Review by BestGuy9

"Natsume's winning game~"

Okay, so, it's 27th of Fall, at 6:00 in the morning. What do I have to do? Got to feed and brush my animals, pick up the eggs, and water my crops. Hopefully they'll grow before the summer heat destroys them! Then, what else? Oh, right. I still have to find a present to give to my girl, and I really should go fishing to make the fisherman happy. I should cut wood to expand my house and collect berries to sell. Hmm… I should also buy some spare medicine to keep around for my animals. And then I could always go visit the nice people in town, and say hi. That'll raise my social standing. Then I've still got to cut my grass and prepare the fields to put my animals outside. Hopefully it won't rain soon, or all my work will be for nothing.

So, you tell me. What is so fun about Harvest Moon? Perhaps it is the fact that there is so much to do in so little time. This scene that I have presented you isn't even from the beginning of the game – it's from the middle! At the very beginning, your “objectives” multiply several times. And you have to do all this within, basically, three minutes of real time. Fifteen seconds of our time per game hour – from 6-6, do the math. Thank God time doesn't run indoors.

Maybe the fun comes from the somewhat boring, yet subtly intriguing storyline? Okay, your grandpa dies. Big deal. But what about your neighbor? Hasn't he been acting strangely lately? And the guy that lives in town – what if he leaves? And that other girl, what if she marries someone else? And my wife… will she have a baby? Will I be king of the festival? Will I win the horse race? What's gonna happen to my life?

Maybe it's the farming life. Those of us who live in industralized areas don't get a taste of farm life. That makes this game very interesting… cold winters, living on meager scraps that you managed to earn during the warm months. Or how livestock just happens to be your lifeline.

OR, maybe it's just that fact that Natsume has done what other game companies have failed to do… return to the aspect of pure fun. Few companies have managed to create such an enticing world… Nintendo, of course. Rare, with its GoldenEye, and other select few. Natsume has made a game that calls to us, makes us just want to play. Why? No one knows. You just have to know what's going to happen to your farm life, or you just have to keep playing so that you can get around to the task that you've been putting off. Plainly, the game is just so darn fun.

Unfortunetly, you can't really rent this game and get a feel for it. There is so much that you can do that you literally can't accomplish in two or three days of playing.

Graphics – 8.0
The graphics aren't great – there is some annoyng pop-up in the woods and town. Other than that, the graphics look okay. If you are comparing to the other Harvest Moons, the graphics look great.

Sound – 7.0
The repetitive music can get really annoying – and you can't turn it off. You might think some of the tunes are good, but you'll just have to live with it.

Replay – 9.5
I won't spend much time dwelling on this section… just that the game is extremely fun and you won't want to put it down. See the above description ;)

I think that Natsume has designed a winning game that keeps gamers occupied for many hours. Good luck with your farming life ;)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/28/00, Updated 03/28/00

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