Harvest Moon (SNES)

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Written by  :  thrawn (61)
Written on  :  Jun 18, 2004
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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Farming is a lot better than it sounds

The Good

  • Gameplay is totally nonlinear. Your objective is to 'succeed', whatever that means to you. It can mean riches, two kids, a farm totally covered in grass or crops, whatever. Any of the above can be recognised in the ending sequence, where your achievements grant individual scenes.
  • The controls are good. The walking vs running toggle is quite helpful, and the ability to automatically move sideways when you clip a wall is indispensable.
  • It's fun! Admittedly it suits me personally, and may not suit everyone, but apparently there are plenty of others whom it does suit.
  • It's non-violent. About the worst thing that can happen is that your cows wince when struck with tools. Even when your chickens get eaten by wild dogs you don't see any violence.

The Bad

Things get a bit too easy after a while. I mean, when you have 100000 gold pieces in the bank, all the animals you can fit in your barn, wife & two kids, and your farm is totally covered in grass, the days can get pretty similar to each other. Prosperity makes several game elements, such as collecting from the mountain, diminish, and once you're married (which you can do in the first Spring if you're fast), a big part of the game is mostly gone. Fortunately there are festivals in most seasons, which break up the monotony enough to retain sanity.

Those who actually listen to the music for any length of time will probably find it annoying. I personally tend to tune it out fairly quickly, so it doesn't bother me.

The Bottom Line

Yes, it's a game about farming. It's good, too. The first time you play through, you will be hooked. If you're a patient kind of person, you'll play through again to find the things you missed, and court a different girl.