Review by Adriea Raine

"Another Great Harvest Moon Game"

I was first introduced to Harvest Moon on the SNES a very long time ago. After many years of sitting down and replaying and replaying that wonderful game, I soon discovered Harvest Moon 64, Back to Nature, and then the unfortunate experience: Save the Homeland.

This game did live up to the Harvest Moon addictiveness, though it did lack a good many things that makes a Harvest Moon game a classic.

Story 9/10-
There are a lot of things that are different in this game from past Harvest Moons. You are still taking over the farm from your family, but this time the farm is already fixed up and even comes with a cow! A season only lasts 10 days now which means there are only 40 days in a year! But there are 6 Chapters in the game which are anywhere from 1-3 years long. In this game, there is also an aging factor. Everyone in the town grows old and grey as you watch the children grow into adults. Now there are tons more crops and many different species of cows to breed. There are only 3 girls to choose from to marry instead of the usual 5. Cows in this game need to be fed twice a day, and crops must be watered twice a day opposed to the usual one time a day. This may seem pretty tedious, but the days are long. I often find that there is not enough time in one day to finish all the things I need to do. You also have the ability to take normal crops and cross breed them to make hybrids, which is really fun! And the BEST and most IMPORTANT thing in this game is raising your son. You can now watch your son grow up from a toddler to an adult, and you have a great impact on what he will do with his life. This is very time consuming and intricate. There are many possibilities for your son's career, and almost everything you do will influence him in some way.

Gameplay 8/10-
Most everything that you do in this game will be with the A button. This is pretty annoying. You have to stand in front of something until the action appears in the icon at the top of the screen before you do an action. You will not believe the number of times that I have stood in front of the cow and tried to talk to it, and instead milked it. It can really be nerve wracking. Unfortunately, the game DOES end. Unlike many other Harvest Moon games, you cannot keep playing this game after the ending.

Graphics 8/10-
The Gamecube has the ability to run AMAZING graphics. Unfortunately, no one has realized this yet and sub-par graphic games are continually produced for it. The graphics, I have to admit, are ok. But they are nothing special, and no where near as good as the Gamecube can run.

Sound 7/10-
The music in this game is ok. You have the ability to switch your farm's theme between two different midis. And once one starts to get annoying you can just switch it out with the other one and continue to do this. That part is ok. What really gets me is the cow noise. It is soooooo annoying. I hate petting my cows just for the fact that their noise is awful.

Re-playability 8/10-
This can get repetitive after a little while, but the cut scenes and important events are pretty much evenly spaced, so when you get really bored and can't stand it any longer, something exciting happens and you will want to play some more. There are many many out comes as to which career your son chooses, and that helps the replayability a whole lot. And just the fact that your son and his baby talk is just adorable helps too!

Buy or Rent?-
I say rent and then buy if it appeals to you. A lot of Harvest Moon people hate this game because it doesn't really stick to any of the old games, but a lot of people like it because of all the animals, all the plants, and the things you can do with your son.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/14/04

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