Thursday, January 11, 2018

Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town

Harvest Moon Friends of Mineral Town was kind of a shrunk-down version of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature that could be played on the Game Boy Advance. Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town was much the same, but an alternate version of the Japanese-only release Harvest Moon for Girl, instead.

This is essentially a version of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town that has had some of the glitches removed, some extra content added, and lets you play as a female and court the bachelors of the valley.

Rather than taking over your farm for an elderly friend who had passed away like in FoMT, MFoMT starts out with you getting bored of your life in the city and moving out to start life on a farm. Unfortunately, the land hasn't been well taken care of and it's up to you to clean it up, plant your own crops, and buy your own animals.

It's pretty standard game-play from there, buy and plant seeds you buy from the local supermarket, buy and raise animals, and find someone to marry and have a child with.

Other than playing as a girl, there were a few other new things added to the game. The only one that made a big difference was that you could now directly sell stuff to the salesman that lived on the beach, after befriending him. He could offer lower or higher prices than you could get from just shipping the item normally, so offering him a rare item could potentially get you a lot more money than normal. You can refuse his offer and try again until you get a price you like.

The other 'big' things were more superficial. The first of which was that you could now change the color of your clothes at the mirror you can buy for your house.

The second was the addition of the Farm Degree that would also make an appearance in later games. In this version, you would earn points based on what you did in-game; fishing, seeing random events in town, winning festivals... Each category had a maximum of 1000 points you could earn, but completing this didn't earn you anything special. It was more to see just how much you'd done in-game.

The last of these additions was that you could collect seven rings in game by doing different things, such as attending certain romantic festivals or by getting married. Collecting these didn't really have a point, either, it was more just for completion purposes.

I had fun with this one, and it seems to be a fan-favorite, along with its counterpart FoMT. It's relaxing, there's no real pressing plot; you're free to play at your own pace and do your own thing. The characters are memorable and fun to befriend and get to know through dialogue and events.

The only problem with this is that save batteries are starting to die on the older ones, preventing them from saving. It's not super-hard to replace the battery, but if you don't feel like dealing with that, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town are also on the WiiU eShop, if you happen to have one of those.

The game-play is fun and not too hard or too easy. The characters are nice, and you actually end up wanting to know more about them. Most of the additions might not play a huge role in the game, but they still provide a fun way to look back and see what all you've managed to accomplish. 

These are popular for a reason, and I'd suggest taking a look if you get the chance.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories - Android and iOS

I got sort of lazy over the Christmas/holiday season, but I'm finally back! I hope everyone had a good holidy, no matter what you celebrate. 


I kinda feel the need to start with a little bit of history behind this one... But if you already know the story behind the Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons split, feel free to skip down, the actual review start below the first picture.

Natsume Inc. translates and produces games, and one of the most notable was probably the Harvest Moon series, starting with the original game on the SNES. Harvest Moon was originally owned by the company Victor Interactive Software, which was later acquired by Marvelous Inc.

This translation work lasted from 1996 to 2013, with the last Harvest Moon game they translated being Harvest Moon: A New Beginning on the 3DS. After this, Marvelous Inc. decided to start translating with their own in-house company, Xseed Games.

When this happened, they decided to start using the new name Story of Seasons. Left with a popular brand name that was no longer being used, Natsume Inc. decided to start producing their own games under this name.

Don't think of Natsume as stealing the name or not giving it over to Marvelous as that's not what happened, and don't just think of their games as inferior. I didn't think I'd like Natsume's games when I first started playing them, and I still don't really like their first game Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, but I've come to have a lot of fun playing the rest of them. Story of Seasons and Harvest Moon focus on farming in different ways, and both are a lot of fun in different ways.

I feel trying to compare these two games like trying to compare either one to the other farming game Stardew Valley. They all focus on different aspects and play differently, which I think is really good! The more different options there are, the more people can play and enjoy them.

For a genre that was once so niche (and still is, to an extent) I think that's really important. The more fun farming games there are, the better- so I figure, anyway.

Anyway, that's my little ramble on that... So, onto actually talking about this game!


Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories! I've had a lot of fun with this game so far, more than I thought I would.

It's the standard game-play for these types of games for the most part. Meet people and make friends, grow crops, raise animals, and even start a family.

The game starts out with you wandering into a valley where everyone seems to have forgotten about the large farm in the right part of the land. You then hear someone crying, and find a Harvest Sprite who's sad that everyone seems to have forgotten about this part of the land. The special tree the Sprites live in has even lost its powers. You agree to come in and help restore everyone's memories and take care of the land.

You can earn 150 memories throughout the game. They work kind of like the Harvest Sprites in Harvest Moon DS or DS Cute, or the musical notes from Harvest Moon: Magical Melody. As you befriend people or perform different tasks you'll earn memories, which come with their own little rewards like ores or seeds of rare crops. There's a lot of different things you can do to earn them, and you can check and see which ones you have or still need in the menu, but you don't really have to collect them all unless you want to.

The actual restoration of everyone's memories and the tree on your land seems to actually be tied to marriage rather than collecting enough of the memories, which I find a little odd, but...

Anyway, you can make friends with the villagers, and even get married. There are five marriage candidates for the male and female playable characters, which includes the base candidates from Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, the witch and wizard, and the two DLC candidates that were present there, though they're here for free in Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories.

This game doesn't use bigger character models or portraits when you talk to them, which I kind of miss. What animations that they do have are pretty simple I wouldn't say any of the characters have a ton of personality, but no one actively annoyed me. You can have up to two children after marriage.

You can have two types of chickens, cows, or sheep. The standard breeds just give the normal produce you'd expect, but the other varieties give candy products. The brown cows give chocolate milk, the 'brown' (black-colored in-game) chickens give candy eggs, and the pink sheep give cotton-candy wool, which I really appreciated. They aren't hard to take care of at all.

Fishing and mining also make a return. The mining in-particular reminds me of mining from Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town or Harvest Moon: DS. It's got 100 floors to traverse, and you start finding rare and expensive gems on lower floors. It's a lot of fun, and probably the fastest way to make money in-game.

As for the main focus of the games, I feel like that's the crop-growing. Any crop can now be grown in any season. The trade-off for this is that each seed only covers one square of ground, not a 3x3 space like in some of the other games.

You can easily grow the most basic crops with little effort on your part: just plow the spot you want to plant something in, toss down your seeds, and water it every day until it's fully grown. If that's too easy for you, though, you can start hunting down the crop mutations.

If you plant the right seeds in the right season- and sometimes use the right fertilizer- you can sometimes grow certain mutations of crops. Cabbages, for example, can grow into red cabbages. These red cabbages- if planted in the right season- can further mutate and may even mutate again.

It's not as easy as that, though, since mutation isn't guaranteed. I find it easiest to just mass-plant whatever I'm looking to mutate at the time. Some people might prefer a more simple way of farming or collecting everything, but I really like this system. I don't feel like it's too hard in this game, since it gives you a list under your easily-accessed collections menu that shows you when you need to plant what, and even if you need to use a certain fertilizer on it.

This collection menu isn't perfect, though, since it'll remove these tips and replace them with the description and pictures of these crops after you've harvested them. This is a problem, since you need to sell a certain number of the crop mutations to unlock the mutation seeds at the vendor, and you might not always be able to do that in one round of growing, or even in one season depending on the quality of your tools. There are online lists/resources you can use, and I wrote down a physical list myself, but it's really too bad it doesn't help you out a little more in-game...


I've had a lot of fun with this game, but the main focus definitely seems to be on collecting all of the memories and crop mutations on your own without a real focus on the story. If you don't have a problem making your own fun in these games and going off and doing your own thing, there's a chance you could really enjoy this. If you're more about having an overarching story to complete, though, you're probably better off checking out Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, which I would recommend over the original Story of Seasons game.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gudetama Tamagotchi - December 27, 2017

The Gudetama Tamagotchi is set to come out in about a month, on December 27th. I've had mine preordered for a while now, and I'm really excited. It looks like it's styled after the Nano Tamagotchi, which is pretty cool, since I've never had a Nano before. Sanrio-Tamagotchi crossovers have already been done in the past with the Sanrio Pierce for the P's and the two Sanrio-themed M!xes, but this is the first fully Gudetama-themed one, as far as I know. This version just makes a lot of sense to me, seeing as how he's already a cute little egg. I can't wait to get to play with this one, and see all the cute different egg-styled transformations he'll get.

To get a closer look a this cool Tamagotchi now, check out this link!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tamagotchi Mini - Tamagotchi Chibi 2017

This is a re-release of the original Tamagotchi Mini and Tamagotchi Chibi that first came out in 2005. This version was released to celebrate Tamagotchi's 20th Anniversary.

These feature the shells from the original 1996 release of the Tamagotchi, coming in blue-with-yellow/red-with blue clock-face designs, plain white, orange with a Tamagotchi label, blue with pink numbers, and a clear blue.

It's a lot like the original release of the Mini and Chibi. It's been really simplified from other versions. It's good for playing with if you don't have a lot of time for looking after it.

Pretty much everything is done just using the left button. Pressing this is how you choose to feed it, turn the lights off, clean up the screen, or give it medicine if it gets sick. You do use the middle button for confirming your food or light choices, and the right button for backing out of a menu, but that's about it.

There aren't any menus to look at; you can't see your Tamagotchi's age, weight, hunger, happiness, or anything else like that. You can press the right button, and if your Tamagotchi needs something, it'll play a little animation.

It doesn't seem like you can pause this one like you could with the original Tamagotchi Mini, much like you couldn't on the Tamagotchi Chibi, but you can still turn the sound off by pressing the left and right buttons together.

The characters are mostly the same, but Lucky Unchi-kun and Ginjirotchi, the secret characters that came from Mametchi in the Chibi and Mini respectively, have been replaced with Bill. That's a little disappointing, since I really loved Ginjirotchi, but that's the only thing I can really say I dislike.

Another good point is that the screen has been lightened up considerably from the original Mini. I'm not struggling to see it anymore, which is really nice.

I've really enjoyed playing with this version so far. Don't go getting it thinking it's going to be the original P1 or P2 release, but if you know what you're getting, playing with it can be a lot of fun.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Yu-Gi-Oh: World Wide Edition: Stairway to the Destined Duel

This was my first Yu-Gi-Oh video game, and I still enjoy playing it even now.

It doesn't have much of a story, really. It's set during the Battle City Tournament, and has you moving around the city dueling characters that appeared during that arc. Eventually, you challenge the Ghouls and defeat Marik, but that's about it as far as an actually story-line goes.

There are a lot of duelists to unlock, including a few secret ones. Each different one has their own deck and style of dueling- barring one of the secret characters who copies other duelists' decks each time you face them.

There are a lot of cards to unlock and play with- around 1000. At the start, you're given a choice between three different starter decks. Every Monday, you'll receive a five cards from a set. After
winning a duel you'll be given a choice of booster packs, each containing five cards from their own sets. Besides the starter booster packs, there are many more you can unlock by completing different objectives.

The main draw of the game is the card-collecting and dueling. You can duel people that appear in your current map space, or move to a new one. Doing either of these things will move you to the next day. Instead of just dueling like this, there are also five different tournaments or challenges you can compete in, as well.

I think it's a pretty fun game. It's not too cluttered up in interface or story. All considering, I think it has aged pretty well and still holds up today.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning - Game Boy Advance

I feel like I should start off by saying that this was one of my favorite games on the GameCube. I've played through it more times than I can count. That being said... I was really disappointed with this version of the game.

The story is the same as on the console and Nintendo DS versions. Spyro the Egg is rescued from the forces of the Dark Master who were trying to capture him and sent down a river by the elder dragon Ignitus. His egg is eventually found by a family of dragonflies who raise him after he hatches. Some time later, he and Sparks set off to find who Spyro is and where he came from, eventually rescuing several elder dragons and facing off with fellow dragon, Cynder.


One of the biggest issues I had with it is that everything just looks exactly the same. It's just not really all that great to look at. It follows the same story as the console versions, and has all the same locations, but... Somehow all the areas that were once fun to explore and look at just feel the same. The furies aren't even fun to use anymore, and it feels like you get them every three or four enemies you defeat, so there's no real challenge.

This sameness was also an issue with the breath abilities. A huge amount of the fun of using the different breaths in the other versions was how different they all were.

Fire was a standard explosive, burning attack and its long-ranged attack was a fireball that could be upgraded to explode multiple times upon hitting a surface. Electric could be used to throw enemies around and even off ledges and had a special electric arc that could be used to temporarily restrain enemies. Ice could be used to slow freeze enemies and had icicles that could bounce off surfaces and slow down enemies. And finally, earth was a devastating burst attack that would send enemies flying, and had a longer-ranged earth missile that would trap enemies in a small tornado before dropping
them to the ground.

I might have gone into too much detail on that part, but I just really wanted to have a base for this point. All the breaths in the Game Boy Advance version function exactly the same way. They all damage enemies, but there's no difference between them besides the way they look. They all have long-ranged versions, too, but I couldn't find any changes between them there, either. Outside of the Cynder boss battles, I can't really find a reason to use them over the basic melee attacks.

You can upgrade the different breaths, and it might have an effect on their power, but there's no real change in the way they look afterwards. Once you've gotten at least one point for upgrading breath abilities, you can freely move it between the different breaths, which is nice, but after you get two points and choose your favorite-looking breath, there's no real reason to fight enemies anymore. Outside of the forced encounters or enemies you just can't get around, it's a lot easier and faster to just avoid them.

The cut-scenes are played out through still images, which look pretty good, actually. Better than the
rest of the game, anyway.

There's about one mini-game per level, which is different than the other versions of this game, but they're just not all that fun. There's a spider-squishing game, a mountain-scaling game where you have to avoid obstacles tossed down by enemies, a race, a maze, and two flying games. These are more frustrating than anything, and it would be a lot easier and faster without them. You unlock a mode where you can replay them after beating the game, but I've got zero desire to go back and replay them.


Really, I'd suggest any other version of this game over this one. The Game Boy Advance version of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning just wasn't all that good, even when I was playing without comparing it to the other versions. It seems really weird to me, especially since the Game Boy Advance version of the next game in the series, The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, was extremely fun and probably one of the better versions of that game.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pokémon Halloween Version

Pokémon Halloween is a nice little game.

I haven't made it super-far in the game so far, but not a lot has been different. It mostly seems to be a pallet-swap of Pokémon Gold version, with some pleasant fall colors and jack-o-lanterns scattered around. A few NPCs do have different dialogue relating to ghosts or Halloween, and I was able to find that the creator had added himself in with an offer to give you something if you managed to take out Sudowoodo.

It's been relaxing so far, and I find these colors easier on the eyes. Check it out if you're looking for something a little different-looking without changing things up to much.