Review by christmusishere
"Hey. It's a fun farming sim."
As my first venture into the wonderful world of farm-sims, I'll have to say Harvest Moon 64 is a keeper. This is definitely one great, albeit weird, gaming experience you'll ever have.
Since Harvest Moon is a farming simulation, the main attraction here is, well, the farming. Planting, watering, and harvesting your crops can be tedious, but the upgrades given to your farming tools make things easier on you as you progress through the game. Another major part of this game is the dating sim side of Harvest Moon. You have the opportunity to woo five gals in the game's small town. While this may not be your idea of excitement, this feature quickly becomes addicting and you feel a major sense of accomplishment when you marry. The gameplay, in one word, is amazing, and aside from a few shoddy mini-games (horse racing in particular), everything about playing this game is FUN.
Harvest Moon 64 begins with the death of your grandfather and you the player inheriting his farm. When you arrive at the farm, you find it run down, shoddy, and full of rocks, weeds, and tree stumps. It's your job to return your grandfather's farm to its former glory, and forge and a new life for yourself in the process. While the storyline isn't as deep as the ocean(which isn't always a good thing, mind you), it gets the job done and it's solid. Plus, the random festivals help flesh out the personalities of each of the villagers, and I promise you, you will grow attached to most, if not all of them.
This is where Harvest Moon excels. Every single character, cow, horse, chicken, *insert farm animal here* will completely bowl you over with cuteness. And it's not only how everything looks, everything sounds realistic, too. Cows will lovingly moon when you milk them, horses neigh with happiness, and chickens cluck with fervor. The town and the festivals are filled with catchy tunes that you just might start humming. The graphics might not be the most detailed, but they are colorful, vibrant, and they just plain click with the rest of the flow of the game. This part of Harvest Moon 64 definitely deserves a 10.
Harvest Moon 64 never really ends. You can get married, have a kid, and do all of the family stuff and attend all of the festivals, but you can spend hours perfecting your farm. The real goal of Harvest Moon is to eventually turn that run down farm into a moneymaking powerhouse. This can take many hours. Plus, you can replay the game and see the different paths each of the eligible bachlorettes of the village will take you down. This another big strength of Harvest Moon 64: lots of hours of fun.
This is one doozy of a game. If you still have a Nintendo 64, then you should definitely look around online for it or at your local game store. If you don't, hope and pray that Nintendo releases the game on the Wii as a Virtual Console title. In my opinion, this is probably the best Harvest Moon, and a very unique experience you can't have with any other game. Buy it, short and simple.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/09/07
Game Release: Harvest Moon 64 (US, 11/30/99)
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