Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland

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a game by Victor Interactive Software, Inc.
Platform: Playstation 2
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Harvest Moon Games, Simulator Games
Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland
Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland
Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland
Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland

As the gaming industry tries to push high octane sports games, action-adventure experiences and one-hundred-hour exploitative role-playing games down our throats, it can be rather soothing to step away from it all. To give a modest and relaxed virtual life where you simply do what you need to get by and live a happy life. In Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland, you are invited to take control of another run-down farmstead, turn it into the heart of the town and even make some coin in the process. It isn’t much, but it’s honest work.

This game plays much like other games within the Harvest Moon series such as Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life or Harvest Moon: Friends Of Mineral Town. Or alternatively, if you aren’t aware of the series, it plays rather like titles such as Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley or Slime Rancher. The goal of This game is to offer relaxed and therapeutic gameplay that is in stark contrast to the relentlessly action-packed games that dominate the medium of gaming.

A Familiar Setup

The game begins as all games of this nature begin as if it is an unwritten rule that they must start this way. You inherit your grandfathers overgrown and unkempt farmstead and are given the task of turning it into the beating heart of the town, restoring a hearty economy and sense of togetherness with the townsfolk and ridding the evil corporation that aims to tear down the area in favour of building a theme park. It’s a predictable storyline but one that gives the player more than enough motivation to build the farm in their own image.

The activities and gameplay are very familiar for any returning player, you’ll sow crops, play with your dog, talk to the townsfolk and build relationships, learn to cook, enjoy some romantic encounters and catch a big fish if you can fit that all into a hectic daily schedule. Although it can seem a little overwhelming at first, the routine you create becomes second nature in no time at all.

Cream of the Crop Visuals

While this game is by no means a visual masterclass, it offers a lovely pixelated aesthetic that really fits the laid back nature of the title. However, where other titles in the series looked rather primitive, the move to fifth-generation console hardware has allowed for a real step up in class. The in-game features and items are much more detailed and dynamic, the animations for the NPC’s and your own character are much more smooth and in the town itself is a real sight to behold.

Then there is the changing of the seasons that, although very simple in premise, really does add another level of visual splendour to your humble little town. The falling of leaves, the sheets of white snow. They all culminate to offer a really pretty and aesthetically pleasing place to spend hours of in-game time.

What’s Actually New?

Well, aside from the new plotline that Save The Homeland follows, this game aspires to be much more social than the other outings. The days are much shorter and the clock moves at an alarming pace, with the only respite being when time stops when you are indoors. This means the game is actively encouraging you to be more actively seeking interaction with NPCS to fill your day. It’s a neat trick by the developers that naturally nudges played in the right direction. Aside from the more narrative approach to the farming sim, the game remains very much a carbon copy of previous games. Small features and secrets will differ slightly from older titles but ultimately, it’s just more of the same which in our opinion and indeed the fans of the series, is in no way a bad thing.

An Honest Living

Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland takes what’s great about the series, maintains the same level of quality and makes the necessary tweaks to make it at time of release, the best in the series to date. The score, the narrative, the gameplay, the amount of content on offer and the replay value of this title are truly remarkable assets that male this series what it is. However, despite this, there is little for returning players to gain other than a new story and character a to interact with.

8

The game remains very much the same in many respects to its predecessor so if you go into this one expecting a massive overhaul, you’ll be gravely disappointed. Overall though, its a wonderfully wholesome and relaxing title that is well worth sinking countless hours into on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Pros

  • Visually a step up from older titles in the series.
  • Narrative improvements are a nice touch.
  • The musical score is brilliant.
  • Replay value is second to none

Cons

  • The in-game clock is very fast and can make the game quite overwhelming.
  • Not a lot of change from older titles gameplay-wise

Download Harvest Moon: Save The Homeland

Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

Playstation 2 Screenshots

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