Opa's Harvest Moon Blog

Posted on Sep 5th 2011 at 09:26:06 PM by (Opa Opa)
Posted under Harvest Moon, Review



What's up everyone?  I'm back with another Harvest Moon review.  This time I'm reviewing Harvest Moon for the Game Boy Color.  There is also a version for the regular Game Boy but the only difference is that it has a monochrome color palette.


Story

Well the old farm outside of the village has been neglected for many years and the spirit of the former owner visits you in a dream.  He asks that you restore the farm to its former glory and that he will check up on your progress at the end of the year.



And that's it.  Not an extraordinary story or anything but it's an excuse to give you a farm to operate.


The Farm

The farm is almost exactly the same as the Super Nintendo farm.  The house, barns, fields... everything is in the exact same spot.  If you're familiar with the first game then you'll feel right at home.

There are some differences though.  The most striking one being that the size of the field is incredibly reduced.  However, you still have ample enough room to work with.

Your barn sizes have also been decreased.  You now only have the capacity of having 4 cows and 4 chickens; 1/3 the capacity of what the first game offered.



The recovery spring and the river of the Harvest Goddess have been moved.  Instead of on the mountaintop, they now reside in the mine underneath your tool shed.

The Outside World

The forest and mountaintop no longer exist as locations to explore (thus the location changes of the previously mentioned spring and river).  I really don't know why these locations had to go.  It might have been due to time constraints or just a lack of funding at the time.  Whatever the reason, it is a disappointment.   Exploring the forest was a great way to forage for extra building materials or collect and sell wild food items.  Even going up to the mountaintop for its view was a great way to just get away from it all.

...But that's no longer here.  The game definitely loses some of its charm.

Speaking of losing things, you also lose the ability to walk through town.  The town only exists in a menu.  You make your selection and enter the shop.



While I do miss walking around the town it is a more efficient way to get what you need and get back to work.

Gameplay

Wow, I feel as if I've done nothing but talk bad about this game.  It isn't really all that fair of me to be making some of these comparisons due to the age of handheld gaming technology of the time.  However, in some of the farming aspects, this game is actually more advanced than its predecessor.

(This is the first HM title to have a Female option.)

Harvest Moon not only has the standard crops from the previous title (corn, potatoes, turnips, tomatoes, grass) but it also adds crops.  And not only does it add more crops but you can now grow crops in Autumn and Winter.

The new crops are as follows:
Autumn: Eggplants & Peanuts
Winter: Carrots & Broccoli

This makes the game a lot more interesting.  On the SNES title your Fall and Winter would be a dead time spent doing nothing but feeding livestock and chopping wood to pass the time.

Having more crops makes up for the fact that you can't get married in this game.

Marriage?

Gone.  Can't get married.  While there are social events these are really few and far between and will never lead to finding a wife.

This is one of the major weak points of this title.  There's essentially no socializing in this game.  The entire time I played it I felt as if I were the only person on the face of the Earth... Just me and my cat, Lau.



Oh yeah, I nearly forgot to mention you can actually choose your pet this time around.  This is the first title to have a cat as a pet option.  (And Lau is a Virtua Fighter reference in case you're wondering.)  So keep your pet close because it will be the closest thing to a friend you'll have in Harvest Moon.

At the end of all things...

The last day of winter the spirit returns and evaluates your progress.  While your ultimate goal is to become the "Ranch Master" you can really play however you wish.  If the spirit is pleased with what you've done he'll expand the size of your fields and maybe even give you some special items.

While obtaining the title of Ranch Master may be the ultimate prize; the game never ends.  The game will continue on as long as you play it.  So the experience can be however long of short you want to make it.

Conclusion

Harvest Moon is a great game; don't get me wrong!  However I hesitate to recommend it for those new to the series.  This game is for people who like the farming mechanics and cannot stand the dating-sim aspects or for the die-hard Harvest Moon fan.

If you want to play it your only two options are the standard Game Boy cartridge or the Game Boy Color cartridge.  I personally recommend the GBC version because it's in color and the battery should be slightly newer.  Last time I checked, getting the game CIB will cost you probably over $35 .  A loose cart in decent shape will be around $10.

The game works on all systems that accept a Game Boy cartridge and it even has its own special border for the Super Game Boy adapter for the Super Nintendo.


I hope you enjoyed the review.  Keep on farming.

Upcoming review: Harvest Moon 64!





Posted on Jul 25th 2011 at 12:06:11 AM by (Opa Opa)
Posted under Harvest Moon, Review


Ah... The Super Nintendo... Let's go back to the 90's shall we?  What do you remember about the 90's?  I'll tell you what I remember.  I remember reading a lot of Nintendo Power, listening to rock 'n roll on cassette tapes, and playing video games.  At the time there was a lot of talk about Donkey Kong Country, Street Fighter II... But none of that really mattered to me because I spent my time playing Harvest Moon.

The Harvest Moon series as most people know it today was incredibly different at its genesis.  The game primarily focused on establishing and maintaining a successful farm while the social aspect took a backseat and only provided a way to take breaks from constant work.

Story



The story is about as basic as it gets.  Your parents have left you the family farm and it's up to you to prove that you can be self-sufficient.  You have 3 and a half years to scratch a living out of the earth and once time is up your parents return to evaluate your work.

Aaaand that's about it.  The rest of the story is up to the player and the events that unfold are determined by what choices you make,  what crops you raise, and who you eventually decide to marry.

...Marry? Yes, marry.

Marriage



This is the first game that I recall in which you can get married.  There are a total of 5 eligible girls in the town.  Each have their own personality, likes and dislikes, and their own side stories.  Don't get too excited, though.  Marriage doesn't provide any real in-game benefits minus getting special endings and giving you another character to talk to on the farm.

What's great about Harvest Moon on the Super Nintendo is that you can ignore the marriage aspect entirely and just focus on the farm.  However, keep in mind the best ending requires being married and having two children.  Oh, and while I'm talking about kids... Interacting with them is a waste of time and gets you nothing.  Natsume didn't really develop any child-parent storylines for the first entry in the series so don't expect a child simulator.  But let's not discuss children anymore.  It's the farm that takes priority in this game.

The Farm



It wouldn't be Harvest Moon without some kind of farm involved.  On your farm you get a tool shed, a cattle barn, a chicken coop, a stable, and finally your farm house.  All these buildings are surrounded by your field. You're field is the area where you'll be growing your crops and your grass.  Crops are a great way to maximize your profits early in the game.  You have 5 crops available to grow on the farm.  The first two are the Spring crops: turnips and potatoes.  Then in the Summer you get tomatoes and corn.

There's one last crop: Grass.  You don't sell grass.  Grass can be grown from Spring and to the end of Fall and is used to feed your livestock.  You only have two choices for livestock: Cattle and Chickens.  Chickens cost less to startup but make significantly less money than cows.

Cattle is where the most money can be made, however, they require the most care.  You not only have to keep cows fed but you also have to talk to each cow and brush them on a daily basis.  Once you get a successful operation going you'll never have to bother with crops again unless you really want some corn or something.

Conclusion


(Gettin' hammered at the bar^)

This game defines what the Super Nintendo means to me.  It is a very relaxing title and will remain a classic.  If you want to check out this game you have many options.  The first option is hunting down a cartridge.  It is a very rare game and physical copies are very desirable and, as of this writing, prices hover around $75-90 for just the cartridge.  If you can read Japanese, you're in luck.  You can buy a Super Famicom cartridge for around $25.  Your other option is emulation through your Nintendo Wii.  The game is available on the Wii's Virtual Console for around $8.  A fair price for a great game.

---

Harvest Moon has left a legacy that spans across many different platforms and goes into different gaming generations.  I am excited to bring reviews of this great series and I hope that my writings will encourage others to try out these games.

Next Review: Harvest Moon for the Game Boy Color.




Posted on Jul 24th 2011 at 12:48:03 AM by (Opa Opa)
Posted under Intro, Harvest Moon

All right everyone.  After many delays and a lack of interest, I've found what I truly wanted to write about.

This blog will now feature reviews of Natsume's ever-popular farming-sim series, Harvest Moon.

The first review will feature my favorite game of the series: Harvest Moon for the Super Nintendo.

The review will be posted 7/25/2011.



Posted on Nov 22nd 2010 at 10:21:29 PM by (Opa Opa)
Posted under Intro, First Post

Hello and welcome to my blog.  I'm Opa Opa and I felt that this is the right site to put my thoughts down on all of my favorite games.  I enjoy almost all game genres and am open to just about any game system.  I hope to post many blogs in the future and I hope they are fun to write and fun for others to read.

[End Post]


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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