Game Title: Harvest Moon: Animal Parade
Platform: Nintendo Wii
too many Approximately 35-40
About the Game
Harvest Moon: Animal Parade was released for the Nintendo Wii in North America in 2009. It’s a farming simulation much like other games in the series. In this game, the main point of the story revolves around the fact that the Goddess Tree is dying. To save the tree, you have to find five little Harvest Sprites and ring their respective bells. Once you do that, you have to finagle some other shit to get all the bells to ring at the same time, which calls upon the douchey Harvest King, who then saves the Goddess Tree. In between all that madness, you farm, you fish, you talk to people, etc. I considered the game beaten when I restored the Goddess Tree, though there were plenty of in-game days left.
What I Liked
First of all, this game is ADORABLE! The human characters are so cute and the animals are totally huggable! I love the fact that you can befriend wild animals. I also love the way the landscapes look as the seasons change. It’s especially beautiful in fall and winter. I also appreciate how many different things there are to do in this game- you can fish, spend all day in the mines, grow many different types of crops, interact with all the townspeople in various ways, go to a tropical island… not to mention all the various sidequests, which include helping some dude get his circus animals back.
I also want to make a point that when your character is falling in love with someone, it’s actually really cute. I don’t usually care about this type of stuff in games, but it’s so sweet! Conversations seem to happen on a more random basis and makes the relationship feel more fluid somehow.
What I Didn’t Like
At first, there were so many different things to do in the game, my days were very busy. After a little while, though, the pacing. Was. HORRENDOUS! There were times the game dragged so much I almost fell asleep playing it. I found myself really struggling to finish up the main game… I WANTED to see it through, I just didn’t feel like playing. You may recall from this blog entry I posted in July that I had a hell of a time trying to get my Farmer ranking high enough to trigger the end sequence. The game gives you no indication of how close you are to the goal each month, so it’s pretty much a crap shoot.
Also, being in the mines really pissed me off sometimes. There were way too many different types of gas that could do all sorts of annoying shit to you (like reverse your controls, make you sick, etc.) and it took some of the fun out of mining.
I started off really liking this game a lot. Once the pacing became unbearable, it took me forever to finish the game, because I quickly got bored while playing. It’s a shame, because originally I wanted to continue playing after I beat the main game and have kids, continue to expand my farm, etc. I don’t really see myself going back to the game any time soon, though, because I have way too many other games to play!