Natsume is back, and they are ready to take us on another farming adventure. To tell the truth, I was worried when I first sat down to play this game. Let's face it, the last few Harvest Moon games have not been their best work. It was always just more of the same. Natsume needed a new hook. Were they able to find it with Harvest Moon: A New Beginning? Find out in our review below!
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning starts off ordinary enough. You arrive at a small village that is down on its luck, and it is up to you to turn things around. Been there, done that! As always, your job is to turn this broken little village into a bustling town...wait..aren't you usually just trying to restore your farm? Well, that is one of the differences that makes A New Beginning a step in the right direction for the series as a whole.
|"Expect to be doing a lot of this to start with"|
The good news is that it's the biggest downfall of the game. If you can get past those first few virtual weeks, the game really starts to pick up. A lot of this has to do with the fact that you are no longer just trying to build a successful farm. This has turned into a successful village. The growth of this village actually depends completely on what you do. Don't feel like building new homes? Fine, don't...but don't expect new people to come flocking to your town.
|"I totally just built a house in like...20 seconds"|
As with all Harvest Moon games, picking someone to spend your virtual life with is a big part of the game. When the game starts out, the pickings are slim, but as your town grows, so does the number of people you can choose to marry. Like in other Harvest Moon games, your are able to have kids as well. This time, however, the kids can grow into their teenage years, which is a pretty cool feature.
|"She makes the Hulk look like a child"|
The second thing that makes this game stand out so much is the fact that you can customize nearly everything in the game! Your farm, hair and clothing are all customizable. Not only that, but you have complete control over where things are placed in the town. This virtual town becomes your sandbox, and you get to make it how you see fit!
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is the portable Harvest Moon I have been waiting for. It feels like a full Harvest Moon game, like the ones you are used to seeing on home consoles. Being able to customize your look, your farm and the town is a lot of fun. They didn't try to fill this game up with a bunch of gimmicks to make it “feel” new. They addressed something that has been missing from these games: the ability to set up your farm the way you want it. Sure the game is a bit slow to get started and Neil's cut-scene becomes a pain, but these small drawbacks are not enough to keep this game from shinning. (Rating 9/10)