The game starts up with a sheep... I mean, Wooly, lying in the rain in front of a girl's house. She takes the poor Wooly in, and the next day it's gone! It turns out that the Wooly turned into a human- the main character. The story itself is not all that great. and it just moves on while you're playing. What makes it special are all the characters! Everyone has his or her own backstory, some are silly, some are dead-serious and so on. The cast of the game is very likeable and diverse. There's your friendly-neighbourhood-dwarf-smith, a mermaid, a girl that wants to beat you and many, many more. You may not like them at the beginning, but they'll grown on you very soon. The character designs are also very nicely done, with richly detailed clothing and lots of expressions. The only character design I disliked was... the main character's.
Anyways! In direction comparison with the other two games the overall speed has been raised. Your character walks faster, the story progresses at a higher pace and all that jazz.
You prepare your fields, plant seeds, water them, harvest them and put them into shipping bin. Go to bed. Repeat. But wait! Unlike the traditional HM games, you can explore dungeons and fight monsters here! There are four main dungeons which are divided in smaller sections. The monsters you fight vary from evil apples to giant raccoons to headscarfed goblins. You can use almost every tool to fight these critters (even your watering can works!) but you can stick with traditional weapons, too. I found myself using the dual daggers most of the time, even though they prevent you from using any shields. Which is one point: Your equipment is extremely important, since the stat boost you get when you level up is fairly low. Even if you're on level 10, enemies from the first dungeon can still decimate you if you don't equip your stuff with care. Also, speaking of levels, almost everything in this game has a level. Your watering skill has a level. Your hammering skill has a level. Even your running and sleeping skills have levels! How you gain these levels? Your running level raises if you run. Your fishing level rises as you fish! It's not a bad system, but so many levels at once can be and is quiet overhelming.
Later on you get to use spells, teleports, fireballs, etc. You can only equip two at once, and they draw from your exhaustion pool and take a rather long time to recite. That means: Awesome but impractical! The only spell I used more often was the Teleport one, since it costs nothing and warps you out of any dungeon. And to your house. And even into your house.
If you're not fighting monsters or planting seeds you can interact with your colorful neighbourhood.And boy, I highly recommend you to do that! They even get angry if you don't talk to them in a long time, and some missions only became available once you're friends with X and Y. There are also several potential brides, which you have to bribe with gifts and talk to, which'll earn you their affection. I haven't married yet, but this is most likely because of my X-chromosome hindering me at finding the right one!
As for the music... the compositions are all fairly avergae, but that's okay, since you'll hear one song 30 days a season while you're on your farm, so I'm glad it didn't get stuck in my head. It's really just what you'd expect from a game like this. Nothing epic, but certainly not bad either. The voice acting is a mixed bag. There are some great performances, while others are plain grating. (The mermaid will tap on your nerves as soon as you meet her) But compared to its prequel, the voice acting is much better overall.
A more professional playtest