Aaaah Harvest Moon, so many memories, I can’t count the hours that I’ve spent on this series. I love it so much!。（＞ω＜。）
So what is harvest about ? Well I would say it’s a farm life simulation. The creator of the series Yasuhiro Wada, originally intended to recreate what makes the life in the countryside so special. I think he did it. However, Harvest Moon isn’t a game for everyone, you won’t get any chills by watching your turnips growing day after days, well at least I don’t. You won’t fight any monsters or save any princess. But still, Harvest Moon is a great game. It allows you to escape your daily routine to go to the countryside where working in fields seems easy and where everybody is happy and nice to you. So if you can’t stand annoying citizens anymore come with me I’ll show you a whole new world,
a new fantastic point of view, no one to tell us no or where to go, or say we’re only dreaming. Humm… Now without futher ado, let’s begin our journey , TO THE COUNTRYSIDE WITH HARVEST MON ANIMAL PARADE !!.+:｡(ﾉ･ω･)ﾉﾞ
Harvest moon Animal parade ( Bokujou Monogatari: Wakuwaku Animal March/ 牧場物語わくわくアニマルマーチ in japanese ) came out in 2010 in France and in November 2009 in America. However I’ve only played it in French.This opus was the first Harvest moon game which actually allowed me play AS A GIRL! THANK YOU HARVEST MOON! IT’S ABOUT TIME! In Animal Parade you can choose if you want to be a boy or a girl. Regarding this choice you will be able to marry some good looking bachelors or bachelorettes ( still no same sex marriage allowed yet ) .
You’ll also have the possibility of choosing your appearance.
I picked the girl from the previous WII game: tree of Tranquility (the one with the green outfit) because the other one look dumb in my opinion. After naming your character and selecting your birthday date, the story begins !
Story : This game try to have a bit of a story behind all the farming and the bachelors stalking. In previous Harvest moon games you start as the new farmer in a deserted new land, and for now reason the harvest goddess/ Harvest sprites choose you and only you to reestablish the fame of the land by doing magical related stuff. Well , In Animal Parade it’s the same.
However, in Animal Parade you’ll need to find and to ring some Bells (Green, Red, Yellow, blue and Purple ) in order to restore the power of the elements : earth ,wind and fire ^^. Also water and for the purple bell : heart ? So yeah, I was happy, for the first time I didn’t have to collect one hundred music notes, harvest sprites or sun stones to beat the game. Your quest to ring all the Bells aside, you’ll also have to help Theodore ( the mayor from magical Melody ) who now runs a circus, to bring back his lost animals : Eunice the Giraffe, Trunks the Elephant and Humpfrey the hippo by bringing them the food they like .
Gameplay : This game has for the first time, CHARACTER CUSTOMIZATION THANKS GOD ! You can now dress you character as you wish by simply buying clothes from the local tailor. You can even dress your children as you want however you cannot change your husband/ wife’s clothes. (So chase will keep his sandals anyway… ). Once you’re married, your true one will cook you some delicious meals and help you out with your farm work. They can do whatever you ask them, from watering, to mining and fishing.My husband used to water my crops for me , this part was reaaaaaalllly annoying.Later on, if your house is big enough you will have up to two child whom apparence will change regarding which bachelor or bachelorette you’ve married. And yes, you can also tell your children to do your chores for you.(ര̀ᴗര́)و ̑̑
You can ride your animals if they like you enough. Horses of course, but also cows, sheep, goats and even ostricshes ! You can cook meals, go fishing, go minnig, going shopping, going to a Tropical Island and so much more !
They also had a strange feature: by connecting a second wii controller you can actually rub people in order to increase their affection towards you. This is so weird I can’t even describe it. I don’t know if the developers were expecting us to play this game with a friend, but it’s if the case the poor player 2 will be sitting next to player 1 waiting for him to come accross some random villager to rub him. Well, I don’t have any friends who are ready to do that for me, so I guess I’ll just handle the rubbing part myself.
I think one main problem of this game must be the screen loading time. Boy, you need to be patient. Even if your character is running or ridding his cow/horse/sheep/whatever animal you want, you won’t escape some really long running/ridding in the land and some long screen loading every time you change of area ( and you need to because you can teleport yourself ). So yeah, screen loading I despise you.
Also, sometimes the camera goes crazy. The angle changes without warning you so it makes it harder for you to control your character.
My favorite part, let’s be honest.o(>ω<)o
Harvest moon may look like an otome game with his dating/marriage system and the possiblity of choosing your true one but it doesn’t really work like one. By this I mean, there’s no “routes” , choosing one bachelor over another won’t change the background story. Of course, increasing their affection towards you will unlock more dialogues and will let you know more about their personality story but that’s it. So in Harvest Moon you ‘ll just have to marry the guy or the girl that you prefer !
Let’s be clear , the guys and the girls won’t fall in your arms easily just because you’re the savior of the land who work his ass off to ring some magical bells and to bring back home some exotic animals. Neither because you can look like a cool – ass -military pirate . NO ! LADIES AND GENTLEMANS ! NO !
You gotta act smooth, like a real lover.. You need to stalk them ( there’s a feature in the game which allows you to know exactly where a person is), to know their exact schedule in order to talk to them every day and at the same time to give them a huge amount of gifts. Once you know what they like you can give them the specific items every single day, they won’t get bored of it ( I’m still wondering where in the hell they stock all the flowers that I gave them ). Once you’ve reached 9 hearts (there’s a menu which indicates you how much does every person wants your juicy booty), CONGRATULATIONS THERE ARE IN LOVE WITH YOU ! You’re such a lover. I knew it !
There’s a rival Mode in this game and for once it’s well thought. Don’t worry, getting the guy or the girl that you want remains a piece of cake: you won’t see any rival marriage if you’re not friend with your rival, in other words you just have to ignore the bitch and she/ he will let you marry your true one .
Animal Parade add one more thing with to his rival mode , the possibility for the guys and the girls that you won’t marry to have a child. Yup, your kids will have little buddies to play with . This add in the gameplay makes the valley more lively. But, since almost every bachelors/bachelorette ( except for the Wizard and the Witch ) have a designed lover to pair up with, once you’ve married the guy/girl of your dreams , your love rival will be alone, for the rest of his/her life. No kids, no love life. Usually people feel bad about it . But I tend to go ” AHAHA I BEAT YOU ! I GOT HIM ! HE DOESN’T LOVE YOU, HE ONLY CARES ABOUT ME”. Does that make me a bad person (ﾟヘﾟ)？
To be my beloved slave husband I choose Gill, the posh tsundere boy and also son of the mayor. No, marrying him wasn’t a part of my plan to take over the valley, I swear.
Now, that I think about it, Gil remind me someone…
Is that you Tamaki Senpai ? Ok , now I feel bad.
The resemblance between them is too disturbing. Does that make me a Tamaki-senpai Fan ? Oh god ….
Subjective Game rate: 9/10 . Less screen loading and crazy camera and this would have been a perfect game. But Animal Parade is my jam. If you’re looking for a good game to relax alone on rainy sunday’s afternoons this is a good one. I also recommend the use of a plaid and a cup of hot chocolate.