Review by KrystalKairi
"Well that's... different, isn't it?"
This game is definitely different than other harvest moon games. Marriage has been eliminated to be replaced by an actual storyline! This game is fun in some ways but also seems tedious because if you don't get an ending for that year? Game over.
The graphics in this game aren't bad. The cel shading is quite cute. However, some of the characters look really creepy, partially because of graphics and partially because they appear to float, walking isn't quite what it used to be here.
The sound isn't really bad, but there doesn't seem to be anything special about it. As most harvest moon games, the annoying background music will again come into play. I don't have much to say here, I usually turn down the t.v. while playing.
Unlike most harvest moon games, there is actually a semi-normal storyline. You move to a new town, only to find out that in a year it'll be gone. It's your job to save it. That's where the title save the homeland comes from. There are 9 different things to do for you to save your new town.
Game play: 7
The game is quite different in how it works. Farming and ranching are no longer main goals, but side things for money or gifts. Of course, you may need your items from farming or ranching to help you with one of the endings In your game, you have one year to commence one of 9 endings. Each way has people to befriend and events to trigger. If you don't finish one by the end of the year then it's game over. There are 9 endings, and therefore 9 ways to win. Befriending people plays a major part in this game. Things happen when you befriend the right people.
Sad enough, marriage is no longer a part of game play. You cannot get married in this game at all. Some endings may cause a girl to show feelings towards you but nothing ever happens.
Raising animals in this game is quite simple. Feed, talk to, repeat daily. Farming is also quite simple, planting a seed and then waiting for it to grow. Some plants may even re grow for multiple harvests of one thing! There are tiny rectangles of land that you hoe to use for crop growing. While tilling these squares you can sometimes find some buried treasure. From money to stones you kind find all kinds of things digging around in your garden.
Your little town is fairly small. Consisting of a few shops, only the necessities are covered. You can sell certain things at certain shops to make some more money. The shops sell a variety of things from food, to seeds to animals and care products. Running around the village will lead to meeting a variety of villagers whom each have their own unique personality. Some are more friendly and warm up to you quite fast. Others need some gifts and numerous visits if you want them you like you.
Foraging is of course a part of this game. Running around to certain places will reveal many herbs, flowers and berries. Herbs appear daily while you might find partially grown berries. Come back to the partially grown flowers and berries in a few days and you'll find them to be ready to pick. Sometimes a weed might take the place of a herb, don't fear just pick the weed and hope for something better the next day.
Where would a harvest moon game be without fishing? Be prepared to fish up a lot of garbage and small fish. If you get good, you might just be headed for a better rod. Fish are everywhere in the water and trying your luck is quick and easy. Early morning and late at night are always good times for fishing.
Replay value: 6
At first, this game is great. It keeps you going, trying to figure out how to unlock all of the endings, maybe even causing you to ask some more experienced players for help. However, once you stop playing this game is hard to pick back up and jump in. You'll often forget what ending you were going for and it lacks the motivation to drive me to figure it out. Plus, it ends. Once you do all 9 of the endings there's nothing to do. Every time you win it starts up a new year. But guess what? Nobody remembers you! It's like starting again but with all of your animals and crops still intact. Basically, if it happened at your farm it'll stay at your farm. But everything else will be like it's back to the beginning.
Rent it. You'll probably find that the rental time is good enough to let you know if you'll want to play through all of the endings.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/14/06
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