Review by Kouga
"A little too simple...."
Harvest Moon, originally released waaaay back on SNES, is a series, strangely enough about farming. Now one might inquire as how farming might be in ANY way a vaguely interesting game, but you know, it's really surprising how it is actually quite fun. It's also very addictive. This is the Playstation 2 incarnate of the game, and although it's got the same charm as all the others, it just seems to be a bit too simplistic for my tastes. Of course, it's not exactly targeted at my age group, but I guess it would be the perfect game for the little kids, giving them nice, peaceful, nonviolent games. So when you read my review, take into mind that this is from my point of view, and that if this is a great game, just not as appealing to me as much.
The game, obviously enough, revolves around being able to raise your farm. But of course, that makes it too easy even for little kids since you don't have any fixed costs or complex stuff in this game. But what you do have is a little bit of pressure. Your town is going to be bulldozed in a year by [insert random evil corporation here] to build a theme park. That means the happy little town is going to go bye bye. But, just as things seem to be at their worst, you appear! The magical Harvest Goddess enlists your task where you will save the town by farming! I know, it's corny, but it's no big deal once the game gets underway. Once you begin, you have nothing to start with besides the land, a few seeds, and a couple of dollars. With this you must develop your quaint little shack into a bustling farm with livestock (no pigs though, eating meat is apparently wrong in this game) and eight fields. From this you must somehow save the homeland. Yeah.
Anyway, you must raise a farm, while at the same time undertake one of the (seven?) quests to save your town from becoming the next Wally World. Farming is ultra-simplistic. Buy the seeds, use the hoe to till the ground, plant the seeds, water, then water every day, and harvest when the crops are ripe. Sell them for $$$. With money, you can buy more seeds, livestock, food for the livestock, and gifts and such. To be honest actually, once you get enough money it really isn't an issue anymore. You should focus more on doing what you have to to save the homeland. IMO the game is good simplistic, yet at the same time so simplistic that it also restricts the fun. Especially compared to the other Harvest Moons, where you can mine, and there festivals and such. And worst, YOU CAN'T MARRY in this one.. :(
Let me be blunt: the characters have no depth in this game. It only seems that only the girls even have personalities. Everyone else, save for a few, is just like a walking block of wood. It would have been better if they had given everyone more dialogue, but they didn't. Bleh. It detracts from the gameplay a bit because the characters are so bland IMO.
The cel-shading in this game is good, but it's still overshadowed by a lot of other games on PS2. I never really cared for graphics that much anyway heh.
Play Time/Replay Ability: 7/10
There are seven endings, so you could play this game for quite some time, but frankly, it feels just like how The Sims feels, except you're running a farm: it gets repetitive. Horribly repetitive considering everything is always the same, since well, the people don't really have any character, so they don't offer any entertainment, and of course the farming is the same. What this game needs is some more random events/disasters. But since the only ones are people coming to your house, it quickly grows stale.
I guess my main gripe is that this game was obviously made for little kids, and thus, is ultra-simplistic. So, it is a good game to buy the tykes, and can be interesting for older people too, but it gets boring after a while since it's just the same routine over and over and over and over.........
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/03/04
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