Review by HM Master
"The reason for my username and the reason for playing video games"
As you might be able to tell, I love Harvest Moon. Every HM game is incredible, but this one stands out. This one is one of my three favorite games of all time (Ocarina of Time and Chrono Cross the others) and was the first Harvest Moon game I played. As some know, there was a flood at the warehouse, so the game was delayed. That was devastating to me; because I had been doing everything harvest Moon, waiting for that game. Well when EBGames called saying they were holding a copy, I literally exploded. Now almost four years later, I still play this game. Although I have gotten most everything that is possible, there is more I haven't done. There are a pretty good amount of Harvest Moon games, with the first one on Super Nintendo. This game is pretty hard to get now, and may be pretty expensive. Okay my review is below but remember that the Final Score is NOT an average.
Gameplay (10/10) - Whew get ready for a big, big review on this. Okay, so in HM your character is a farmer, and at the starting, you have a lot of work to do. You have a set of tools to work with, and many new ones that can be bought. When you use a tool enough, it will upgrade to silver then gold. Those tools are more powerful and can make your chores go faster. There are four different seasons, thirty days in each. During each season, there are different crops to grow. When you plant these, they need to be watered every sunny day until they grow. Then once they have, you ship them to get money. While it is easy, eventually you’ll be growing a lot of crops and making the big bucks. Next is animals. You can have sheep, cows, chickens, a dog, and a horse. They go in different places around your farm, and can be taken out. You need to feed them and brush them everyday to keep them healthy. If you don't, they will die. Chickens produce eggs, cows produce Milk, and sheep produce Wool. The more your animals like you, the bigger the milk and wool (Not eggs) and the more money you make from them. When you leave your farm, there is a town next to it. There are many shops to buy things and people to talk too. The Ranch is there too, along with a mountain, wilderness, and a mine. The ranch is where you get animals and food. You can forage things from the wilderness (different each season) for money, and mine in the winter. Your small house can have add-ons and a green house near it, and you need to chop lumber to get it. There are festivals which take place on certain days each season, such as Horse and Dog Races, the Harvest Festival, and New Years Festivals. There is a heck of a lot to do in this game. You can also fish! Okay, now for marriage. There are five different girls that you can woo then marry. Giving them gifts they like raises their heart meter (different colors depending on how much they like you will be shown in their text box) and giving them gifts they hate lowers it. The more they like you, the more they will talk to you and even stop by your house. When you’re married, your wife can have a kid and also help around the farm. There are also recipes to collect, and raffle prizes. When you seem bored because everything is done, there is usually something to do in the game of Harvest Moon. This is definitely the strongest part of the game, and is only surpassed by the newer HM games.
Story (7/10) - Well, the story is very basic. Your Grandfather had passed away and your Dad is too busy to run the farm, so you do! That is about it. When two years are up, your Dad will come back and evaluate you, but those are the only times you see him. This game doesn't really need much of a story though, because it is based on Gameplay and replay, not a complicated story. Would it be better with a longer story? Well maybe it would be cool, but it is perfect the way it is.
Graphics/Sound (6/10) - Okay i am reviewing this game like it was new back in 1999. Unfortunately, the graphics were bad even for back then. There are MANY glitches, that while being fun to play around with, can mess up the game or make it look like it was slapped together. The animals and people look alright, nothing too good but not bad. The characters in their text box look pretty cool, especially with the crazy faces they sometimes make. It's too bad this game didn't take full potential of the Nintendo 64 graphics. Okay, the sound. Well, the sound is horrible. The same tune plays throughout the season, making only four tunes in the game except for town and cinema tunes (but you'll hear the season themes the most). The only one I like is the starting song (the funeral one). Even worse though, when you go in a shop or house then come out, the music loops back to the starting. So you may hear the fall tune starting over 10 times in one day! That can get extremely annoying. Feel free to turn the volume down. Luckily in the newer HM games, Natsume makes the sound a lot better.
Play Time/Replayability (10/10) - Well, i already explained a lot in the Gameplay section, but I’ll sum it up here. This game never ends, so you can play for as long as your heart desires. You do get evaluated after your second year, but then you can keep on playing after that. I have had too many files to count on this game. It is fun to start over and try to get things faster and do stuff you never did, and marry different girls. The game lets you save four files, so in order to marry all of them you'll have to delete a file. This is not a game that you can just play a little of it and then stop. Once you start playing it, you will not stop. I stayed up really late many, many times. When I let friends play it, it is hard to get them to stop. This is a game that you'll keep as long as possible, and is still fun to play today. A lot of time goes into this game, and soon you'll look up and be surprised to find it is hours later. Yes like everyone says, you will be saying ''Just one more day'' over and over.
Well here is the conclusion. Even though this game is old, everyone needs to have it. If you hate farming, you'll like this game. If you hate RPG's, you'll like this game. Even if you hate video games, I am sure you'll like this one. Harvest Moon games are the most amazing and heartwarming games ever made. Even with the bad graphics and sound, HM64 still shines through as a real winner. Even if I don't have a Nintendo 64 or I stop playing Games (Yeah right) I will still always keep this game. It is full of happy memories and fun times. Anyone who plays this game will fall in love with it, its impossible not to. This game is extremely highly recommended from me. I'll leave you with these final words. In a time where we have incredible RPG’s and action games, awesome graphics and complicated stories, don't forget about the simple but very compelling game called Harvest Moon 64. Harvest Moon forever!
Play Time/Replayability- 10/10
Final Score- 10/10!!!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/01/04
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