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Harvest Moon: Magical Melody Review

This one's been in the ground a bit too long...

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody on the Wii is actually a GameCube game. Not a GameCube game that's had tons of new Wii-exclusive content added to it, not one that's been overhauled to make decent use of the Wii Remote and it's not even one that's been jazzed up a little to make it look nicer. It's a GameCube game and that's that. Does the fact that the original GC version never came out in Europe (essentially rendering this a 'new' title) or that it's available for just £25 make us feel any better about it? No.

It doesn't help that Harvest Moon is the best example of gaming Marmite we've ever experienced. We love the fact that it's utterly freeform and, although there is a goal which has you performing tasks to earn musical notes which will revive the fallen Goddess, Harvest Moon still allows you to do literally anything you please. However, it's also one of the most user-unfriendly games ever made because it literally drops you into this open-ended world and leaves you to it with virtually no assistance.

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There are no tutorials teaching you the ins and outs of raising crops or animals, no guidance on using materials to create new tools or buildings and virtually no clues as to what you should be doing and when. Suffice to say you'll need a ton of patience to even make a dent in Magical Melody, although we doubt most Wii owners have either the time or the inclination to do so.

Digging The Dirt

Stick with it though and you'll discover that what's here is solid enough, even if it offers barely anything new from previous iterations of the series dating back to the NES era. As slow-going as it might be at the start, getting your farm going in terms of crop harvests and animal produce is immensely satisfying, especially once the cash rolls in and you can start expanding your little enterprise.

Not that you have to focus on just that, of course - there's also the matter of making friends with the locals, taking part in all the festivals that Flower Bud Village has to offer, collecting those musical notes and, best of all, wooing one of the village's lucky ladies to be your bride. Even this is as freeform as you like with 11 ladies to chase and a bunch of rival men trying to beat you to them, netting yourself a fiancée is an epic task in itself.

Despite all this though, the initial point still stands: as a straight GameCube-to-Wii port with only a smattering of mini-games, is this really what we've been waiting for? Ordinarily, we'd suggest you check it out but the fact that there's a brand new 'proper' Harvest Moon game coming soon for Wii (it's already out in Japan) leaves us with no option but to suggest you leave this one alone.

Comments

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  1. c1nders Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 17:30

    I love the game Harvest Moon, but looking at the review thats been given for the GC version, I will be leaving well alone, so basically if you've never played the game before, it'll take you a LONG time to get used to it.
    Shame.

    I'll wait for the 'proper' Wii version to come out.

  2. MIIMAN Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 17:43

    I am a big fan of harvest moon but wasnt this supposed to come out in 2006?

  3. Anonymous Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 17:51

    shame...

  4. uster dog Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 17:59

    :? I WANTED THIS :? I READ ABOUT THIS :? SHAME ABOUT THIS :( .

  5. Nintendion Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 18:00

    this is purely dissapointing for me to see. I am a die hard HM fan and even though I have an imported GC version I was going to get this one because nintendo blocked my freeloader from working on my wii. Possibly when I have some spare money lying around and I get the proper HM Wii game I might buy this one too but for now I think I will leave it

  6. alessandro Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 18:02

    I imported this game(sorry) for the Gamecube and I have to say that as a Harvest Moon game it's fantastic. A wonderful life was another great game in the series and also on GC but Magical Melody offers that plus more. AWL was very linear and after a while got a bit boring because there was so little to do this one is much harder and offers so much more like befriending everyone and increasing their liking of you.

    I agree with you it should be left alone though because a real new one is coming but had this come up on the Gamecube it would have been imv an essential purchase.

    I'd say it deserved a bit more than 61% but can't help but agree with all your negative points well except one. The user unfriendly one.Harvest Moon games just tend to thrust you in and I think thats what makes it fun.You learn and you grow as you understand things a bit more. Mistakes happen and it's part of the HM experience

  7. Anonymous Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 18:37

    In your previous review (for the Gamecube version, in issue 7) you gave it 85% and highly praised it.
    OK, so maybe it's just a Gamecube game with a few Wii controls added on, but surely just because of that the score shouldn't dip to 61%...

  8. Luneth-Arceus Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 19:31

    Meh, Harvest Monn has never really been my cup of tea, 61% is pretty bad though, considering the DS version got something like 79%.

  9. geiza_dobashi Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 20:27

    I suppose it'll do us until Animal Crossing turns up..

  10. Ningamer Friday 14th Mar 2008 at 21:38

    My one and only harvest moon game was on the DS, and i didn't like that so this one's definately not for me.

  11. Kirby8 Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 01:14

    I brought this as I had never brought Harvest Moon before and thought if I would buy it it should be on the Wii! It's true that it is quite user unfriendly as you get plunged in, but like alessandro i think its just life and you actually get notes for making mistakes.

    I did think of it being better than this, but I haven't yet got onto buying an animal (I just made my barn), but the Wii controls are annoying on it and don't work well, so you give up and just use buttons. I find the stamina quite annoying and don't understand how to do somethings, but there is a library in the game, which I think might help. Nevertheless, I think that it should be about 70/75%, but I have hust started.

    I knew about the other HM (tree of peace) but didn't understand the situation fully, but I'll probably get it for Christmas as it does look better (I thought the images for HM TOP was for HM MM - I didn't know there was two :( )

    BIG PROBLEM THOUGH, A MAN IN THE GAME (TERRY I THINK) SAYS PRESS THE R BUTTON)

    THERE IS NO R BUTTON!! :shock: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! :shock: NINTENDO! HELP!!!

  12. Ugibah Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 12:16

    You make it seem as if looking like a gamecube game is bad. I quite love the cartoony graphics of the gamecube and I think this looks excellent compared to the pixel graphics. Which I must say are also epic :]

  13. mightyjake Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 13:11

    My one and only harvest moon game was on the DS, and i didn't like that so this one's definately not for me.

    Same here, i just couldnt get into the game. Like Martin said, in the DS version i felt it just dumps you into the game with little idea of what to do next.

    Ill be givng this and the Wii version a miss.

  14. Nemesis X1 Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 15:53

    Shame about that really... Of course it was always going to be a Gamecube remake, but it would have been noe to see a god Harvest Moon for Wii. Oh well, there's always next time!

  15. roj_rules Saturday 15th Mar 2008 at 21:44

    :roll: if only i read your review first i normally consult all your rewiews b4 buying but not this cause i thought it was the other one that come out later this year :( that'll teach me huh

  16. Anonymous Sunday 16th Mar 2008 at 02:26

    Bought this on friday before I had seen the review and I am loving it. So glad I didnt see the review first as it probably would of made me not buy it.

    It is a lazy port, but I think the review is a bit harsh as it is still a great game.

  17. Arethor Sunday 16th Mar 2008 at 16:45

    Im considering it, seeing as alot of people say its better than AWL which was my first HM game, which I really enjoyed. The only thing holding me back is that theres a new and probably better version for the wii coming in a few months... Hopefully.

  18. meggiderry Monday 17th Mar 2008 at 18:33

    That's sad... :(

    When is the proper Harvest Moon out?,
    So I know how long I have to wait.

  19. Kirby8 Tuesday 18th Mar 2008 at 21:05

    But the thing is...... we didn't have it on the gamecube!! You need to remember that!!! In my opinion, it is addictive and you constantly think about it!!!

  20. jaco_p Wednesday 19th Mar 2008 at 21:48

    this is a cracker of a game, i got it on import about a year ago and when it was reviewed then in a previous incarnation of the magazine it got 91%. Improved on in every way from a wonderful life in my opinion and that got a gold award as well. It's far more rewarding when you have to figure things out for yourself, and if you've played a previous iteration of the game then you'll know the jist of it. If you haven't got it on import i would suggest to any1 who's a fan - you need this game!!

  21. Luchia Friday 21st Mar 2008 at 15:19

    I'm a big fan of Harvest Moon games, and even managed to hook FoMT when it released a few years back.

    I do agree however, that newbies to the series will find it murder to even get a girl/boy to like them. It took me a while, and a very useful help site (www.fogu.com/hm) before I got married.

    Maybe if there were better explanations in-game, more people would see the gem that is Harvest Moon.

  22. Kirby8 Saturday 22nd Mar 2008 at 18:12

    True!! I can't get people to like me!! I don't understand how you communicate! I mean all they say is one thing and when you speak again, they say 'see ya' or something of the sort!!

  23. MariosGirl Friday 28th Mar 2008 at 19:32

    Before reading your review I was totally looking forward to Harvest Moon Wii. Now I'm not so sure I want it. I had no idea there was a 'proper' HM coming out :oops: so Im defo. getting that one at Christmas if it's out. I know I'm getting this game as a bday prezzie though and I'm still looking forward to playing it, even if it's not gonna be the fabbest game ever made for the Wii (well, second fabbest since Mario Galaxy will forever rule) I think I might buy Harvest Moon DS but it doesn't look very pretty. Is it better when you play it? When I get Harvest Moon: Magical Melody I'll post a better comment :lol: Until then... Stay happy! :wink:

  24. Abyss Mire Saturday 5th Apr 2008 at 10:05

    What's more, they took out a lot. In the GC version you had the option to be Female. Not that I care, mind. It's great fun to play if you've played a different HM and you know how it all works.

  25. Abyss Mire Saturday 5th Apr 2008 at 10:15

    Before reading your review I was totally looking forward to Harvest Moon Wii. Now I'm not so sure I want it. I had no idea there was a 'proper' HM coming out :oops: so Im defo. getting that one at Christmas if it's out. I know I'm getting this game as a bday prezzie though and I'm still looking forward to playing it, even if it's not gonna be the fabbest game ever made for the Wii (well, second fabbest since Mario Galaxy will forever rule) I think I might buy Harvest Moon DS but it doesn't look very pretty. Is it better when you play it? When I get Harvest Moon: Magical Melody I'll post a better comment :lol: Until then... Stay happy! :wink:

    sorry for the double post, but I'm still unsure if those are outlawed here or not.

    Harvest moon DS was basically the same as FoMT (except the DS one had horrible character art) and FoMT was
    the same as HM64.

  26. Zo-Za Sunday 8th Jun 2008 at 12:16

    OMG! i didnt realise th game i wanted (the original Gamcube version) wasnt avalible in europe! :cry: i am so sad. wait, dost that mean it wont work on my wii? NO!!!!!
    However, i have to admit, i have the Wii one and its preety good. providing you dont mind not having a choice of Genders. But i'll get the proper 1 too.
    BTW.
    I'm Random!!!!

  27. gamingprincess Saturday 23rd Aug 2008 at 11:14

    Bought this on friday before I had seen the review and I am loving it. So glad I didnt see the review first as it probably would of made me not buy it.

    It is a lazy port, but I think the review is a bit harsh as it is still a great game.

    :D I also bought this game before reading the review and i got it yesterday and im loving it too. Cant wait until i get my chickens and cows.

  28. cal494 Wednesday 25th Mar 2009 at 17:46

    I love the harvest moon series but boy was i upset by this game, it was rubbish!!! My favourote harvest moon game is the one on the GameCube, Nintendo should have more harvest moon games like that one!
    (hint hint)

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