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WII
GENRE
Role Playing
DEVELOPER
Natsume
PUBLISHER
Natsume
WI-FI ENHANCED
no
WII EXCLUSIVE
gcn
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
March 28, 2006
BUY NOW AT

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody

Natsume has carved out a nice niche for itself with the Harvest Moon series, a long-running string of offbeat farming RPGs that have become a cult favorite. The franchise has already made an appearance on the GC, but the developers have decided to let gamers stretch their green thumbs once again with Magical Melody. It features a slew of new activities, rivalries and love interests to get tangled up in, so the game is looking like a great reason to don your overalls once again.

media

Not available at this time.

impressions

In Magical Melody, the Harvest Goddess has been turned to stone, dooming the surrounding countryside to a season of poor crops. The only way to awaken her is by collecting magical music notes, which when played in succession will release her from her stony slumber. Notes are awarded for completing various activities throughout the game, such as winning first place in a festival. With 100 notes in all, thorough gamers will be busy for a long time to come.

At the beginning of the game, players must make two important decisions: which gender they’d like the main character to be and what type of terrain they want to live on. A farm located near a river is obviously going to be tailored to fishing, while one built on a fertile field will be ideal for growing crops. As a player’s farm grows, it’s possible to purchase other properties, expanding a small farm into a vast empire.

A constant stream of work needs to be done in the world of Harvest Moon, and Magical Melody is no exception. Common tasks include tending crops, raising a variety of animals and even mining local caves. Players can sell their surplus goods in town for a little extra cash and use it to upgrade their farms.

While day to day work is important, several other factors successful farmers will need to keep on top of if they want to fully experience the game. For instance, Magical Melody features ten potential love interests to woo, and smooth-talking gamers will end up with a spouse. In addition, a rival neighbor keeps things interesting by trying to steal the main character’s thunder whenever possible. These side quests work together to spice up the standard gameplay nicely.

word on the street

Harvest Moon has always given players a taste of what it's like to work on a farm, without the pesky annoyance of menial labor. It manages to transform mundane real-life work into an interesting gameplay experience. Magical Melody looks as if it will continue the trend, while adding features that have never been seen in the series before. One of the most notable additions is the four-player mode, which pits a few farming chums together in a series of mini-games.

press release notes

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody is filled with that farming goodness fans have come to expect in a Harvest Moon title: plenty of crops, a variety of animals to care for, tons of festivals to participate in and loads of events to create a fun and entertaining game play experience.

Features
  • Play as either a boy or girl: each gender has 10 potential spouses.
  • Compete against a rival farmer; your productivity will be judged on a daily basis against that of your rival's. You will also compete against your rival in the festivals.
  • Cultivate a wide variety of crops and trees
  • Raise cows, sheep, horses and chickens
  • Four-player minigames
  • Purchase different plots of land and expand your farm by building various extensions

overall

Magical Melody is shaping up to be another solid entry in the Harvest Moon series and is sure to please fans when it comes out in just over a week. For gamers who haven’t gotten their hands dirty with any of the previous titles, this looks like a better place than ever to start. For the final verdict on the game check back to the Dojo after the game hits shelves on March 28.







WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Tim Kinneen
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"It's a WEAPON. It's REALLY powerful!"


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