Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation, Farming
Developer: Marvelous AQL
Publisher: Marvelous AQL
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS

Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Good story, great 3D-function
Bad: lack of soundtracks during season
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Modern society expects us to perform at all times. This results in a lot of daily stress. What if there was a game where you can just live the good life: plant some veggies, raise some animals, woo someone you like, etc.. Well, Harvest Moon 3D : A New Beginning gives you the opportunity to relax a bit and enjoy the good ol’ farming life.

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Story

Each Harvest Moon game has its own and mostly unique story. In ‘A New Beginning’, you inherit an old farm from your father and as curious as you are, you want to check it out. The farm is located in Echo Village, a very lively and famous city… until you get there. The town is deserted and villagers are leaving due to the lack of residents. When you arrive at the village, you stumble on an unconscious man. This rather elderly fellow is Dunhill and he has received a letter from your parents to announce your arrival. After a (short) tour around town, you get to see your own house. After a while you both get the idea to revitalize the town by attracting new residents and of course, you have the lead role in this project.

As in every Harvest Moon game, you get the opportunity to cultivate your land (duh) and find a suiting partner. Although it is a game, the wooing seems kind of real because you still need to put some effort in it (and time, presents and money).

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Graphics

Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning is the second title for the Nintendo 3DS. The 3D function makes it feel like you’re watching the entire game as an outsider. The 3D graphics all fit together and everything is in the right perspective. When you play the game in 2D,  the graphics are still really pretty. The game contains a bright and lively scenery and the details are superb. There is also the possibility to alter your camera to your liking. You get the option to turn the camera in different directions but also to zoom in or out. This changes the quality, but the graphics are still beautiful though.

Sound

The game contains some soundtracks and quite a bit of sound effects. Each season has its own track and fits the feeling this period arouses. However, every season lasts for 31 days and you’re happy when you can hear a new tune. Each event or special occasion has its own specific soundtrack, what gives a nice variation. Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning uses quite some sound effects in different occasions and while doing diverse activities. When you run around in de woods and you pick up a bug *sound*, if you fish *sound*, when you take something out of your bag *sound*, … . I think this proves my statement.

Gameplay

Every Harvest Moon is mostly different from each other but are loyal to the central idea. You get a goal in the game but this is combined with running a farm and starting a family. This game puts you in charge of reviving the once popular town. The way to achieve this goal is quite special and there are some other fun extras as well.

Firstly, you have been promoted to a construction worker! Congratulations! Once you advance in the game, you get a resident that is capable of making blueprints. You can collect several supplies in the woods and when you have enough, you can build anything you want. The purpose of this is that you build several houses and ornaments to complete the Town Restoration Plan. This idea has numerous stages so you can attract new residents. There are several ways to receive these blueprints, like fishing, mining and getting them as gifts from the neighbours.

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This is not only fun, but you get the option to change the location of the buildings to your liking. Like to group everything? Give it a go! Want to build loads of roads? Be my guest! The sky is the limit… and the available room of course. The developers implemented the Edit Points or EP. Each item has its unique EP and each editable area has a limited set of EP. When you reach the limit, you can’t place anything else. When this happens, you can always remove some items. There is also the possibility that you’ll find, mine or fish something like a ‘fragment’. There are different kinds of fragments and each set of fragments are the blueprint of something special. So, fish and mine until your hands fall off.

People that have played Harvest Moon before, will definitely know the Harvest Sprites. Well, they’re back again. This time they have some music sheets for you, but you’ll have to find them. The sprites gives you hints where to look. You’ll get a notice when one is available though. When you find a music sheet, you can play the song on some tree stumps in the woods. This will lead to sometimes special so it’s definitely worth it!

Secondly, you get the opportunity to choose your gender. Even better, you get quite some options to change your appearance! If you don’t like your hairstyle while you’re already playing the game, you can always visit the hairdresser. Want some new clothes? Go to the tailor! The bad part is that you’ll have to unlock these facilities first though.

There are also a lot of new and exciting faunae to take care of in the game. Next to the dull cow and sheep (I still love you, my sweeties), there are also animals like Yaks, Alpacas and bees. You can make your bee hut if you buy the blueprint for some yummy yummy honey. If you like plants better, there are also some ways to cultivate the land. You have the normal gravel soil, but also the water paddies. These special fields are made for vegetation that needs to be in a lot of water. This gives you the possibility to grow special crops like wasabi.

As mentioned before, you get the possibility to search your perfect partner and to marry him/her and be happy. There are some changes from previous Harvest Moon-games though. When you’ve achieved a blue heart, you have to give your sweetypie a ring to prove your commitment. After this promise has been made, you can continue wooing and you can see the other heart events. When you reach a red heart, seen all four heart events, still are committed to that person and you have a double bed, you can finally propose marriage.

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This game is the first game to have a multiplayer option with a maximum of three other players. You can choose to group up with friends in close proximity, public on the internet or on the internet in a private group. The last option requires you to have friend codes from the people that want to join the game. You don’t have the possibility to go in multiplayer from the start. You’ll need to advance in single player before unlocking this option. The multiplayer is mainly meant for exchanging items and taking animals to Animal Land. You can bring up to five animals and you’ll have to choose a special item to present to your friends. The item can be a crop, flower, animal product or a design item. If you’re connected, the Harvest Sprite Aaron will start the exchange and you’ll end up with a special item from one of your friends. After this event, you can interact with your animals and the animals from your friends to get products. You also have the possibility to use some emotes like hearts to show how you feel.

Conclusion

Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning is the newest game in the Harvest Moon franchise and the second one on the 3DS. The story is quite refreshing and the possibilities in the game feel endless. The graphics, music and sound effects are really nice and takes you back to the memories of to the green green grass of home. If you like farming, wooing and building  with some casual fishing and mining, this game will fulfil your expectations!

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Chun-Li
Chun-Li


Faster than lightning

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