posted by gamescout (SAN FRANCISCO, CA) Jul 18, 2006
Member since Apr 2005
Harvest Moon was made by Amish rebels on maryjane: it's a video game where there's nothing to do but live off the land like our forefathers, and everything moves in very slow motion. The key to being successful seems to be waiting. The game forces you to do lots of it. Farming could've been as fun as everyday suburban living like in The Sims, but every mundane action was made more mundane with the slow motion. Why does every person, animal, grass in the breeze, etc., have to move like they're submerged in mud? I hated having to stand there for 7 or so HG minutes just for a sheep to finish one "baa" before I could interact with it. Each hour in an HG day is approximately a minute in real time, but so little happens in 24 hours that it feels like half a real day has gone by.
My disappointment must be because I didn't play HG during its heyday. I understand the original was a big hit when it came out, and this edition is basically the original. But today its older technology holds it back. Beware the load screen. The game is highly dependent on it and it will come up a LOT, because it comes up when you do very common things... whenever you use/stop using your map, pause/unpause, walk through a doorway, etc. Certain repetitive cut scenes will come up on the dot, disrupting anything you're doing at the moment. Oh, and trust me, you'll want to choose your wife carefully. I got mine because she was the the first one of my choices to say yes, but as a farmer's wife she's too high maintenance. Makes survival much more difficult. The kid we had is more like her than me. And there's no divorce here, so I'm stuck with her for life. By the way, looking like kewpie dolls like we do (see screenshots) and having a kid... disturbing sight. I'm going to return this syrupy sweet Mickey Mouse stuff and trying out A Bard's Tale.
posted by Gypsyqueen (CINCINNATI, OH) Jun 20, 2006
Member since Jun 2006
I adored the original, Back To Nature, so I could not wait to try this one. The graphics are indeed much better than BTN but at such a great loss to the game play. This version moves very slow, there is so little of the village to explore and the interaction with the other characters down to a minimum. So much of the charm and playability is lacking with this version. Basically, if you have played BTN you will be greatly disappointed with this version. I played for a couple of hours and then shipped it back. Did not care for it at all.
I don't like animals or romance. I rather suspect the game appeals more to people who like those things.
The game forces you to perform too many rote tasks that ought to be abstracted, and prevents you from doing things which are interesting. The decision of whether to plant watermelon or tomato is important; remembering whether you've watered them this afternoon is neither important nor fun. Talking to people to "make friends" (a concept never really explained) requires that you hammer on them with the x button and guess when they're done saying interesting things. In general there are too many things that have to be done repetively, and too few interesting, consequential decisions. Repetition is tedious - decisions make games interesting.
If somebody rebuilt the game, and brought it up to quality, I'd gladly play it.