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Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns review

AT A GLANCE
  • A plot you actually want to resolve
  • Heaps of new activities and festivals
  • The request board keeps things focused
  • Day lengths are waaaaay too long
  • Most festivals are repetitive and boring
  • Withholding necessary equipment

It took 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.

In more ways than one, TToTT (how's that for an acronym?) is Harvest Moon's Animal Crossing/Rune Factory crossover. You can level up in everyday activities, like critter catching, riding your horse, or even completing requests for your neighbors - all while being mindful of an always-on-screen health bar (your stamina). Or you can say "screw neighbors" and explore a huge mountain where you can befriend animals, collect recipes, and hand-fish. But the days are so long in TToTT, you're rarely ever pushed to choose one or the other. That is, of course, if you don't need to get to that other town across the mountains.

That's right folks: in The Tale of Two Towns there are two towns (collective gasps). Shortly after the game begins, you're forced to choose which town you want to live in. Bluebell (the western, farm-centric one) and Konohana (the eastern, crop-growing one) are locked in a bitter dispute over which town has the best cooking. This feud is so intense that the Harvest Goddess cut off access to a tunnel that made it easy to access each other (distance makes the heart grow fonder, we guess). Your farm has distinct advantages depending on which town you choose, but the choice doesn't really matter - you can switch your residence every month if you're so inclined.

Reuniting these two towns is apparently your little farming liaison's sole reason to live. Once the mayors of the two towns become friends again you can clear that underground tunnel and travel between them in seconds. Unfortunately, the only way to reunite the bickering idiots is to attend repetitive cooking festivals, in which victory is random and unnecessary. Win or lose, they'll grow a little closer each week.

Though playing village liaison is the main plot element, there's plenty to do besides cooking soups for festivals. The standard renovate, date, and farm mechanics are still in full-swing here, but there are also dozens of new festivals, a harvest goddess to appease, bees to keep, an always-packed request board, and a huge mountain to explore. Each season presents even more new additions and mechanics that will delight series fans. If you can get past the excruciatingly long first season, Two Towns will keep you entertained for a very long time.

More Info

Available Platforms: 3DS, DS
Franchise: Harvest Moon
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Comic Mischief, Use of Alcohol

8 comments

  • SpaceCoyote - November 11, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    Wow, this reads more like a preview than a review. I wish it told me more about the game.
  • Tabbydasher - November 9, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    in prior message, bigs=bugs
  • Tabbydasher - November 9, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    To Meagaman45: You're not alone. My copy of HM:TOTT 3D has been freezing too. I've played about 9 hours, and it has frozen at least 5 times so far, each time requiring me to hold down the power button for 2-3 times as long as normal to get the 3DS to even shut off. And each time, i lose 20-30 minutes of game time. If it keeps happening, I might eventually put the game down permanently. I'm surprised they were so sloppy that they'd not catch and fix something like that in play-testing. I wonder if there are bigs in the DS version too. Question: Is there anyway to unequip a tool without switching to a new one or else going into the main menu and dragging it back into your inventory? There's a quick tool menu, but for some reason there's no option to un-equip tools. you can only choose a new one. which causes you to unintentionally hit your animals sometimes and constantly triggers super slow, repetitive messages about "This doesn't seem to be a good fishing spot", etc.
  • NicVargus - November 10, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    Sorry for your bad luck with freezing. I'm well over 15 hours and still haven't had it freeze once. As for unequipping your tool: yep, just press Y while it's equipped. Drove me crazy before I figured it out.
  • SirManguydude - November 9, 2011 3:05 a.m.

    Just going to note this, but Rune Factory is a spin off Harvest Moon game, so I sure hope that they share similarities. I mean Rune Factory 2 and 3 were released stateside with the Tagline "A Fantasy Harvest Moon".
  • NicVargus - November 10, 2011 1:44 p.m.

    Hey SirManguydude. I'm well aware of the similarities (huge Rune Factory fan as well), but this is much, much more similar to what you'd probably expect - including the RF health bar that's always on screen.
  • meagaman45 - November 8, 2011 8:20 p.m.

    i got it and i think its fun great change of pace to get a diffrent pet other than dog but two bad things my copie lags when in fields and it freezes when go to certain area sometimes might just be mine.
  • soren7550 - November 8, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Eh, I enjoyed Friends of Mineral Town well enough, so maybe I'll like this. Also, while reading this, I was listening to one of the Naruto theme songs. Why is this relevant? One town is called Konohana in TToTT. Naruto's main village is called Konohagakure. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! >:[ (a conspiracy is afoot!)

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