Ah Harvest Moon: Back to Nature for the PlayStation 1… the first Harvest Moon I played I still remember the day my brother Tirc brought it home and I sat watching him play it for quite awhile. I don’t recall if we owned it or rented it but eventually we would own it. It seems to be a thing where I play a game that’s several games into the franchise and then I eventually play the older/earlier ones.
Much like every other Harvest Moon your taking care of a farm, more specifically an old family farm that was your grandfathers that’s seen better days. As Jon pointed out in the first Fall Harvest event this game improved upon Harvest Moon 64 and added more plot/story. Now you have 3 years to renew the farm while expanding your life with achievements such as marriage to enrich your life. If at the end of the 3 years you do renew the farm then your family settles down there and the game continues (or you may continue it) but if not the game ends.
Back to Nature took all the characters from Harvest Moon 64 and revamped their personalities, lifestyles and even their family members. The game does however support several features that are staples of the Harvest Moon series (besides being a farm simulator of course) such as random weather; though now they are a bit more realistic occurring in patterns, there’s also short days (including only 4 months of the year: one for each season), dog as a pet and so on.
From what I remember this game also had an actual mine that you could visit and get minerals to sell. I thought that was a cool feature that was sadly not in my favorite game of the series (Save the Homeland). Like a lot of the series this game was received well and it’s easy to see why, the game mirrors what life would be like if you ran a farm… physically taxing but also oddly relaxing compared to the stress modern life has given lent us.
The game further improved upon the games controls, graphics and overall smoothness and would see further makes of this game including a remake with the protagonist being female though oddly enough it wasn’t released until 2007 in English, called Harvest Moon for Girl. I can only assume this was due to unsure nature of how many female English speaking fans there were. Other re-releases would see both games packaged together, and later games in the series would allow players to choose their gender.
Seriously the biggest thing about this game I remember is the mining and the ability to get better picks and mine better items, which makes this game a bit more of a life simulation than others of the series as there’s more to do than just farming and scrounging. The Harvest Moon series (now called Story of Seasons Series as it’s lost the rights to the Harvest Moon name) has been one of those games that you can play for an hour and then save and go to sleep or watch TV. It’s a game that allows one to relax and it falls under the category of games no one would have assumed they wanted only to be proven it was (kind of like Pokemon Snap).
There’s more to this game but better showcased differently and we will certainly have to revisit it in a video format in the future!!!
Afterbirth DLC review for Binding of Issac by Exanora will be out tomorrow, other content willl be coming out tomorrow as well!
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