This was a very good Nintendo Direct game for me, personally, that never complemented Tales of Symphonia and Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life.

Nintendo Direct saw today that the publisher is showing off a ton of games that are sure to get nostalgic drives. For Final Fantasy 7, there was Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion, a remake of the PSP pop-up, which got its December 13 release date. For the kids of the Nintendo 64, there was more Mario Party and Pokemon Stadium than I could have ever imagined when I wanted to play, and Rare’s GoldenEye returns with both local and online multiplayer. Plus, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe gets more classic courses, Pikmin is back in a big way, and Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse is released outside of Japan for the first time.

The Gamer video today


But the ads that made me wear my pink glasses were a pair of Nintendo GameCube games, both of which I loved (maybe even like one of them) but never ended: Tales of Symphonia Remastered and Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life.

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For starters, Story of Seasons is the Harvest Moon series (under a different name because North American publisher Natsume kept the original name) and Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life was the series’ first entry on the GameCube. In it, you play as a young man who takes over his father’s farm after the death of an older man. You can marry one of three suitors, have a child, cultivate your land, go fishing, work in a mine, hang out at the pub, and more. I’ve played a lot of this game over the years, but according to Wikipedia, I only made it to the third or fourth of six chapters. In my memory, I put at least 100 hours into it, so I must have not played very well.


Harvest Moon 64 was my introduction to the series and Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town was my favourite, but I only rented a 64 and lost the Friends of Mineral Town cartridge. So, A Wonderful Life was the farming simulator I spent the most time on. The fact that it features a fully 3D world means that it can’t be as complex as other games in the series, but the world did feel weird and a little weird at times due to this transition to a new dimension. I remember a shack on the main character’s property that was always closed, and I didn’t go far enough to see it open. This was a huge mystery to me, although I read the plot summary on Wikipedia this morning and nothing seems to have happened to it at all. When you’re a kid, it can be hard to know what’s important in a game and what’s just undressing. Forget-Me-Not Valley was minuscule enough that everything seemed to have a purpose.

Tales of Symphonia was an even more scary game, as I haven’t played many JRPGs outside of the Pokemon series. Perhaps most importantly, it came with two discs suggesting a game of unfathomable length. But the aesthetic of anime really attracted me. Well, the aesthetic of anime From the opening scene You really attracted me. There is a shot in that opening where protagonist Lloyd runs across a cracked desert floor toward a towering skeletal giant, then leaps into the air with his sword clenched. That was endlessly reminiscent of me.

The actual game disappointed me a bit. Although in recent years the developers have been able to strike parity between the way the game looks in the cinematic scenes and the way it looks in action, the gameplay around that time was a big cut from the cinematics. Tales of Symphonia and the other Namco RPG that had a great premise, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean, was a major offender for me at the time. Although Lloyd and the rest of his crew looked like mature adults in the movie scene, they were short and chibi in the gameplay. The game was still fun, but my disappointment was real.


As much as these ads got me excited, I find it hard to believe that I would actually visit these games on the Switch. As an adult, I have more money to spend and more skill than I did when I was a kid, but I have a few of the most important resources: time. These games were too long for me to finish as a kid, with months of summer vacation. So while I’m excited that these games are being remastered, I may have to leave them unfinished.

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