HARVEST MOON: SAVE THE HOMELAND
reviewed by ~Butterfly~

Now, I'm sure if you haven't played any Harvest Moon games, you may think they sound bad. I thought so at first, considering they are about farming, but it's so much more than that. This one is my favourite of the series so far. There are a total of nine different endings, you get them depending on your relationships with the people in the town. There is so much you can do in this game, and when you play it as much as I did, it becomes a part of you. See, I brought it with me when my friend and I went to her cottage for spring break, and we played it so much. We played it so much that when my girlfriend left me for another man, I was devastated for an entire day, and all I did was whine, "Oh I miss her, I wish she'd come back to me!" Considering how much time I had spent foraging her favourite things and talking to her to get her to like me, and then she just leaves me. I won't say which of the girls it was, or what happens after she goes, just in case you choose to do that scenario.

The plot of the game is odd, especially because of the intro, which scared me when I first played it, thinking it was such a mistake to rent that game. The intro involves three little 'Harvest Sprites' and a 'Harvest Goddess' who happens to live in 'Harvest Goddess Lake'. They want you to save the village from the people that are planning on building a theme park there. You're just a teenager, and I don't see how a teenager is supposed to save an entire village, let alone run a farm by himself, but you will manage. So the main part of the game is not to take care of your farm, but to build relationships with the people around the village, and get them to help you in some way. Unfortunately, this must be hard for our hero, since it seems he cannot speak, but luckily everyone in the village understands his hand signing, which he does whenever he is asked a question.

You must take care of your farm to make money, so you can buy things for people and that stuff. You can also get animals (what kind of farm is complete without some farm animals?) like chickens, cows and a horse. You can buy the cows and chickens from the farmer, but you have to earn the horse by doing part-time work. If you buy animals though, you have to feed them and heal them when they are sick, or they'll die and everyone will be mad at you, and you'll have to sleep an extra day. You can also breed the animals magically. For chickens, all of the chickens you buy are female, but if you take one of their eggs and stick it in your incubator, you'll get a chick in three days. And for cows, just buy some magical Cow Potion stuff, and feed it to your cow, and she'll give birth after a while. Ah, the perfect world, where men are not needed for breeding.

There is a lot to do in this game, and endless ways to go through it. You can play this game so many times, and it won't ever be the same twice, even though sometimes it seems quite repetitive (wake up, feed animals, water plants, mingle, sleep). It's a great game, one of the only ones you can pick the female you'll end up with. I really recommend it, if you like RPGs and adventure games, because that's what this is, except no fighting!

FINAL SCORE: 9.1 out of 10