Review by Crusader
"It's 2:00 AM... I should really turn it off..."
You may want to let the rest of the world know that you'll be playing this game before you start, because you will get hooked. I've literally found myself up at 2:00 AM still wanting to play even though I was ready to collapse. This game is addictive. This game is the first to even be able to be classified as an RPG for the N64 (No, Quest 64 doesn't count). So until Orge Battle 64 comes out in the spring all Nintendo RPGers will have to feed their need with this one.
GAMEPLAY - 9
I give this game a 9 because of the simplicity of the controls. The game itself is very easy to figure out what you can and can't do. However, figuring out what crops make the best profit is quite diffucult. Managing your time is no small task either (especially if you get married). Therein lies the main diffifulty of this game. You'll either learn to manage your time or get sick from staying up all night. (The same applies to real life.) There are two problems with the gameplay though. The first is that the game sometimes freezes when you turn on the learning channel on the TV (easily avoidable... don't watch that channel). Second, the translation is slightly off. Neither of these detract from the game all that much though.
GRAPHICS - 10
You may ask why I give a 2D game on the N64 such a high rating for its graphics. The reason is this: It works well. This game doesn't need the fancy frills of polygons. Plus, with 2D you can save more space. This is very important in HM64. None of the NPCs are alike. Also, each character has
at least one drawing of themselves next to their text dialogue. It really adds to the game when you can clearly tell the expressions apart.
SOUND - 9
The only annoying thing about the sound in this game is that it restarts whenever you enter a new area. Otherwise the sound is a rich addition to the game. Tools make the appropriate noises and you can hear the animals. The hammer is especially fun when you get it to level 3. It makes a BIG boom.
STORY - 9
The story is very simple in nature. Your grandpa just bought the farm (sorry, bad pun) and now you inherited his farm and can do what you will with it. The subplots are very intricate and well woven though. Depending on which girl you chase after, you will get a different reaction for each of the several festivals. To put it simply, you have a farm... you get a score in two years... make it work.
REPLAY VALUE - 10
WHAT??? You want me to play it through AGAIN??? After you get your score after the end of the second year, you are given the option to continue playing. Which is the #1 improvement made from the SNES version of the game. However, if you want to court each girl or try to pick up stuff you missed... there ARE 4 save slots...
RENT OR BUY - BUY
I've heard that this game is hard to find. Well if it is, you had better snatch it up before someone else steals it from you. It is definately worth the $45 you have to shell out for it. If you don't believe me, rent it first, but again, the scarcity will hound you.
OVERALL - 10
If you can live with being addicted to an N64 game, then HM64 is the way to go. I haven't finished the first two years and I haven't gone crazy with the repetition. That's a good thing. This game is suitable for anyone and it may even teach you how to manage your time in real life. Happy Farming!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/23/00, Updated 01/23/00
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