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.
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.