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Harvest Moon

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Reviewed by Chris Rothenberger Harvest Moon, for the Super NES, is a combination of a lot of simulation, and a little role-playing. The story is like this: your parents left you a run down farm for 2 1/2 years. The object of the game is to turn the beat-up land into a prosperous ranch by growing vegetables, and raising livestock. Along the way, you'll have the chance to improve your house, attend different festivals in the neighboring town, and even, if you want, get married and create a family.

Graphics 8 out of 10

This game doesn't go for the killer graphics, because it's not designed to take full advantage of them. The graphics that are on the game are simple, with a few colors, yet the overall effect on them can be astounding. Try going to the mountain top in the morning, and you'll see what I mean. The colors blend well together, and actually give the impression that you are on a ranch, or in town, or in the mountains. Although the game will defiantly not sell on graphics, they are good enough to heighten the game experience.

Music and Sound 4 out of 10

If there's one thing this game needs, it is better sound. I realize that sound is not extremely important in simulations, but this music will drive you nuts. Especially the summer theme. You'll begin to wish that the seasons were shorter because of the music. The sound effects are okay. Not much to be said there, although the axe pop when you hit a stump is pretty nice. The point is, rent this game before you buy it, and make sure the music doesn't put you in the mental hospital.

Game Challenge 7.5 out of 10

This game has a straight-forward goal (make money), but it can be hard to decide exactly how much money to make. For example: the seeds cover an area of 3x3 squares, but you won't be able to water the one in the middle if you plant all nine squares. And later in the game, when you have about 15 fields, your patterns will determine how much time and energy you have to spend on watering. So, while it's not too challenging, this game will keep you busy for a while finding your strategies.

Game Play-Fun 9.5 out of 10

This game has probably the smoothest and best possible game play for a farming simulation. You can master the controls in about 2 minutes, and you know exactly how to do what you want to do. So you can spend your time thinking of what you need to do, which is really what you need. When you have a wife, though, you'll be kept pretty busy because you have to finish all your objectives each day before 6:00 at night, which can be tough for a veteran gamer.

Frustration

The only real problem with the game is the music, which will make you crazy after a while. Always keep the volume control handy to turn it off. Also, there are only two save slots available, so if you have a lot a people playing this, you'll almost never finish a game!

Replayability 8 out of 10

There aren't that many secrets in this game, but there are so many ways that you can play it you'll want to do it over again and again, even after you've finished it. It should keep you busy for a while, unless you are one of those perfectionists who always do it right the first time!

Game Value 10 out of 10

Absolutely, rent it once, then if you want it, you should buy it. If you can find a copy. It seems to be very high in demand. If you do manage to get a hold of a copy, I'm certain you'll be glad you did.

Overall 9 out of 10

This is a game well worth the effort it make take to find. Everything works well together (except the music) and it is a great theme. Look to the future, for Harvest Moon 2 on the N64 (maybe,) which would put in even better features, and top this great game.

Want this game? Find it on Amazon.com!!


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