In light of the coming 3DS, with which I will eventually play the copy of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning that I pre-ordered three months ago in order to receive a large stuffed cow, I decided it would be best to rank my favorite of all the Harvest Moon games I’ve played.
Now, for the sake of perspective, I have played a bit of HM2, Harvest Moon (SNES), A Wonderful Life, Another Wonderful Life, More Friends of Mineral Town, Tree of Tranquility, Animal Parade, Magical Melody, Island of Happiness, Tale of Two Towns, Harvest Moon DS and DS Cute, and Save the Homeland. For perspective’s sake, I will be lumping the male and female versions of the games I’ve played together, because I think it would be kind of a rip off to those games if I picked which one I played more often, as that tends to involve when I got the game and how long until the next came out. So, without further ado…!
5. HM: A/nother Wonderful Life
Of course, having been my introduction to the series, I would have to include this on here. Fate happened when my dad decided to be funny after we just moved to campus and gave me a video game about farming and livestock to help me feel more “at home.” Ha ha. Well, after being kind of appalled by it I decided to play it and promptly “got lost” in the town (really I was just running in circles by Gustafa’s hut).
Over time, I grew to really love the game, and when I found out there was a girl version I immediately sprang into action and got that, too. I’m not sure which is more of my favorite, since the girl’s version has less bugs and more options, but also a few cheats that kind of ruin the experience, and the boy’s version is kind of the classic. Thankfully, I do not have to pick.
4. HM: Save the Homeland
Something I wasn’t aware of was just how good the characters in Harvest Moon can get. StH’s characterization is amazing, partially because of the way the plot is structured. In this game, farming isn’t your main goal. You have to save the island you’re on from being turned into an amusement park by winter, and to do that– well, there are a bunch of different ways you can do that, but I’m pretty sure all of them involve befriending and following the plans of the people around you. The people are hilarious and mesmerizing, so much so that although I played the game for such a short time, it has left a huge impact on me and has made it to #4 on my list.
(No joke, I loved this so much that when I ran into a glitch on the only of HM’s “glitchless” games I had to record it for the world to enjoy. This was also when I was a senior in high school and didn’t have a good camera… So, enjoy.)
And here’s another, if you care.
And now, moving on to the top three…!
3. HM: More Friends of Mineral Town (Honorarily, HM: DS/Cute)
Harvest Moon: MFoMT was so addicting that I took notes. NOTES. On these notes were my daily schedule for managing to give presents to everyone in the town, which Harvest Sprites I would have to re-enlist for help when, everyone’s most favorite and liked items, how much money I needed to supersize my house, and what day I was going to marry Grey. (Yup, I’m one of those girls.) Although I never made it to marriage (poor Grey’s beating orange heart) because of the amount of effort it took to get through one day and the fact that after I stopped for a while, I was literally unable to get back into the manic frenzy of energy it required to complete one day on my farm, this game was basically one of the best things in the world for me. I <3 it.
2. HM: Magical Melody
THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO IN THIS GAME! It is the fairly slow pace which just barely keeps this game from being higher, but it is so amusingly addictive that I really don’t care. What keeps this game one step above the classic MFoMT is the fact that you can purchase land and customize where you put things in your farm and in this world. I loved being greedy, I loved organizing things, and I loved pretended I had it all.
The large amount of villagers, unlockables and challenges, complete with the goal of having to find 100 Notes (this was the first HM game that ever had a kind of plot-like goal that you had to aim for that didn’t involve time running out and making the game end after a certain amount of time) made this game refreshing, amusing, and addicting to play. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Nerdy nerd nerd nerd.
Bonus: My Most Hated Harvest Moon Game: Island of Happiness
I hate this game with such a passion that I’m sure that someday it will squeeze all of the air out of my chest and I will die. This game is so needlessly complicated, with cardboard cut-out characters with no personality. It is so horribly hard to play that I saw a lot of guides recommending skipping the entire first year of playing it just to get to the winter and get the tools that made it, you know, actually playable. I loved the idea of trying to restore the island and get people to move in. That was really the only thing that was fun for me. Absolutely everything in this game was a bore, and even worse, a chore. I hate it. And Sunshine Islands can go die in a fire. In fact, I think I’m going to go return this game soon. I hate it so much that I’m leaving it out of my bucket list of owning all the HM games. So, HA! GO TO HELL! And Marvelous, heed this: We need games with characters, games that have innovations that are fun to play. Not just innovation for innovation’s sake. Thank you and Good Night!!
And now, for my #1 most favorite Harvest Moon game….
1. HM: Tree of Tranquility!!
With the wonderful title of being the only Harvest Moon game I’ve ever made it to marriage in (discounting AWL because it’s unavoidable in that game), in first place, HM: Tree of Tranquility!! I was so excited when this game came out that it was the first HM game I pre-ordered (but I didn’t get the plushie from it D:).
Although this is one of the games I’ve played the least (only ever going back to it once), the first time was so much fun and leaves me with such good memories that it has made it to my number one spot.
This game was a landmark in HM history as the first time the males available for marriage were… -gasp- actually attractive and desirable! HM has a long history of not doing quite so well with the bachelors as they do for the bachelorettes, but for this game they finally hired a woman to design their characters and character designs. Naturally, this game holds the most bachelors I’ve ever wanted to date. (All of them, unlike most HM games were I could hardly stomach to choose one… I mean, Rock, Marlin and GUSTAFA? Seriously? Two of them are over 30 and my character’s supposed to be 18!)
On this accomplishment alone, ToT is awarded my favorite Harvest Moon game award! (Wooooh!)
I am so excited for A New Beginning. It is pure torture waiting until I can finally have my shiny Midnight Purple lovely Nintendo 3DS. But when I do, when I do… the world will be mine.