Review by Lance Rocket
"A real Harvest Moon?"
Being the die hard Harvest Moon fan I am, I got this game as soon as possible. And, needless to say, I was very disappointed. Natsume has taken every aspect out of Harvest Moon that gamers loved and replaced it with some sort of strange and VERY simplistic game. There are 9 endings. Few of them require you to do ANY farming what so ever. You could arguably beat the game without making a single coin.
All of the farming is basically dead. As I said, you don't need to do any of it, and when you do do it, it's quite simple. Most of the game is focused upon making relationships with the townsfolk. Most of the townsfolk are quite easy to make friends with. I had all of them as friends by the first spring.
They have completely destroyed marriage. There is no love at all. You don't even need to bother with the females in the game, although it is often necessary to complete one of the endings. I think, one of my favorite things about Harvest Moon was marriage. I liked to start new games and marry a new girl each time. In fact, when I saw the game advertised for the SNES in Nintendo Power many moons ago, the marriage aspect was what made me buy it. And I know that many other gamers are going to be disappointed with this too. I almost didn't opt to buy the game when I heard that marriage wasn't going to be included.
As far as the gameplay goes, the graphics are stunning, and comparably much nicer than the other HM games. The story line is nice, but the challenge is absolutely bogus. The sound is Ok, but as Harvest Moon games tend to go, the music tends to get very repetitive and often annoying. The controls are very nice. This is the first time you can cycle through all your tools and items without having to press start. And, you never run out of space for items/tools. However, it is without a doubt the most difficult when it comes to trying to hit a specific spot of land while farming. They also have made the game harder by not telling you exactly whether or not it's going to rain. They tell you there's an ''80% chance or rain'' or something. (Usually when I get 80% chance of rain, it doesn't rain, and 20% rain, it does rain. Imagine that?)
All in all, this is a very simple game, and not what gamers would be expecting as a follow up to Harvest Moon. There aren't any festivals, there isn't a mayor, there's no marriage, there are a very few amount of people who live in this town. You will make friends with all of them very quickly and be done with the majority of the endings towards the middle of Fall. (Having done no farming.)
Rent it. It's a nice game, but it won't take long for you to complete all the endings.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 04/01/02, Updated 04/01/02
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