Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town

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Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town
Harvest Moon- FoMT.jpg
Developer(s)Marvelous Interactive
Publisher(s)
Producer(s)Yasuhiro Wada
Designer(s)Miki Miyagi
Artist(s)Igusa Matsuyama
Composer(s)Ai Yamashita
SeriesStory of Seasons
Platform(s)Game Boy Advance
Release
Genre(s)Simulation, Role-playing
Mode(s)Single player

Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town[a] is a video game for the Game Boy Advance, developed and published by Marvelous Interactive. It was first released in Japan in April 2003, in North America in November 2003, and in Europe in March 2004. Many critics praised it as the best entry of the series, combining elements from the best-selling console entries and introducing many notable series staples. It was later released on the Virtual Console for the Wii U in June 2015.

The player is a farmer whose goal is to make a profit from the farm he runs by producing crops and raising livestock. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is the first Game Boy Advance game of the Story of Seasons series, and is a remade version of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature. A 3D remake for the Nintendo Switch, titled Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, will be released in Japan in October 2019 and worldwide sometime later by Xseed Games.

Story and gameplay[edit]

The main character in the game has no default name. In the opening sequences, the player is shown as a young boy living in the city, whose parents take him to see the country. During their trip the player becomes lost, and finds himself on the farm of an old man in Mineral Town. The old man helps the player contact his parents, and offers to let him and his family stay for a few days, as he has no family of his own. The player's parents agree, and the player stays on the farm for a while. On the farm, the player plays with a girl who then becomes friends with him. After the player leaves Mineral Town, he continues to write letters to the old man. One day, when he has grown up, the letters from the old man suddenly stop. The player travels to Mineral Town, finding the farm neglected, and discovers the old man had died around half a year ago. The mayor of Mineral Town informs the player that in the farmer's will, he left the player the farm. The player decides to restore the farm, beginning the game.

An in-game screenshot of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town

The player starts with five tools, and must earn money by clearing the large field on the farm and planting crops, mining, or foraging. This money may be used to buy other things, such as livestock, and to expand the farm.

The social aspect of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is a large part of the game. There are many villagers to befriend, and six bachelorettes available to marry. Befriending villagers allows the player to learn recipes and discover villager's histories, and marriage allows the player to have a son.[2] The game offers connectivity with the Nintendo GameCube game Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life using a link cable between the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube.

The player begins with a dog that may be named. The dog starts as a puppy, but will be fully grown after two months.[3] Shortly after meeting Barley for the first time, he will stop by the player's farm with a young horse and ask if they can take care of it. If the player accepts Barley will return after a year, and may take the horse back if the player didn't show enough affection.[3]

There are three kinds of livestock: cows, chickens, and sheep. Cows produce milk (requires a milker to be gathered), chickens produce eggs, and sheep produce wool (requires shears to be gathered), which can be shipped off to be sold. All the livestock produce will sell for more if the animals have maximum affection for the player, and also if they win specific contests. As in every installment of the Story of Seasons series, shipping is added as a collection of crops, flowers, animal items and others. In the game, a man called Zack is responsible giving you money in exchanges of the shippable items. A shipping bin is mentioned in the farm and not all items are shippable though.

The player will start off with an axe, hammer, watering can, sickle, and hoe, which can be used to do farm work, and may obtain a fishing rod.[4] Initially, the tools will only work on one square of farmland at a time, and the fishing rod can only catch small fish. Their range, ease of use, and ability can be improved by raising the experience level, then by combining them with different ores at the blacksmith shop, where the player can also buy a cowbell, shears, and a milker. There are also cursed tools located in one of the mines, which, once equipped by the player, cannot be put away until blessed at the confessional in the church or certain criteria are met. These tools are upgraded differently from normal tools, and have greater abilities. Other items that take up the tool slots include seeds and a teleport stone.

A 3D remake, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town, will be released on the Nintendo Switch in Japan on October 17, 2019, and worldwide sometime later by Xseed Games.[5][6]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic81/100[7]

IGN rated the game at 8.9, or "great", saying that it was "deceptively engrossing", and that the graphical presentation of the day to night cycles was very well done.[8] GameRankings has an aggregate score of 82% from 31 reviews.[9]

Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic82/100[10]

Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town (牧場物語 ミネラルタウンのなかまたち for ガール, Bokujō Monogatari: Mineral Town no Nakama Tachi for Girl) is the female version of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. In this game, the main character is a girl, and can marry one of eight bachelors. The player starts in the city, reading their newspaper. She sees an advertisement for a beautiful farm, and, excited by the prospect of rural life, decides to buy it. She visits the farm and finds out she was tricked, as the farm is run down and in need of maintenance. As she had already quit her job and sold her apartment, the player resolves to make the farm prosper the best she can, beginning the game. The base game remains almost unchanged, with the exception of several gameplay changes, improvements, and fixes.

IGN rated Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town at 8.5. It was noted that it is essentially a repeat of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, but that "it's still a great and highly recommended experience".[11] GameRankings has an aggregate score of 79% from 14 reviews.[12]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Japanese: 牧場物語 ミネラルタウンのなかまたち Hepburn: Bokujō Monogatari: Mineral Town no Nakama Tachi?

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town Release Dates". Gamespot. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  2. ^ "Your Family". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Animals". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  4. ^ "Tools". Ushi No Tane x4. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Romano, Sal. "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town remake announced for Switch". Gematsu. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  6. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn. "XSEED Games to Release Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town Game for Switch in N. America". Anime News Network. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  8. ^ Craig Harris (November 24, 2003). "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town". IGN. Retrieved 2008-02-12.
  9. ^ "Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town for Game Boy Advance". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  11. ^ Harris, Craig (August 15, 2005). "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town". IGN. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
  12. ^ "Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town for Game Boy Advance". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 25, 2018.

External links[edit]