harvest moon: a new beginning – post #2: mid-game

Hey all,

It’s been a while since I was last able to blog but, real life has been catching up with me. I’m a university student in my final year and my finals are actually starting on Saturday. Right now, I just can’t focus on my notes anymore and decided I’ll attempt yet again to make an entry. I’ve started several times before only to lose my train of thought midway through and abandon my ramblings thereafter.

I previously promised a follow-up post to Pokemon Y as well as Harvest Moon : A New Beginning. And, honestly, I thought that I’d finish posting about Pokemon before I returned to Harvest Moon. But, I was pretty worn from my attempts to catch every Pokemon on my journey and returned to Harvest Moon for a break. And, it’s been a good break so far. Almost too good. It makes for a good break from exams and Pokemon. I will eventually continue Pokemon and probably just continue on the journey, catching what I can and returning post-Elite Four to complete my Pokedex. But, until then, the game of the moment is Harvest Moon : A New Beginning.

There is something absolutely addictive about this game. I’ve not felt this way about a Harvest Moon game since Friends of Mineral Town. Tale of Two Towns felt tedious and every day felt like it dragged on forever. Foraging from Konohana to Bluebell took forever and I spent so much time foraging that I never bought anything. It was so painful. I only got so far as Summer before I stopped playing. As much as I want to go back to it, it’ll probably be a while before I feel like picking it up to play. But, I feel that this Harvest Moon game has a much better balance than before.

The game starts out with you having a lot of time on your hands because there aren’t that many people to interact with, places to explore or things to do. It would be good to use this time to hoard foraged items, go fishing and socialise more. I stupidly wasted all the time sleeping because I wanted to get on with the seasons more quickly and I guess a part of me wished I could have that time to sleep in real life. :/ That aside, I find that this makes for a really good balance because right now, I’m about mid-way through the game and time is really of the essence. I’m furiously trying to make up for all that lost time while I also get on with the game. Originally, I thought I’d lose about two months because I didn’t stockpile Honeycomb in Spring. But, I was pretty lucky and managed to finish Restoration Plan #2 sometime in Fall. I thought I wouldn’t make it but got pretty lucky.

I think that part of the excitement I feel for the game is attributed to the residents whom you are enticing to your town. No matter how much I read about the other characters online, nothing quite beats actually seeing them move in and unlocking everything that comes with them. Some of them are pretty off-putting like Klaus seems pretty condescending but his house unlocks the mine. It’s actually taken me a long time to finally get Rod whom I’ve every intention of dating. Even though I already have two green hearts with Neil and Allen. ^__^;;; In my defence, they’re really easy to befriend since gifting Fodder and Herb Soup respectively increases their friendship points by a fair amount. And, I needed to befriend Neil for the Farm Bell! ^___^;;;

I really like the overall balance of this game. I don’t find myself doing one thing too much or having to spend too much time each day working. I usually sleep in-game around 11PM and manage to get everything in or as much as I can before I’ve got half a heart of Stamina left. :3 My mornings are dedicated to farmwork – watering crops and animal care. Then, I forage and socialise. Depending on whether I need to go to the shops, I may alternate the order. But, I think things can be done in good time, depending on the day itself (ie Festival Day, Event, etc.). And, in my extra time, Fishing is great.

I do find animal care in the game fairly tiring. I guess it’s the same in every Harvest Moon game but, the amount of time I take to take care of my 3 cows, 2 sheep and 2 alpacas makes me get slightly antsy because it makes me feel like it’s a bit of a waste of time each time I brush/clip/milk the animals. Admittedly, I’m not a patient person but, I don’t understand why I have to watch the animations each time. I have not gotten the Speedy line of tools so perhaps it’s just my own frustration with the slow lower-level tools. That makes me sound like I only have livestock but, I assure you that I have chickens too. 4, to be exact. I don’t find this happening as much with chickens though giving a treat to either livestock or the chickens does seem like it takes some time too.

I find even in terms of finances within the game, it’s easier to spend and make money. You can’t make any of the animal feed with the exception of Fodder. Hence, you’d reguarly spend on Chicken Feed and Pet Food. Furthermore, in order to restore the town, you have to purchase blueprints and occasionally, materials. This, in my opinion, can get pretty spendy. I’ve found myself reducing my gold by almost 90% after one trip to Rebecca’s. :/ But, on the bright side, I think it’s actually not too hard to make money either. In the beginning, I was averaging about 2000G per day. That sounds really sad but I think having animals really boosts your income. Right now I earn at least 5000G each day. My animals are a really good source of stable income. It’s just time-consuming, in my opinion.

One other thing that I find time-consuming and just plain annoying is the access to the rucksack. The rucksack itself is great. I love that it’s big and you can sort and combine like items. But, having to access the rucksack through the X button is really irritating. I don’t understand why there isn’t a shortcut for something that would be so regularly used in-game. The Y button doesn’t seem to be used for anything. Why couldn’t that have been a shortcut to the rucksack? I just don’t understand the rationale for me having to dig through my rucksack to find that one item I want to gift. And should the person walk away from me just as I want to give it to them, I have to pick it up and repeat the entire process. I find this entire process pointless and inefficient. I can only hope that future Harvest Moon games will have better access to the Rucksack. Personally, even the having the L button was great as in Tale of Two Towns. So, I don’t understand why a Rucksack shortcut was done away.

Anyway, I’m currently at the tail-end of Fall Year 1 and am on Restoraion Plan #3. I’m almost done; I’ve just got a couple more objectives to complete. At this point, I have managed to unlock Klaus, Tina, Rod, Allen and Clement. I’ve still got a bit to go but, I don’t think it’s too much to do and I’m excited to continue on the game. I will probably blog again about Harvest Moon : A New Beginning so, stay tuned if you would like to hear what else I have to say about it. 🙂

I will also leave you with some screencaps I managed to take. I use my camera to take photos of the scenes so I do apologise if the images aren’t of amazing quality. And, I apologise for leaving you with just two shots. I don’t necessarily play my 3DS with a camera on hand so I have missed out several events to picture but, I do hope that these will be enough to satisfy your Harvest Moon appetite until next time! 🙂

 Dunhill’s usual Introduction

 Meet Allen – Top Stylist

Cheers,
Yen

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