Some little boys want to reach the stars; others want to become stars themselves. Then there's the small section of the child populace who want nothing more than to farm. Yes, farm. Harvest Moon has been allowing these odd chaps to live out their dreams - in video game form - for nigh on 10 years. Instead of making its debut on Nintendo's plucky handheld an innovative, clever enhancement, it's just another doling of the daily chores.
The familiar orphaned boy on a familiar dilapidated family
nearly fourteen hours to finish the first season of Harvest Moon: The Tale of
Two Towns. In that time, the village saw fit to slowly dole out necessary
equipment that has, in the past, been included with your farm. In fact, it
wasn't until the first day of summer, fourteen-frickin-real-world hours later,
that the damn mayor gave us a fishing pole. So how did we spend those first,
grueling fourteen hours? Collecting butterflies, mostly...
This isn’t the first time the seemingly disparate worlds of farming and puzzling have come together. Puzzle De Harvest Moon tried to combine crop cultivation with ‘minigame madness’ but came up short. Sadly, despite Frantic Farming revising the gameplay, it’s still convoluted.
After the crushing disappointment of Magical Melody, Island of Happiness sees a return to form for the Harvest Moon series, which celebrates its tenth birthday this year. In short, we love this. In fact, we love it so much we’re seriously resenting having to take time out from tending the turnips, milking the cows and mining for emeralds to write this review.
There’s nothing quite like your first Harvest Moon experience. Flung in the arse end of nowhere with little but a weed patch to your name you’re expected to develop an agricultural empire out of nothing but determination, sweat and tears. The formula - fight for an agricultural foothold and trade up to greater things - rarely changes. If you’ve played a previous Moon you’ll have some idea of the strategy needed for
Lets get this straight. Weve been shipwrecked, were forced to run the only farm on the island - and were the only ones visibly purchasing anything from anyone, which means that were single-handedly maintaining this islands economy? Thats a lot of pressure. Then, to rub sea salt into the wounds, other people gradually arrive and move onto the island out of choice, and at no point does anyone say “Hey, where were you headed before the shipwreck? Perhaps I can give you a ride?” Oh no -
Jan 15, 2008
We still remember being surprised - and slightly baffled - when Capcom announced Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law at a press event last spring. As an Adult Swim animated series, Harvey Birdman is a novel idea: a lame Hanna-Barbera superhero from the 60s revived as a modern-day lawyer that represents notable cartoon characters. It's heavy on snark, inside jokes and innuendo - but where's the game concept?
Luckily, Capcom knows a thing or ten about milking a franchise, and Harvey
Much like Monopoly, Hasbro Family Game Night is one of those puzzling videogame conversions. Yes, there’s the novelty value of seeing your favorite game turned all electronic and TVish, and yes, the games bring new modes that wouldn’t be possible in their traditional form.
Amazingly, for a series we thought could only go downhill after a lackluster debut, the second Family Game Night is a little better than the first. Yes, that’s right – ‘better’. But also only ‘a little’.
The games selected for the Wii treatment this time are far more suited to console jiggery-pokery.
Despite their exposed flesh and frail dispositions, survival horror heroines have traditionally kept a stiff upper lip when faced with dreadful scenes, as if they've seen it all as many times before as you have. But direct Haunting Ground's Fiona Belli to examine a blood-slicked pillar and she starts in fright, heart rate quickening and vision blurring. It's an early indication that while the game's events may never truly scare you - it's magnificently bizarre, but not as harrowing as a Silent