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(Mar 14, 2009)
While it was nice to see some new things for the Harvest Moon series, Innocent Life just didn't give me the thrill I was hoping for. There were some good ideas, but they were poorly executed. I definitely wouldn't recommend this game to veterans of the series. Innocent Life would be more of a game for a casual gamer or, because of the ease of difficulty, maybe someone just starting out in the series. I hate to say it, but this is by far my least favorite Harvest Moon installment. It just proves change isn't always going to be for the better. Still, I hope new ideas and renovations will continue to make its way into the series. With better execution, it really could make all the difference.
In the end, Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon Special Edition is a somewhat solid yet flawed production that doesn't do enough to endear itself to fans of the niche genre. The control is iffy, the story seems to hinder more than help, too much of the gameplay seems written in stone, and the adventure just feels forced. However, there is plenty to do out there, and if you get sucked into the noble endeavor of restoring the Ruins, you may find yourself playing for quite a long time. Unfortunately, most gamers won't be able to make it past the first few hours, which is fine for a game like this, but it also doesn't fully embrace its target audience, either. It's certainly not the best Harvest Moon entry, that's for sure.
Overall I would only recommend this game to people who have never played the original and do not own a PSP. It is a perfectly good game, but I feel that the handheld version is just a little better in the visuals department, and the new game's special features hardly make up for its poor look. But it is definitely a fun game, and I would recommend any version of the game to fans of the Harvest Moon franchise. It is a completely fresh approach to the franchise, and is a blast to play no matter which version you end up having.
(Mar 17, 2008)
Compared to other Harvest Moon titles, this one feels like it strays pretty far away from the franchise's formula. The inconvenient truth is that while you still harvest crops, the farther into the game you go, the less important farming becomes and the more island exploration takes over. Unfortunately, the unbalanced level of exploration, slow development of the story and nonsensical character development (coupled with his virtual isolation) makes the game one of those titles that appeals to an even smaller niche of this niche genre. What's more, the limited additions to the "Special Edition" doesn’t make this one better or any more improved over the PSP version.