Review by KrystalKairi
"How do you not love this game?"
Call me crazy, but when my brother first rented Harvest Moon 64 I thought it was a game about werewolves. I don't know why, but I did. Was I ever surprised when I started watching him play and found out it was actually about farming.
Alright, by todays standards this doesn't look like much. But this game is for the N64. And considering that, the graphics are pretty good. You can tell what everything is and the people look pretty good. The game is very bright.
The sounds in the game are quite nice, but the background music is kind of annoying. In summer I often want to kill the stupid bug that makes those squeaky sounds. The other seasons, however, have songs that really fit the season and make it sound complete.
You start off by inheriting your grandpas farm. It's been used in a lot of harvest moon games now, but this is one of the first so I'll let it slide. Besides, having to clear your farmland provides a bit of an extra challenge early on and makes the game a bit more realistic.
Game play: 9
The game play is where every harvest moon game shines. The game is designed to be non-linear and you can do basically anything you want.
Your farm starts out rather bare but play your cards right and you can get some house extensions, a green house and even a free horse!
The game has a very nice farming aspect. You have to plant and water the seeds to make the crops keep growing. While some crops will have many re growths some you'll have to re plant over the season. The 3x3 patch of seeds makes it easy enough to make money off of a pack of seeds but still not enough that you'll want to plant more than one pack of seeds at a time.
Then, there's the ranching. Although the animal selection is pretty basic, it all works. Obviously you have to feed the animals to keep them in good enough condition to not get sick. If your animal gets sick you'll want to cure it as soon as possible so it doesn't die. After all, no one likes someone who lets their animals die.
Your cows give milk depending on how much they like you. The more they like you the better milk you get. Brushing and talking to your cows every day will make them like you more. Sheep will give you wool a few times a season. If you make your sheep like you enough they will give you better wool which sells for a lot more.
Then there's the chickens. Putting the feed in their spots and picking them up will be enough to make your chickens like you. Not that it really matters how much your chickens like you, they'll give eggs as long as they're fed.
Foraging for wild plants is never easier as the same plant will grow in the same spot all season. Selling the items you don't need will get you some extra cash. Flowers make good gifts for the girls in town while other items may also make good gifts for certain people. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Wild plants also make some cheap food for your dog.
Fishing is a simple task, but hard to get any good fish from. The fish can be small, medium or large and have different prices accordingly. Fishing isn't the best way to earn money but it's certainly one of the easiest.
Don't think this game is all work and no play though. Check out the local dating scene and you may just find your match. There are 5 eligible females looking for a guy in town: Elli, Popouri, Ann, Karen and Maria. Each girl has a distinct personality with their own set of likes and dislikes. Elli is afraid of bugs while Maria likes them. You can find them hanging around in their favorite spots. To woo them, talk to them every day and give them gifts they like. Pretty soon they'll be falling head over heels for you. Want to know how much these lovely ladies like you? Check out the color of the heart when you talk to them. They start out at white, do you think you can get them up to pink? Once they're at pink, they should be ready and willing, Get the blue feather and propose. A wedding ceremony is on its way.
Take your time wooing the girl you like and you may regret it. Every girl in town might get married to one of the guys. After you get married, you can encourage other couples and witness other marriages.
A bit after marriage (if you have the baby bed) your wife will get pregnant! Wait some more and soon you'll have a little bundle of joy. Other couples can have their own baby, each with a distinct twist in appearance.
Throughout the game there are many festivals to attend. Each one has a different theme and you can sometimes receive things from attending them. Most festivals are in the town square but some festivals are in the church, the bar, the beach or various other places. Some festivals take on a date type approach and if you can find the girl you like you may receive a few bonus affection points. Winning a festival sometimes results in a new picture for your photo album, which starts out quite bare.
What I've talked about isn't close to everything you can do in this game, and remember, you don't even have to do anything you don't want to.
Replay value: 9
Playing this game is fresh and exciting, there's always something to do. I can't wait until I once again own this game.
Buy it. Find it online or at an old/used game shop but buy it. Easily my favorite game for the N64 is this game. It has a long life span and brings something no other game seems to have. If you own an N64 you need to own this game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/31/06
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