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Harvest Moon: A New Beginning 3DS Review

When it comes to life and farming simulators on consoles it has always been the Animal Crossing series that caught my attention with its cute and quirky characters and years of content (the Mrs is still playing Animal Crossing DS) and though I was aware of the Harvest Moon series, having one time sink game is enough and so never really converted, though that is something I wish I had done a long time ago after playing the newest title, Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning.

With you starting out inheriting a rundown old farm set near an equally rundown Echo Town, your task is simple if a little daunting, revitalise the town and start a new life there, no easy task when the town consists of three residents. Thankfully Dunhill, the town know-all and probably the reason why everyone left in the first place as he has a habit of barging into your house at 6am has taken it upon himself to explain the ins and out of the daily workings of this dying habitat.

After a few laborious introductions you are finally set free on the world, armed with a hoe, sickle and watering can, you survey the land around you, spotting a couple of gravel fields, an empty barn and a watering hole; at least your farm house is solidly built. Wandering into town you are able to shop for your first items with the little cash you came with, grabbing seeds for your fields, returning home to sow them and await for them to grow. With the game running on a sped up 24 hour click, each day is full activities, though to start you seem to be a little lost for work, but it is not just tending crops but also looking after yourself, making sure you are fed to keep up your stamina as exhausting yourself will result in fainting and losing the rest of the day.

Having a whole day to kill through each of the four seasons, the game starts off slow, letting you get to grips with the basics and getting into a rhythm, watering and fertilizing your crops from 6am, your chores finished quite quickly you then have a whole day still to kill, be it popping into town for more supplies or venturing to the surrounding wilderness, which will allow you to harvest natures offerings, picking up all sorts of critters, flowers and rocks to then ship out and earn some cash the following day; and so the cycle begins, farming, chatting to the locals and then selling whatever you find. After your first successful harvest the game then begins to add even more, in fact after the into the pacing is perfect, drip feeding new items, giving time to adjust to each addition and not totally messing up your daily routine. After a while you will have animals like cows, sheep and chickens to tend to and paddy fields and apple trees to harvest on a regular basis however it is not just your farm that grows but the surrounding town, with more residents arriving like a travelling animal market, a blacksmith, an architect and a hairdresser each adding more and more options to your day. With the discovery of the forest pixies, the online world also opens to you, enabling you to take an animal with you on your travels, meeting up with other players to take care of them and trade items.

The games largest advantage over Animal Crossing is when the architect arrives, unlocking the ability to edit the town and farm, with you purchasing blueprints from them for a variety of houses and decorations and then using your hammer and axe to collect materials for the build. Entering your studio you can then create items from whatever blueprints you own and also edit the surrounding world, moving houses around to make space or repositioning your fields to make it easier to water, creating your own personal Harvest Moon world. With building more items and attracting more residents, as you progress through the seasons more and more comes available more produce and even festivals that you can take part in, adding a competitive edge to your vegetable growing, with first prize earning you even more cash to when you ship them.

With so much going on in the day it is a relief that the controls are simple enough, walking and jumping around the fields with ease and pulling out tools from a pop up radial menu or checking what you have collected so far in your bag, it is always a buttons push away, enabling quick and easy access to pretty much whatever you need.

Though lacking in the cuteness factor like Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon has its own charms with its ever growing population, some will annoy you whilst others are fun to chat too, even to the point where you may want to marry them. The only parts of the game that I had no real interest was the 3D effects and the music, with the 3D offering a little depth to the world, however it was not crucial and the music being a little too repetitive and annoying, turning both off allows for a longer battery life which was perfect as you can play for even longer.

Just like life itself, Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning will throw all sorts at you, some days are just repetitive and laborious where others you are rushing all over the place trying to get everything done and it is here that Harvest Moon appeals the most, with a seemingly endless amount of content, the hardest part is just get through the first few days which are very laborious and text heavy, as once away from the tutorials the game is a dream to play.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: 3DS)


- Tend crops and famr animals, create a new town
- The edit tool is easy to use
- Loads of content


- Music and 3D will be turned off after the first days play 

Edited On 27 Sep, 2013

( 2 )
Cathe's avatar
Cathe 3 years ago
Brilliant game, been playing it a lot since it arrived. The only thing I don't like is being forced to watch the scene of the animal guy setting his shop up if you happen to walk through the town around 10am-ish but since that is solved by simply not being in the town area at the time he is setting up or leaving, it is easy enough to avoid. I love the Harvest Moon games and this is a lot more enjoyable than Two Towns was. Just a shame we got it so long after America did! But it was worth the wait.
Kaysar's avatar
Kaysar 3 years ago
As much as I wanted to read this review, the grammar really did make it extremely difficult and I gave up by the 3rd paragraph. I do highly recommend the author gets this work proof read and re-submitted.

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