Welcome back to the world of Harvest Moon (Bokujo Monogatari), a
game that combines farming with RPG to create a rather interesting
mixture of growing crops and solving quests.
In this "new" instalment of Harvest Moon, players must once again
engage in simulation farming, however there are other things at
stake such as the feud between two towns and once again the Harvest
Goddess requires a hero.
Before you start your farm, you must first decide where to build and
choose between one of two "warring" towns, that of Bluebell and
Konohana. Originally both towns were friendly, so you need to decide
which town you would like to call home by listening to the stories
of each mayor.
To compound the situation between both towns, both towns were torn
asunder by the Harvest Gods who was extremely annoyed at them. The
only time the two towns can ever come together is through the
cooking festival which is of course where you come into play.
Compared to the previous games, not much has really changed since
the last instalment of Harvest Moon but the game does boast some new
features that include new characters, new animals such as the
Alpacas or the Honey Bees and the ability to create and implement
new farming tools such as waterwheels to move the water around your
The game does support Street Pass, however in Australia, it's very
hard to get someone to find who has this game at the same time and
place. If you do which we did not, you can trade items between the
players. It's a very cool premise.
Depending on which town you select, both are quite different.
Bluebell seems is like those quaint old English towns, whereas
Konohana is like the traditional Japanese town, both with their pros
and cons. This also allows you to play the game again from a
slightly different perspective, even though eventually you get
access to all animals, plants and equipment.
Apart from managing the farm you need to engage in quests for both
towns which are found on the bulletin board. Nothing is more fun
than exploring the rigid mountains, searching for clues. These
generally involve fetch quests and help break up the gameplay of
farming but create strong friendships for your character and there
are some powerful items to be found. I also love how you need to buy
presents to the villagers for their birthday which creates this
almost interactive experience that is quite fun.
Add in mini-games for the cooking events and even romance and this
game is oozing with Harvest Moon love. Another cool aspect of the
game are pets which are extremely handy in managing your farm. This
can be dogs for rounding up cattle or owls from flying you from
Bluebell to Konohana in no time. However with all this fun, expect
some frustrations. The save mechanism is quite horrible in the game
which prevents you from saving anywhere but rather, you can only
save when you go to sleep in the game. There are also some
translation bugs but apart from this, it works well.
Graphically, the game is a visual treat on the 3DS with its unique
and stylised graphics. One downside to the gaming environment is
that the world is a little too small, especially when you're
exploring around the villages. The 3D does work well, especially
with the background environment which helps make everything "pop"
out and there is the occasional buggy graphics. Sound works well,
although nothing too special. All in all, these departments help
create a sturdy game.
In conclusion, Harvest Moon Tale of Two Towns is a game that takes
the previous gaming premise and reintroduces it to a new audience.
If you're a regular to this series, there are a few new additions to
draw you in but it definitely doesn't have that wow factor.
Thankfully the story and graphics do update the franchise slightly
and if you're looking for something a little different, you should
check out this title as it can be quite addictive and more