Review by steven

"The Best Harvest Moon in the series *_*"

Intro: As anyone that has read my reviews before knows, I rate games in six different categories: Graphics, Gameplay, Replay Value, Fun Factor, Challenge, and Extras. I do not compare any game to another to determine their scores, although I sometimes compare games for examples or to give you reference. Email me for strategies, codes, tips, or questions at the address above. Look for my other great reviews and stratagy guides. You’ll know their mine when you you see *_* after the short description. Thanks!

Background: Harvest Moon was originally released for the SNES in 1997. It was the first farming sim to ever be released. It became one of the best-selling SNES games ever. Awards: 1997 Nintendo Powers best SNES game.
One year later, Harvest Moon was released for the Game Boy. There was several changes made to the game including choice of Male or Female characters. Spring 2000, Harvest Moon was released for the Game Boy Color with updated graphics, and minor changes. Almost immediately after the release of Harvest Moon GBC, Harvest Moon was released for the 64. The biggest game in the series, containing huge changes and 3D graphics. In July of 2000, Harvest Moon is expected to be released for the first time on the Sony PlayStation. It will contain 3D graphics, and sport a more mature theme. In September 2000, Harvest Moon 2 will be released exclusively for the Game Boy Color. It will contain a larger world, mini-games, more animals, and may contain the marriage feature for the first time on a Game Boy system.

The Review

Graphics: The 3D graphics push the 64 to it’s limits, beautiful landscapes, and characters, as well as a 3D rotatable farm. However it does have some flaws.
Not everything is in 3D which causes trees and other items to pop up instead of smoothly entering the screen. But, the good definitely outweighs the bad, making Harvest Moon 64 an overall graphically great game . -9.3

Gameplay: Most people would walk away from buying a Harvest Moon game because it’s a farming game. They think, “Who wants to do virtual yardwork?” But what they don’t know, is that Harvest Moon is a deep game with other elements besides farming like: raising livestock, dating women, marrying women, mini-games, in game clock, festivals, four files, 40+ recipes, a photo album, customizable farm, 50+ characters, upgradable tools, pets, home expansions, a huge world, hundreds of hours of gameplay, and a story that only stops when you want it to. -10.0

Replay Value: Probably the best part of Harvest Moon is the replay value. The game basically has no end, and in my first file, I played through 13 years! It took me over 100 hours. Plus there is so many new items and areas to discover, you will probably play it for a good 200 hours before you find everything. (That is if you don’t use a players guide and cheat) Plus it’s still fun to try and Marry everyone. One little piece of advice: Just like in the other Harvest Moon games, after a certain number of years the credits will roll. Don’t just reset the game. When the credits are over you will be asked if you want to keep playing. I always answer yes because I can’t seem to do everything in that period of time. HM64 has the best replay value of any game ever made. Game Time: 100-300 hours -10.0

Fun Factor: Another Major controversy with Harvest Moon 64 is it’s fun factor. Most people don’t think farming is fun. Frankly, I don’t think farming is fun. But Harvest Moon’s farming is much different. It contains easy layouts that change to fit your needs. I’ve played Harvest Moon for over 200 hours, shipped tens of thousands of crops, and I still never get bored of doing it. The Festivals and minigames are so much fun, and I look forward to them every time. Plus, making up a daily routine is one of my favorite parts. Every time I play, I keep a notebook by me and write down every thing I did that day, which makes the experiance more realistic. Dating is another fun part of this game. All in all, this is one fun game.
-10.0

Challenge: This is the hardest area to rate any game. Harvest Moon sets down a number of challenges so bear with me. To a beginner, Harvest Moon might seem like an impossible game to beat, but in reality it’s not impossible. Most of the fun in the game comes from the challenges. For example: Setting up an efficeint routine that you will use throughout most of the game. The more you plan, the less overwhelming the game becomes. The greatest thing about HM64’s challenges is that the frustration level in this game is 0. Unlike almost every other game made, HM64 won’t frustrate you one bit. The challenge of choosing the best crops for the season can be overcome simply by a little expereince. Most people, (including me) thought that that the frustration level determines the difficulty level in a game, untill Harvest Moon. It’s amazing. OK, back to the subject... Other challenges include: getting a girl to like you, getting money and wood to expand your house, and stuff like that. Sometimes you say to yourself “Self! Where’s the challenge!” because there’s no frustration. (A little Emeril Lagasse there) Overall, HM64 has a challenge level of hard with a 0 frustration level. Perfect. -10.0

Extras: The greatest feature in HM64 is it’s extras. They make up most of the game. From 5 prospective mates to 48 recipies, HM64’s has +100 minigames, birthdays, vestivals, items, and areas. So many things keep you coming back for more. (Again and again) The extras also provide the major portion of the games challenge. Natsume really did a good job on this one. -10.0

Totals

Graphics: 9.3
Gameplay: 10.0
Replay Value: 10.0
Fun Factor: 10.0
Challenge: 10.0
Extras: 10.0

Score: 9.9

Game Time: 70-300 hours

Difficulty: Medium-hard


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/03/00, Updated 06/03/00


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