Review by The President
"The worst of the series, but is still good."
When you think of the Harvest Moon series, you think of growing millions of crops, getting on the good side of the ladies, a dog with a red bandana, Hot Springs, and in time, getting a child.
Almost all of these things were striped away in the newest installment of the Harvest Moon series. Save the Homeland does not live up to most of the Harvest Moon standards, but it is still a good game.
You are a young man, who went back to your grandfather's farm to help the neighboring village, which shall be torn down for an amusement park unless a miracle happens. That is why you have those three elves, to help you, along with your fellow townsmates, to find something that would stop the amusement park developers from destroying this little piece of paradise. To do this you have one year (instead of the usual 3 that the other games give you.) Not the most original story line, but it has the main ideas of the other Harvest Moon game stories.
This are some of the worst graphics I have seen on the PS2, though that could be just because of the cel-shading. Though cel-shading makes it look worse, it gives the game a cartoonish feel that the other Harvest Moon games had. You can see all the differences in the crops and when it is time to sell them.
In this installment of Harvest Moon, you of the big differences would be is that FARMING PLAYS LITTLE TO NO IMPORTANCE IN THE GAME. Unless you do not want to beat the game in the year. If you choose to put your whole work into the farm, something different would get your attention. Instead of putting your crops inside a shipping bin, taken daily, at one time, you can give your crops right to the consumer, at any time to stores are open. No middleman. I like that.
I also found that times seems to go slower in this game then the others. I find that a whole day would be around 5 minutes rather than 3 and a half. Also, unlike the other games, you must work to get your dog and horse. Which I didn't care for. Because f you have the horse in the beginning, you would be able to accomplish much more in your day.
I found the sound to be quite enjoyable, though I see that is can get repetitive and annoying if you play through whole seasons in one stretch (like I did.) Each season has new music and when you go to the Brownie part of the village, you hear only one type of music, which I think was the worst music in the game (and if you want a horse you go there a lot.) When the sun goes down the music stops, which is a nice touch, though is it been done before.
Fun Factor: 8
I could easily see me not playing this game, because, I really do not think is game lives up to Harvest Moon standards. However, a new person to the Harvest Moon series should get this game because I found it easier than other HM games. However, if you want a challenge for a Harvest Moon master, I suggest you fire up for SNES or PS1 Harvest Moon games.
Buy or Rent?
I suggest to rent this game, because you can easily get more for your money on Harvest Moon: Back to Nature.
Fun Factor: 8
Reviewers Score: 7/10
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 04/11/02, Updated 04/11/02
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