Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life (GameCube) Preview

By James H. 20.08.2003

Life is great, yes. The wife's left, the kids are rioting, the dogs barking, the neighbours are complaining and we're sat down here on the sofa trying to control it all by err, playing on the GameCube. Well we all knew it would happen, now that the highly addictive Sims series is finally beginning to look tired, weary and on its last legs many other developers have jumped onboard and begun developing numerous real life simulations with there own unique twists and innovations. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life takes an already proven genre adds some individual and new ideas to make the perfect simulation. Harvest Moon is taking the original Harvest Moon living idea but this time with many new twists, taking on a life where, unlike every other life simulation fails; Harvest Moon succeeds in that you will get to see your character pass time and get slowly older...

A Wonderful Life could be compared to the Sims much too easily when in fact, it is a totally different type of game. Yes, some of the principals are the same but Harvest Moon is a much more story based realistic type of life when compared to the frantic days in the Sims. Harvest Moon is a very intuitive game, and, is daring to take the life simulation genre further than anything ever before. Harvest Moon is about growing up, not just staying the same age until the player gets bored, where's the fun in that? Harvest Moon offers a gamer a much more unique and true to life experience. Harvest Moon sees you through life, from the cradle, to err, thirty years old. Throughout the game you will have to make many decisions about where you want your character to go. In this time you will date, get married and have a child- that is if you want one.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life on GameCube

These main decisions will affect your character as you watch him grow. Of course, these life-changing decisions are not the only decisions you will have to make though, you'll have to make everyday normal decisions as well. Initial decision-making may or may not affect your storyline so drastically but as you progress through and get older these decisions will lead you down one of six general paths. You can become friends with many characters, date people and then get married. There are a good amount of characters for you to interact with making the experience of living different every time. (The current amount of characters that you can interact with is around 40)Setting an example to your children will also be more beneficial to your character as it may be possible for you and your son or daughter to work together, nurturing crops, housework and more, setting an example like in real life has its rewards in A Wonderful Life.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life on GameCube

Harvest Moon has lots of chances for Game Boy Advance to Gamecube connectivity, trading data, enabling different locations to visit and more. The connectivity ha been confirmed, and, we do know that you will be able to visit Mineral Town from the Gameboy Advance version. A Wonderful Life has lots of potential to be possibly the best Harvest Moon game in a long time. The game has a simple engine that makes the gameplay easy to learn and master that then leaves you just to enjoy playing as your character and following him through his life.

Graphically, what you have to realise is that this game isn't trying to be The Sims at all. The Sims was a life simulation, that's all. Harvest Moon is a much deeper story based gaming experience that can't fairly be compared to The Sims. The Sims is a life simulation that doesn't take time, age and changes into account. The Sims is just trying to recreate what we go about doing in our respective lifestyles. The Sims is very true to our lives though in that there are flat 32-inch Plasma screens across the walls, flat screen monitors, flashy cars, portraying how much these have effect on our lives and dominate our sociality. The Sims gives gamers the opportunity to live a life without worrying about the consequences. You can have the perfect life if you want it but in A Wonderful Life you get the opportunity to raise a character, take them through teens, to adulthood, marriage then children. The characters and landscapes look a tad gloomy and somewhat bland. The textures are not perfect either, they look very blocky and the game looks like it could have been on the Nintendo 64. There are styles and then there are bad graphics, this game is very poor graphically wise and this is its major let down.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life on GameCube

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is an excellent game as it has great amounts potential. The game has everything a gamer could want from a reality simulation. A Wonderful Life offers a gamer something The Sims never did and that's that the actual character you're playing as gets older. This means that instead of always changing characters you can stay with one character that you will get to know the character better, see him go through his teens, then on to adulthood, marriage and then a child with a partner. Seeing the character grow up was something that always let The Sims down, because it was stuck in a time warp.

Screenshot for Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life on GameCube

Final Thoughts

The games let downs? Its graphics, simple. The games graphics aren't bright or colourful, the game doesn't necessarily have to look totally unrealistic but the Sims faired much better in this department because it was brighter and easier on the eye. A Wonderful Life is much darker, gloomier and even dull. This gives the game a stigma impression that it is boring, bland and tedious when in fact the games is of a very high standard.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (7 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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