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Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life

Preview By: Siou Choy

Developer:  Victor Interactive
Publisher:  Natsume
Genre:  Simulation
Est. Release:  Q2 2003
Posted:  11-27-02

Fans of the Harvest Moon series take note: the popular cult RPG series will be making its debut on the Gamecube in a big way. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life will take all the elements of the previous Harvest Moons and incorporate them into this new offering from Victor Interactive and Natsume. And those of you sitting there with that silly link cable and nothing much to do with it can take heart: the Game Boy Advance will also play a part in the newest Harvest Moon game. By means of the link cable, you’ll be able to visit a town that is otherwise inaccessible. Of course, this entails getting new Harvest Moon games for both systems, but that’s marketing for ya.

A Wonderful Life’s timeline extends for the equivalent of 30 years, divided into 6 major stages. This go-around, you’ll play along with your character through his/her misspent youth, marriage, and that ultimate curse of the burgeoisie, childbirth. You even get to watch your virtual child grow up and help you on the farm (unlike previous games, where the child never really moved past infancy). Those of you whose mates find their biological alarm clocks ringing off the hook probably won’t want to play this in front of her, or you’ll find yourself forced to live out the game’s timeline in real time…and as most of us know, the real world ain’t half as purty as they make it look in Harvest Moon...

Previous entries in the Harvest Moon series featured a non-linear gameplay paradigm, and as you might have imagined, A Wonderful Life is no exception to that rule. If you’re looking for a little variety, you will be happy to know that Natsume has added new vegetables and animals to your farming experience. In a scary parallel to what’s going on with today’s youth thanks to non-organic milk production techniques, you will also be able to add hormones, splice, and create hybrid forms of vegetables. No accounting for weight problems, premature growth spurts and sexual maturation, or mad cow disease - you’ll have to duck the consequences just like your real life counterparts.

There will be over 40 characters to interact with in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. So all you lonelyhearts out there get one more shot at building new friendships with the villagers. Who knows, you just may find that special someone. Virtually, at least.

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is expected to make it’s debut sometime in Q2 2003.

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