Victor Interactive Software and Natsume had grown quite the garden by 2001 with the third release of a Harvest Moon game for the Game Boy Color. Originally, the Japanese version came in two separate cartridges with a boy and girl version but when the game came to North America they combined the stories to produce Harvest Moon 3 GBC. Would the game continue to grow or would it dry up compared to the other mobile versions? We say goodbye to the Game Boy Color in this Harvest Moon 3 GBC review.
Harvest Moon 3 GBC Plot:
Harvest Moon has always been about farming but each version has a small plot about why you’re spending your days tilling away at the soil, planting seeds, and watering the crops. In my Harvest Moon 3 GBC review, you can select to play as either a boy or girl and your choice will determine the plot surrounding the story.
The story to Harvest Moon 3 GBC is a bit of a continuation from Harvest Moon 2 GBC. In the second game, the male farmer has restored a large farm into a profitable piece of land, saving it from becoming an amusement park. Now, the mayor has arrived and asked the boy to help a girl on a nearby island restore her farm. If you choose to be the boy, you get that bit of information as you make your way to the island to help the girl out. If you select to play as the girl, the story starts with you already on the island as the boy comes to “mentor” you.
Ready for the hilarious part? If you play as the boy, you can marry one of the girls on the island and the game continues like other Harvest Moon games but if you are playing as the girl and choose to get married, the game ends! Haha, can you imagine the nightmare storm that would come with pushing out a game like that today? Every twitter warrior would be going nuts on the “sexiest” ending for the girl! I can’t imagine the shock you’d get if you played as the girl and the game just ended as you got married. I’d be pretty frustrated about it, but at least it gave me a chuckle.
I dug a little bit more into the plot and it turns out it’s kind of sad. The girl is named Sara and her father Harry has passed away. He had a large farm that could turn a profit but unfortunately, Sara doesn’t know the first thing about farming. The mayor from the second game, named Mr. Heinz has asked the boy from Harvest Moon 2 GBC to travel to the island to help Sara out as Harry was his friend.
Harvest Moon 3 GBC Gameplay:
You’ll be able to select a pet at the beginning of the game. My wife plays the Harvest Moon series and always selects the dog and always plays as a boy. If you didn’t want to pick man’s best friend, you can pick a cat, a bird, and even a pig! The pets each have different perks like the dog keeps out wild animals at night. I don’t remember what the other animals do but I think one of them brings you random amounts of money every now and then.
There are some weird things to do as you’re starting your game like selecting your blood type. Don’t ask me what the point of it is, as far as I know, there are no bonuses or perks to having a certain type. Like all the other Harvest Moon games your goal is to clean up the farm by picking weeds, removing stones, and stumps. Once your farm is clean, now is the time to dig your fields, plants your seeds, water your crops, and watch them grow so you can pluck the produce away and sell it. You can grow turnips, potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes, corn, watermelons, eggplants, peanuts, rice, wheat, and sweet potatoes. Yum! That’s a good variety for this Harvest Moon 3 GBC review but you don’t stop growing at produce. You can have a greenhouse to grow flowers and sell them to make more profit.
Where Harvest Moon 3 GBC separates itself from the pack is the island aspect. The farm is placed on a small island but if you want to buy seeds or upgrade tools, you’ll need to take the ferry to the mainland. This wouldn’t be an issue except for the ferry only runs on Monday and Thursday. My wife would run out of seeds or want to buy a tool or animal but the ferry wouldn’t be traveling that day. The worst part was that if it was raining or snowing, the ferry wouldn’t run even if it was a Monday or Thursday. So if she needed to buy something and it was Monday but it was snowing, she’d have to wait two more days and pray that the weather was nice for the ferry to run. This got old real quick during the Harvest Moon 3 GBC review and frustrated her to no end. Harvest Moon 3 GBC became boring and acted as a waiting game instead of a farming game. She’s not a patient person so if she was out of seeds, she’d complain about it immediately as her farm casually carried on.
Relationships were a nice touch to the game as it’s the only Harvest Moon on the Game Boy Color to offer marriage. Yes, you’ll be able to have the main characters marry each other if you so choose. Animals play another big part in the game and you’ll be able to raise cows, chickens, sheep, and horses. If the ferry system wasn’t in this game, I believe my wife would rank this as the best Harvest Moon on the Game Boy Color, but unfortunately, the ferry makes this game a frustrating farming waiting game.
My wife plowed through Harvest Moon for the Super Nintendo, Harvest Moon GB, Harvest Moon 2 GBC, and by the time she played Harvest Moon 3 GBC, I think she was a little farmed out. Her enthusiasm was waning and I remember her complaining a lot about that ferry!
Harvest Moon 3 GBC Review Score:
Potentially a great farming experience on the Game Boy Color with the amount of content you can experience, unfortunately, the ferry system turns into a waiting game that wears out its welcome.
Harvest Moon 3 GBC scores a 6.4 out of 10.
What would you write in your Harvest Moon 3 GBC review? Do you remember when Harvest Moon 3 GBC first came out? How did you like it compared to the other Harvest Moons on the Game Boy? Did the ferry system piss you off too? Did you play as the girl and your game end when you got married? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!