A Farming Game Fun? Better Believe It
As the very first Harvest Moon game I've played, Harvest Moon 64 has always held a place in my heart, so I decided to make my very first review about it.
Being honest, the graphics are not as good as games like Legend of Zelda for the N64, but they do shine in their own way. Harvest Moon graphics have always been made to look more cute than anything else, and in that aspect, the game succeeds. Each character you meet has their own icon showing you what they look like and each emotion they show, a definite must in any simulation game as it makes you feel like you're actually getting to know somebody.
The music has been known to annoy some people, but that's the only reason why it's not a 10. The music is kind of fun, and I often catch myself humming along with it while playing, and sometimes when I'm just doing housework. What makes this game unique though, is for different seasons or certain events, the music will change. Unless you're a frequent Harvest Moon player, you don't know what to expect. When I first started playing, the music always interested me, I couldn't wait to get to the next season just to hear the music.
I can't say enough about how addictive this game is, by just hearing about it you would never guess that a farming game could be this fun. It's impossible to describe, so I won't, you'll have to see for yourself.
The story is actually kind of simple, your grandfather dies and leaves his farm to you, you've got 3 years to restore the farm to it's former glory, or you lose, and yes, it is possible to fail. When you start you name your character, your dog, the farm, and choose your birthday. So if it's so simple why did I give it a 9? Because the story changes slightly as you play. As you interact with the villagers, more and more will open up to you. Due to the risk of giving away spoilers, I'll stop here.
There is so much to do in this game, it's almost impossible to get bored. Of course you need money, but you can choose to grow crops, raise animals, or even just forage and fish in Spring, Summer, and Fall and mine in the Winter. Bottom line, in the 3 years you have to restore the farm, you need to win festivals, get married, have a baby, enlarge your house, and it may be best to have a lot of animals and have a field full of crops. Back to the get married part, there are five girls to choose from, each with different looks and different personalities. Will you go for the bar waitress Karen, the flower child Popuri, the ranch worker Ann, the librarian Maria, or the bakery worker Elli? There is so much more too, it's never ending fun.
I gave this a 7 because it is rather easy to miss certain things, and when you're playing for the first time, you probably won't find everything, but that just adds to the fun, and makes you want to play it again and again. However for regular Harvest Moon players, the games are easy, and we like that since it only makes the game more relaxing. Due to that though, the difficulty rating brings down the overall rating, which is actually kind of a shame. I can't stress on this enough, it's not easy to make a farming game sound fun, in fact if my grandma didn't have the game when I was younger, I probably would never have heard of it. I urge you to at least give this game a shot.