisfying element when you level them up to the end.
Similar to The Sims game, there is the option to build relationships and friendships throughout and this requires you to build up hearts with the other characters. I've been playing this game for 6 months, and I still haven't levelled up all the characters friendships as it take so long to make their favourite gifts and to give them enough to even get one heart. I would recommend anyone who starts playing this game to start levelling up friendships from the beginning if this is something they are interested in, as it does take a while and you may need help from an online guide to find what their favourite things as there is hundreds of items in the game to choose to give or make for them.
Having a relationship within Harvest Moon is something else that you can choose to do, as it leads you to having a family. This is as easy as making friends within the game, and I don't think that it's too difficult as long as you put some effort in. While trying to marry your selected character, you do get shown different events, and having this added thing to do adds even more gameplay to a game which has so much to do from the beginning.
While the game is split up by a lot of loading screens, overall the graphics of Harvest Moon are well designed and cute looking . While the locations aren't as detailed as some other games on the Wii, they do fit in with the overall look of the game as they are bright and colourful when they need to and the mines are dark and gloomy. The game changes with the seasons which is nice as you can see the change that occurs throughout it.
Overall, this definitely is a game which some people will love and others will hate, it all depends on your ability to sit through repetitive actions to get the satisfaction of completing a game in full. There is loads to do whether it be harvesting crops to gain profit, getting products from your animals, mining and chopping wood and gaining relationships with characters in game, so if this is your kind of game there is rarely a time when there is nothing for you to do.
Summary: A fun and satisfying game if you can deal with repetitive actions
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