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I have a long history with Harvest Moon. I loved the first game, I really loved Harvest Moon 64...but then the GCN's A Wonderful Life let me down and it's never really recovered since then (although its hot cousin Rune Factory summoned me back to the farm). Friends of Mineral Town is a gem from that lost era of awesome Harvest Moon goodness, and from the couple of hours I already sunk into it (in a single play session), I can tell that this game has that addictive pull that the best of them have. So let's talk about it here!
Top three for sure (excluding Rune Factory games). I enjoyed it a lot...farm, make friends, partake in festivals, marry a girl, etc. There are a couple of mines to explore too (okay, maybe just one...don't remember).
This and 64 are my favorite of the franchise. Though they are in many ways the same-ish game. 64 is probably my favorite but FoTM is probably more accessible (by virtue of gameplay development and actually being on the VC).
Either way both games devoured a ton of my time when I first played them.
Not really. It has the same art style but the town is totally different and there are a number of new characters or different roles for characters you recognize. It's almost like an Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask situation. If you can play it somehow I highly recommend it.
@Stephen That's funny that you mention that, because playing FoMT today gave me that exact same comparison. The characters retain their similar personality traits, but their jobs/roles are all mixed around, and they even wander about at certain times of the day like in MM!
I do have a PS2 so I'd like to try BtN one of these days. But for now, FoMT is doing a good job scratching that itch. I really miss how they used to make these HM games...it just hasn't been the same since around the GCN era.