Game Feature: Harvest Moon series by Marvelous AQL
Recently, one of my favourite game companies released some exciting information: the newest installment to the Harvest Moon series, A New Beginning, is to be released for the Nintendo 3DS on November 6th, 2012 (the North American, i.e English version). This is music to my ears!
So what is this Harvest Moon series?
As the name suggests, it has to do with farming and harvesting! Usually tying in some form of storyline (your grandfather has left you a farm, or you become bored of city life etc), you get brought to an ailing farm, and not only do you grow crops, you raise animals and get to choose your own marriage partner! Since its first game release in 1996, it has expanded to an impressive 20+ titles all based on this farming concept (and marriage system). Originally created for the Nintendo consoles, it has also released unique games for other consoles such as the Playstation and the Wii. In addition, the newer titles allow you to play as a boy or girl (so now you can go after the cute guy!).
I personally own a few titles (primarily smitten with the cute graphics) and the games get consistently better. Although some actions in the game are highly repetitive (e.g. you water crops everyday), they are also highly addictive! There is enough variety in the tasks you can do in each game that can keep you hooked for hours (crops, animals, cooking, fishing, gathering, dating, mountain climbing...).
The art gets better, the game play remains about the same except with the addition of touch screen controls for the newer consoles. With the latest game added to this series, the standard marriage system has a new addition: a dating system! Instead of going directly from complete strangers to a few dates to in-love-and-married, you can now declare a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with your favourite bachelors/bachelorettes before seriously considering marriage to one. How cool is that :D
To tempt you further, I end off with a picture of the
cutest cow ever pre-order goodie if you order directly from the Natsume website (only ships within the US).