Review by HMManiac12

"One of the best games in the Harvest Moon series"

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature for the Playstation is the third console installment of Harvest Moon. It is very similar to the also excellent HM64; lots of the characters are the same, just with different family organizations. This one introduces mayo, butter, and yarn makers, a whole new world, new festivals, and many more new farming features.

Graphics: Characters and animal graphics are similar to the N64 version. However, the buildings, scenery, crops are in 3D viewed from a isometric perspective. The 2D elements are well drawn and look very nice. 3D looks great as well. 9/10

Story: Similar to other HM games, have three years to restore your deceased grandfather's farm to its former glory and at the end of three years you will be evaluated whether you can stay or not. 7/10

Loading Time: Grahg. When going from one screen to another, takes a bit to load, although this doesn't distract from the gameplay that much. At noon and 6 the game freezes for a second as it loads the bell sound. Loading time to access the save game screen is around 10 seconds; another 20 seconds to save and get back to playing. 5/10

Music and Sound Better sound quality and variety than N64 version, plus the music doesn't restart everytime you switch screens. Sound effects are nice also, with a large variety of clucks, moos, plucks, chimes, and tool sounds. 8/10

Controls If you are used to the N64 version's eight-direction controls, then BTN will feel strange at first; only four directions. However, the new rucksack features with the shoulder buttons is great, allowing you to take stuff out without having to goto the inventory screen. The other controls for picking crops and using tools are easy to learn as well. 9/10

Gameplay Excellent gameplay factor. Raise many many many new crops such as pineapple and pumpkins. Assign Harvest Sprites to feed your animals and water your crops. Breed fish. Expand your house, barns and chicken coops, and build a greenhouse. Go mining for ores in the mines. Raise a horse and dog for racing. Marry one of five girls. New gigantic field with much more space. Basket enables you to place thirty crops from the far reaches of your field into it for easy placement into the shipping bin. Now you can cook the recipes you receive from other townsfolk. Many many many new features from other Harvest Moon games that are sure to delight. 11/10

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature is a great great game in the Harvest Moon series. It has many new features over the N64 version, with much more to do. If you have both a PSX and N64, I would choose Back to Nature over HM64 for its added features.

Rent or Buy?: Most definitely buy. It would take many many rentals to fully play this game, and even then you would probably want to go back again to see what you missed or marry another girl.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/04/02, Updated 06/04/02

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