Review by SilverWolf7

"Dare I ask, but what just happened?"

As much as I like the Harvest Moon series, I wasn't really impressed with this game. And for those that absolutely love this game and are ready to jump all over me, just let me say why it isn't exactly my favorite HM game of all time.

Story

Continuing the HM tradition, you have to make your way in life by working on a farm. But this time, there's a slight twist to it. The town is intended to be crumbled down and turned into a theme park within one year, losing all memories of the village and its inhabitants. It's up to you and your friends to find out a way to prevent this devastation from happening. There is no particular path you have to follow -- There's a variety of options to choose from and variety of ways to save the village.

Graphics

Personally, the graphics in this game are some of the best graphics I have ever seen in any game. It really brings out a unique and refined touch to the town that makes traversing through each area an enjoyable experience and even a pleasurable stroll. This was perhaps one of the greatest aspects of the game, as such amazing graphics are always a true compliment to the game and its style.

Music and Sound

Don't get me wrong, the music isn't that bad, but sometimes I do find it somewhat repetitive. Although the music changes from season to season, some music in the game stays the same, causing a little bit of an annoyance or a lack of variety of music to listen to while playing the game.

As far as sounds go, there was a semi-good variety. It helped to give a realistic feel to the game.

Controls

I remember having a little bit of a rough time with the controls at first, as they are something to get used to. But they do get the job done, and can help you get your chores done quickly once you begin to get the feel of them. For example, as the more time you spend playing, the faster you'll begin to get when switching from item to item, as it'll begin to trigger in your fingers when you come to need a particular tool.

Gameplay

This is about where most of my complaints come in. Comparing the town to how much time is within a single day, it just doesn't make sense. It was pretty much all work and no play, resulting in a game that causes more frustration than actual fun. It's quite the change from the majority of other Harvest Moon games that I've played.

Also, I found myself getting bored faster and faster as each game day continued on. It just didn't have that sort of spark of fun in it that I was expecting when I played it. Get up, care for the animals, head to my side-job, make a quick dash to the bar, and go running back home for whatever little sleep I can obtain. The normal routine grew far too repetitive.

Although, I did like the variety of tools and items you can receive in the game. It mixed up the normal hum-drum lifestyle of farming somewhat. I still remember playing my flute at the sunset whenever I could muster the extra time.

Difficulty

I didn't consider this game very hard -- The difficulty of it was rather low. On my first file, I didn't even make it into Winter as I had already found a solution to saving the town and completed the game, and got thrown into my second year of once again, saving the homeland.

Replay Value

I'll be honest.. After I beat the game, I never even touched the box again except when to pick it up and sell it at a garage sale. I had already trudged through the not even full first game year of playing it, and was in no way willing to live through the horror of such boredom yet again.

Summary

In the end, I grew a strong dislike for this game. Although if you're new to the Harvest Moon series, you may actually enjoy the game, but if you're a weathered HM fan, you may end up thinking of Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland as a disgrace to the HM series. I'd highly recommend not buying this game, but instead, having a look at some of the other Harvest Moon games available.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/07/05


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