Review by hmbtnguy
"Best Harvest Moon Ever!"
Being one of the oldest Harvest Moon Vets, I grew up loving every waking minute of playing the Original SNES version. I have played all the Harvest Moons so far (HM, HMGBC, HMGBC2, HMGBC3, HM64, HMSTH, HMFOMT, HMAWL, HM for girls and of course Harvest Moon Back to Nature!
Story: This is one of those games that leaves most of the story up to your imagination. The Story isn't exactly groundbreaking, but it fits the game perfectly. In the beginning there are many things unkown to the player, but as you progress through the game, mini-subplots develop and the overall story becomes clear.
8/10 (use your imagination!)
Graphics: Ahh the wonderful world of circles! This game isn't like most PS games where all the people look like blocks and have square hands. Everything looks beautifully rounded! The character dialog pictures are absolutely gorgeous and are perfect for the game. The characters look older and more matured, showing more expressions than the N64 version. The enviornment is stunning, and there is no longer that yellowish tint on everything like HM64.
Sound/Music: The sounds fit the game well, and the music is an improvement of the HM64 version, all the girls themes represent their personality very well, and the music is usually catchy. Don't expect some elaborate Tony Hawk soundtrack, on the contrary the music is very repetitive. Don't worry, you'll get used to it.
Controls: The controls are very good for this HM game. No longer do you have to open a menu to take tools and items out of your rucksack. One simple press on the shoulder buttons and Voila! You can quickly skim through items and tools. The game also supports vibration when you hit things with your tools a very satisfying effect when chopping wood or fishing! You can turn it off if you don't like the vibrations. My only nag is not being able to walk 360 degrees like HM64, but you'll get used to it.
Gameplay: Finally on to the gameplay! Farming you say? Yes this is a 'farming' game. But it's much more. This game is about living a life in a village. There is so much to do in this game that I don't know where to start! You can interact with all of the 40+ villagers, and there are 5 lovely girls that you can marry after getting to know them and haveing a relationship. All the villagers have their own elaborate schedule that you will soon memorize after playing the game. When it's time for them to go they will start walking to their next destination. This is a first for Harvest Moon and gives the game a very nice affect. The Harvest Sprites return in this game and do what their supposed to do! You can ask them to do your shores for you so you have freetime to visit villagers and your new found girlfriend. There are different festivals as the seasons change. And there are plenty of minigames and side things to do. You can fish, cook, play catch with your dog, mine, and much more!
Saving/exiting screens This is the one thing that annoys me the most and the one thing HM64 is better at. The Load times take forever!!! Plust this game takes up 4 blocks of memory. It has been a coustom to save everynight in all the HMs. But in this game it just takes too long. I personally save every four days incase I miss something, I won't have to replay a whole weeks worth. If your really up to it, you can save every night but then you'd probbably be saving more than you were playing. The load times are also horrendous. Sure the maps are huge, but that doesn't mean that it should take this long. But if you think about it, it is worth the wait.
Overall: This game has probbably the most replay value of any game out there, and it's too addicting to stop playing. There is just so much to do that it will take a good while to accomplish everything. And even when everything is done, there are always new events (up to a certain point if your hardcore). This Game will last you a very long time and you will love it. I have played the whole Harvest Moon series, and hands down this is the best. The camera angle is perfect and it is an overall upgrade on the HM64 version which I had loved. This game is definantley a keeper and is not to be rent, but bought. I am a big time fan of this game and have three copies of this game in case I misplace one. If you liked this game you might also want to try out Harvest Moon for Girls (Japanese only) it is identical to this, except the story is longer, and you can play as a girl (hence the name for girls). Overall this game is definantley ranked number one on my list complete list of Harvest Moon games, and I hope that it also does on yours.
Final score : 10/10!
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/28/03
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