|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Marvelous||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Natsume||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 30, 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|
The controls in Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility are pretty simple, and you have the choice of using the Wii-mote and Nunchuk combination or the classic controller. The Wii-mote and Nunchuk controls work very well, and you are able to use the motion controls for agricultural tools like the watering can and the hoe.
The motion controls actually speed certain actions and are very convenient when you are working on hoeing large fields. Although the regular control scheme feels fine, the classic controller scheme feels more natural for seasoned Harvest Moon players. Both control schemes are precise and easy to use, and no matter which one you decide on sticking with, controlling this title is a breeze.
Another strong point for Tree of Tranquility is the in-game music. The different melodies are quite nice to listen to, and the different character themes are nicely varied. However, the overall sound scheme of the game is brought down by infrequent and sometimes awkward-sounding voiceovers. Characters are largely silent, however, there will be an occasional yay! or oh no! that sounds out of place.
The visuals in Harvest Moon: Tree of tranquility look fairly standard as far as Wii graphics are concerned. Characters sport a fair amount of detail, and animations are nice and smooth. The environment, however, does not look as polished as the characters, as there is a real lack of detail. The different areas look very bland and, for an island paradise, looks unexpectedly dull.
Harvest Moon has been a staple Nintendo franchise for a decade now, and at first glance it is easy to see why. The farm-simulation game is instantly charming and its task-based gameplay appeals to both the casual and hardcore sect. Harvest Moon is always fun and always engaging, but as the years go by and more and more iterations of this classic franchise are released, it becomes more apparent that it is always the same. While Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility will provide countless hours of fun for those only vaguely familiar with the series, there isnt much new content here for those who have been with the series for the past ten years. Sure, exploring the island is great, and the new characters are always fun, but the game experience remains virtually unchanged from past iterations, which is my chief complaint. Still, if you are really into farming, and dont mind the repetitive tendencies of the series, then Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility is a solid entry and definitely worth your time.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor