Review by SilverWolf7

"Simply Amazing"

Without a doubt, this is one of the best games on the Nintendo 64 I have ever played. Who knew you could have so much fun running a farm? Harvest Moon 64 is the first game of the Harvest Moon series I had ever played, and sparked my interest in playing any other Harvest Moon game I would come across. And how much I enjoyed Harvest Moon 64 is the reason for why I'm typing up this review. Although, please keep in mind that this review is based off my opinions of the game, but I'm also trying to bring forth some of the facts in the process.

Story

A simple storyline that I have yet to see in any other game, or even any other game to come remotely close to, outside of the Harvest Moon series. You are brought to a village that has a nearby old, derelict farm that was once your grandfather's, who had recently passed away. Now it is your job to bring the farm back to life and make it the prosperous farm that it once was when in your grandfather's hands. Your main goal is to impress your father when he comes to visit and rate your efforts for getting the farm back on its feet.

But outside of tending to crops and caring for various animals, there's a whole new and unique environment to explore, and many characters to befriend. And with this, a broad range of events and celebrations within the game, along with a touch of love. There are five eligible girls that you can woo, and maybe to one day marry. And with that said, it will take a good amount of work to reach that red heart of affection for your bride-to-be.

Graphics

Despite some of the occasional graphical issues with buildings, the graphics are excellent. The characters don't look blocky at all. They actually look smooth, similar to clay. And whenever you speak to one of the characters, a window with text pops up to show what they're saying along with a nice picture of the character. And honestly, the pictures look great and do a wonderful job capturing the facial expressions of the characters. Also, the graphics in the surrounding environment give you a nice feel of the area. Although the graphics may not exactly define the word “realistic”, they add a nice touch to the game and go well with the general style.

Music and Sound

There's a good variety of music and sounds in Harvest Moon 64. For example, every season has its own background music that compliments the season itself. It gives you a new sense of the season and makes the game all the more enjoyable. And in my opinion, the music played isn't that bad at all. It gives the game just the right feel. Then there's plenty of sounds that accompany each area. Such as when rushing home late at night to get your well-deserved rest, you can sometimes hear in the background crickets chirping or an owl hooting as your feet trample on the ground. Or on a hot, summer afternoon when foraging in the forest, you can hear the chorus of insects.

Controls

The controls are basic and you'll find that they're easy to adjust to. You quickly catch on to what you can do and how to do it. You can pick up the controls in a matter of minutes after starting the game. This makes the game itself easy to work with. Personally, I don't recall ever having a problem with the controls.

Gameplay

You have several tools to use to help you on your way to a successful farm, and due to the simplicity of the controls, you should have no problem going through your daily routine of chores. You can use your axe to turn stumps into usable logs, your hammer to smash rocks and boulders to pieces, your hoe to till plots of soil to plant crops, and your sickle to slice weeds, all to keep a clean farm.

Then there's your animals that you have to care for. This usually consists of brushing your cows, sheep, and your horse with the brush, placing fodder in the feed boxes for your cows and sheep, and tossing feed into the feed boxes for your chickens.

Then there's wooing one of the five eligible ladies in town, each one with her own likes and dislikes. And after marrying your soul mate, you can end up caring for your own son. All in all, the gameplay extraordinary.

Difficulty

I'd have to say that out of all the challenges in Harvest Moon 64, the most difficult aspect was managing the time. Shortly after beginning the game, you'll notice that the days go by rather fast, thus keeping you on your toes at all times. But with this in mind, such a unique challenge can keep you playing for hours on end when trying to reach all your goals before the day is up. But for overall difficulty of the game, this game can prove to be even the slightest bit difficult for anyone of any age group.

Replay Value

After your first few minutes of playing the game, you'll find yourself coming back for more. This is one of those games that really just sucks you in. There's all sorts of things to do and see in the game, such as seeing special events, getting all the pictures in the photo album, finding all the recipes, etc. After you've completed one day, you'll want to complete another. Eventually, you'll find yourself playing the game for hours on end, and have trouble putting the game down. Once you get your hands on it, good luck trying to let go of it.

Summary

To summarize my thoughts for Harvest Moon 64 in just a few words: Simply amazing.

From watering my seasonal crops to racing in the Horse Races, I enjoyed every minute of the game and consider it a must-have for any Nintendo 64 owner. Just about every aspect, if not all, in the game are great and it was well worth every penny. For my suggestion, I would say to buy the game if you can get your hands on a copy.

Harvest Moon 64 defines the true meaning of the saying, “You reap what you sow.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/02/05


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