Written by  :  Iris-chan (72)
Written on  :  Jun 10, 2002
Platform  :  PlayStation
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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Back to relaxing country life...

The Good

I don't know where to begin with this game. So maybe I'll start like so: Harvest Moon: Back to Nature has been deemed a fan favorite in the Harvest Moon series. It offers our favorite farming game play with some new tweaks, and an interesting series of non-linear events to boot. But what else is there?

More, of course. Did you think I was done?

In terms of farming, there more crops than ever in this game. In fact, each growing season has four different crops for it, with one per season being a secret crop that has to be attained with hard efforts on the farm, making a grand total of twelve crops. And now, you can also raise and breed fish. Then you can make them into lovely sashimi in your kitchen...

Yes indeed, the kitchen has finally been added, something huge missing from the N64. And with a kitchen, you can cook the villiagers' favorite dishes and make friends with them! And hey, some of the girls admit that they like a man who could cook...

The characters now all have birthdays, and remembering those special days makes them really happy with you. Now, you can interact with the characters more. Special events with them allow you to learn more about them, which are all part of the non-linear string of events that follows in the game.

During the course of the game, there are many events to encounter. Some actions you take determine other events, which makes the game interesting to play through more than once.

There are also other things too. The music is nice and fitting, and although the tunes loop a lot, they don't wear on the nerves. Heck, you may be humming the tunes after a while. The controls are easy to get used to as well. The isometric graphics are looking good in this game now. There is a lot of detail in places such as the forest, and even down to rotoscoped signs. And you can also constantly keep track of how you're doing with your variety of menus. From these menus, you can track just about anything, your animals, your earnings, your shipping rates, and more.

And the Confession Booth offers loads of fun! It's always nice to know that you've been razzing and stalking villagers, or coveting on someone's girl. There are over fifteen sins to choose from, making the booth a blast!

Overall, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature offers a nice challenge, and great rewards come from it. What could be better?

The Bad

Although the game does not have many shortcomings, there are a few.

Working in the barn can get a bit frustrating, as the cows and sheep seem to always strategically block your way when you're trying to get around. It's good and all taking care of them... but when it comes time to leave and the damn animals are hanging around the exit waiting for God knows what to happen, you better hope you have that cow bell on you...

Also, your wife neglects your bawling kid for the entire afternoon. Shame on her!

The Bottom Line

You own a farm. You feed chickens. You milk cows. You shear sheep. You water crops. You get girls to like you. You get rivals to hate you. You get men that resemble fish to freak you out... err... What could be more fun?

What's that? You have a PlayStation? You've played and enjoyed Harvest Moon in the past? You... you don't have BTN?? What are you waiting for?? Buy now! Go! Before the cows trample you! ^_^