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Harvester (DOS)

61
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
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Written by  :  Arejarn (822)
Written on  :  May 11, 2010
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars

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Summary

flawed, weird, not scary...but should the word 'bad' be associated with this game?

The Good

There is a certain genre that sticks out like a sore thumb in the video game society. To me, this very kind of games are among my favourites. I am of course talking about old and rare horror games. I don't know why I find these games so fascinating, but it was obvious that my addiction was fuelled once again when i saw this very game at the store, this game was simply known as Harvester.

Harvester managed to lure me into buying it simply because of the badass cover. I mean, it's a robed dark guy(possibly demon, i don't know) holding a sharp, gleaming SCYTHE. This may probably be the most really "scary" thing about the game. I believe that this game was one of the very first horror games to use live action characters and cutscenes. Although people from this new generation will probably laugh, but live action sprites in video games were actually very ground-breaking at the time.

But anyway, to get to the point, the main protagonist of the story, Steve has woken up in Harvest with a severe case of amnesia. Harvest is probably the most bizarre place I have ever seen in my life(YES, even weirder than Raccoon City from Resident Evil and that..town from the first Silent hill, i forgot what it was called). However, if you say the wrong thing to person, you will most likely get your head blown off by a random gun pulled out from nowhere... SERIOUSLY? At least you always have to read and consider your options very carefully; usually, with other games i would just skip all the dialogue, but its different with this game. But as the title of my review does suggest, there certainly are some noticeable flaws in this game. But overall there are also some very funny(but sometimes really twisted) people who live in Harvest, such as:

The over-abuse school teacher(bloody bat by her side even)

The military veteran who had his lower torso blown off in WWII.

and many more walking psychotic episodes

The Bad

Well the plot of the story just doesn't sound too original to me; the theme of the main character having amnesia has been used way too many times already. There even is an entire section of amnesia based games! One of the things that I haven't said anything about is the combat system in this game. Fighting monsters in a point and click game is just awkward and stressful and this game is no different. You have to equip you weapon first, it doesn't auto-equip like most good games do and you're probably wondering why a couple of seconds of changing a weapon is a big issue for me. Here is my reason why: I don't know if it's just my copy of the game, but nearly every time I enter a new area in a game, the game starts lagging.. when the lagging stops, the enemy has laid a couple of lucky shots on me! And a word of advice: if you want ANY weapon at al, try getting a long range weapon because short range weapons such as the bat or shovel really ARE short range! I have only managed to hit an enemy with the baseball bat about 50% of the time.

There is also some REALLY odd voice acting in the game; I don't know if the developers wanted to add this goofball "value" to the game or not, but oh well.

However the last and BIGGEST flaw(and that says a lot) is simply that it isn't all that scary. There are simply too many parts where I just laugh at this game rather than fear it! Although the majority of the scenes do get bloody, little to none of them seem to sink in as being painfully, nailbitingly unnerving.

However, the big question remains unanswered.. is this really a bad game?

The Bottom Line

Er...yes it is, But you see, THAT is part of the whole fun while experiencing this game! This game has all the errors that a relatively bad game has, but WHY do I like it so much? I don't see this game as being horrible; although it is bad, this game could probably be compared to a comedy made entirely of errors ... and the errors are clear and simple, so that the audience can laugh at or with them.

But still, this game isn't for the squeamish because of all the blood scenes, one of which(at the end of the game) even makes a few of the Mortal Kombat fatalities seem like harmless pranks done by 5-year old. I really am NOT joking, neither have I gone mad in this verdict.

Although this game isn't unknown to having errors and common problems, it just manages to make the grade of being a decent horror game.