Review by Orkinman2002
"Same Idea, New Game"
The harvest moon series has always been known as the ''cute'' little farming game. Or the RPG for the whole family. That is true, but this game is not a simple kiddy game. In the past games there wasnt too much change from game to game. HM64 (Harvest moon 64 in case you dont know) was an improvement from the SNES Harvest Moon. New story, some new crops and new village lay out etc. HM:BTN (Harvest Moon Back to Nature) on the playstation also progressed the series in the same type of way. But with Harvest Moon Save the Homeland a whole lot has changed.
You still do your basic farming and raise animals and all that good harvest moon stuff. In save the homeland you need to stop the evil amusment park from opening on the little town. By making friends with certain people, you can discover ways to complete your objective and save the town. In fact, you can save the town in 9 different ways. All 9 ''endings'' are progressed through little cutscene events and meeting certain objectives in the game. Although some ''endings'' can be completed in a very short time, theres no need to be in a realy big hurry, you have a whole year till construction starts. But in this game, the endings stop you from playing onward. Once you complete and ending you can start on Spring 2nd again and beat it all the other 8 ways. When you start over in spring you keep all your crops, animals, addons, items and affection levels, but relationships, key items and events are all started over. Other than events saving the homeland, you can be a part of other sub plots and mini events. This makes Harvest Moon save the homeland a game with a good story.
Harvest Moon Save the Homeland is the first of the series to be in 3D. They use the Cel shaded graphics to keep the cartoonish feel to the game. The graphics work very well with the game. There are changing weather patterns and the sun and moon rise and set. Although it isnt gonna set any new standards, the graphics are very well done.
Although they leap into 3D in Save the Homeland, the game plays pretty much the same. The controls are almost identical to BTN. The camera can be kind of annoying, although only minor, it moves slow and freezes time. Also it only moves if theres room, if theres a tree in the way, forget moving the camera at all. Some of the obvious changes are there are less crops. I really enjoyed the more complex things of BTN and i really loved the marriage part of the game. They took out mining, you no longer have to clear your field and there are no festivals. Although i was reall mad at Natsume at first for making these changes, it proves to still be a very good game. Its like a trade off, you dont marry, but the people are more complex, theres not that many crops, but theres part time work and people you need to see every day. I really hope they change the marriage aspect of the game back but the game is great and the changes arent enough to make the game any worse than the previous ones.
Theres really nothing wrong with the music, its pretty much the same all the time, and its nothing that special either.
This game is good, but its not for everyone, if you like first person shooters and action games, you might hate this. If your new to the series, definatley play it before buying. But if you are a Harvest moon veteran, go buy it right now.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/27/01, Updated 11/27/01
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