|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Natsume||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Natsume||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
The Harvest Moon series is addictive. It ranks up with Animal Crossing and the Sims in terms of sucking you into its world and not letting you go. Every time I pick up a Harvest Moon Title, I know that I'm going to have to seriously clear my schedule because it is time to farm. But the magic of the Harvest Moon series does not lie in the tedium of taking care of livestock or growing crops, but in its intricacy of gameplay. There's just so much to do!
In addition to the essentials concerning your plants and livestock, you have to go out and participate in community events, hire people to help you with your farm, and of course, find a suitable partner and have a family. There is so much to the Harvest Moon games that it is almost overwhelming at first, but this has largely been a good thing for the series.
Harvest Moon DS Cute largely follows this trend of engaging and lengthy gameplay. For those who have already played Harvest Moon DS, Harvest Moon DS Cute is essentially the same. The only real difference here is that you play as a girl instead of a boy. And of course all the trappings of being a girl are developed in this title: finding a boyfriend, becoming a wife, and even having children are all a part of this title. And while all these female-centric features enhance the gameplay, it really isn't that different from Harvest Moon DS.
The story in Harvest Moon DS Cute, however, is quite different. The game begins with the Harvest Goddess looking after your character's sleeping body and remarking about how lazy and useless you are. The Harvest Goddess resolves to give up on you completely, even though she made a promise to your late father to oversee your agricultural development. But then the Harvest King pops his head in and hears this and casts a spell on the Harvest Goddess and all her little Harvest Sprites. The Harvest King seals them away for their insolence, and the only way to free them is by proving the Harvest Goddess wrong and succeeding at farm life.
The graphics in Harvest Moon DS Cute are pretty good and feature sprite-based people and a very bright and vibrant color palate. It definitely isn't the best game in the visual department, but the graphics get the job done and are mainly inoffensive. Sound in this title is also very mediocre and doesn't really excel above the average level. There are a few tunes that loop as you play, but the voiceovers are nonexistent, and the sound effects are minimal. These two technical areas are definitely a disappointment, but I can't say I really expected all that much from these two technical facets of the game.