Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns (for 3DS)

This post was actually written a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, but I’ve completely forgotten about it while struggling to achieve a seed maker in this hellish game. I’ll probably talk more about it later, but, meanwhile, enjoy my rant.

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I’ve always loved Harvest Moon games, so naturally this was the second game I bought to my 3DS. (First one was Okamiden, kind of an obvious choice considering it’s me…)
Aaaand… now I’m addicted to it.
It really took me some time to get used to its gameplay, considering I’ve played (More) Friends of Mineral Town for Gameboy Advance for a long time.
Despite being addicted to it, there are things about this game that drive me mad. So there will be ranting, yes.

Things that make me mad

1 packet of seed -> 1 square -> 1 crop.
Seriously, who at Natsume Inc. thought it would be a good idea to take away the 3×3 system? The beloved 3×3 system that gave you 9 (sometimes 8) crops? Maybe the prices of crops are equivalent, but planting 9 seeds at once was something that made me feel like I was planting, sowing and harvesting a lot of crops.

The randomizing of items in store.
In TTT we have the adorable stereotypically-Mexican brothers, Raul, Enrique and Diego, who provide a lot of products for your cooking (such as rice, flour, oil etc.), and things for your pets. Additionally, there’s Gombe, who sells you seeds and fertilizer. But instead of having a constant stock of items, you’re stuck with the game’s choice of products for the day. I think it sucks. And there’s no logic in puting pet food and toys in the shop that provides ingredients for your recipes. They belong to the pet shops or the animal products shop.
And due to this randomizing, I couldn’t find rice or flour for a long time.

The handling of all objects as one type of thing, a.k.a. storage limits.
The FoMT game had tools and other objects. There was a menu for tools and a menu for your bag. Later in the game, there was a refrigerator, a wardrobe and a toolbox. There was food and other stuff. In this game, your tools are treated the same as crops. I keep hitting accidentally the button to hold my tools instead of equipping them. It is really annoying, and it’s not an improvement in the series gameplay. The horse carts don’t have enough space for everything, and making them bigger doesn’t help. Buying extra carts is also useless, because we can’t use them at the same time. I’m kind of a digital hoarder, and I like to have all items in store, so this is a big deal to me. Was it so difficult to make different storage systems in the same game?

The absence of Harvest Sprites.
Not only they were cute, colorful and unique characters, they used to help you in your daily chores — since no one in the game does it. In FoMT they could water and harvest your crops or tend your animals, and it was awesome, because then you could use your time better to befriend the villagers and invest in your bachelor(ette). In ToTT, they don’t exist, and planting things is boring and consume a lot of your stamina. The quality of your crops suck, unless you buy loads of high-priced and not-always-available fertilizer, and even then they keep sucking because Gombe only sells bad quality seeds. I’ve heard about a seed making machine, but here in year 2, none of that is available.

The bulletin board system for things that could be on store.
In ToTT you depend highly on befriending the people, because your tools and your house can’t be upgraded unless there’s a special notice in the bulletin board. And said special notices happen only once each season. Do you want to make your house bigger? Too bad, you’ll have to befriend Eileen and wait for the right season to happen. It’s not like you can just go to her shop, pay her and give the right materials so she can do it. The same goes with your tools. If you don’t befriend Sheng and wait for a random notice, there goes your chance to have better tools.

The bachelors aren’t that good.
Yeah. Actually, playing as a girl I didn’t find the whole date/marriage thing interesting. The cutscenes are kinda boring, and the characters aren’t that charismatic. It’s not as bad as the DS Cute (argh), but c’mon! In MFoMT, I liked almost all guys, they weren’t exactly deep, but they were funny, likeable and the cutscenes were nice enough.

Repetitive text and slow progress
You’re required a lot of playing before you can acquire object A or upgrade object B, since all this stuff appears in your bulleting board, usually when the seasons change. It would be OK if participating in your cooking festivals or talking to people meant you’d have fresh stories and possibilities. However, while forcing you to play for (in-game) decades, the game doesn’t provide new situations. The progress is extremely slow, and you’ll end up knowing all the characters’ lines before you can say “seed maker”.

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All and all considered, I really like this game, but I’m hoping the next ones improve these points.
Next time, hopefully I’ll talk about what’s nice about it.

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