Review by HYD

"Seasons in Farming: Hours of Fun"

Harvest Moon – Farming has never been this fun!

In Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, the only Harvest Moon expansion for Playstation 1, you take the role of a young kid who has to revive the town’s farm to what it was before the previous owner passed away. If the young kid can complete this task in 3 years, he is allowed to stay and is rightfully called the farmer of this town. Farming may sound boring to you, but once you get this game, you’ll never stop farming.

Gameplay: 10
Harvest Moon is a very addictive game. I first bought it last year, once I started playing it, I couldn’t possibly stop. Its very fun, and realistic, and I mean the moneymaking part. But, the game itself is pretty complicated for a new Harvest Moon gamer, like myself. I’ve never played Harvest Moon 64 before, ‘cause I don’t own a Nintendo 64. =)
Anyway, people might say that I will rate the game a bit better because I’ve never played 64 before; I think you are wrong, very wrong. Why must a game be so alike to its previous sequel? Maybe Natsume wants to start a whole kind of game, and it’s not their fault. So, be a bit fairer and admit that Harvest Moon Back to Nature is very fun.

Audio: 7
There’s background music, and each background music changes accordingly to each season. However, in further parts of the town, it’s always the same old cheery tune. Once you hear it, your feet will go tapping already. When it’s raining, on the other hand, whenever you go it’s always the spattering of rainwater. One major flaw on the audio part is this sickening beeping sound when you’re in the middle of a conversation. I don’t know why but it hurts the head a bit.

Graphics: 9
Graphics are wonderful, it looked as if you’re in a cartoon world. However, it’s not 2D at all, its 3D. And each character is made into very detailed ones. Also, the vegetables and fruits are very real-like, and you’ll have the urge to grab one and just squash it. When I see my tomatoes grow, it’s so adorable. The tomato is huge, and it’s really reddish. The strawberries were the same situation, three a bunch and really neat to look at. The buildings are also very well drawn, although some little areas like the trees have some problems in it. The trees look as if they were paper, but those are small details. Your barn animals are also very cute, especially the cows. Who wouldn’t love them? Fat, and with black spots, what’s more, they give a really nice smile when you rub them. Your dog will grow up as well, I mean, obviously.

Story: 9
The story is really neat, and it’s kind of typical but nonetheless ok. It turns out that your father had a whole lot of work on his back and had to send you to your Grandfather’s farm one season when you were very young. Over there, you were very happy and played with the barn animals. Those pictures will show you. In addition to all those farming, you found yourself a friend. A very good friend, I must say. And it’s a female. You may have guessed it already, when you came back again, your job is to revive the farm and find the girl that you had so much fun with a few years back. If you can complete the farming objective, you are free to own this farm and play the game on and on and on. But it gets kind of boring from here.

Replayability: 4
Now, here’s where Harvest Moon slack a lot. After you complete your three years, you won’t want to continue your life, although you can totally change your farm and create an all-vegetables farm, or an all-animals farm. It’s really up to you. But, you won’t get any more surprises, very often. Rarely, one scene will pop up. But besides that, its back to old school farming, and it turns out to be very boring.

Buy or Rent?: BUY!
This is a must-buy! You’ll get hours and hours of fun from this game! Trust me! However, if you played 64 before, you may want to rent it, because many features are taken of and replaced with new ones. If you never played 64 before, get this now. You’ll find it worthwhile along the road.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/10/02, Updated 03/01/03

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