► A Review of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

► A Review of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

Summary for Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature is a different sort of game. Instead of blasting aliens or scoring touchdowns, players plant seeds, care for crops, interact with villagers, and search for a mate. This is a role-playing game that features gameplay that’s nonlinear and in real-time. To help your ranch become successful, befriend the Harvest Sprites. There are over 50 characters with which you can interact. You can attend festivals, and compete in events like Chicken Sumo and the annual Town Tomato Fight. Collect and cook different recipes–even create your own dishes to impress the ladies.

This game was the absolute best thing to play in the Playstation 1 era, and I have no idea why, because looking at all the games now, and looking back at this…it just seems like it’d be so boring.

But it’s not.

From getting the girl of your dreams, to building your farm the way you want it (as far as laying the foundation of crops), to entering your livestock in contests, to becoming a chef, what’s not to love?

I still enjoy playing this game, even though the in-game days get tedious with wanting to do everything in a single day and never having enough time to do it. I always get the girls, though.

Always.


Don’t forget: I stream games like this on Twitch.
Check my YouTube for the playthrough.
► My in-depth walkthroughs are available for Patreon supporters.

SOUNDTRACK

This game has got the most cheerful damn tune to it throughout the day and might leave you with the urge to whistle it. The nighttime scenario is a bit more somber with owls hooting. There are some areas that don’t provide any kind of background noise, so you’re left with the sounds of your tools if you happen to be using them–like in the caves.

Event areas can also offer a different melody.

CONVERSATIONS

You can speak with the different townsfolk and see what they have to say. Most of the time it all stays the same, but it’s different if you catch them in different areas of the town, or even if your friends with them. Give them gifts, woo the ladies, trigger cutscenes of rivals, and you’ll come into contact with different conversations.

They never seem stilted or anything. Sometimes you get a multiple choice answer to a question, in which case the answer you choose will definitely affect the result of the response.

GRAPHICS

Sure there are some games out there with amazing graphics that could put this one to shame, and there can be slightly glitchy areas when you’re running by, but the graphics aren’t bad for a PS1 game. They’re kind of charming. Not horribly made by any means, but has a definite youthful quality to it that I’m sure many of us as youngsters will always enjoy looking at.

GAMEPLAY

There’s actually a lot you can do in this game, but you’ll need to pace yourself in order to do all of it.

You only have so much stamina, and there’s a ton that can wear you out, such as too many actions regarding your tools, whether farming related or interacting with the animals.

You can raise animals from sheep to cows to chickens, to your horse, to your dog. Interact with them in the proper way and feed them and they’ll gain more hearts, which in turn means they like you more and will listen more. At that point you can enter them in different contests throughout the seasons and win prizes.

You can also become friend with all the townsfolk and enter places in their homes you otherwise couldn’t when they were neutral toward you.

And the young ladies.

You can woo all the young ladies, but each one has a specific rival, and you’re only able to marry one of them.

Aside from that, build your farm, expand your house, learn to cook different recipes, partake in festivals, and even get to fishing.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’ve never played this game, I recommend it. It’s the best of all the Harvest Moons as far as I can tell. And if you have played it, you’re probably agreeing with me.

Maybe.

In any case, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature will always have a place in my heart within the Playstation era of gaming.

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