Ah, Harvest Moon… I started with the first game as was prompted by Nintendo Power. SNES games were a bit scarce in my area so I never had a physical copy of the game. I did, however, just discover ZSNES and spent many, many hours playing this game with a keyboard on a small computer monitor. I don’t know what it is about this franchise but I love it dearly. I’m bringing up the first Harvest Moon because, as I understand it, this is more or less a watered down port of that. I’ve never played this entry.
As special as the first Harvest Moon on the SNES is to me, it’s not a game I’d ever really want to go back and play. Not with so many better versions to choose from anyway. I already know this version doesn’t have marriage, and I know I’m going to love going back to holding two tools at a time, but I’m going to try to make the best of it.
I actually own both versions of this game, one for the Gameboy and the other for the Gameboy Color. While they’re referred to as different games, they’re both functionally identical. That said, I’m opting to play the colored version.
All right, lunch time!
Right off the bat I’m happy to see that the game allows for a gender choice, as this is something that wasn’t seen for a good while with the console releases.
I spent my first day cleaning up the farm a bit to make room for my obligatory early game turnip field. Once weeds, rocks and stumps were all cleared, I headed to the town.
I… don’t actually hate this. In a game that’s intentionally this stripped down, making the town work in such a way actually feels more streamlined than anything. I bought my turnip seeds and tilled the ground. By the time I was done it was late into the night, so I decided I’d wait until the morning to plant my seeds.
A few days later, and I’m Turnip King!
The game already feels incredibly tedious. It took from 7am to 4pm game time just to ship those four plots of crops! Also, as expected, being limited to two tools at a time is horrible, and having to remember that START switches items and SELECT pauses the game is just as bad.
There’s no diary in this game, and Google reveals the game auto-saves every time you go to bed. Great! I hit the sack and shut it down…
…but just in case I’d better check to make sure it saved…
@#%$$#$%#@^ @#@ ^#^# #@#^ @^ #%## ^85!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After confirming that the battery in my copy of the GBC version was indeed dead, I grabbed my other copy.
After playing for a couple hours I’m pretty confident in saying I’m done. The game was hard to get through in color, monochrome just makes it so much worse.
If a game is going to have to be stripped down, this is a good way of doing it. For all intents and purposes it pulls off the SNES Harvest Moon farming aspects just fine.
I think this game suffers for me for being a product of its time. The two-tool system is tedious. Not having a rucksack means you’ll spend multiple ingame days shipping crops without extensive help of sprites. Additionally, without having a town or mountain to explore, and without the option of dating and marriage, all you have is the farm. The single music track in the game resets every time you change maps…
Play it Again?
No, and again, it’s a product of its time. I would NEVER play this game when I have Friends of Mineral Town and/or A New Beginning.