By Katie . June 16, 2006 . 11:09am
Jack is back! Hot on the heels of the latest, and possibly greatest, edition of Harvest Moon to date – Harvest Moon: Magical Melody for Gamecube – everyone’s favorite fresh-faced farmer once again descends upon Forget-Me-Not Valley and neighboring Mineral Town to meet and greet faces new and familiar, grow a multitude of quality crops, raise livestock into health and happiness, and as always, take on the little task of saving nature from peril.
Say ‘howdy!’ to Harvest Moon DS, coming August 15th from the tireless producers at Natsume. The line of formerly farming-centric sims has slowly amassed a bushel of features like few series before it, and with Harvest Moon DS, we get the cream of the proverbial crop – more dating, with your choice of a goddess, a witch, a mermaid and more to shower with gifts till marriage; more child-rearing, as you progeny learns the trades and arts of properly befriended townsfolk; more land development, with fodder, lumber, and stone providing a building material to match any budget; and more search and rescue, as you seek the 101 missing Harvest Sprites to break the Princess Witch’s curse gone wrong on the poor, spirited-away Harvest Goddess.
There are such an endless number of things to see and do in Harvest Moon DS that we might forget the real stars of this show – the animals! While the upper screen graphics look fairly unchanged since the GBA outings, one glimpse of the Touch Screen reveals the cutest digitized animals this side of cute.com. The chickens, cows, sheep, and lesser-seen ducks are now rendered in ‘aww’-inspiring polygonal glory, and even look to smile if you pet them with the stylus.
This time, the female fans will have to settle for a male persona, as the game comes sans Jill (who, it can be joked, happened to fall down some manner of hill), and baby will have to be a boy, too. But all said, with both the valley and the town to explore and cultivate, and new ways to improve the growth and quality of your yields by leveling up seeds much as you do your tools, we’ll be hotly anticipating Harvest Moon DS over the summer months to come!